From the Archives: An Eight-Year-Old’s Travel Journal, 1987

Map of baja drawing

Churpa writes: While researching for a memoir of my childhood on the road, I’ve been digging through old family photographs and journals, and I found this very detailed illustrated travel journal that I started when I was eight, in 1987. The journal is canvas-bound with a sweet splatter paint design on the cover, and spans from November 1987 to the spring of ’89. It covers two long trips, from Oregon to Baja to Guatemala and back again. At the time, […]

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Things to Do in Mexico City: Soumaya Museum

Mexico city museum

Billionaire Carlos Slim’s art collection is housed in a big shiny museum in Polanco. Designed by Slim’s son-in-law Fernando Romero, the ostentatiously modern building has a cool interior design that allows the visitor to ascend  or descend in a spiral of wide walkways. The Museo Soumaya is friendly to the alter-abled, with ramps everywhere, and special exhibits and guides for the hearing and sight impaired. Also, it’s totally free. The museum has a lot of Rodin, a good collection of […]

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News Flash: Mexico City is Freaking Huge

1869 Lithograph of Mexico City

So we all know that Mexico City is sinking. Tony Burton of Geo Mexico reports that it’s getting particularly bad in Iztapalapa, where 10,000 homes are now at risk. In all, Mexico City has sunk 7 meters since 1891. More on that here. I’ve been thinking about The Big Enchilada lately because I’m reading The Interior Circuit, Franscisco Goldman’s memoir of learning to drive in Mexico City. So far I am finding it excellent, and I’ll write a full review […]

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Where’s My Tacos?

A man cuts meat at a Mexico City taqueria.

Just stumbled across “36 Hours in Mexico City” from The New York Times. I enjoy this series and this installment is not half bad. The suggestions are predictably heavy on Colonia Roma and Condesa, but props to the grey lady for at least suggesting that visitors eat at a market, in this case Mercado de Medellín. That said, this is the only market on the itinerary, which seems crazy to me. Also, there’s no mention of The National Museum of […]

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Top Five Mexican Cities for Hangout Travel

Churpa sits in lamplight in La Condesa.

In 1999, when I was 20 years old, I flew into Mexico City with my friend Abigail. Between the two of us, we carried $1000 in cash. Our plan? Travel from Mexico City to the Yucatan, spend a month hitting all the major sites of interest and then return to Mexico City. Our budget was based on very vague calculations on my part: I’d spent the previous winter camping on a beach on the Pacific coast, and it’d cost me […]

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Food Tourism in Mexico?

A bin of Mole Negro mix in a Oaxaca market

I recently received the following note from a reader who is planning a week-long trip to Mexico for his dad’s 70th birthday. Daniel writes: My brothers and I want to take our Dad to Mexico this December or January–Oaxaca and Mexico City maybe. My Dad is a chef and so we were thinking there might be a guide that could show us the best food experiences with the most appropriate accommodations etc. My Dad has been cooking Mexican for years […]

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Mexico City News

Was just lurking over at Tony Burton’s always excellent Geo-Mexico, where I found two interesting pieces of Mexico City News: The Big Enchilada is annexing 5500 hectares of land to expand Benito Juárez International Airport, which is operating at near capacity. The giant spider-shaped addition will be designed by Fernando Romero, a son-in-law of Carlos Slim. Peña Nieto says the new six runway airport will cost about $9.16 billion and Forbes predicts one of Slim’s companies will get the contract […]

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Mexico Around the Internets

At Mexico Retold, I stumbled across this is a fun quiz about the revolution of 1910 (I got 80%—clearly I need to brush up on my Obregon). However, I did even worse on Tony Burton’s current (typically difficult) geography quiz at Geo-Mexico. Luckily, this post on Mexico’s peace index definitely cheered me up. Burton notes: Mexico Peace Index finds that peace improved 7.4% in past two years The two-year improvement in peace was primarily driven by a 30% decrease in organized […]

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Seven Common Misconceptions about Tequila and Mezcal

A pile of agave cores, ready to be roasted for mezcal.

Tequila and mezcal are made from “cactus juice.” Agave is not a cactus, but rather a member of the botanical order Asparagales, which includes asparagus and narcissus. (Native to the New World, the genus Agave is exceedingly diverse, with well over 100 varieties in Mexico alone.) Mezcal is a type of Tequila. If you want to get down to brass tacks (and I think you do), Tequila is a variation on mezcal, or distilled agave spirits. Mexican laws about the […]

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