News Flash: Mexico City is Freaking Huge

1869 Lithograph of Mexico City

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 later, but for now I want to share Goldman’s hilarious musings on the city’s byzantine streets. I’m always trying to explain to people how mind-numbingly giant the city is, and this drives it home:

“..I took the time to count 259 streets named Morelos in the Guia Roji index; Calle Morelos’s columns are followed by several more of Morelos variations: the numerous Morelos that are avenidas, cerradas (dead-end streets), calzadas (inner-city highways), privadas, and so on. Let’s not count all the streets named for Benito Juárez, far more numerous than even Morelos. As for Calle Abasolo, two separate colonias [neighborhoods], both named San Miguel, have steets named Abasolo…There are numbered streets too. Over a hundred Calle 1 s, nearly as many Calle 2 s. The city has some 6,600 colonias, and fourteen of them are named La Palma and five are named Las Palmas. And so on. Buenas noches, señor, please take me to Calle Benito Juárez in Colonia La Palma…now the fun begins.”

6 Responses to “News Flash: Mexico City is Freaking Huge”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. Tina Rosa says:

    Ha ha! or Ja ja! No wonder I’m so scared of DF…I could get lost with no effort at all!

  2. Interesting piece I learned to drive in Mexico City. Once you’ve driven there, you can drive anywhere. The city’s been sinking for years. That’s what comes from building it on a lake.

  3. -EL CODO- says:

    A friend Armando Garcia claims it takes an hour and forty minutes to drive from his family residence to ave Reforma, downtown. Every Semana Santa the following Monday all the newspapers and TV news have “front page” reports about seven and eight hour transit times between, for instance Toluca and the city – normally a one hour drive. The last time I took a ten mile taxi trip I was marathoned by three different taxis. The drivers just shrugged and said “I do not know this part of the city”. The final driver got lost and I had to telephone Armando to come get me. None of the streets in his barrio had street signs.

  4. Carmen Amato says:

    When driving in Mexico City, the words “This city will not defeat me” became my mantra. A couple of years driving there and no NASCAR driver could best me.

  5. -EL CODO- says:

    Plink a bowl full of Jello with your finger. Quiver-quiver-quiver.

    The threat of an 8.0+ Richter quake in Oaxaca sends shivers up and down my spine. Oaxaca will get through it.