On paper, the size and population of Mexico City can seem overwhelming. But aside from when I’m downtown or using the busy metro system, it often surprises me how the city doesn’t feel as populated or massive as it really is.
There are 16 boroughs in Mexico City, and within each borough are several neighborhoods. Some of the boroughs like Coyoacán and Xochimilco used to be separate towns that were swallowed up by the city over time.
While Mexico City as a whole seems to revolve around the historical center, more than other cities I’ve visited, the individual neighborhoods tend to have their own distinct character and vivacious centers. To me, this makes Mexico City feel more like a unified collection of towns rather than the big sprawling mass that it is.
In 2011, Mexico City decided to designate 21 of the most charming and historical neighborhoods as “Barrios Magicos” (Magical Neighborhoods). Unsurprisingly, as a visitor to Mexico City, I’ve spent the bulk of my time in places that are on that list. Here are some everyday images from two of them, Roma and Coyoacán (and a few more from just outside):
An old bus turned in to public art parked outside a square in Roma.
Beautiful architecture in Roma.
A street in Coyoacán, not far from Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul.
The area around the central plazas of Coyoacán can be lively at night. It was a rainy night, but there were several vendors, plenty of people out, and live music under a tent in one of the plazas.
I love the joy in this photo. And the churros were delicious.
During the day I spent at CenArt, we picked up tortas for lunch in a charming neighborhood just outside Coyoacán. The flowers above and the following pictures were taken there.
Etched into a sidewalk. It made me a little wistful about my time in Cuba when I saw it.