Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Books about Mexico City?

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Posts
    7

    Books about Mexico City?

    I just posted on another thread and It got me thinking. Have any of you read good books about Mexico city, its a place that has fascinated me over the last few years and I'd like to read more about it. They don't have to be planning related but that would be a plus.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian RPfresh's avatar
    Registered
    May 2008
    Location
    Surf Jock City
    Posts
    197
    Haven't read it but really want to: El Monstruo, by John Ross, subtitled 'Dread and Redemption in Mexico City,' sounds good. And if you are intrigued by Mexico City I have two words for you - GO THERE! It is an amazing place, full of a history and culture that has been choked out of most white North American cities. It's an enlightening experience you'd never forget, especially as an urban planner or someone with urban interests. I looked up a flight from Edmonton there (I had a free minute) and it's 600 American dollars round trip. It's not half as dangerous as people make it sound - if you stick to the nice neighborhoods, be careful at nighttime and don't flash money, which should be obvious, you'll be fine. I stayed at the Hostel Condesa which was perfect in a great neighborhood. Sorry, I'm just enthusiastic about El Districto Federal. Hope to live there someday. I've got photos on my blog, which you can link to at the bottom of this post. Oh and if you go forget all the warnings - eat some street food! It's good and part of the real Mexico City experience, and the worst thing you'll get is the runs.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian RPfresh's avatar
    Registered
    May 2008
    Location
    Surf Jock City
    Posts
    197
    Uh, didn't notice this thread was a year old. Sorry for the bump.

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Posts
    7
    Quote Originally posted by RPfresh View post
    Haven't read it but really want to: El Monstruo, by John Ross, subtitled 'Dread and Redemption in Mexico City,' sounds good. And if you are intrigued by Mexico City I have two words for you - GO THERE! It is an amazing place, full of a history and culture that has been choked out of most white North American cities. It's an enlightening experience you'd never forget, especially as an urban planner or someone with urban interests. I looked up a flight from Edmonton there (I had a free minute) and it's 600 American dollars round trip. It's not half as dangerous as people make it sound - if you stick to the nice neighborhoods, be careful at nighttime and don't flash money, which should be obvious, you'll be fine. I stayed at the Hostel Condesa which was perfect in a great neighborhood. Sorry, I'm just enthusiastic about El Districto Federal. Hope to live there someday. I've got photos on my blog, which you can link to at the bottom of this post. Oh and if you go forget all the warnings - eat some street food! It's good and part of the real Mexico City experience, and the worst thing you'll get is the runs.
    Hahahaha why do you think I am so intrested in Mexico City? I have been there, several times! Appreciate the book sugestion (glad someone finally responded), i'll have to look it up. If you haven't read it already i'd sugest Urban Leviathan: Mexico City in the 20th Century by Diane Davis, can be a little dry a times but overall a really interested look at how both municipal and federal politics shaped the city. Anyways, thanks again will check out your pics when I have a minute, cheers.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian RPfresh's avatar
    Registered
    May 2008
    Location
    Surf Jock City
    Posts
    197
    Quote Originally posted by cblockultralounge View post
    Hahahaha why do you think I am so intrested in Mexico City? I have been there, several times! Appreciate the book sugestion (glad someone finally responded), i'll have to look it up. If you haven't read it already i'd sugest Urban Leviathan: Mexico City in the 20th Century by Diane Davis, can be a little dry a times but overall a really interested look at how both municipal and federal politics shaped the city. Anyways, thanks again will check out your pics when I have a minute, cheers.
    Yeah I guess I should have asked if you had been there before I tried to sell you on it. I'm glad someone shares my fascination. And that book sounds interesting; I am certainly interested in how macropolitics affect cities, and DF is a hell of an urban leviathan. I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on the city as an urban planner, as well. Thanks for the tip.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Posts
    7
    No worries, I think its a safe assumption that most people from Edmonton has not been nor will go to Mexico City (their loss). As of yet I am not an urban planner so my observations on the city are only based on what i've seen and read. Sounds like we have similar feelings about the city. One thing to keep in mind (which i'm sure you have) is that as vistors with a little bit of money we see the city from a privileged position. There is a very dark side to the city, one that disproportionately affects its poorer citizens. Also I think the city has been on the rebound since the 70's, 80's, and some the the 90's when the city really was an urban hell. Although apperantley some people look back on the bad old days with a sense of nostalgia complaining that the city is going through a process of gentrification/disneyification similar to what has happened in New York. (Although I'd like to think that the Sex in the City girls would be mugged/kindapped immediatley in the DF if they pranced around in a similar manner!) I checked out your pics and noticed you'd been to Santa Fe, its an area i'd like to visit next. How did you get there (eg. taxi or public transpo?) Is the area walkable at all? Seems like it was designed soley with cars in mind. If you were to move to Mexico City what would you do?

    PS. Think you'll like this article. http://www.laweekly.com/2006-08-17/n...n-mexico-city/

  7. #7
    Cyburbian RPfresh's avatar
    Registered
    May 2008
    Location
    Surf Jock City
    Posts
    197
    Quote Originally posted by cblockultralounge View post
    I checked out your pics and noticed you'd been to Santa Fe, its an area i'd like to visit next. How did you get there (eg. taxi or public transpo?) Is the area walkable at all? Seems like it was designed soley with cars in mind. If you were to move to Mexico City what would you do?
    Definitely had to take a taxi to Santa Fe. I got lucky and got a cool driver who told me all about it, and also took me through the high-fences neighborhood of the incredibly rich where the ambassadors etc. live. I took a sitio from Condesa and it was pretty expensive, but got dropped off at the metro on the way back. It was worth seeing and is very much a modern business district, which is kind of cool to see in a third world city.

    The dark side of DF is there for sure. I didn't stray far from a path I had picked out beforehand and slept at night instead of going to bars, so I didn't witness much of it. I did wander out of Coyoacan into the San Angel neighborhood and was pretty sketched out. Kidnappings as you know are extremely common, but I wasn't worried as I was there for a week and stayed in a hostel which was right in a residential neighborhood instead of in a hotel which might stick out. However I have been to Latin America before and found Mexico City to be much safer (at least in my perception) than Lima or Costa Rica, so who knows. I do have a friend, though, that lived in Mexico and spent some time in DF; she was robbed twice but still loves the city.

    If I moved there I would try to stay as much as possible with locals. I would try to move into a house with locals, go to work with locals, hang out with locals etc. In Lima we stayed in an incredibly sketchy neighborhood where me and my white friend were told not to go outside without a Peruvian, but since I was also there with a good friend who is from Peru we always went around with him and were able to avoid being singled out as targets somehow. That and I think that living in a high-fence area is just asking for it. Also I would live in Condesa/Roma which I liked the best out of all the neighborhoods, even though the rent is comparable to California! And I would have to get my nose fixed because I got nosebleeds four times while I was there. But hey, you pay to play.

    What were you doing when you went down there? Would you feel comfortable living there? Why/why not? Cool to find someone else interested in third world cities and Mex City in specific. What interests you about it in particular? Feel free to PM me or whatever. Later

  8. #8
    Cyburbian jswanek's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2009
    Location
    County of Orange
    Posts
    134
    .

    I'm very interested in the urban core as a sinking city. Any suggestions on that topic?

    .

  9. #9
    Cyburbian RPfresh's avatar
    Registered
    May 2008
    Location
    Surf Jock City
    Posts
    197
    Yeah - something else I forgot I had is an issue of an architectural/urban planning magazine, Praxis. They did an entire issue on Mexico City, real interesting technical stuff about infrastructure, a really cool apartment building firm, and there's some stuff about aquifers and the core sinking. If you can find it I'd recommend it as an introduction to how Mexico City works. Don't know how I forgot that before, cblock, it's good stuff. Also if you like world cities there's a killer book called World Cities Beyond the West, an essay collection with a chapter on the city as well as chapters about major Asian and African cities and Sao Paulo.

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 13
    Last post: 05 Jun 2006, 2:01 PM
  2. Replies: 5
    Last post: 10 Apr 2006, 2:45 AM
  3. Mexico City traffic engineers
    Transportation Planning
    Replies: 0
    Last post: 27 Mar 2006, 1:42 PM
  4. Planners in or studying Mexico City?
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 3
    Last post: 14 Feb 2006, 12:17 PM