Mexico City

One Last Night in Mexico City’s LGBT Time Warp

14 September Punch

At midnight on a recent Saturday—any Saturday, really—Avenida República de Cuba, near the sketchy northern edge of Mexico City’s Centro Historico, practically seethes with people. Twenty-somethings of every gender line up around the block outside El Marrakech and La Purísima, a pair of nightclubs that face each other across the narrow, construction-chewed street like Scylla and Charybdis (if Scylla and Charybdis were really good at voguing). (more…)

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Where Barbacoa Comes From

27 May – Extra Crispy

The streets surrounding my home in the historic center of Mexico City are essentially one giant market: a perfect grid—used first by the Aztecs and then by the Spanish—in which each street has its own specific role to play in the commercial morass. Mesones is for school supplies, Bolivar is for sound equipment, the eastern end of Bolivia is for oversized stuffed animals, etc. Over the course of centuries, Mexico’s central valleys developed in much the same way as villages and towns were pulled into the city’s economic orbit. Before they became notoriously dangerous suburbs, Ecatepec and Cuauhtitlan were agave towns. The villages of Milpa Alta, a rural area technically contained within the state of Mexico City, specialize in nopales (cactus paddles) and mole. The village of Capulhuac, about 15 miles southwest of Mexico City, is for barbacoa. (more…)

One Night at El Pinche Gringo

27 September 2016 – Roads & Kingdoms

I was at a party organized by Democrats Abroad for the many anxious Americans currently living in Mexico City. Attendees were registered at the door and then herded toward a large, metal trailer, hollowed out to serve as a kitchen, where they ordered brisket and ribs and coleslaw. A giant American flag blazed across one wall. Next to it were three enormous, neon letters: BBQ. Dozens of picnic tables were crowded with American families and young Mexicans who had donned Hillary Clinton 2016 T-shirts, purchased for 150 pesos. That was about eight dollars when the debate began; it was a little more just two hours later as the value of the peso rose along with Clinton supporters’ spirits. (more…)