This time, the Your City, Your Spot, Your Style tour takes us to the dynamic, eclectic Mexican capital of Mexico City, where is accompanied by model and TV presenter . A whirlwind day out takes them to several spots around the city that showcase Mexico’s traditional side while also keeping an eye on the future. This sprawling city isn’t just a metropolis; it’s a megalopolis, with millions of people and thousands of microcosms contained inside it. With their visit, Nico and Lety aim to uncover some of the stories that make Mexico City unique.
1. A stroll through Alameda Central and the Palacio de Bellas Artes
Mexico City has undergone a rebirth in the past few years, and part of this effort to make the city more beautiful, green and livable is to revive its parks, gardens and public spaces. The queen of them all, however, has been around all along: , a one-time Aztec Marketplace redesigned as a public park in the 16th century. Nico and Lety take some time to wander its paved paths and decorative fountains and statues, discussing the best aspects of Mexico City today.
Just next to the park, the elegantis a fine example of Mexican design and civic planning just after the Mexican Civil War, as well as a great photo opportunity. With its neoclassical and art nouveau exterior and its murals by Diego Rivera, the building is a perfect melding of European traditions and the creativity and innovation represented by the Americas nearly 100 years ago. Today, it is a cultural center showcasing exhibitions as well as theater and ballet performances.
“Alameda and the Palace of Fine Arts represented a side of Mexico I’d never seen before,” says Nico. “In the middle of such a bustling, massive city, it feels really special to discover these places of elegance and calm.”
2. A visit to the Museo de Arte Popular
Originally built to house the fire department and the police inspector general, this 1928 art deco building is now a showcasing some of Mexico’s most beautiful and intricate handicrafts. These include the famed Alebrijes, Oaxacan-Mexican folk art sculptures of fantastical creatures, which the museum is also showcasing in an outdoor expo of contemporary versions on Paseo de la Reforma. After a 20 minute tour with the museum’s general director, Nico and Lety try their hand at their own Mexican folk art, taking time to plan the designs they will paint on their own Mexican ceramic pitchers. Of course Nico’s colors aren’t hard to guess: he chooses the colors of the F1 team.
“It was nice to take a closer look at Mexican culture at the museum,” says Nico. “I was also very happy to get fully immersed in the world of Mexican pottery painting, and to honor my team with the colors I chose!"
3. A bite to eat at Azul Histórico Restaurant
Mexico City has been experiencing a culinary revolution, as visitors come to the capital to experience a rich and varied cuisine that goes far beyond tortillas. The fervor over Mexican cuisine has only been helped by its 2010 UNESCO designation as a cultural treasure along with French cuisine. Helmed by chef Ricardo Muñoz Zurita, melds both classic and contemporary architectural and culinary themes. Set in a renovated 17th century nobleman’s home in the city’s historical district, the restaurant’s patio has trees growing up through it, their leaves forming a protective tent over the diners.
The cuisine is a melding of various traditions from different parts of the country, including a lot of dishes visitors may never have tried before. Nico and Lety not only get to sample a couple of dishes, like the Oaxacan shrimp with green pipian sauce, they also have the chance to make their very own gluten-free tacos, filled with cochinita pibil - a traditional Mexican slow-roasted pork from the Yucatán Península. They are accompanied by a mariachi band, who serenade them with the sounds of Mexico.
“This is Mexican food like I’ve never tasted it before,” says Nico. “Sampling and preparing these dishes in their own country gives me a new appreciation for this sophisticated cuisine. Will Mexican food become the new French? I hope so!”