I arrived in Mexico City back in 2016, ready for a challenge, an adventure, and to discover a brand new corner of the world. In the 4 years that have passed, I have come to learn about and love this city, and all of the little details that make it what it is.
I was chatting with my friend and local chef Rose Burillo about this just last week, and in particular how these small details which can be found around the city, make the place what it is. Some will never see these nuggets, those who pass through briefly, but those of us who are here more often, we will see them in all of their glory.
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Playing to The Gallery
Sometimes I get frustrated with people playing guitars or singing in your face whilst you are trying to eat in the city. One thing which I have learned to love however is the musicians who play in the streets, to those in their homes. Generally speaking, at least outside my house, there is a man who comes to play the most beautiful sounding trumpet, a lovely segway in the day. Occasionally a violinist will come by too, to play some stunning music. We all watch on from our balconies and then throw coins down when they are done.
Traffic Light Skills
It is fair to say that there are many in the city who are not doing well economically, and there is evidence of this throughout the streets. Many of these men and women look for creative ways to make money, and often you will see evidence of this at the traffic lights around the city. From fire breathers to jugglers, breakdancing to mime artists, they know that you have nothing else to do but be entertained and this is their stage, until the lights turn green. I am always impressed not only by the talents of these people, but also their ability to gauge their time, grabbing the coins just before the lights change.
Street Art Murals
There is a very relaxed view towards graffiti in the city which I do like to some extent. Naturally this doesn’t work very well when we are talking about silly people who write their names or some other rubbish on doorways, but when it comes to large scale murals, you can see exactly why this approach makes so much sense. What I love in particular is that there are just so many of these murals that they just pop up when you round a corner, and often leave you truly blown away. Most of the murals are commissioned by the building owners, and that means that the artist is allowed to spend a good bit of time on their design, to make it the best that it can be.
These are some of the little nuggets of joy which I get in this city, and they are very much the details which set the city apart form the rest.