It’s commonly understood that the best way to explore a new place is to go straight to the locals. Each week in the Urbanist, we take that wisdom one step further by seeking out not just locals but local experts — those who are especially well versed in their cities’ newest and most noteworthy scenes — to give us insider recommendations. This week, we asked Fernando Mesta and José Rojas, founders of House of Gaga, for their picks in Mexico’s capital city.
“Mexico City has everything, from the fanciest to the cheapest, super-raw to the most sophisticated of everything. It’s also a city where culture is important and where artists’ voices are heard. There are many great young galleries and independent spaces and artists from all over working here and visiting. Our politicians are the worst, but the people are nice and generous. It’s fun and young and old — we have thousands of years of culture. Mexicans are very welcoming and do not make big distinctions between tourists and locals. If you want to experience the real Mexico City, we would just recommend walking through its neighborhoods and taking it easy. La Condesa is an old neighborhood with many Art Deco buildings that date back to the ’20s and a lot of trees and gardens, like the famous Parque México and the very green Amsterdam Avenue. The weather is always nice all year round, but our favorite is the rainy season from June to October, when the air feels the freshest.”
Their Other Musts
“You can take a car and drive an hour or so northeast to the Teotihuacán pyramids. Head there early in the morning to avoid the scorching sun and a lot of tourists. Arriving by 7:30 or 8 a.m. is best. It is worth the effort of waking up early. The weekends are packed with people, but I kind of like that because it feels so massive. You realize the scale more when there are so many people. It was a metropolis, a 1 million-people city. There’s not much to do around the pyramids, but on the way back you can stop at the Basilica of Guadalupe or Plaza de las Tres Culturas.”