MEXICO CITY

If you would love to live in New York City, then Mexico City would be the closest thing to that experience.

The simple difference is that Mexico City is not an island, as is Manhattan, and dominates 573 sq miles in the center of the country and sits at an altitude of 7350 ft.

Ciudad de Mexico, or D.F.as commonly referred (Distrito de Federal – the Federal District) is the capital of the state of Mexico and has 10 boroughs.  The Federal District was created in 1824 and is the seat of the Federal powers of Mexico City.   It is one of the most important financial centers in all of North America as well as being Mexico’s largest city and most important political, cultural, educational and financial area in the country .

The Metropolitan Area of Mexico City is estimated to have a population of nearly 22 million people, who, as in New York City, are from all corners of the globe, thus the reference of DF as an “alpha” global city.  Expats from the United States have the largest population in D.F. who are living outside of the U.S. and recently totaled over 600,000.

The first skyscraper, Torre Latinoamericana, was erected in the 1950’s.  This began the boom of construction of amazingly beautiful and contemporary structures.  The 1968 Olympics lead to the construction of large sporting facilities and brought about the explosive population growth overflowing outside DF and into the state of Mexico.

Due to the huge increase in population, D.F. has made concentrated efforts to lower harmful emissions of cars and busses by building an underground transportation system, daily monitoring of air, rebuilding cars and trucks to lower emissions and instituted a “day without cars”.  There is also a program in place that restricts the flow of cars by using a license plate number system, i.e., plates ending in odd or even numbers are allowed to travel into the city on designated days.

Dotted with top ranked universities, you will find some of the best education for medicine, the arts, engineering, scientific research, technological disciplines and a plethora of other studies.

The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) is the largest on the continent and was named a World Heritage site by the UNESCO in 2007.  The UNAM prides its history of having former students consisting of three Nobel laureates, world known entrepreneurs and modern-day presidents.

Although the city sits on various high plateaus, its climate can be very similar to that of the northeast of the United States.  Temperatures can range in the 20’s F during the winter months and hit the 90’s in the long spring time period.

Approximately 35 inches of rainfall from June through October is the norm.  Temperatures and climate differences exist throughout the 10 boroughs of Mexico City.

Palacio de Artes, Mexico City (Palace of Fine Arts)

Culture, the arts, fine dining, street dining, elegant mansions, prestige homes, apartment buildings, areas of poverty and middle class areas are the ingredients of the “soup” that makes up D.F.  The surrounding boroughs offer much to see and do.  One area, considered the Venice of Mexico, is Xochimilco, where you can rent gondola type boats and host parties on board with singing mariachi or    guitar trio.  A day on the river with music is a refreshing take away from the city.

Mexico City features the most impressive Museum of Anthropology, the National Museum of Art, and Templo Mayor where you will see the remains of the city that once lay beneath the new Mexico City including rock carved skull heads, sculptures of serpents leading to the entrance to a former palace and all the archeological wonders of the past.
If you are into shopping, it is almost needless to say that you will find everything and anything you need in Mexico City.  From stores that line every inch of the city streets to grand and very exclusive shopping malls.
Movie theaters abound in Mexico City with café’s that show old movies while you snack and dine, book stores a plenty and every convenience a modern city can offer you.

FAST FACTS

  1. Health care in Mexico City is abundant and excellent health care is the norm.  If you are over 55, you will qualify for the government medical program Seguro Popular and possibly ISSTE.
  2. The northern part of the city is more exclusive than the southern part of the city.
  3. Public transportation is a vast system and will take you anywhere you wish to go.
  4. The International Airport in Mexico City connects with flights from all over the world.
  5. There are two main luxury bus terminals, one in the north and one in the south (Mexico Norte & Mexico Sur)
  6. As with any large city, petty crime does exist.  Watch your wallet and take taxi’s only from a hotel lobby or a taxi company.
  7. The Zoclo is the old part of the city and can make a wonderful 2 day walking expedition or cover it with a private or group tour.
  8. Visit www.Internations.org  for even more insight to Mexico City and to join the group of International Expats in Mexico City.  This can make for a wonderful and easy transition.