Why Mexico City is an awesome place to live

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    Okay, you’ve heard all about the drug cartels. Now here’s why Mexico City is actually an awesome place to live.

    1. Gobbling late night, or rather very early morning, flame broiled tacos al pastor in one of the thousands of small stands sprinkled across the city.

    taco-stand-flickr

    A taco stand in Mexico. (Rutlo/Flickr)

    2. Driving one of the city’s five million cars, unhindered by any but the most basic, and widely ignored, rules of a civilized road.

    Mexico traffic.(Fidel Barrera/Flickr)

    Mexico city traffic. (Fidel Barrera/Flickr)

    3. Buying chewing gum, pirated movies, and just about anything else imaginable from vendors plying the packed tunnels and cars of the subway system.

    Mexico city subway. (Quentzi/Flickr)

    Mexico city subway. (Quentzi/Flickr)

    4. Drinking fine Mexican beer and an aged tequila or three with friends through an afternoon and into the night in a one of the hundreds of neighborhood cantinas.

    The neighborhood cantinas in Mexico

    Drink beer in the neighborhood cantinas.(Gary Denness/Flickr)

    5. Joining the bicycle fests along the main thoroughfares that attract tens of thousands of riders every Sunday morning.

    bicycle fests in Mexico

    The bicycle fests in Mexico City. (Lonjho/Flickr)

    6. Celebrating legalized gay marriage and other gifts of a politically progressive city government.

    Gay marriage in mexico

    legalized gay marriage in Mexico. (Shutterstock)

    7. Strolling the narrow and chaotic streets and the sprawling main plaza of downtown.

    Mexico City downtown

    Many of the oldest buildings were thrown up by the conquistadores using lava rock and other stones, torn from Aztec temples and palaces. (Tristan Higbee/Flickr)

    8. Oggling the naked protesters who arrive each spring to march along the central Paseo de la Reforma to demand God knows what.

    Protesters in Mexico

    Protesters along the central Paseo de la Reforma. (Alejandro De La Cruz/Flickr Commons)

    9. The chaos of hopelessly tangled traffic.

    Mexico City traffic

    It’s quite often made far worse by any of the several thousand protests marches and street blockades that hit the city every year. But, hey, the chaos can be fun. (Shutterstock)

    10. Cafe con leche and a steaming plate of chilaquiles — fried corn tortillas sauteed in spicy salsa and topped with an egg or chicken — in one of the ubiquitous Chinese cafes.

    Mexico city and chinese cafes

    Chinese cafes in Mexico. (Ray_from_LA/Flickr)

    11. Leaning back for a three-dollar, hot-towel and straight-razor shave in an oh so traditional barber shop.

    Barbers in Mexico

    Barbers in Mexico City. (Danny Playami/Flickr)

    12. Slouching with hipsters in pulquerias, the once nearly extinct traditional and now rediscovered bars serving pulque, the viscuous and lightly fermented cactus juice that’s provided a buzz here since long before the Spanish Conquest.

    Mexico pulquerias

    Hipsters in Mexico pulquerias. Pulque is the viscuous and lightly fermented cactus juice. (Omar Omar/Flickr Commons)

    13. Siestas. Siestas. Siestas.

    Mexico City siestas

    A siesta is a short nap taken in the early afternoon, often after the midday meal. (Jacob Patton/Flickr)

    14. The many thousands of small shrines to the Virgin of Guadalupe that pepper street corners, offices, shops and repair garages around the city.

    Guadalupe around  Mexico City.

    Small shrines of the Virgin of Guadalupe around Mexico City. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

    15. Strolling mariachis and norteño bands and troubadours who fill bars, restaurants and streets with song.

    Norteno bands

    Mariachis and norteño bands who fill bars. (schizoform/Flickr Commons)

    16. Baroque Roman Catholic churches and temples offer the finest architecture of the colonial era.

    Churches and temples in Mexico

    Roman Catholic churches and temples in Mexico. (schizoform/Flickr Commons)

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