Visiting Mexico City for Spring Break — with extra political baggage

Raising your teenager in a small town is a double-edged sword. Small towns are tight knit, friendly and ours is surrounded by the Great Outdoors for swimming, hiking, fishing and sailing. The schools are solid, and some, such as Ghidotti high school, are highly ranked (#1 at least this year) for their standardized statewide test scores.

The downside of the small town lifestyle is a lack of good jobs, intolerance, provincialism and some ugly political behavior.

We like to split the difference (we’re moderates), so we travel abroad with our son when we can to help expand his horizons. On this Spring Break, we are in Mexico City.

This may not sound as enticing as Cabo, PV (Puerto Vallarta) or Cancun, but we love the city’s arts and culture scene, restaurants, parks and monuments. It’s an easy flight from Northern California, the exchange rate is among the most favorable in years, and Mexico City is a safe place. Uber makes it easy to get around, and the metro is solid.

Like other Americans, we carried extra baggage to Mexico City this time — our President Donald Trump. Needless to say, he is not too popular among the locals.

Here’s what Enrique Olvera, chef of the critically acclaimed Pujol in the city’s Polanco neighborhood and now Cosme in New York, had to say: “Not too long ago, after being questioned in an interview on what he would do if Trump decides to visit Cosme, he was quick to answer. ‘I doubt that he’d ever go, but if he does at the very least, we’d have to tell him to go f*** himself.'”

“To (Olvera) the future that Latin and Mexican restaurants are facing with a Trump presidency should be tackled through work. ‘The effect that he has will depend on our own actions or lack thereof. We need to focus on doing things the best way possible and stop getting overwhelmed with matters that are out of our control.'”

In Mexico City, some of the sights we’ve enjoyed showing our son are the National Museum of Anthropology (Museo Nacional de Antropologia); Historic Center and Zocalo, where he noted the James Bond film Spectre was filmed; Frida Kahlo Museum; Diego Rivera Studio; and archaeological zone of Teotihuacan on the outskirts of the city, with the largest pyramids this side of the Nile.

The city’s culinary scene is booming, from fine-dining restaurants such as Pujol to El Cardenal, one of the best places for a traditional meal. (Our son enjoyed the hot chocolate at breakfast).

Many of the neighborhoods are walkable too. The jacaranda trees are in full bloom with their violet-blue flowers — in the neighborhoods and Chapultepec Park.

The city has been quieter than usual, because it’s Easter week. It was a working vacation for us — wrapping up the spring issue of our magazine — but the internet is solid, and we enjoyed the getaway.  Have a Happy Easter!

About jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.
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5 Responses to Visiting Mexico City for Spring Break — with extra political baggage

  1. Annie Fox says:

    Have a wonderful time Jeff.

  2. reinettesenum@gmail.com says:

    I hope you have big wheels for that extra baggage. You’re going to need ’em.

  3. Judith Lowry says:

    Jeff,

    Between you and Hillary Hodge describing her wonderful trip to Catalonia, we are getting the itchy foot here!
    Did you get to Casa Azul? It’s a dream of mine to one day visit Frida’s home and feel her amazing vibe.

    • jeffpelline says:

      Yes, and it is amazing. You and Brad ought to hop a flight from Sacramento down here. We’re headed home this afternoon.

  4. Judith Lowry says:

    We would love to, but we just got back from a trip to Southern California and have a lot of catching up to do.
    Orange County is a short flight, true, but in many ways it is a world away from Nevada County.
    Happy landings!

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