Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Mexico City’s Zona Rosa

Posted by jonathanfryer on Friday, 6th November, 2015

Zona RosaThe last time I was in Mexico City, anout 20 years ago, I was enchanted by the Zona Rosa: a tight grid of tree-lined streets between the Paseo de la Reforma and the Avenida Chapultepec, not far from the city centre. So now I am back there for a few days I’m pleased to se that it hasn’t changed all that much, despite a number of tower blocks — mainly hotels — that have replaced low-rise buidlings in some streets. There are still lots of little restaurants serving some of the city’s finest food, from Mexican to Korean, Italian to Basque. In many ways it reminds me of London’s Soho, or how Soho would look if there were trees. Like Soho, the Zona Rosa has also long had a reputation for naughty night life. There are plenty of sex shops and video arcades interspersed between the money exchanges and grocery stores, and like Soho the Zona Rosa is Mexico City’s gay village. The bars and clubs range from a drinking den for bears to a transvestite cabaret. But the pavements are much wider than in Soho, so one doesn’t get any feeling of claustrophobia and there is much more of a neighbourhood feel rather than being a place mainly for tourists and other visitors. Even after just a few days one starts to recognise customers in the coffee shops and adapt to a lifestyle in which much time is spent in cafes and restaurants, just chatting.

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