Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Parque La Mexicana

As you climb into the mountains at the western edge of Mexico City, you pass through a district called Santa Fe.  The original Pueblo Santa Fe dates back to colonial times, and today is a fairly poor and somewhat unsafe neighborhood.  The area beyond the "pueblo" were used for the excavation of sand, and the mining activity left a deep trench that was more than two miles long and a mile wide.  By 1960s the area had been sold to the city, and it was used as a landfill where millions of tons of trash were dumped.

In the 1990s plans were made to convert the area into an exclusive development of high rise buildings.  The building boom continues to this day, and today Santa Fe (separate from the old "pueblo") is like a metropolis distinct from the rest of Mexico City.  The ultramodern buildings house offices for international companies and very expensive condominiums.  Santa Fe has Latin America's largest shopping mall and some of Mexico's most expensive private schools.  

The district is not without controversy.  Being built on an old landfill means that there have been environmental and infrastructure concerns.  Only one main highway connects Santa Fe with the rest of the city, resulting in traffic nightmares, and there are no public transportation links by subway or Metrobus.  When I look at some of the buildings perched on cliffs or built beneath carved out mountainsides, they simply do not look safe to me.

In spite of its glitzy architecture I have never had a desire to visit Santa Fe.  I have only seen it passing through on the highway west out of the Mexico City.  To me it is a sterile bubble of affluence where snobs can pretend to live apart from the city's problems. 

However, there was one place in Santa Fe that I was interested in seeing... a large park called "Parque La Mexicana" which was opened in 2017.  On Saturday, Alejandro and I drove to Santa Fe to visit the park.

The park provides a nice setting to view part of the district's skyline.

The park includes jogging and bike paths, a children's playground and a dog park.

There is a large "gourmet terrace" of restaurants.  Most of the restaurants are very upscale places.

We stopped for a snack at a branch of Mexico City's best known chain of "churrerías", El Moro. ("Churros" are long tubes of deep fried dough, dipped in sugar and/or cinnamon... the Hispanic world's version of doughnuts.)

The is a large lake in the middle of the park.  The water is dyed blue.

In the middle of the upper part of the lake, there is a stage.  However, the park's website does not make mention of any performances scheduled there.

We had perfect weather to enjoy the park, and we walked its entire length.  I'm glad that we visited Parque La Mexicana, but now that I have seen it, I have no need to return to Santa Fe,

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