Thursday, April 19, 2007

Urban sprawl

Here's a shot of Mexico City I took this morning that gives some idea of the size...
...the city basically goes on for as long as the eye can see.

I'm doing a trip through Latin America this week and next, and I'm in Mexico City at the moment.

I think with the immigration and borders debate, a lot of Americans have this perception of Mexico as being a country full of desperately destitute people looking for a way out--into the US, more often than not. There's no question that there's poverty in Mexico, but one trip to Mexico City will put things into perspective.

I'm a bit too lazy right now to do any research ('s been a tough week, and I still have to hit Brazil and Argentina next week), but last I checked, Mexico City is the world's largest city at something like 22 million people. Even if it's not the largest, it's still pretty freakin' big.

When I was here around four years ago, the Polanco district was pretty nice, as it is now, but there just wasn't much going on in the immediate area of the major hotels here. This year is considerably different.

Directly across the street from my hotel are Bentley and Hummer dealerships, and the many bars, of which there were precious few four years ago, are packed every night. Not with tourists or business travelers, but with locals. The atmosphere is different.

I don't know what the rest of the country is like--I've never been to any part of Mexico besides Mexico City--but if the capitol is any indication, I think Mexico is in for a period of economic growth.

Here's another shot taken from the same spot, but focusing in a bit closer.
One thing about Mexico City is that any open space is occupied by trees.

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