THIRDHOME member Larry Grossman goes tequila tasting, attends a Lucha Libre match and more while staying at an architectural gem.
Keep reading to learn about Larry’s exciting journey through lively Mexico City!
It seemed like a good idea at the time….
After all, it was only 248 really steep steps to get to the top of the Aztec’s Pyramid of the Sun in the ancient Mesoamerican City of Teotihuacan. Furthermore, my buddy Paul, who I formerly thought was a really smart guy, assured me that we would have no trouble climbing the pyramid. When we were halfway to the top, and all the way exhausted, Paul reminded me that if I turned back now he would forever humiliate me for failing to complete our mission while he conquered the pyramid. So the challenge was on and we both made it to the top, with an awesome view of the Aztec Avenue of the Dead for the kick off to our Mexico City adventure.
Now I consider myself to be a big-city kind of guy having grown up in Chicago, nearly 3 million strong, City of Big Shoulders, home of “Da Bears”, deep dish pizza, and lots of traffic. But Greater Mexico City with a metropolitan population of nearly 22 million people is another story. It is the largest, and arguably, the most interesting metropolitan area in the Western Hemisphere with unique neighborhoods, plazas, markets and historic buildings. Mexico City’s Chapultepec Park is twice as big as New York’s Central Park and features three museums, a zoo, a castle, a lake and lots of green spaces to escape from noise and traffic.
Our home base for the week was THIRDHOME’s Casa Rombos IV located in the trendy Bosque De Las Lomas section of the City. Rombos IV is the most architecturally unique residence I’ve experienced since joining THIRDHOME. It featured dramatic lighting options in every room, geometric nooks and crannies throughout the house, a master bedroom large enough to get lost in at night and for good measure, a tree in the middle of the house. Furthermore, we had a large theater room to watch our Mexico-based movies, Frida and Roma, while enjoying tacos and Tecate beers. Finally, our cocinera (cook) ensured we did not go hungry, preparing breakfast and dinner for us each day. My favorite dinner featured a seafood medley with shrimp, octopus and habanero peppers.
Rombos IV was our retreat to relive the day’s adventures and rejuvenate for the next day. Way better than a hotel and far more economical when booked through The Club. THIRDHOME residences exist in any number of big cities including Paris, London, New York, Istanbul, Rio De Janeiro and Los Angeles and in this case, 7 of us enjoyed the residence while still maintaining a good degree of privacy.
Thus, after our mandatory research on the TripAdvisor website and considerable debate, my Mexican and Gringo visitors came up with a plan to see as much as humanly possible in a 7-day period. These were our highlights of the week:
1. Tequila tasting at Nayaa Mezcalero
A visit to the Nayaa Mezcalero, the largest such facility in the world, where the tastiest Mezcal in Mexico is produced, was definitely high on the list. The Mescalero features 4 unique agave plants, each with a distinct taste, for those of us who gravitate toward the agave/tequila side of life. Our tour of the scenic complex was informative and fun with a tasting at the end of 6 different versions of this award-winning beverage (San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2016). For those old-time mezcal drinkers (like myself) who remember the worm at the bottom of the bottle don’t worry. No worm, only a really tasty beverage.
2. Biking through Chapultepec Park
My favorite city outing was our “Bike and Munchie” excursion through several neighborhoods and Chapultepec Park. The tour included two of my favorite things in life: biking and eating. Five of us, with guidance from our guides Paola and Fernando, biked 8 miles stopping frequently to sample local cuisine ranging from street tacos to fried grasshoppers (not a do-over). The food was “muy rico” and in between biking and eating, Paola gave us an informative history lesson covering 500 years from Aztecs to Spaniards to Mayans. We visited several local markets and admired the multitude of “street art” painted on the various city buildings.
3. Visiting the Frida Kahlo Museum
A walking tour of the historic Coyuacan neighborhood featured the Frida Kahlo Museum. The museum highlights the passionate and turbulent lives of two iconic Mexican artists: Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. If you haven’t already seen it, go immediately to Netflix and watch the Oscar-winning movie Frida starring Selma Hayek to get a glimpse of 1930’s Mexico City. Coyuacan is the site of the first Spanish settlement in Mexico City and history and art are woven into the culture of this historic location. In addition, the Mercado Artesenal was the optimal location to load up on cool gifts for friends and family.
4. Watching Lucha Libre
Our most “wacky” outing was to the Arena Mexico for a night of Lucha Libre, Mexico’s answer to WWE Wrestling. The noisy, music blaring match featured muscular Mexican wrestlers acrobatically tossing each other around and out of the ring to the cheers and delight of the capacity crowd. This is a fun family outing with children, who deck themselves out in their favorite wrestler masks. The whole crowd shows up ready to hoot, holler, boo and hiss through the whole event. It’s easy to tell the “good guys” from the “bad guys” and the referees never have control of the match from start to finish.
5. Listening to mariachi bands at Mariachi Plaza Garibaldi
We capped off the week with a nighttime visit to Mariachi Plaza Garibaldi, a plaza full of large and small mariachi bands all jockeying to serenade visitors with classic mariachi tunes. A variety of restaurants and bars offer food and drink, but the real attraction is the music played by the decked out singers. Mariachi classics such as “Cielito Lindo” and “Guantanamera” can be heard from all corners of the plaza. If mariachi is not your thing, not far from Garibaldi is The Zinco Jazz Club for traditional jazz favorites in a small and cozy venue.
We found our week in Mexico City to be adventurous, colorful and entertaining with sensational food, friendly people and plenty of memories. On to the next big city adventure!
More of Larry’s photos from his trip to Mexico City with THIRDHOME…