A few months ago, I needed to fly through Mexico City. I’d heard mixed reviews about Mexico City….but it was still on my list. So, I thought, what better way to visit than a few day trial on layover. A visit light on commitment. I can survive anything for a few days, right? I did some heavy research to find an affordable place to stay…with character…in a nice, safe neighborhood. I found this great place in San Miguel Chalpultepec through AirBNB, which turned out to be an awesome experience, a private room in a beautiful house in a nice, quiet neighborhood close to Chalpultepec Park with really warm, welcoming hosts, Paco and his wife, Majo. I’d recommend it to anyone interested in privacy, cleanliness, and getting to know a few wonderful Mexicans! With only a few days to spend, little planning under my belt, and a strong desire to explore markets and eat lots of street food, Majo recommended that I contact a man named Gabriel and enlist his help. What an awesome recommendation, one that very likely set me up to love my experience in Mexico City!
Gab Tala of Pata de Perro DF offers personalized tour experiences that take a traveler off the beaten path (or to places on the beaten path but experienced as a local might). With less than 24 hours notice (lucky for me, he was available), we decided to embark upon his already prepared 7 hour Ciudad de Mercados itinerary! It was a Sunday, so our destinations were Mercado Jamaica, La Merced, Mercado Sonora, and La Lagunilla, with the plan to use our own 2 feet, the metro, the bus and the bike-share, eating as much as possible along the way!
I will definitely post soon covering this whole day and the other experiences I had in Mexico City. But, today, I want to share some of my favorite photos of Mercado Jamaica, a market famous for its beautiful flowers. It is located on the corner of Congreso de la Union and Avenida Morelos, southeast of the historic center. In addition to the usual fruits, vegetables, meats and spices (and piñatas!!), this market offers over 1000 stands dedicated to flowers…cut flowers, arrangements, ornamentals. With relatively open walking spaces great for gawking, this market was a relatively calm way to introduce me to a Mexican market…especially for the morning. I am not a morning person! Gab walked me through the market, talking to me about market etiquette (especially in regards to photography), telling me about the different things I was seeing and the history of the market, reassuring me if I wanted to taste something a vendor was offering, and taking me to his favorite stalls. He quickly noticed that I loved to take photos and made sure to tell me when he saw an interesting subject or when I should probably ask before snapping a shot. Then, as a little mini finale, he took me for carnita tacos…yes, he won an instant friend out of me with this move! Honestly, I found wandering around Mercado Jamaica so enjoyable that I think Gab had to coax me out so that we’d have time for the others. Endless photo opportunities.