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The definitive book on Mexico City: a vibrant, seductive, and paradoxical metropolis-the second-biggest city in the world, and a vision of our urban future. "First Stop in the New World" is a street-level panorama of Mexico City, the largest metropolis in the western hemisphere and the cultural capital of the Spanish- speaking world. Journalist David Lida expertly capturesThe definitive book on Mexico City: a vibrant, seductive, and paradoxical metropolis-the second-biggest city in the world, and a vision of our urban future. "First Stop in the New World" is a street-level panorama of Mexico City, the largest metropolis in the western hemisphere and the cultural capital of the Spanish- speaking world. Journalist David Lida expertly captures the kaleidoscopic nature of life in a city defined by pleasure and danger, ecstatic joy and appalling tragedy-hanging in limbo between the developed and underdeveloped worlds. With this literary-journalist account, he establishes himself as the ultimate chronicler of this bustling megalopolis at a key moment in its-and our-history. ...

Title : First Stop in the New World
Author :
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ISBN : 9781594483783
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 384 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

First Stop in the New World Reviews

  • Rodrigo
    2019-02-22 05:01

    So unfortunate. I started reading this book really excited about a description of my city by a so-called fan of Mexico City. An american who fell in love with MX and tries to narrate it? Sounded great! But it was completely deceiving and, sometimes, even offensive. Generalisation and prejudice are the key words here. Lida just decided that a megalopolis of some twenty million people should be reducted to a very shallow description of behaviors and social groups. And he was never able to see the city from a point of view other than an american (or even a new yorker) judging a foreign city. Is it real what he relates? It is. Does that happen? It does. But it is true as well that I got robbed in New York, and that I saw beggars and homeless in London, but I cannot tell that new yorkers live off robberies or londoners are beggars, unless I decide to base my impressions of these cities merely on my experience in Queens or the East End, ignoring everything else. He decided to stuck (as many uncultured foreigners) to certain group of chilangos, in certain areas, and "digest" the city with a completely prejudiced mind. He, as many foreigners, just cannot consider anything that barely resembles "white" or modern to be mexican. That is maybe the reason he refers to mexicans as those "brown", poor and uncultured people, and automatically assumes that anything different cannot be mexican. Is every american a red skin? Are all italians gigolos? Obviously not. And what I found most surprising is the fact that, in a book that pretends to have a real and huge research, many things are so unaccurate and simply not right. I won't mention all the examples but as a mexican and a chilango, having lived in Mexico City for more than 4 decades, I was so amazed that almost in every page I found errors and even lies. I hope people will take this book as a portrait of a part of Mexico City, but will be intelligent enough to get further information in order to get an accurate and more open image of this wonderful city. I'm so frustrated to have lost my time reading it, and even when I bought it used (in Amazon) and it was only 12 cents, I still think I got robbed.

  • Rachel
    2019-02-17 04:40

    This was a really fascinating read for me, and I would recommend it to anyone who plans on visiting or living in Mexico City. Lida has lived in the D.F. for something like 20 years, and talked to a wide variety of its inhabitants in order to write this book. He shares the stories of street vendors, burlesque dancers, entrepreneurs and politicians. Although he is critical of the lack of upward mobility, corruption, and gender inequality that plague the capital, he is basically sympathetic toward his adopted city. His arguments about economic development and the effects of globalization seemed fair to me. His chapters on relationships and sexuality in the D.F. were enlightening. He explained a lot of the cultural practices I have observed and wanted to know more about in an engaging, higly readable style.

  • Stop
    2019-02-06 04:58

    Read the STOP SMILING reivew of First Stop in the New World:On page 180 of his 336-page book about Mexico City, First Stop in the New World, David Lida writes, “At one torta stand near my apartment, I can almost finish the newspaper between placing an order and being served.” It’s the first mention of where Lida has actually lived in his 18 years in Mexico City; even then, he doesn’t think to mention where in the metropolis his apartment is located. First Stop in the New World is written on the strength of Lida’s long residence in Mexico City as a journalist, and on his self-described “idiosyncratic gaze,” through which descriptions of the city are filtered. But the ghostly absence of the gazer himself makes the book curiously unsatisfying, despite its being larded with consistently interesting information.Read the reivew...

  • Andrew Paxman
    2019-02-03 03:41

    For much of the 1980s and 90s, U.S. professionals relocating to Mexico typically arrived with Alan Riding’s Distant Neighbors in their luggage: the book did an excellent job of explaining the country to the gringos. Though narrower in scope, profiling the capital rather than the nation, David Lida’s collection of reportage and vignettes makes a worthy successor. It’s a scintillating guide to the biggest city in the Americas, at once impressionistic and thorough, underpinned by historical understanding and cultural sensitivity. It also fills the key void in Riding’s work: showing why a foreigner might well enjoy living in this muddled but warm-hearted metropolis. Best of all, First Stop in the New World benefits from Lida’s seemingly endless capacity to connect with his interviewees, from the high-society gossip queen to the dawn-til-dusk street vendor of newspapers who dreams of opening a convenience store. With his wide cast of characters, Lida fleshes out the paradox of how a place that is home to the world’s richest man – telecoms magnate Carlos Slim – is also home to several thousand street kids like Montse, the glue-sniffing 13-year old girl the author befriends in the city park that is her home.Rather than pausing for sociological debate, the book builds an explanation for the city’s inequalities through a skilful interweaving of themes. Chief of these is racial difference. Mexico’s socio-economic hierarchy is to a great extent measurable in gradations of skin tone, and Lida perceptively reiterates how physical appearance opens doors to some – including expatriates such as himself, he readily admits – and narrows options for the darker majority. Happily, this also is a city of bustling parks, handsome plazas, and flea markets of wondrously improbable merchandise. Its cantinas double as museums; its masked wrestlers act out macho fantasies. There is magnificent architecture, bombastic art, and, in the peripheral zones, floating gardens dating from Aztec times and passion plays showcasing Mexico’s gaudy Catholicism. All are captured with evocative detail and judiciously contextualized within the wider culture. Only on occasion does the survey seemed rushed: fiction, film, TV, and the gutter press, for example, are crammed into a single chapter.Mexico City is often so infuriating and so riddled with injustice (I speak as a former resident), it would have been easy for Lida to stray into sermonizing, but he never does. He recreates the late 1990s plague of taxi drivers robbing their passengers with droll irony. Even the gargantuan presence of Wal-Mart gets balanced treatment. The tone is chiefly celebratory, at times meditative, often playful, as befits a city with an endless capacity for improvisation, in defiance of many predictions of collapse. As such, the book counters the apocalyptic vision of the city found in films like Amores Perros and in the equally entertaining work of journalism-cum-history El Monstruo, by the late John Ross.

  • Pete
    2019-02-01 06:55

    Nice breezy introduction to some of the more on the surface as well as below the surface aspects of life in el D.F. The book is structured around 20 or so very short to medium size essays. I got this book for Izyalit (who spent her first 5 years there) but I read it first. And having spent a decent chunk of time there myself some of the essays present pretty basic information while others (on the art scene, the suburbs, malinchismo) were more interesting. Mexico City is one of the world's great cities. I'm glad to see someone take on its many stories in English.

  • Jeff
    2019-01-29 04:33

    I read this book before coming to Mexico City, and I am very glad that I did. Lida paints a great picture of what you can expect from the city and the people who live in it. It's part tourist guide, part cultural overview, and part memoir, told mostly in the context of specific experiences that he has had as a journalist living in the city. If you're visiting the city or just curious about life there, I would highly recommend this book. I didn't give it five stars because I think he could have done much more with it, given the size and diversity of Mexico City.

  • Jessica
    2019-02-06 00:42

    One of the best collection of travel essays that I've ever read. Lida gives such a interesting perspective of Mexico City. It's a very realistic perspective but still is wrought with humor and sadness. As a traveler, it gave me a better understanding of the people and culture of D.F. Truly, a great book.

  • Ana Manwaring
    2019-01-29 03:03

    I lived in Mexico City for almost 3 years and David Lida has confirmed so much of what I noticed (and wasn't sure I believed) and has explained so many more things about this wonderful/terrible city. I'm anxious to go back and explore Lida's Mexico. Rich fodder for my own novels. Thank you David Lida!

  • Stephanie Elieson
    2019-01-24 02:51

    Couldn't get through his writing. Though his style is fine, I couldn't help but gag at what he thought relevant to write about.

  • David Sasaki
    2019-01-25 02:50

    Disclosure: David Lida is a friend and an almost-neighbor. My impression of his book is certainly colored by the fact that I find him to be a very decent person.There are dozens — if not hundreds — of books by Americans about Paris. Pulitzer Prize-winning author David McCullough even wrote a 500+ page tome about Americans in Paris. And yet, prior to 2008 there was not a single English-language book dedicated to the world's third largest metropolis, and the capital city of America's southern neighbor. As Richard Feinberg writes in his review of First Stop in the New World:If Mexico City were located in western Europe, it would be a must-see tourist destination in the same league as London, Paris, and Rome. The metropolis' extraordinary museums, architectural masterpieces, vast cultural scenes, and extravagant restaurants are world-class; many Mexican elites are refined and erudite, their dinner conversations unsurpassed displays of verbal virtuosity.Then, in 2008, David Lida published his first English-language book, which is built on nearly two decades of journalistic work in and around Mexico City. The following year John Ross, a self-described "rebel journalist" published El Monstruo. And in 2011, Daniel Hernandez published Down and Delirious in Mexico City, which I reviewed here. Why this explosion of English-language books about Mexico City by Americans after decades of disregard? Ironically, it has much to do with the city's cultural and economic rise over the past five to ten years. I say 'ironically' because none of the three above-mentioned authors chart the city's progress. Rather, they romantically portray the city as still stuck in the past: old men falling over in sepia-tinted cantinas, mariachis roaming back alleys, burlesque shows struggling to stay in business with the rise of US-style strip clubs. All three men make it their mission to preserve the 20th century capital that is slowly disappearing without paying much attention to the impressive social, economic, and urban planning progress the city has made over the past ten years. The result gives readers a glimpse of Mexico City through an Instagram vintage filter: exotic, seductive, but not the full picture.Hernandez's Down and Delirious in Mexico City is written in a vibrant, experiential prose that perfectly captures the energy and angst of the Mexico City youth that are making up a new set of social mores informed by new economic opportunities and greater global connections. David Lida, by comparison, has a more understated, mature voice that leaves much to be interpreted. Occasionally he falls victim (as we all do) to ranting about the worst aspects of the city, but in his defense, as Andrew Paxman writes in his review:Mexico City is often so infuriating and so riddled with injustice (I speak as a former resident), it would have been easy for Lida to stray into sermonizing, but he never does … The tone is chiefly celebratory, at times meditative, often playful, as befits a city with an endless capacity for improvisation, in defiance of many predictions of collapse.Throughout the book, Lida proves himself a skilled ethnographer. His descriptions of daily life and the city's collective psyche are astute, yet rarely do those first-hand accounts seek sociological explanation. Lida is less interested in explaining why Mexico City is like it is (for that, I would recommend Mañana Forever and Why Nations Fail). Rather, he offers readers a compelling portrait of the city through the eyes of a longtime foreign resident. (The one exception is his chapter on sex, which is the most insightful analysis of Mexican sexuality that I have encountered.)Chilangos (as residents of Mexico City are known) constantly complain about their city, but they are notoriously sensitive to an outsider's criticism. I sympathize with the frustrations of young Mexico City change-makers that have done so much to improve their city and yet are consistently ignored by international writers that focus on violence or a nostalgia for the past. But that doesn't mean Mexicans should ignore Lida's writings. Just as many Americans revere Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America, Mexicans too can benefit from outsiders' perspectives without taking insult. For a book titled First Stop in the New World, it's ironic that Lida's only mention of the city's future comes in the book's final pages. He juxtaposes two alternative futures for the city, one utopian, the other dystopian. In the dystopian version, the city's urban sprawl continues in all directions, eventually encompassing Cuernavaca, Puebla, Queretaro and Toluca to create a mega-mega-metropolis of 40 million people that spend all their day in gridlock traffic behind bulletproof glass while choking on pollution and fighting for the diminishing access to water. In the utopian version, the city begins to grow upward rather than outward. Public spaces are recovered, and development becomes more inclusive. Access to public services expands throughout the city. Levels of contamination reduce year after year. Public transit and bicycle paths extend throughout the city. Entrepreneurs and independent designers create new alternatives to the big monopolies.The past ten years have made significant progress toward the utopian vision. But that story is yet to be told — both in English and Spanish.

  • Gina
    2019-02-04 00:48

    Oh that every place in the world had a book like this written about it! This is a compilation of essays written by an American who has lived in Mexico City for decades. The essays are insightful and interesting, covering a wide variety of aspects of the city, from politics to safety to shopping and markets to sex workers to food to economic inequality and economic realities. So many things that are helpful to understanding what is really making a place function. My main regret is that it is ten years old at this point, so some information and observations are out of date.

  • Kamila Forson
    2019-02-06 04:51

    Informative, fun, and well-written, though perhaps slightly out-of-date, since it was published almost ten years ago (in 2008). Definitely check it out before traveling to Mexico City.

  • Chelsea
    2019-02-02 04:42

    Vivid, engrossing and a great companion in this colorful city -- I gobbled up most of this book on my flight to Mexico City and then found myself saying, "Well, my book says..." constantly throughout the trip. Lots of historical context, but still incredibly relevant -- by far the best tour guide I had in the DF. He keeps his journalist hat on, recounting vignettes of the interesting people and situations he's covered in the last 25+ years. I don't fault his story for not being overly personal, or failing to cover every element of life in the Mexican capital. Four, not five, because it's a little dated (especially on politics) now. Highly recommend for lucky travelers to this delicious, lively place.

  • Adam
    2019-02-14 08:56

    I stayed in Mexico City (D.F.) for a week and wanted to read up on it while I was there. I wanted to start with a U.S. perspective on the place. I had heard U.S. journalist John Ross speak about his new book, “El Monstruo,” which captures his 20-odd years of living in Mexico City, but decided not to bring it because of its unwieldy size and weight as a new hardcover. Lido’s book was recommended to me, so I took it instead. His story is similar to Ross’ -- he’s an American journalist who’s lived in D.F. for over 20 years. After a bit of searching on the Internet, I discovered that this book is widely hailed as the greatest book on the subject.My interest on this particular trip to Mexico City was simply to have a solid walking tour of the historic center and some of its countless neighborhoods. I wanted to get a sense of the city’s appearance, layout, and rhythm. Lido’s book was a perfect traveling companion. In the best sense possible, it is an excellent travel guide; sort of a beginner’s guide to the capital and Mexican culture in general. It manages to arrange themes and facets of the city into chapters combining history, vignettes, and pieces of conversations he’s had with natives and visitors. I was happily surprised to encounter curiosities (a bizarre collection of mannequins in a business’ window; 100+ pound wedding cakes at a famous bakery) while walking that I had read about in the book the night before. I also drew satisfaction from the sort of surface-level cultural fluency that the book gave me--being able to identify types of dishes being served on the street or recognizing famous intersections.Lido is enjoyable to read because it’s so obvious that he’s enjoying the city and his task of conveying it. While Lido does an impressive job tackling a variety of themes, he’s really in his element when he’s describing the contemporary art scene. I also found his chapter on Mexican gender and sexuality to be incredibly perceptive. For the most part, Lido maintains a sort of journalistic distance from judgement, with the occasional exception of a complaint about poor development decisions in the place of smart urban planning, or the hopeless corruption among elected officials. While I enjoyed the author’s journalism, I am nonetheless left with an interest in knowing his more critical outlook. The curiosity I’m the most left with, however, is a treatment of the book’s subtitle, “The Capital of the 21st Century.” Lido manages to never really address the title, and I’m left wondering what he means by it. Presumably he intends to say that the future is increasingly urban and that Mexico City’s pattern of development is a prediction of how other cities are to follow. But because Lido doesn’t talk about it, I’m left with the conclusion that the publisher chose the title to attract attention.

  • Phillegitimate
    2019-01-24 03:38

    Lida aims for a pretty comprehensive account of DF, but in trying to do so falls into massive generalisation. He wants to turn a city of 20 million people into a uniform essence. He wants to argue that chilangos all eat, live and fuck in the same way. While he has a great amount of experience and knowledge from which to draw, his portrait lacks subtlety. His observations are too generalised to mean that much. For all his engagement with the city, there are things Lida includes which he doesn't seem to know much about. His exploration of lucha libre lacks much insight; rather than examining the rites, myths and symbols of it all, he relies on generalities drawn from Octavio Paz - and not particularly useful ones at that. Noting that wrestlers wear masks, as Paz said all Mexicans did, doesn't tell us much. The process of de-masking would have made for an interesting exploration, but he doesn't pursue this very far.Despite having lived a long time in DF, Lida's perspective still comes across as undeniably American, and perhaps more specifically as a New York perspective. He at times assesses DF based on NYC criteria, looking not at what the city has, but at what it lacks in comparison to other major metropolises.He notes some very interesting phenomena, such as that foreigners in DF tend to do well for themselves; they form an upper echelon of society, even if they arrive with very little. At the same time, though, he on occasion shows a woefully inadequate understanding of some big concepts. Arguing that globalisation is a phenomenon that only affects the upper classes seems absurd, especially when he has mentioned, for example, the immense impact of NAFTA on Mexico, and of foreign imports on local markets.A worthwhile read for an overview of the city, but ultimately pretty disappointing as an in-depth, street-level exploration.

  • Gregory
    2019-02-19 03:00

    From http://weeksnotice.blogspot.com/2010/...I read David Lida's First Stop in the New World: Mexico City, The Capital of the 21st Century (2008), which is well worth your time if you have any interest in Mexico. Lida is a journalist who has lived in Mexico City for quite a few years. This is not an academic book, but rather a knowledgeable romp through all aspects of the city, from the rich to the poor, good and bad cuisine, crime and safety, high and low art, and of course to politics. It is like a good non-fiction accompaniment to Paco Ignacio Taibo II (who inexplicably is not mentioned in terms of fiction focusing on Mexico City).What comes out is a city whose inhabitants are constantly innovating, adapting, and persevering. It is the ultimate in rational choice theory, such as this commentary on voting: Most chilangos negotiate their loyalty on a rational basis, measuring where they perceive their greatest interests lie. In Mexico City, no one votes at the point of a pistol. You may show up at a rally because someone will give you a sandwich, but that is not a guarantee of your vote if someone else will give you two (p. 318).The book has many chapters but not much structure, which might just be appropriate because the city itself has millions of people and almost no structure. Lida provides a sampling of just about everything, so you can even read different chapters that interest you more.

  • John
    2019-02-06 01:38

    Subtitle: Mexico City, The Capital of the 21st Century.In advance of a trip to Mexico City, I quickly decided that this book would suit me best. I can read about tourist destinations anywhere.First Stop in the New World by David Lida is an interesting immersion in Mexico City as a character in the story. Using places and people, David Lida tells stories and anecdotes from the perspective of a long-term resident, seemingly fearless non-Mexican living in a wild city.It was a breeze to read and enriched my vacation. I learned some slang and lingo.I'm most excited about the Island of Dolls. Hope it's still there and safe enough for me to go. The corruption portrayed is horrifying, the humanity heartbreaking, and the health of the city precarious. More than a travel book, this read may lead to me learning more about our NAFTA partner. --Post-TripI'm really glad I read this book before going. It highlighted destinations that I might have otherwise missed. I had marked a lot of slang vocabulary, but did not bring the book with me.No book can capture the D.F., and this book prepared me for it. My host said he would not let me go to some of the places in this book. There was so much to do, I just went on to the next thing.

  • Cody
    2019-02-22 08:53

    An enjoyable read that is definitely a distinct, personal account of one life in this megalopolis. Having not yet traveled to the D.F., Lida’s account certainly upped my desire to head there (in fact, I’m traveling there this fall, so, perhaps, my thoughts about this book will evolve after having been there).As a few other reviewers have mentioned, while this book is made up entirely of Lida’s personal accounts of living in the D.F., there is frequently an impersonal air about the text, as though Lida is holding back in places, and I definitely felt this, too. It was at these points that *First Stop in the New World* felt a bit thin, and I found myself wishing that Lida would allow some of these tales to be a bit messier (and, for lack of a better term, a little less "journalistic"), akin to some of Chuck Palahniuk’s accounts in Fugitives and Refugees.

  • Dave
    2019-02-16 07:41

    A book about a bewildering, historic city. Lida does a good job of placing the disparate elements of Mexico City into some kind of useful organization for understanding. Each chapter can be read like a stand alone essay or put into the context of the whole (much like how one might have to deal with the dizzying impressions of Mexico City on a visit--organize events as individuals first, to keep from being overwhelmed). Lida does know and love this city and that's apparent in the writing. Lida says that he has lived off and on, mostly on, in Mexico City for 18 years. This perspective is helpful because sometimes natives of a place can't be objective, or their views are too idiomatic to be useful and too often writers that only briefly visit a place don't know what they're talking about--David Lida is neither of these (and he is an excellent writer to boot).

  • Manuel
    2019-02-18 06:39

    A fascinating book. If offers a vivid description of daily life in modern day Mexico City and stories about how it got to be that way. Excellent little vignettes give you a slice of every day life. I almost wish I had read this after my trip to Mexico City so I could have some experiences and references to back up the text. A wide range of subjects are covered. It's written by an expat so it's probably a skewed perspective, but whose isn't. The author did interview lots of natives and locals and he obviously loves the city. I love cities and I love visiting different ones and seeing how they handle the crushing force of humanity and how people interact in cities. D.F. is one of the biggest in the world, it's a beast.

  • Russell
    2019-02-12 05:34

    So, in two weeks I'm going to Mexico for a month. And not the resort town Mexico but, rather, inland.So, I want to learn a little bit more about it. This book was a great little "journalist gives his slice of life of Mexico City".He starts the book with the expected, "Mexico City is the largest 3rd world city in the world. Millions of desperate refugees descend on it each year."But it ends with, "It's really not that bad. Statistically, it's safer than Orange County. Also, the street food won't actually make you sick."But he gives some good vignettes and I liked them. I feel like he was holding back the entire time. I would have preferred to have read it in spanish, which is how he experienced the city.

  • Tiffany
    2019-02-06 08:41

    One of the books I read in preparation for my trip to Mexico City. Written from the perspective of an American journalist, it provided a social-economic context that I wouldn't necessarily have picked up on myself: race-based inequality and prejudice, the dominance of billionaire Carlos Slim, and the persistence of Mexican culture despite an increasingly globalized economy. "Mexico City still remains an emphatically Mexican city, with sprawling open-air markets in many ways like those that astonished the Spaniards in the sixteenth century; salesmen who bicycle their way through residential neighborhoods each evening, peddling Oaxacan tamales; and literally millions who improvise their livings on one sidewalk or another."

  • Caroline
    2019-01-29 04:43

    3.5 stars. Much better than Travel Advisory, Lida's book of short stories, as First Stop shows him poking around and reporting back on the sublime, the ridiculous, and the sordid all fairly equally, while his fiction book was mostly a series of brief portraits of awful human beings.In both books his writing is well executed, but he also seems to disconnect himself from the people around him under the pretext of objective reporting. There is also some questionable structure in the book, which meanders through the streets and occasionally circles back on itself. Still, he digs into interesting nooks and crannies of the city that I haven't been able to read about elsewhere.

  • Laura
    2019-01-29 02:33

    A friend I visited in El D.F. gave us this book to read while there. It was the perfect companion to my morning cafe on my Colonia Roma corner. Visiting the city itself is a fast way to learn about it's surface life, but having this book to dig a little deeper and get the full picture was amazing. Lida's accounts are quick, and comprehensive in a way that really helps you get to know many small pieces of the bigger puzzle of Mexico City. If you carry any curiosity about this colorful metropolis, Lida's book is a must read.

  • Zora O'Neill
    2019-02-01 02:51

    Finally finished this. It was slow getting started--the initial essays were on topics I was interested in (urban planning, failed flashy suburbs) but somehow didn't have the detail I wanted. But later chapters were meatier--the art scene, dollar-a-dance bars--and I feel like I would up with a good portrait of the DF old and new. Lida's writing style is pretty straight, journalistic--I think this was maybe part of the reason I wasn't hooked to start, but it also made the book a quick, accessible read once I got rolling.

  • Wade
    2019-02-03 03:35

    One of the better books I've read on Mexico City. I'm not sure if it is because the author's time period of coverage overlaps with my own visits to the city, or if it is that the writing is both journalistic and personal at the same time. The book can be read as a collection of essays, and short chapters are interspersed among the major ones that give a more 'slice of life' portrayal. Not a tourist guide, but a good look at how everyday Mexico City denizens live in all socioeconomic classes. I would recommend this along with _The Mexico City Reader_.

  • Pickle Farmer
    2019-02-10 07:43

    I read this book in a day. I'm very impressed with myself (as well as slightly horrified by how much time I spend per day commuting). I heard of this book when Corey and I met the author on the plane back from New Orleans; he was very nice and I am very pleased to say that I enjoyed this book very much! It's the kind of book I wouldn't mind writing myself someday: a nice balance of tone, a journalism and literary hybrid. Man, it sure did make me miss Mexico... those sizzling street tacos, mmmm. This book is about as informative and in-the-know as you're gonna get about the D.F.

  • Julie
    2019-02-06 04:50

    A friend gave me this book before a recent trip to Mexico City, as a preview. David Lida turned out to be a smart, terrific guide to an amazing metropolis. Often when I read literary travel books, there's a disconnect between the place on the page and the place I visit. Lida's essays reflect the feel of the city, while allowing the casual tourist to visit scary places you might not feel like partaking of, at least on your first trip to the D.F. Apart from the touristic aspect, Lida's work is worth reading for its literary value.

  • John
    2019-01-23 02:39

    Every city should be so lucky to have a book like this.An honest snapshot of a beyond-Lonely-Planet tour of a city. Basically a variety of views of the city written in essay form. You get a good impression of how the locals live, through the eyes of an outsider trying to be a part of the mix.Funny, sometimes harshly open about life in the city. A welcome perspective that I enjoyed reading.

  • John
    2019-02-07 03:41

    A very enlightnening description of living in Mexico City. After reading this book I was scared to go!I must say that I saw no crime and was not kidnapped in a taxi. People in general were very, very, friendly.I do not think many tourists will ever get even close to the deeper levels of the culture described in this book. But it is nice to know that the author, a twenty-year resident, was successful in doing so.