Culture

Mexico City Is One Of The Most Interesting Places In The World. Here Are The Facts That Prove It

Whether you’re the kind of person that enjoys learning new things or you just want to know where to visit on your next trip to the city. Here are 20 Mexico City Facts that might prove not only interesting but could also be quite useful when trying to impress someone you like… or don’t like.

1. Bosque de Chapultepec is the biggest city park in America.

Credit: Bosque de Chapultepec. Digital Image. Inspirato Destinations. April 5, 2017.

It has an area of 1,695 acres making it twice the size of Central Park, which is 840 acres.

2. Mexico City is America’s oldest city.

Credit: Templo Mayor Archeological Site. Digital Image. TripSavy. January 31, 2018.

It was founded in 1325, which makes it over 700 years old.

3. Castillo de Chapultepec is the only Royal Castle in America.

Credit: Chapultepec Castle. Digital Image. Branipick. March 22, 2018.

The castle was built in 1788 as the Spanish Viceroy’s summer house and then later used by Emperor Maximilian I and his wife Empress Carlota in 1864.

4. Many Hollywood movies were filmed in the city.

Credit: Romeo + Juliet. 20th Century Fox

The most famous of all was Romeo + Juliet with Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes, some of the locations for the film were Castillo de Chapultepec as the Capulet Mansion and the Parish of the Most Pure Heart of Mary as Saint Peter’s Church. Other more recent blockbusters include James Bond’s Spectre and Elysium.

5. It’s the 2nd most populated city in Latin America and 7th in the world.

Credit: Mexico City. Digital Image. SkyScraperCity. March 24, 2013.

It has 21.4 million people placing it after cities like Tokyo (38.3M), Delhi (27.9M), Shanghai (25.8M), Beijing (22.8M), Mumbai (22M) and Sao Paolo (21.7M).

6. It will be the 8th richest city in the world by 2020.

Credit: Paseo de la Reforma. Digital Image. SkyScraperCity. September 1, 2016.

With an estimated GDP of $608 billion dollars it will reach #8 and be placed after Tokyo ($1,602B), New York ($1,561B), Los Angeles ($886B), London ($708B), Chicago ($645B), and Paris ($611B).

7. The subway system is the 2nd largest in America and the 9th most used in the world.

Credit: Rush Hour. Digital Image. Publimetro. December 11, 2017.

Only topped by the New York City Subway. The Mexico City Metro has 12 lines, 195 stations, covers over 140 miles and it’s used by 5.5M people per day.

8. The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) is one of the biggest in the world & it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Credit: UNAM. Digital Image. SkyScraperLife. July 19, 2016.

Within its 30.2M sq. foot of constructed area, you’ll find several murals made by famous Mexican artists like Diego Rivera. The University has over 300,000 students and has an acceptance rate of only 8%.

9. La Alameda Central was the 1st urban park in America

Credit: Alameda Central. Digital Image. AltoNivel. November 9, 2017.

It was built in 1592 and it’s adjacent to the Palace of Fine Arts.

10. Between 10 to 13 million people visit Mexico City per year.

Credit: Día de los Muertos Parade. Digital Image. AltoNivel. October 30, 2016.

Over 20% of those are international tourists. Mexico as of 2016 is the 9th most visited country in the world with approximately 35M international per year.

11. It’s one of the cities with more museums in the world.

Credit: Museo Soumaya. Digital Image. Centro Urbano. May 27, 2015.

There are approximately 151 officially recognized museums and over 200 unrecognized ones. According to TripAdvisor, it’s on place no. 11 worldwide.

12. It’s in the Top 5 of most sustainable cities in Latin America.

Credit: Via Verde. Digital Image. Expok. July 12, 2016.

It’s placed at #4 (after Sao Paolo, Rio, and Santiago) and #58 worldwide.

12. The city is sinking.

Credit: Sinking Buildings. Digital Image. Plumas Atómicas. February 20, 2018.

Mexico City is sinking an average of 2.5 to 40cm per year, depending on the area of town. This is happening because the city is built on top of a lake and the because of the extraction of water from the city’s aquifers due to the fast increasing of human consumption.

14. La Basílica de Guadalupe is the 2nd most visited Catholic sanctuary after the Vatican.

Credit: Basílica de Guadalupe. Digital Image. El Universal. December 12, 2014.

It receives over 14M visitors per year. Just in 2017,  for Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe (Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe) they reach a new record of 7M visitors in just 1 day.

15. There are at least 9 archeological zones in the city.

Credit: Tenayuca Pyramid. Digital Image. Wikipedia Photo Library. May 1, 2008.

The most important are El Templo Mayor, Tlatelolco, Cuicuilco, Pirámide de Ehecatl, Santa Cruz Acalpixca, Tenayuca, Cerro de la Estrella, Mixcoac, and Mazatepetl.

Read: 20 Best Hotels & Resorts in México For Your Next Luxe Vacation

16. In ancient times, the city was already one of the most populated cities in the world.

Credit: Tenochtitlán. Digital Image. Mexican Routes. October  17, 2017.

Having as much as 350,000 people by the early 1500s. At the time, Its population was only comparable with European cities like Paris or Venice. It was also speculated that it was 5 times the size of London during the reign of Henry VIII.

Read: 21 Airbnbs In Mexico That’ll Sweep You Into Another Dimension

17. The city has won over 400 Guinness Records.

Credit: Spencer Tunick. Digital Image. The City Paper. May  8, 2016.

A few of the most notable ones are: The Biggest Flower Carpet in the World, The Largest Group of People Dancing Thriller, The Largest Group of Naked People in Public, The Biggest Vintage Cars Parade, The Largest Group of People Kissing.

18. It has the 3rd largest soccer stadium in the world.

Credit: Estadio Azteca. Digital Image. Goal.com. October  19, 2017.

Estadio Azteca Stadium has a seating capacity of 95,500 people, placing it at #3 after Rungardo May Stadium in North Korea with a capacity of 150,000 and Camp Nou in Barcelona with a capacity of 99,300.

Read: These Are Definitely The 24 Biggest Soccer Stars Of All Time

19. Mexico City is 2.25 KM above sea level.

Credit: Cerro del Ajusco. Digital Image. Goal.com. March  2, 2017.

The city’s highest peak is el Cerro del Ajusco with an altitude of almost 4 KM above sea level.

20. The Axolotl can only be found in Mexico City.

Credit: Cerro del Ajusco. Digital Image. Goal.com. March  2, 2017.

The Axolotl is 100% Mexican as can only be found in Lake Xochimilco. This endangered creature is known worldwide due to its weird looks and because of its ability to grow back its limbs after they have been cut off.

Lisa Frank And Hotels.com Created An Apartment That Looks Like The Inside Of Your 3rd Grade Backpack

Culture

Lisa Frank And Hotels.com Created An Apartment That Looks Like The Inside Of Your 3rd Grade Backpack

LisaFrank / Instagram

Calling all ’90s kids. Was there ever a better feeling in the world than getting a new shimmery, colorful Lisa Frank binder? We all know that one person who had the whole kit; pencils, erasers, notebooks, stickers. Maybe that person was you or maybe they were someone you were always just a little jealous of, whether you admit it or not. It was a rainbow-colored explosion in every elementary and middle school in the ’90s. Yet, Lisa Frank stationery wants to make the experience immersive. You now have a chance to stay in an apartment decorated in the signature rainbow-colored and slightly psychedelic style of the ’90s brand.

The Lisa Frank apartment, a collaboration between Lisa Frank and Hotels.com, screams nostalgia.

Credit: Hotels.com

Lisa Frank teamed up with Hotels.com to bring your ’90s backpack to life. Hospitality company Barsala, which specializes in delivering the best value for price to their customers. A lucky few fans will be transported to the wonderful world of fluffy rainbows, unicorns, golden retrievers, and technicolor dolphins. The Lisa Frank-themed penthouse is in the Los Angeles Fashion District in downtown. But if you want to stay there, you better hurry. The room is only available for a couple of weeks this month only.

“We wanted to design a room that celebrates all things ’90s, and nothing screams childhood nostalgia more than these iconic designs,” Adam Jay, president of Hotels.com told Curbed LA.

The bed has Lisa Frank sheets and duvet and there are pillows with the trademark colorful kitties and puppies of the brand.

Credit: LisaFrank / Instagram

The bedroom features a hot-pink four-poster bed with a light-up canopy outfitted with Lisa Frank’s signature chromatic bedding and rainbow-hued curtains. There’s a wall-sized mural featuring some of Lisa Frank’s most iconic designs like the rainbows coming out of fluffy clouds, the bear dressed like an Elton John-styled magician, and all of the animals and characters we remember.

The bathroom is an underwater technicolor oasis with all of the Lisa Frank nautical designs we all recognize.

Credit: LisaFrank / Instagram

The bathroom walls are decorated with Lisa Frank’s underwater scenes that graced out school folders for years. Heart-shaped bubbles, rainbow colored tropical fish, and the famous pink and blue dolphins cover the bathroom walls. It is everything you ever wanted your parents to do for your bedroom and bathroom growing up.

Of course, Lisa Frank’s chromatic animal print collection is on full display in the kitchen. 

Credit: LisaFrank / Instagram

You’ll find a true rainbow color spectrum in this kitchen from bright pink to pale blue and all the colors in between. Lisa Frank’s iconic animal prints come to life on the cupboards. Yellow zebra print, a red leopard print that fades to orange. The best part? The kitchen comes fully stocked with the most iconic vibrant-colored candy from your childhood —like Gushers, Pop-Tarts, Pixy Stix, and Planters Cheez Balls.

Get in touch with your inner pop artist with all the stationery and Lisa Frank goodies you can take home.

Credit: Hotels.com

If all the rainbows and colors are making you inspired, next to the lounge area, there’s an office space complete with all the cutesy rainbow Lisa Frank stationery you could ever want. The desk comes supplied with pencils, post-its, notepads and stickers. If ever we wanted to smuggle something out of a hotel room, this is it. 

Guests even get limited edition robes, slippers, and sleep-masks.

Credit: Hotels.com

With your booking, you get to take all of the goodies you like. The candy, the stationery, the Lisa Frank-embroidered robes, and slippers, all yours for the rate of $199 a night.

Yes, Lisa Frank is a real person, but the art was a collaborative effort.

Credit: LisaFrank / Instagram

The Lisa Frank brand first rose to prominence in the 1980s and ’90s as purveyors of hyper-bright, animal-centric school supplies, including Trapper Keepers, pencil bags, backpacks, stickers, and stationery. Lisa Frank is a real person and started the company while she was still in college. However, many artists collaborated to design the illustrations. 

“The artwork was a collaborative effort, but it all began with me putting it on paper as a marker rendering,” Rondi Kutz, who was Lisa Frank Inc.’s Senior Designer and Product Development Leader told HelloGiggles. “The concepts came from Lisa, James (her husband), or me, so I can say that some of the characters were my idea and original design. But by the time it went on to an illustrator to redraw it, adding detail, then to a computer artist who rendered it on the computer (which entailed hundreds of hours of work), it had many artists’ stamps on it.” Kutz went on to work at the company until 2002.

Other notable themed properties available to rent (not on Hotels.com) include Bella Swan’s house from “Twilight,” a “Taco Bell inn” pop-up and the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. Stays at the Lisa Frank Apartment are available only from October 11 through 27. The cost per night is $199 and the room can only be booked through Hotels.com.

READ: This Mexican Hotel Will Give You Unlimited Tequila And Let You Sleep Inside A Tequila Barrel

Mexico City Is The Latest City To Fall Victim To Airbnb’s Gentrification

Things That Matter

Mexico City Is The Latest City To Fall Victim To Airbnb’s Gentrification

Instagram / nurifergar

When we think about Airbnb, we usually think about holidays. Who hasn’t used an Airbnb? Or, at least, who hasn’t at least thought about using an Airbnb? After all, there are so many benefits to booking an Airbnb: you can reserve a spot that suits you – all through an app – and you can directly communicate directly with the owner of your temporary home. Heck, you can even opt in to living with said owner, and getting to know the real niche, hidden gems of a new location. The fact that your feedback on the accuracy of their listing hangs over their head means that Airbnb owners generally have to be accountable. But, not all is well when it comes to the world of Airbnb. Or, should we say, Airbnb is what’s not right, in some places of the world.

Mexico City has really been feeling the impact of gentrification at the hands of Airbnb.

Instagram / @2kadin1sohbet

Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s talk about gentrification. Because to be honest, it mostly sounds like a fancy word real estate agents use to convince people to buy up property. And, that’s not too far from the truth. Gentrification is the process where an area – most commonly neighborhoods – become more pricey. This can happen through the introduction of local amenities, property refurbishment and development, or even just simply an increase of demand for housing in a particular area. Most of the time, it’s a combination of these things that feed gentrification. And while this is great for people who own property in gentrified neighborhoods, this is less great for the poor, who eventually get pushed out of the place that they call home.

Local tenants are finding that they’re being pushed out of their homes, while property owners make room for vacationers.

Instagram / @kirstiwinnberg

Where Mexico City is concerned, this has meant that those fortunate – or, wealthy – enough to own property and land have seized on the opportunity that is Airbnb. Local tenants are finding that they’re being pushed out of their homes, while property owners make room for vacationers willing to pay multiple times the average rent price. “Here in the historic center, we are aware of dozens of buildings that used to be social housing or middle-class housing that have now been completely converted into Airbnb. The biggest apartment buildings are being converted into hotels, but when it isn’t possible to change the legal land use, they are converted into Airbnb,” a local resident said in a recent interview with Truthout. 

But Mexico City isn’t the only city suffering from the rise of Airbnb.

Instagram / @arisoiko_photo

If you thought that this was a problem just for Mexico City, you’d be wrong. Protest posters in Amsterdam read things such as, “Stop the eviction of Amsterdam!” during a December march against the changes Airbnb had brought to the city. Reports from The Guardian say that in 2018, Barcelona received 32 million tourists – which is approximately 20 times the residential population. The city now boasts graffiti saying, “Tourists go home, refugees welcome.”

What’s frustrating locals a lot goes beyond gentrification, into social and cultural shifts.

Instagram / @nurifergar

Locals are seeing their neighborhoods turn into transitory destinations, rather than a community built on strong relationships. “Before Airbnb, you had neighbors you could depend on. They looked out for you. If you went out of town, they’d get your mail, your paper,” New Orleans resident, Janice Coatney, said in an interview with the Huffington Post. “You just had more of a neighborly neighborhood.” 

However, not all is doom and gloom.

Instagram / @riot_code_23

A few countries have introduced legislation in order to curb the socio-economic changes Airbnb has brought to cities around the world. Barcelona authorities placed a moratorium on new hotels in 2015 – and Airbnb hosts are required to hold a license to operate. It’s now illegal for entire apartments to be rented out for less than 30 days in the city of New York. Amsterdam has a cap on the number of nights that Airbnb hosts can rent out their apartments, having reduced that number from 60 to 30. So, policy-wise, these cities are trying to preserve their sense of community, without completely sacrificing their tourism industry.

Another alternative can be found in the aptly-named Fairbnb.

Instagram / @italianembassyinlondon

It’s essentially Airbnb, but with a twist: 50 percent of the revenue made from hosting a visitor is donated to local community projects. Fairbnb has sought to protect neighborhoods by also establishing a “real homesharing” policy – where hosts may only place a maximum of two houses on the Fairbnb market.

Ultimately, though, while we can see the buds of change beginning to blossom, it may be a while yet before it takes root in these gentrified neighborhoods. Here’s hoping that Mexico City won’t suffer too much from the strain of both migration and tourism.