Culture

Mexico Is Home To Two Of The World’s Coolest Neighborhoods And We Can Confirm They’re Incredible

In 2018, TIME magazine and the New York Times both shined the spotlight on Mexico City – saying it was their top destination of the year. And in 2019, Lonely Planet and Time Out both named Oaxaca as one of their top cities in the world. Now, both of those cities are home to some of Time Out’s ‘coolest’ neighborhoods in the world.

The list was put together by local Time Out editors, city experts and more than 27,000 people surveyed around the world. Other spots making the prestigious ranking include Barranco in Lima, Bom Retiró in São Paulo and Historic Filipinotown in Los Angeles. Here’s the lowdown on Mexico’s Top Two…. 

Mexico City: Juárez

There are few places as dynamic, diverse, or downright enormous as the Mexican capital. In a city layered with history, in which change is an essential part of residents’ DNA, where to begin planning a trip? We’d suggest Colonia Juárez.

Yes, it just made Time Out’s annual Top 50 list but it’s been the hub of Mexico City’s cool for at least a year or two already.

Juarez combines beautiful and eclectic architecture with new and exciting bars, restaurants, art galleries, and shops. This neighborhood is also home to Zona Rosa, the heart of the LGBTQ+ party scene and the city’s Koreatown. 

The bustling neighborhood has seen several new bars, restaurants and clubs open in recent months – many already climbing their way up the ranks of the city’s best.

Credit: _niddo / Instagram

In recent months, one of the most exciting openings in Juarez was Niddo, a restaurant that offered incredible comfort food and desserts; their falafel grilled cheese sandwich is next level. The colonia is also home to Hanky Panky, one of the city’ best cocktail hotspots.

Milan 44 and Comedor Lucerna are two immense food halls that play live music and have the perfect mashup of food, cocktails, and fun.

If partying is more your scene, Juárez is also home to Zona Rosa – the hub of the city’s immense LGBTQ+ community.

The hub of the city’s LGBTQ+ neighborhood is centered on the bustling cobblestones Calle Amberes. Here you’ll find no less than two dozen bars and clubs plus shops, social services, and hotels all catering to the LGBTQ+ community.

Colonia Juarez is also super international.

Credit: local.mx / Instagram

It’s the hub of many foreign companies, borders the bustling Paseo Reforma (the city’s main thoroughfare) and houses the city’s Koreatown. Here you’ll find all the best bites of Korean food but in Mexico City.

And if you’re into museums and historical architecture, Juárez is where you’ll need to be.

From shops located in colonial mansions to museums in modern glass and steel structures, the architecture here is truly varied. But you’ll find a greater concentration of colonial mansions and villas here as many of the city’s wealthiest residents in the 19th Century moved here as the Historic Center became more crowded.

Oaxaca: Jalatlaco

Jalatlaco, in Oaxaca, was listed as the 17th coolest neighborhood in the world! This neighborhood is close to the historic city center of Oaxaca (one to its incredible history) and it’s lined with colorful houses and cobblestone streets. In recent years, art galleries, excellent boutiques, and incredible Oaxacan restaurants have opened here.

The neighborhood is quickly becoming the city’s hottest dining hub.

Credit: casa__armadillo_negro / Instagram

Restaurants such as El Armadillo Negro and the bar Los Pilares Hotel are some of the best places to visit in the area. But it’s also the hub of the city’s immense and growing dining scene with no less than 200 eateries in such a small district. From vegetarian and vegan options to some of the city’s best pizza options – it’s a true foodie scene.

And home to its art community.

Credit: cordoba_lab / Instagram

Cities all across Mexico are experiencing an artistic renaissance but few cities have an art scene like Oaxaca. It’s experimental, open, and easily accessible to visitors. In Jalatlaco, galleries pop up on nearly every street and there are open air markets to explore the work of local artists. Meanwhile, major galleries, such as the Córdoba Galleria + Lab are attracting big name international attention.

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A University Is Releasing A Historic Mexican Cookbook Filled With Recipes You’d Want To Try

Culture

A University Is Releasing A Historic Mexican Cookbook Filled With Recipes You’d Want To Try

UTSA

The University of Texas San Antonio is bringing the history of Mexico into our kitchens. The university is releasing cookbooks that are collections of historic Mexican recipes. Right now, the desserts book is out and online for free. Main dishes and appetizers/drinks are coming soon.

You can now taste historic Mexico thanks to the University of Texas San Antonio.

UTSA has had an ongoing project of preserving, collecting, and digitizing cookbooks from throughout Mexico’s history. Some books date back to the 1700s and offer a look into Mexico’s culinary arts and its evolution.

UTSA has been digitizing Mexican cookbooks for years and the work is now being collected for people in the time of Covid.

Millions of us are still at home and projects like these can be very exciting and exactly what you need. The recipes are a way to distract yourself from the current reality.

“The e-pubs allow home cooks to use the recipes as inspiration in their own kitchens,” Dean Hendrix, the dean of UTSA Libraries, said in UTSA Today. “Our hope is that many more people will not only have access to these wonderful recipes but also interact with them and experience the rich culture and history contained in the collection.”

The free downloads are a way for people to get a very in-depth look into Mexican food history.

The first of three volumes of the cookbooks focuses on desserts so you can learn how to make churros, chestnut flan, buñelos, and rice pudding. What better way to spend your quarantine than learning how to make some of these yummy desserts. We all love sweets, right?

If you want to get better with making your favorite desserts, check out this cookbook and make it happen.

There is nothing better than diving into your history and using food as your guide. Food is so intrinsically engrained in our DNAs and identities. We love the foods and sweets from our childhood because they hold a clue as to who we are and where we come from. This historical collection of recipes throughout history is the perfect way to make that happen.

READ: The Laziest Food Hacks In All Of The Land Would Send Your Abuela To The Chancla

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Instead Of Celebrating Her Quince, This Teen Donated It All To Help Victims Of Covid-19

Things That Matter

Instead Of Celebrating Her Quince, This Teen Donated It All To Help Victims Of Covid-19

JiromyXool / Facebook

Few days are as important or as celebrated as a teenager’s 15th birthday. So imagine the level of selflessness one must have to be able to say ‘no, I don’t want any of the celebration, I rather help out my community.’

Well, one teen in Merida, Mexico did just that this week when she told her family ‘thanks, but no thanks’ to her big quince and instead used the money that had been raised for her special day to help out her neighbors who have been impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Her party was canceled thanks to Coronavirus, so she decided to help out those less fortunate.

In many countries across Latin America, the quinceañera is a huge milestone for teenagers. Beautiful dresses, visits from the entire family, big parties, and the best gifts are the norm at most quinces. But for 15-year-old Jiromy Xool Pech, instead of spending money on a lavish birthday celebration, she opted to use her party funds to help feed the needy.

Jiromy and her family had long planned her quinceañera – she had been looking forward to it for years. But with the pandemic hitting her community in Mérida particularly hard, the teen decided to put the party aside and use everything that had been invested in the ceremony to help her neighbors who have been impacted by the pandemic.

“Instead of partying, I prefer to give food to people, to help them with that,” Jiromy told El Universal. Jiromy not only asked to donate the money for her quince to the community, but she was also out there helping distribute the food to her neighbors.

Jiromy and her family weren’t alone in helping out the community either. Much of the food that was given out was prepared from by neighbors and local businesses that came to join Jiromy’s cause once word began to spread.

Unfortunately, many quinceañeras have been canceled or postponed thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Credit: Diego Sanchez / Getty Images

One of Mexico City’s most famous markets for buying quince dresses – el Mercado Lagunilla – has been closed for three months. This ins’t just hating a major impact on dressmakers and salespeople, but it also means that young teens aren’t able to buy the dresses to celebrate their big day.

But not all is completely lost: there are those who have begun to return, like Ximena González, who came with her family to try on dresses. Her quince was scheduled for May 16, but the pandemic changed everything, and now they expect it to take place in November.

“I was scared and upset but I had to accept it. Some friends can no longer go because they are moving,” she told El Universal. She added, “I hope that when it is my party the infections have gone down and that everything is done as if nothing had happened.”

Mexico has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic, including Jiromy’s hometown of Merida.

Jiromy’s selfless act to help her community comes as Mexico continues to see record breaking numbers of cases. Tens of thousands are dying and even more are losing their jobs and being forced back into poverty.

As of August 6, Mexico has more than 456,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 49,698 people have died from the virus. In Jiromy’s state of Yucatan, there have been more than 10,000 cases of the virus and it’s had a huge impact on tourism, which is a major economic force in the state. Therefore, it makes sense that the 15-year-old thought it was important to use the money raised for her party to help those who are suffering financially.

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