Shopping in Mexico City runs from luxe to trendy.
At the high-end are Antara mall and tony Mazaryk Avenue, with labels such as Carolina Herrera, Giorgio Armani, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany, Coach and DKNY.
Savvy shoppers looking for trendy fashion go to the Colonia Roma neighborhood, where designers gather in small boutiques along tree-lined Alvaro Obregón and neighboring Colima. Heading the new designer area is Bouquet, in the Art Nouveau Balmori building, a multiconcept boutique housing a beauty salon, artistic florist whose installations are in high demand and jewelry designer Fiorenza Cordero selling exclusive high-quality Mexican designs.
For those seeking a more folkloric style, the traditional Bazaar Sábado, or “Saturday Bazaar,” in the colonial San Angel area is a must. The Bazaar, in front of the Plaza San Jacinto, caters to shoppers seeking typical Mexican handcrafts. Diego Rivera’s studio-museum in the area is also worth a visit, as is the San Angel Inn, a restaurant converted from an old Carmelite monastery that offers traditional Mexican as well as international fare in flower-and-fountain-laden gardens.
In Mexico City’s stylish Condesa area, the Hotel Condesa DF provides a unique Art Deco experience. Situated on tree-lined Veracruz, it has a minimalist structure in an Art Deco wrapping by architect Javier Sánchez, winner of the Golden Lion at the 2006 Venice Biennale. The bar is pleasantly lit with excellent food. The Hippodrome Hotel in a refurbished Art Deco building is home to a small strip of restaurants called Hip Kitchen. The menu of small dishes cuts prices almost in half for a fusion experience. Those with more adventurous palates can try the Mezcalería, with a variety of mezcales — yes, the spirit with the worm — that can be downed while listening to grupera songs from northern Mexico.
After hours, the AM club offers electronic music and juicy beats that throb through the night.
The Condesa is a strolling area with two magnificent parks, España and Mexico, and wide avenues where interior decorating boutiques such as Mob cater to the area’s hip new inhabitants. Colorful bikes are available to borrow, free of charge; riders just leave identification.
The heart of the city is the Zocalo, the capital’s center with an enormous open space where people march in protest, celebrate en mass or participate in group art projects, such as when 18,000 laid in the nude to be photographed by Spencer Tunick.
The Zocalo housed the tremendously popular Gregory Colbert “Ashes and Snow” exhibition, which drew more than 8 million visitors. Near it today is the Centro Cultural de España, behind the Cathedral, where a terraced restaurant-bar is a meeting place for visitors, who also can enjoy scheduled musical programs. Live jazz by local and international talent can be heard at Zinco, located in an old basement vault.