01 June 2018

México 2.0: Exploring Colonia San Ángel in Mexico City

Colonia San Ángel is a fancy neighbourhood. I haven't explored this neighbourhood during my first visit, so I opted to check it out this time. It was during this time when I realised what was bugging me during my visit to Mexico City.

See, Mexico City is a very large metropolis. It is in fact the largest metropolis in the western hemisphere. However, whenever I am on the road, I get a feeling that is slightly different than what I get when I am in New York City. I feel like I am out of place. And here in San Ángel I realise why that is the case. It is because people like me are cocooned in their own cars and high fences, securely hidden from view, behind gated communities. San Ángel is where you can find streets that are private, where non-residents cannot access, and there is a security guard watching everyone entering and exiting at the gate.

No wonder I feel out of place whenever I am in the Mexico City metro. Because the upper middle class people like me don't ride the metro, they use Uber instead. And the metro is left to the working class.

So where are the middle class? They are here, in San Ángel.

I strolled all over the neighbourhood. But somewhere in there I found this small church, the Temple of El Carmen. This is a 17th-century church, a bit musky, and quite dark. It is still in operation.

And of course, the fountain within the Casa del Risco. This fountain is insanely decorated with porcelain plates and seashells. It is quite crazy. I can imagine the working class doesn't have the time to appreciate this piece of art. They probably don't even have the money to construct such a thing.

In any case, this neighbourhood was interesting, and allowed me to poke a little bit more into the Mexican social, fabric. Things are quiet here, and people have cars, fancy cars, with tinted windows and parked behind tall fences and gates.


  1. In every city we go to, especially those where economic inequalities are very obvious, I like to check out the "posh hood". Most of the time, this isn't where I feel comfortable... but it's worth seeing to understand the country and associated challenges.

    1. Zhu,

      I find it interesting that we always somehow want to check out the area where "the minority" lives. When we go to cities which are more working class, we try to find out where the posh people live. But when we're in cities that are more affluent, we then check out the ethnic neighbourhoods and the areas where the immigrants live.