Info on Mexico City

Mexico City forms the core of the Federal District and is the commercial, industrial, financial, political, and cultural center of the nation. Among its diverse and important manufactures are chemicals, petroleum, food products, textiles, automobiles, machinery, pharmaceuticals, and consumer items. Population has increased rapidly in a city that had already spread out into many residential sections called colonias. Iztapalapa and Gustavo A. Madero are the largest suburbs of the Federal District; Coyoacán is the oldest, with a palace built by Cortés. The metropolitan area of Mexico City is currently the largest in the world, but it suffers from severe overcrowding. There are many run-down neighborhoods without essential services and large areas inhabited by squatters; it is estimated that close to one third of the city's residents are without sewage facilities.
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Bigger than the Big Apple, "el DF" (Distrito Federal) counts more than twenty-two million inhabitants. Sprawling, congested, polluted, fascinating, the city seems to go on forever even when you are flying over it; crossing it in a cab on a week day is an ambitious project. One of every four Mexicans lives here; all cultural, governmental, and social roads in the Republic lead here. Like Los Angeles and New York, it has both delights and dangers (and it is bigger than New York and Los Angeles combined).
For delights, Chapultepec Park on a Sunday is incomparable. So are the Museo de Antropología, the ruins of Teotihuacan, and the Aztec Templo Mayor being excavated right now. Very fancy shopping may be found in the Zona rosa (Insurgentes metro stop). A Mexican version of Paris's Left Bank is the Plaza de Coyoacán (check out the Parnaso bookstore‚ where more than one revolution in Latin America has been planined; Gen. Anaya metro stop, then the Colectivo Sto. Domingo-Coyoacán). The Ballet folklórico is a great show in the Bellas Artes theater, which is worth a visit in itself Cinema freak? The classics are shown daily at the Cineteca Nacional, Avda. Mexico-Coyoacan 389, southern extension Avda. Cuautemoc. And on and on. Tiempo Libre, a biweekly available at most newsstands, publishes information on what's happening in entertainment, the arts, and special events. It has a supplement for the State of Mexico with information about regional festivals and market days. It's worthwhile to look at a number just to see the variety of entertainment, sports and cultural events. The magazine can be purchased at Vip's and Sanborn's in Quer‚taro. A huge selection of the best artesanias are found at La Ciudadela market (Balderas metro stop)
For safety, go with a friend or two; beware of purse snatchers and pickpockets - especially on the Metro -, and thugs (after dark), and be street-smart.
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Mexico City (Spanish: Ciudad de México) is the federal capital of, and largest city in, Mexico. It geographically spans the north portion of the Distrito Federal ("D.F."), although the metropolitan area extends to the state of México to the north of the Federal District, and to the state of Hidalgo. According to government statistics Mexico City is the largest most populous conurbation in North America, and third in the world, after Tokyo, and Sao Paulo, with approximately 22.1 million people. Though its urban area is the third most populous in the world, what is officially known as Mexico City (under the limits of the Federal District) is the most populous city in the world; that is, the greatest number of people governed by one mayor.
Mexico City is centered at geographic coordinates in south central Mexico. Greater Mexico City forms a rough ellipse 40 km (24.9 mi.) east to west and 60 km (37.3 mi.) north to south and has a total area of approximately 5,000 km² (1,391 mi.²), making the urban area one of the largest in the world.
The city's average elevation is 2,240 metres (7,349 feet) above sea level.
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