Coyoacán, Ciudad de México, February 2013
My two month stay in Mexico City began in a little room above a tamale factory. Its owner was a retired biologist who rented the various rooms in his apartment out for income. Mine had a single bed and an outer wall of glass, which looked out into the tiny courtyard of the house and the tamale factory, over which a bougainvillea tree sprawled, fuchsia in the hot light. Among us were an American teacher, a Spaniard who worked in finance, a Mexican aspiring DJ, and yours truly, who was a bit confused.
I spent a lot of time in that room, watching the curtains get bluer as dawn came, reading or writing or sleeping. Later in March, when it got too hot to spend afternoons inside, I would head around the corner to a tiny diner, bring a book and have lunch over a couple of hours, much to the bemusement of the proprietors.
I didn’t do a lot over my two months in Mexico City. I met a bunch of interesting people. Musicians, photographers, painters, writers, filmmakers, budding entrepreneurs. My understanding of the city is shaped by them, as they opened up the possibilities of place for me.
A lot of these people had been travelling for ten, fifteen, twenty years. I remember thinking