I´ve spent four of the last five years in the Americas. About two years of that time has been spent traveling the length and width of the continent; from Patagonia to the USA, the Pacific to the Atlantic and into the interior – the Amazon river, highlands of Bolivia, Machu Pichu, volcanoes of Central America. The list goes on. Click here to see it in full.
In Mexico City, it is also possible to take a journey through the Americas without leaving the streets of the Centro Histórico. Streets bearing the names of the majority of the region´s many republics can be found. I´ve walked up and down them many times.
This journey through the Americas starts in República de Cuba.
I started the journey at a slow pace, trying to take the time to observe the detail of the street. I wandered from the chaos of eje central, the main thoroughfare which divides the downtown in two.
Coincidentally, or perhaps not, the street seems in some respects to have taken on characteristics of its namesake country and in particular the capital Havana. There are dilapidated old buildings in urgent need of repair, run down hotels long past their glory days, clothes hanging from windows drying in the afternoon sun and kitschy comedores (diners) of the kind I saw often in Havana.
I saw a street cleaner ramble by, a pair of the city´s indigent- who often gather on the corner of Cuba and eje central – washing stalled cars in pursuit of peso coins and a roaming troubadour taking time out for lunch.
Cuba is also home to a few cantinas and a cluster of bars which host a burgeoning downtown gay scene, far removed from the more ostentatious zone rosa (pink zone). Go past the pornographic cinema and the street culminates with Plaza Santo Domingo on one side, where all manners of official documents – passports, degrees, birth certificates, identification cards – can allegedly be falsified. On the other side is one of the busiest taco and quesadilla corners of the city.
And so ends the journey through Cuba in DF. I hope you´ll come on this journey through a concrete, virtual microcosm of the Americas. Next up República de Bolivia.