Mexico City - Travel Photography in the World's Biggest Metropolis
I was recently very fortunate to have the opportunity to spend the best part of a week in Mexico City on business, not somewhere I would necessarily have chosen to visit as a tourist. So this work opportunity saw me land at Benito Juarez airport at 3am one Monday morning after a 10 hour flight from London. Incidentally, I had travelled in the inaugural flight of one of Aeromexico's brand new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, a beautiful and well appointed aircraft, so everything was very new and shiny (see this link for AeroMexico's press release). I had some reservations about the trip, given stories of tourist muggings and even kidnappings in the press. Certainly the taxi ride from the airport is something that should be approached with care and pre-booking an official cab was an essential and wise move to avoid touts. This cautious approach also led to a very minimal photo kit, consisting of only the Fujifilm X-E2, XF18-55mm & XF56mm, suitably concealed and only revealed to take the shot.
The scale of this metropolis is hard to describe as is the constant, noisy and never ending mass of traffic. I would liken it to New York with three times the people and cars with an infrastructure that appears to have been in decline for fifty years. Based initially in and around the modern World Trade Center (their spelling, not mine!) area the modern tower blocks and western brands sit uneasily with the, frankly, run down adjoining areas. Every pavement and public amenity has seen better days, to say the least. Nevertheless, an experience not to be missed and a population that was always polite and welcoming to me. I was able to break out of the vastness of the concrete jungle to visit some of the more historic areas, including the Zocalo, the main square, also known and Plaza de la Constitucion and its huge Metropolitan Cathedral. The Zocalo is probably now best known as being the location for the opening scene in the recent Bond film, Spectre, and its dramatic helicopter fight scene over the square.
The image of the silhouetted scaffolders was taken in front of the Cathedral, preparing for some large scale event, and all with no apparent safety gear. The perimeter of the Cathedral also acts as a base for a range of manual workers who advertise their skills on boards in the hope of securing employment, as well as the usual range of unfortunate beggars and showmen that any tourist spot attracts. Contrasting this again was the visually stunning National Museum of Anthropology, designed by Pedro Ramirez Vazquez in 1964 - a modernist masterpiece.
It apparently rarely rains in Mexico City in November but some of these images attest to the torrential downpours experienced over a couple of days. The remaining images capture some of my memories of my time there. A confusing, buzzing, vibrant yet tired metropolis.