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Photo: Rulo Luna

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Introduction

Most people have an opinion about Mexico City, often abbreviated CDMX (for Ciudad Mexico) or DF (for "Distrito Federal"), typically involving one or more of the following adjectives: polluted, poor, dangerous, chaotic (ok, so the last one's true), though they've never been there.

For people who have been there -- or better, have lived there -- there's a centrifugal force we can't quite explain that pulls us back again and again. In all the chaos, there's remarkable order. Alongside soaring skyscrapers, there are centuries old temples. You can buy a street stall or market taco for 5 pesos at lunch, then sit down for a six-course "new" Mexican dinner for 500 pesos. You can wander through Frida Kahlo's Casa Azul and relive the high period of 20th-century Mexican painting, then stumble upon a pop-up street gallery exhibiting punk art. You can dive headlong into the city's intensity or escape into mountains in 30 minutes.

In short, though plenty of places market themselves as having "something for everyone," Mexico City really does.

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