174 imagesMexico City’s new life started some years ago when chilangos, as the other Mexicans call the 25 million people occupying a shallow mountain bowl at over 2400m above sea level, started not to call El Monstruo, The Monster, anymore their Megalopolis. Mexico City, the heart of the country for many centuries, today is cleaning, public spaces are springing back to life and a cultural renaissance is flourishing. On top of all that the nation’s capital remains a safe haven bearing witness to centuries of architectural design and artistic movements. The pre-Hispanic buildings rise from the city’s ground and cohabit with colonial churches and contemporary architecture. It is one of the world’s mega-cities, to be seen to be believed, the city has a vibe which is edgy and cosmopolitan at the same time and, despite its pollution, is a fun place to be. The barrier that separates past and present here feels thinner in than elsewhere in the world, the dynamic culture of the capital is constantly evolving while simultaneously reaching back into its tumultuous history, because art, architecture and cuisine are inextricably linked to the country’s indigenous roots, colonial influence and contemporary culture. Mexico’s capital may initially seem to lack the colour and charm of some of the country’s smaller towns, but the city centre still retains its colonial feel, its streets bustling with the comings and goings of daily commerce. The fact that different products are sold in specific areas sometimes makes it seem like a giant market. To the west, steel and glass take over from brick and stone as tradition gives way to modernity, but in the laidback barrios like San Ángel and Coyoacán, there’s as the same charm of many Mexican colonial town. Even in the centre, around the refurbished garden known as the Alameda music, art and colour seduce you. An intriguing cultural and architectural stratification symbolized by the pop-culture icon and prolific artist, Frida Kahlo, whose work portrays her most intimate self as a symbol of this uniquely Mexican identity.