On our last day in the city, we went up 42 floors to the top of the Torre Latinoamericana to take a bird's eye view.
My first, and second, and probably final impression was how vast this city really is. It seemed like a video would show it to you better than any other way, so I took this one, walking slowly around the periphery of the cage at the top of the building. (It shows you a little of adolescent Mexican life, too.) If you use the full screen view you'll be able to see much better.
The Tower is located on the western side of the Centro Historico. The video starts looking north, approximately; the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadelupe is below the hills in the distance. Then it moves to the northwest; the white building in the foreground is the Palacio des Belles Artes, and the beautiful park beyond it is the Alameda. Then we move directly west, toward the business center with its skyscrapers and modern architecture. The video proceeds to the south and zooms into the neighborhood where we were living: Escandon. Finally, we look toward the east. The Zocalo is the large bare rectangle in the center; the Palacio Nationale is on its far side, and the Metropolitan Cathedral is on the north side. The camera moves down Avenue Francisco Madero, which is now for pedestrians only, and then back to the Zocalo.
Looking at this video now, I just want to be back there. I'm kind of amazed to realize how much we've learned about this enormous place in a short time, mainly because of studying maps and Google Earth and traveling around using different modes of transportation. The city begins to make at least some geographical sense to me, whereas at first - flying in for the first time a year ago - it just felt overwhelming. I'm very fond of Mexico City now, and in spite of being one of 25 million souls there, I felt like it welcomed me. Everywhere we went, including this tower, we met and talked to people who were warm, curious, open, and direct. They have made this place, over many centuries, and it reflects them.
We went down in mid-afternoon, walked around the Centro, had something to eat, and came back up to watch the sunset.