This week on The Marketplace of Ideas, recorded live on location in Mexico City, I talk to David Lida, author of First Stop in the New World, Las llaves de la ciudad, Travel Advisory: Stories of Mexico, and the blog Mostly Mexico City. A native New Yorker, Lida moved to Mexico City in 1990 — a year considered by many to have been the megalopolis’ absolute nadir in terms of crime, crowding, and pollution — and hasn’t looked back, becoming the best-known English-language chronicler of el Distrito Federal in the 21st century.
The way I see it, one can’t help but get fascinated by Mexico City right now. My own fascination boiled to the point that I had no possible choice but to pay a visit to el Distrito Federal myself. You can read about my exploration of the city at colinmarshall.org (specifically under the “Mexico City” category), but you’ll do even better if you pick up the books I read in preparation for the trip: Rubén Gallo’s The Mexico City Reader, Daniel Hernandez’s Down and Delirious in Mexico City (be sure to catch him here on The Marketplace of Ideas too!), John Ross’ El Monstruo, and absolutely everything David Lida has written. Whether he’s using English or Spanish, whether he’s observing grand or minute urban phenomena, or whether he’s discussing something beautiful, frightful, or simply bizarre, he’s looked at Mexico City from the angle you want.