I went to the DF for the first time frankly expecting the worst…. smog, crime, traffic, thieves in taxis. I found instead a thriving, teeming, cheerful, colorful, and diverse ancient metropolis with the cheapest, and probably most efficient subway system I’ve ever used. I felt as safe as I do in New York (which is plenty safe), and was embarrassed for being so paranoid.
Some of my favorite moments included: fantastic museums, wonderful galleries, art, and shopping; Strolling the parks and old quarters admiring pyramid blocks repurposed into 17th century seminaries; Stumbling upon a goth-industrial club night (called The Bat Cave Club) on the top floor of a computer school in the charming, but quiet after dark, Centro Historico, featuring a fun but weird mix of really gothic music and slightly incongruous 80s pop. Mexican goth kids dancing to Siouxsie and the Banshees and slamming down $1 Indio beers. Being the only gringos on the dance floor at a norteno (Mexican country) bar in the Zona Rosa featuring the loudest banda you ever heard.
I can only say that I was rather underwhelmed by the much-vaunted nightlife district of Condesa… sort of stylish, sure, but rather yuppie for my taste. The Zona Rosa, too, was a little garish, and sort of tacky, but as a San Franciscan I was delighted to see such a prominent (by Latin American standards, at least) LGBT community acting out.
Go! Don’t be afraid! It’s a wonderful city.