Ipsos recently released a pretty detailed survey, detailing the best cities in the world. The best to visit, the best to live in and the best to do business in. It’s worth a look at. Needless to say, the usual suspects all turned up at the top of the list – London, New York and Paris. No shocks. But I was looking at the list for another name. I saw Abu Dhabi, LA, Singapore, Stockholm and others. But not the one I was looking for. I didn’t see Mexico. Not in that top twenty list.
It’s a travesty. Judging cities is subjective, but I struggle to see how quite a number of those cities feature above Mexico. Actually I don’t. I know why. Mexico City is just not on the radar. Not the British radar. Not anyone else’s radar, perhaps other than the Spanish and other LatAm countries. The Bermuda Triangle moves a few hundred miles south west the moment you talk tourism. And poor Mexico City is swallowed whole.
On one hand it’s hard to see why. The place is so full or cultural, art and life. On the other hand, it has suffered decades of terrible pollution, poverty and crime and all the negative publicity which came with it. Most European countries focus on international cities within the boundaries of their own empires. And too many people in the United States still assume that Mexico is a desert where sombrero toting peons ride donkeys to work and beat their wives when they come home.
I’ve spent ten years trying very hard to put Mexico on the map. To get it bleeping on the radar. And I have clearly failed. So far. But I shall persevere. Trust in me and let me lead you to the promised land. A city where the sun shines every day. Where the people smile more than in most cities. Where colour is vibrant and ever present. Where food is hot, tasty and cheap. Where art drips from the walls of almost every building – in the case of graffiti, literally so. Where there is an adventure round every corner. Go to Mexico. You’ll be amazed.