Today I push off from the Sunport and land in Distrito Federal AKA Mexico City, Cuidad de Mexico.
My mother, my sister and a rando at the gym immediately warned me of dangers. Murder, rape, muggings, they stressed, are what awaited me in Mexico. Yet, the world's fourth largest city in population, and, in 2015, the world's twelfth largest urban area, actually has lower crime rates per capita then Philadelphia, a place no one ever took the time to warn me away from when I was young and, consequently I have lasting regrets about mistakes made there circa 2010.
Other people, the aggressive, defensive kind that get really upset when they hear that someone who isn't trying to have a conversation with them about it has decided to abstain from eating meat, eggs and dairy have, at other moments, warned that I will, get ready ... "starve." While I have relaxed some dietary choices when traveling abroad, and may do so again, in a city of 20 million people, I'm going to posit that I won't actually starve. In fact, just Sunday the L.A. Times featured a story about the abundance of explicitly vegan taquerias, restaurants, street food stalls and bakeries in Mexico City. In the megapolis I can go to a dairy free ice cream shop and get all my groceries at a vegan market, which is more than any city I've ever lived in in the US has offered.
And more than that, Mexico's so-called Alpha City has an abundance of parks, museums, markets and surely so much more that I don't even know about that will make ten days feel like two.
Only slightly higher in elevation than Albuquerque, this time of year D.F.'s weather is comparable to ours and there's not even a time change to impede my transition into full on vacation mode, only a layover in Dallas.
These are all suppositions, aside from the cold, hard statistics. Barring death by starvation or murder, I'll report (rub it in?) in coming weeks, ten pounds heavier from vegan tortas, totally broke not from being robbed, but because I'm sending a million postcards.
Like the increasingly popular vegan versions of Thai food that are popping up around town, sushi is starting to catch the Tofurky Syndrome. This is what I call the attempt to make animal-product-like food out of animal-product-free ingredients—Tofurky being, essentially, tofu in the shape, color, and arguably flavor and texture of turkey. In the Thai restaurants that go vegan, this translates into a colorful assortment of protein pretenders that you can’t help but be impressed by, even if you think it’s a bit silly.
Brussels sprouts with bacon is hardly a new idea, but the combination has taken off lately. Now the pairing is a menu meme, a darling of online recipe searches and food TV. But those green brassica balls also go effortlessly and deliciously, for example, in that most vegetarian of dishes: the leafy salad.
APD shoots and kills suspected burglar at St. Pius High.
Casey Anthony releases first installment of her video diary.
5-year-old boy falls into open manhole in the Lead construction zone, family says, and swallows sewage.
The final tally of U.S. casualties in the Iraq War: 4,486.
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Songs Michele Bachmann should have resigned to.
iPhone app will pay you to work out.
Robert Frank chosen to be UNM’s president.
Inspirational Tweets from Kanye West.
Best sub-headline of the year thus far: At the Iowa caucuses, the corpse of the Republican Party was wandering around Des Moines, hungry for brains.
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Facebook makes in-person conversations redundant.
Scientists distort light for the Pentagon to create time holes.
“Code Red Velvet,” a song about the cupcake that threatened national security.
Romney wants Big Bird to run on advertisements.
Satellite discovers a buried city in Egypt.
Vegan food has a reputation for being bland and boring. It doesn’t have to be that way, of course, but the cuisine and the people who cook it have inherited this stigma. For proof that vegan food can be comforting and filling, we have Mint Tulip, which opened this spring where 20 Carrots used to be.
When I first heard about Body, I wondered how it was spelled. Given it’s in Santa Fe, I figured maybe it was “Bodhi,” or “Baughty,” or some other inscrutable spelling. But Body? Too obvious. It was the last thing I thought of. That’s the name of a gym.