G A N Z E E R . T O D A Y


16 Celsius in Mexico City today, but I swear it feels more like 6. Even if the weather apps claim otherwise. It's the humidity, which just as it tends to make things warmer come summer, makes the world much colder in winter. It's the kinda cold that gets into your bones. Mexico City in December is evidently not for me.

But I did make a breakthrough in THE SOLAR GRID today, a singular plot point (albeit a rather drastic one) in the very last chapter that allows for the ending I've always wanted to come together more smoothly. So, all is well.

#travel #work #comix #CDMX #theSolarGrid

Starting to get that What-Am-I-Doing-Here(?) feeling, despite having met a few people here in Mexico City which you'd think would make one feel like less of a displaced outsider. I reckon part of it must be the nature of the AirBnB I'm at which turned out to be a little too hostel-like, and as such does not invite spending a while lotta time at. I spend the vast bulk of my day bouncing between cafes and now all I want is a home-cooked meal and the comfort of my own studio. It's only been a little over a week and I still have yet another 5 days to go. Feels like I've been here for close to a month. Time passes very differently when each day isn't so different from the one that came before or the one that comes after. Cannot cut my trip short though, as I still have yet another dentist appointment on the agenda, in addition to a handful of Spanish classes, and also quite a bit of thumbnailing/scripting on the very last THE SOLAR GRID installment.

But being back in my own bed would be nice, as would the embrace of my little boy.

#journal #work #travel #cdmx

Since I've been getting asked quite often about my Mexico City recommendations (3 times in the past week alone), I figured I might as well post them up here for anyone who might be interested.

Accommodation: I like to stay in Condesa, which is a little on the pricey side for Mexico but it's the greenest and most serene while simultaneously being within walking distance of all my favorite spots. I rarely spend a lot of time at the actual AirBnB, and mostly spend my days roaming around. As such, I tend to go for a tiny accommodation that offers little more than a bed and hot shower, and can therefore score something that is somewhat reasonably priced. Being in Condesa, I'm close enough to Avenida Amsterdam where I can start my day with an early morning jog before making my way into Parque de Mexico to peruse the free public exercise equipment.

Breakfast: Breakfast is a big deal here as it is to me, so there is no shortage of scrumptious breakfast spots but here's a list of my favorites: * Ebano Cafe * La Cadencia Lonchera * Delirio * Santo Habanero * Cafe B

Cafe: Cafe culture is strong in CDMX and you'll literally be tripping over the many options, but my favorites are: * Quentin * Amin * Clarice Cafe y Literatura * Ozuluama (more of a wine bar, ideal for the late afternoons, but they also serve excellent coffee and small bites) * Blend Station (cafe in a bike shop, it's a vibe) * Casa Cafe

Other Food: Again, the options are really very endless. Between every two restaurants is another restaurant or food stand, but here are a few of my favorites: * Marlindo (Excellent seafood. Tostadas are a must.) * Kebab Bistro (Chic fusion, very yummy) * Street (Try their duck confit in squid ink rice) * Pizza Nosferatu (Good artisanal pizza with a side of craft beer and/or mezcal) * Expendio de Maiz Sin Nombre (Some of the best food I've ever had in my life, but it comes with a twist: No menu. You just ask for whatever they've got. They will bring you phenomenal dish, after which you will be asked if you're still hungry. If the answer is yes, they will bring you a different dish, as equally innovative as the first. The process carries on until you declare: “Listo!” or, all done.)

Now, in another part of town, Coyoacan, is this amazing eco chic “food hall”. Kind of like a courtyard with many restaurants and bars and live music. Very nice: * Mercado del Carmen Coyoacan

And while in Coyoacan, you'll want to check out: * Mercado de Coyoacan: Marketplace filled with arts & crafts and clothes and books and food and gifts and many more.

Museums: So many to see, all amazing. The highlights for me though: * Museo Casa Estudio Diego Riviera y Frida Kahlo (the studio homes of Diego Riviera and Frida Kahlo, probably only interesting to artists and architecture buffs) * Museo Nacional de Antropologia * Palacio de Bellas Artes

Other: * Dental Clinic Emmanuel: Best dental experience in the known universe. * Derma MX: Delightful dermatologist, very attentive. * Dayaks Tattoo & Luxury Piercing: Not bad, not mind-blowing, but certainly good and hygienic. * Global Comics Noveno Arte: The name says it all.

More Info: * You'll be tempted to Uber or Didi (the cheaper alternative) around most of the time because how affordable it is compared to the states, but try the Metro from time to time, it's quite easy to navigate and covers large swaths of the city. * Biking is also an excellent way to get around. Great bike-lane infrastructure. Many city-bike stations available. * The Paseo de la Reforma is closed off to cars on Sundays before 12:00pm and is utilized by joggers and cyclists. You'll be remis to pass up on joining in. * Most places accept credit cards, so if you have one that doesn't charge foreign transaction fees, it'll save you the hassle of carrying around a bunch of loose money. But always having a few hundred pesos on you is not a bad idea just in case you run into the occasional very small vendor that doesn't do cards.

#journal #travel #CDMX

Third day in Mexico City again and already my habits have changed: Jogging and exercise first thing in the morning, followed by a hefty breakfast (eggs and meat + fruit bowl or juice + coffee), and then work straight into the late afternoon. These days I'm mostly working out the last stretch in THE SOLAR GRID (about a chapter and a half), which mostly entails lots of thinking, plotting, scriptwriting, and thumbnailing. It's the grand finale of an 8-year-long journey, and for everything to land just right I need to handle it with utmost care.

Between all the deets involved in divorce stuff back in Houston, in addition to all the necessary home studio tweaks calling out to me in the new place I moved into last March, it's been very difficult to concentrate or get anything done efficiently. My trip to CDMX, kind of a fluke, has come as a godsend.

It was back in April when I had accidentally booked a wrong flight (I blame the tooth agony) which apparently could not be cancelled but could be altered, as long as it was within the year 2023. I chose December for no particular reason, but it works out great because I was due for a routine dental visit anyway, and the tattoo I got here back in April needed some touching up. Mexico City, as it just so happens is where I come for self-maintenance. Not just physical maintenance, but maintenance of the soul as well. I'm able to think here, to contemplate with a clear head. And everything about the place satisfies me: the sounds, the smells, the aesthetics, and the way things operate. It all sits very well with me.

It's also a good place for me creatively. Last time I was here I wrote the first draft of a short science fiction story for a forthcoming anthology, and this time I'm working out the finale for my long in-progress graphic novel.

My Spanish is still shit though. It's something I've decided to focus on resolving going forward. Despite Mexico no longer being a possibility of a place to relocate, not with the legalities surrounding the joint custody arrangement I have with my child's mother now. But Mexico City is only a 3-hour flight from Houston, so it can ostensibly become a place I revisit 2-3 times a year. Just for maintenance.

#journal #travel #cdmx