MEXICO CITY, with some 20 million inhabitants, is the largest city in the Western Hemisphere. Enormous growth, raging crime, and tumultuous politics have also made it one of the most feared and misunderstood. Yet in the past decade, the city has become a hot spot for international business, fashion, and art, and a magnet for thrill-seeking expats from around the world. In 2002, Daniel Hernandez traveled to Mexico City, searching for his cultural roots. He encountered a city both chaotic and intoxicating, both underdeveloped and hypermodern. In 2007, after quitting a job, he moved back. With vivid, intimate storytelling, Hernandez visits slums populated by ex-punks; glittering, drug-fueled fashion parties; and pseudo-native rituals catering to new-age Mexicans. He takes readers into the world of youth subcultures, in a city where punk and emo stand for a whole way of life—and sometimes lead to rumbles on the streets. Surrounded by volcanoes, earthquake-prone, and shrouded in smog, the city that Hernandez lovingly chronicles is a place of astounding manifestations of danger, desire, humor, and beauty, a surreal landscape of “cosmic violence.” For those who care about one of the most electrifying cities on the planet, “Down & Delirious in Mexico City is essential reading” (David Lida, author of First Stop in the New World).
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