The definitive book on Mexico City: a vibrant, seductive, and paradoxical metropolis-the second-biggest city in the world, and a vision of our urban future.
First Stop in the New World is a street-level panorama of Mexico City, the largest metropolis in the western hemisphere and the cultural capital of the Spanish- speaking world. Journalist David Lida expertly captures the kaleidoscopic nature of life in a city defined by pleasure and danger, ecstatic joy and appalling tragedy-hanging in limbo between the developed and underdeveloped worlds. With this literary-journalist account, he establishes himself as the ultimate chronicler of this bustling megalopolis at a key moment in its-and our-history.
Fresh, original portrait of my hometown and its unique inhabitants
By Gabriel TML - June 13, 2009
As a Mexican and -foremost- a chilango, I bought this book to be able to look at my hometown from the vantage point of a liberal, bohemian American journalist. As an outsider, Lida talks about my everyday reality without the natives' bias (determined by the prejudices, beliefs, taboos and political correctness often found in natives). He writes what he sees, but his role is not only descriptive -he also tries to understand how and why Mexico City became what it is -why is there so much inequality? Why are there thousands of children in the streets, if the city's income per head -at 25,000 USD- is on par with that of the developed world? Why are nearly all models in Mexico foreign, especially blue-eyed and blonde? How do Mexicans respond to globalization, what are their patterns of consumerism, and how is culture changing? These are some of the questions Lida tries -indirectly or directly- to tackle.
I think Lida managed to capture most of the essence of life in Mexico City... read more
Buy this poka madre book along with Mexico: An Opinionated Guide
By Beatriz C. Chernikoff - July 14, 2008
Ever motivated by his affection for Mexico City, David Lida presents First Stop in the New World, about the people and places that have shaped his own conclusion on what it means to live in the labyrinth that is el Distrito Federal. First Stop is written in the style you would expect from someone with years of experience in journalism, with a witty and authentic voice that can inform us about Mexico City like any lifelong capitalino, and still remain refreshingly apolitical. He is not afraid of clarifying the truth behind the "Wal-mart next door to the Pyramids" rumor, or the exaggeration of the frequency of kidnappings. Want to know the truth behind these two sensational stories? Read this book to find out.
Lida's literary style comes through his investigative narrative, (and evokes his other career as a short story writer), filled with characters that are fodder for stories in their own right, as he admits. He recounts details as varied as Mexico City herself - how the... read more
A street-level panorama...indeed!
By Robert Dumont - August 6, 2008
David Lida's vivid and fascinating word portraits provide a sense of intimate clarity for the myriad sights and scenes of La Capital. He has a real feel for the big picture of such an immense and tumultuous metropolis, as well as an adroitness for rendering closely observed D.F. moments and depicting the divers characters that inhabit its streets and colonias.
A hilarious yet poignant account of an afternoon spent in the company of a group of borrachos in a cantina is just one among several highlights, as is the chilling tale of his own kidnapping.
He presents a vision of Mexico City that is affectionate yet unsentimental. His love for the place is clear-eyed and his knowledge is hard-earned. He manages to cover it all: from Tepito to Polanco, from discussions of various art[s] scenes and popular culture to distinctive local religious practices and social/sexual mores, from Carlos Slim to faded night club singers. Lida is a true urban cicerone.
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