View from Euro Stars Reforma Hotel in Mexico City's financial district.
I woke up this morning feeling like there was something in my head — knocking, asking me to let it spill out. There was a rhythm and a beat and a step. I was being asked to groove.
Labor Day weekend this year gave me and my best friend/pseudo-sister, Nicole, the opportunity we always crave: to adventure.
And adventure, we did.
After a sloppy, adrenaline-spurred search on Kayak and a quick look at a world map, we decided Mexico City was our plan of attack. It was just far enough to "feel far," without the ugly weight of international jet lag — and, honestly, the price was so right we could in no way resist.
Stroll through Roma Norte
We discovered the beauty of Roma Norte's vegan co-ops, lush gardens, and dreamy cafes that go virtually unnoticed amidst the slow roll of the day, reveled in the USD-to-MXN Peso exchange rate, and laughed our way through a seduction of Mexico City's mezcal collection.
We met with not one foreign person, only Mexican locals and the occasional Spaniard who had claimed this former European territory as home. Cuidad de Mexico was singing us a beautiful lullaby. Instead of sleeping, we stayed up and let the rhythm lead us through the city.
Our midnight daydreams went something like this:
9:00 p.m. An Italian feast at Macelleria Roma of gnocchi and ravioli equipped us with stamina and carbs for a successful night of binge drinking.
The scene was romantic and the waitstaff spoke both English and Spanish. The La Roma neighborhood serenaded us as we came and went, and the night carried on.
11:00 p.m. The evening began to rear its sexy head when we strolled less than a mile to Felix, our cozy pre-disco stop in Roma Norte that served a scrumptious clamato natural, a bloody mary–esque mezcal fixie that costs no more than $2. The lighting was Instagram-worthy, and the people quite chic — despite their spewing cig smoke like a poorly ventilated chimney.
We enjoyed a slow-winding start to the evening over mezcal and deep house. The vibe, and momentum to the night, were palpable. I felt the edges of my mouth turn up at the promise of a dance.
12:45 a.m. Café Paraiso was our favorite salsa spot, and it seemed to be the place to see and be seen. Crowds of beautiful Mexicans, and dos gringas, gathered around the door while security and a bouncy little door woman in a white fur vest hand-chose the people that were able to enter through the unmarked doorway.
Shrouded in neon pink flamingos, Café Paraiso had the whimsical, frivolous atmosphere Nicole and I craved. The room was full of music, and small table rounds out of Casablanca sat on cream and black subway tile. Night's song was clear now. The partying continued and we danced until she finished her encore, just past 5 a.m.
Night found me this morning and begged me to listen to her because I slept through her performance.
I'll have to make it up to her soon.