Finding a place to live for the two months we plan to spend in Mexico was quite a challenge. We started our search on Airbnb, but were having trouble finding a place that was available the whole time we planned on being here, was child friendly, and would allow a dog. I finally branched out my search to local Mexico City apartment search engines. I found what I thought was the perfect place, for the perfect price, and it allowed dogs! After communicating for a few days with the owner, he requested that we pay through Airbnb since it is a secure site. Being familiar with Airbnb this made me feel comfortable as well. However, when he sent the link and I clicked to pay, it requested that I wire transfer the money to a Mexican bank. I immediately knew something was up, and when I looked back at the link he had sent, I realized it was a fake Airbnb page. The whole thing was a fraud! And I had already entered my credit card info. We ended up having to cancel our credit card after fraudulent charges were made that same day.
So, we went back to the official Airbnb page, and ended up finding the perfect place. The host is incredibly responsive and accommodating (he lives in NYC and is completing his PhD, but he grew up here in Mexico City and keeps this apartment for when he is here). He also has a 14 month old son, so the apartment already had some baby items, including a high chair and pac’nu’play, that they’ve let us use. The apartment is located on the northern edge of Parque Mexico, right in the heart of the Roma and La Condesa neighborhoods.
Within two blocks of our apartment we have access to Parque Mexico (including walking paths, a dog park, and a playground – although the better playground is in Parque Espana a few more blocks away), a smoothie stand, torta (sandwich) stall, al pastor taco place, salad to-go place, Starbucks, countless more cafes and restaurants, pharmacy, Oxxo (equivalent of a 7-eleven), HSBC bank, men’s hair salon, Sears (yes, the department store), and much more. Since we have never lived in an urban setting before , it is really incredible how convenient everything is.
We are in the Edificio Basurto, a historic art deco building. We have three doormen that rotate shifts: Manuel, Daniel and Carlos – they open the door for us each time we enter and leave, continually monitor the entire building via video surveillance, and are generally good sources of info for anything we need. The building also has a caretaker, Berna, who brings us bottles of purified water and his wife, Jovita, who does our cleaning for a very reasonable price. We’re hoping to have her cook for us soon too so we can try some real homemade Mexican food. She’s promised to make Chicken Mole estilo ranchera (the way its made in her hometown).
The apartment itself is incredibly spacious (about twice the size of our place at home). There are two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a huge living space (including a long hallway that serves as the perfect sports arena for Matt, Mae and Theo), a kitchen that is closed off from the living space, a main balcony and a service balcony (with a separate entrance). It is sparsely furnished, but that’s a good thing since it provides fewer things for Theo to ruin. It is starting to feel a bit like home!