One of Mexico City’s most picturesque neighborhoods, Colonia Roma is located in what was once one of the shallowest parts of the Lake of Texcoco. It was conceived as an upper-class enclave for the wealthy at the beginning of the XXth century, during the reign of president Porfirio Diaz. The area became more middle class by the ’40s and ’50s and was severely impacted by the 1985 Mexico City earthquake. But ever since, a gradual process of gentrification has turned it into one of the main cultural and nightlife centers of the city, and efforts to preserve the art-nouveau and neo-classical architectures of its old mansions have had success, preserving the identity of the neighborhood for locals and tourists to enjoy.
Walking through the streets of Roma, like its main avenue, Avenida Álvaro Obregón, is an opportunity to feel reinvigorated by the liveliness of this youthful community while enjoying its surroundings rich in history and culture. One particular landmark, on the corner of Álvaro Obregón and Orizaba, is sure to catch your eye, its Casa Lamm, an early XXth century mansion that was eventually converted into a cultural center in the ’90s, and that nowadays offers classes and art degrees, as well as hosting art exhibitions by current artists, access is free and the opportunity to enter the residence shouldn’t be passed on if only to enjoy the architectural beauty of the place.
There are other several art galleries that are located primarily along Colima street, and since “La Roma” is a center for fashionable young men and women, it’s not a surprise that there are interesting and very chic boutiques throughout the neighborhood, like Carla Fernández boutique on Avenida Álvaro Obregón, whose clothes and their intricate patterns are inspired by the indigenous communities; or Goodbye Folk, on Córdoba street, which specializes in a carefully curated selection of vintage wares.
Art and fashion, maybe sightseeing could be next on your list, and in that case, one must visit the Fuente de Cibeles, a bronze replica of the homonymous fountain in Madrid, which is located where the streets of Oaxaca, Durango, Medellín, and Oro, converge. The fountain’s roundabout is surrounded by restaurants and breweries, so a refreshment after all that walking could be in the cards. Make no mistake, Colonia Roma is a BIG neighborhood.
And of course, film lovers might be interested in visiting the filming location of multi-Academy Award winner Roma, which is located on the eastern part of the neighborhood, exactly on Tepeji street #22; an ideal plan is to visit the location then watch an indie flick at non-corporate (and very hipsterish) Cine Tonalá, that’s right around the corner from the famed film location.
La Roma has everything that’s needed by today’s young and modern adult; once just a shallow part of a lake, then a safe retreat for the millionaires of the early XXth century, and now a hip and trendy place, the neighborhood is an interesting mixture of several generations of culture and good taste.