Garden Santa Fe

Welcome to the Atlas Obscura Community discussion of Garden Santa Fe in Mexico City, Mexico. Ask questions or share travel tips, experiences, pictures, or general comments with the community. For the story behind this place, check out the Atlas Obscura entry:

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I know we have a topic and a section on the website dealing with stubs but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try bringing this one up to the attention of anyone who might have pictures to add to the entry. I unfortunately don’t have any from when I visited but it’s fairly popular in the city so I figured it’s likely someone might be able to help with that.

Thanks in advance.

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Don’t have any pictures of Santa Fe , but I used to work in the area for a while and its such a strange area. I used to have to wake up at about 4 :30 am and take about 3 different bus journeys to cross Mexico city to get there for about 6 am. One of the bus journeys would go through some seriously rough barrio bravos where kidnapping , violent robbery assaults and gang violence was routine.

Then when I got there I’d have to walk up (often in darkness) a part of the hill where some petty thieves from downhill were constantly stealing the metal drain covers to sell as scrap metal. So I would have to use a flashlight and keep my eyes glued to the sidewalk on front of me or else risk falling down into one of those drains.

The whole place is bizarre , you have the gated mansions and condos of the filthy rich up in the hills and schools where the kids arrive driven by bodyguards then about a mile/ two/ three miles downhill you are in the Mexico city mean streets of gangland. The contrast between those two worlds which are sandwiched together is totally jarring and disorientating.

Needless to say , I hated the job and was glad when I changed , plus my boss of the time was a corrupt m**********r.

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I just remember the first time I went I took the bus to Centro Comercial Santa Fe and then got out of the mall, started walking to get a closer look at the skyscrapers and realized that the sidewalk just ended. Not uncommon in Mexico, but for the area supposed to be the cutting-edge, new hub of the city that was quite surprising.

I still walked on the grass along the side of the road till I eventually got to another sidewalk and this one did lead to La Lavadora, the Alameda park and the main avenue where I could take the bus back to the metro station. To me it just feels representative of that developing world mentality of “if we out-capitalist the capitalist powers then surely they will respect us more”, disregarding whether their projects actually work and who might get trampled by them along the way.

But hey, the architecture IS quite something.

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I agree about the architecture though , its pretty out there , especially the Torre Arcos Bosque “Pantalones” building and on the plus side there is a good pendulo bookshop in the mall there too with a really nice selection of books.

It was pretty much the making of ex president Salinas de Gortari who still hasn’t been caught for stealing half the national treasury , being behind assasinations , and his obvious dealings with drug cartels. He was the one who pushed for the area to be developed in the 90’s.

Many years ago it used to be a really high biodiversity area of the city too , and there is still some wildlife there in the surviving scrublands. For example I saw a grey fox trotting across one of the roads up on the hill once when I was walking to work and those are not at all common in the rest of the city , maybe there are some coyotes too , who knows.

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I found some pictures I had when I went a few days after its inauguration. I already uploaded some.
Perhaps it would be interesting to mention in the text that in the deepest area of the mall, there is a Bowling Alley that was inaugurated by Gabriel García Márquez.
Unfortunately it is very difficult to take photos inside the mall.

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No idea about the Gabo bowling alley, will google a source and possibly add it to the entry.

¡Muchas gracias!

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