There are more than 20 million people living in and around Mexico City. So outside of Tokyo and Shanghai, it is the biggest city I’ve ever been to. But even with its massive size, it is easy to forget that you are in a mega-city. In most neighborhoods, the buildings are smaller and more of a fit for humans (you don’t lose sight of the sky in a sea skyscrapers).
From traveling Asia over the past year and now spending time in Mexico City, it is clear to me how much the internet has affected culture around the world. Obviously, in Mexico, most people speak Spanish and signs are in Spanish, but when you walk around many of the neighborhoods and see the businesses and people around you, it’s easy to imagine thinking that you are in New York or San Fransisco or Austin. The same is true of many of the cities we spent time in Asia.
Different language, different ethnicity, but commercially and culturally (for young people) things are very similar. You can take Uber and order food on Uber eats. You can find hipster cafes, good lattes, burritos, and gluten-free bakeries. You can watch Game of Thrones (or Juego de Trones) and the latest blockbuster movie.
Services like Youtube, Netflix, Podcasts, Spotify, and The Pirate Bay make borders irrelevant for the movement of culture. As a result, the cultural connection between large cities is usually much stronger than between large and small cities in the same country.
Things remain Mexican, but in the big cities here and in most countries around the world there is a strong culture that connects these cities and transcends national borders.
In Mexico City, you need to know some Spanish, things are certainly more chaotic, and there are many rough neighborhoods, but someone used to living in New York City would probably feel more comfortable here and recognize the types of business, fashion, cultural trends as being closer to NYC than somewhere like Albany, NY only a few hours away in the very same state.