My camera was stolen in Mexico City.
As someone who lives in another huge city with a reputation for crime, I didn’t want to make a big deal about this on my blog. The theft happened because I let my guard down and someone took advantage of my carelessness. It could have happened in any city on earth.
Sadly though, it happened in Mexico City, which means: 1) I lost nearly all the Mexico City photos I had taken up until the theft, as I hadn’t backed up my memory card yet (another act of carelessness); and 2) I had to depend on iPhone photography for the remainder of my week in Mexico City.
I realized I would have to write about the camera theft, as losing my camera had a profound impact on the way I documented my time in Mexico City. My camera is like an extension of my arm. I had no idea how dependent I was on it — how integral a camera lens has become to the way I tell stories on my blog. Even though I’m an experienced iPhone photographer, I’ve gotten out of practice in recent years and shooting with my phone just wasn’t the same as shooting with my Canon.
The super-wide landscapes and interior shots that I normally take weren’t possible, so I focused on detail shots and candid street photography. It was hard, and I’m not totally happy with the results, but I suppose it was good exercise.
Fortunately I had just gotten a new iPhone and the camera on the iPhone 7 Plus is fantastic. It was definitely the next-best thing to my lost DSLR. And fortunately Mexico City is one of the most beautiful, colorful, and delicious cities in the world. It’s hard to take bad pictures there, even with a phone.
The 8 Best Things About Mexico City
As I looked through my iPhone photos, I realized they divided themselves into several categories that represent all my favorite things about Mexico City. Here are those things, in no particular order.
Mexico City has edged out both Istanbul and Paris as my favorite food city in the world. Pretty much every single thing that I put in my mouth was delicious. Michelle and I ate in food markets, fine-dining restaurants, cheap taco dives, and street-side stalls. Delicious. All of it. And usually cheap.
I loved the food but it did have an effect on my stomach. Luckily Imodium is easy to find in Mexico City.
2) Street Art
Mexico City has tons of beautiful street art and graffiti. We found something new on every corner.
Mexico City experienced a terrible earthquake in the 1980s and lots of old buildings were destroyed. Many lovely old houses and buildings survived through, and the mix of old and new is striking. I struggled to take good architecture photos with my phone but there are one or two that I’m happy with.
Mexico City has so many wonderful markets selling food, clothing, tacky souvenirs, and everything in between. The markets are like labyrinths and the deeper you go, the more great stuff you find.
Mexico City is a public art mecca. I’ve never seen so many beautiful statues in a single city.
I could have spent the entire week in Mexico City visiting museums alone. We managed quite a few, including the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, the Palacio de Bellas Artes, and the Museo Mural Diego Rivera. We tried to visit the Frida Kahlo Museum but it is insanely popular and we couldn’t stomach the long line. Next time.
Jesus is everywhere in Mexico City — big life-sized Jesuses, small hand-held Jesuses, and everything in between. I loved wandering through all of the beautiful churches and cathedrals. But most of all I loved the shop in Mexico’s historic center that sells thousands of Jesuses, as well as Virgin Marys and even Popes.
Mexican shirts are the coolest shirts on the planet. And so affordable. I bought lots.
I can’t wait for my next trip to Mexico City. I’m going to keep a tight grip on my camera, eat a lot more food, and take ALL the pictures.