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Conspicuous consumption of luxury goods seems to be the raison-d'être of Avenida Presidente Masaryk, the main drag through the posh Polanco district. This is the place to be if you just have to have some little trinket from Tiffany & Co., Corneliani, Peugeot, Chanel, Chippendale, Bulgari, Salvatore Ferragamo, Mont Blanc, Marc Jacobs, Cartier, Louis Vuitton ... you get the picture.

Situated just north of the Bosque de Chapultepec, Polanco was originally the refuge of wealthy people looking for a nicer place to build their mansions in the 1930s and 1940s. Today it is still the home of the wealthy. Embassies, hotels, art galleries, parks, little ponds and sculptures are scattered throughout the area. The main concentration of outdoor caf├ęs and restaurants, however, is at the convergence of the streets named for Oscar Wilde and Julio Verne, squeezed between Avenida Presidente Masaryk on the north and Parque Lincoln on the south. Prices are relatively high, but the eateries are packed here, especially for Sunday brunch and evening meals. In the terraced bars, you can order cocktails that cost more than the price of three "comida corrida" meals downtown. There's even a gourmet cafe called Snob.

This is the kind of place where the vendors in the streets sell dozens of roses and even the Volkswagen Bugs are all new and shiny. Valet parking is de rigueur, for those not racing down the busy streets blind to pedestrians in their Hummers and Ferraris.

On weekends, a pleasant activity in the neighborhood is renting mini remote-controlled boats on the ponds (prices start at $3.66 (50 pesos) for 15 minutes). You can also get the loan of a free bicycle from one of the kiosks at Parque Lincoln. (You need to leave your passport as security to do so if you are a foreigner.)

Postal code:11550

Directions: The two metro stops in the Polanco district are Polanco (east of center) or Auditorio (southeast of the center).

Other places to go/do around here: Bosque of Chapultepec, Sala de Arte P├║blico Siqueiros, Auditorio Nacional


Other neighborhoods in Mexico City: La Alameda Central, Calzada De Tlalpan, Zona Rosa, South Of The Center, San Ángel , Roma, Condesa, North Of The Center and Zócalo.

02 Oct 2009

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