I moved to Iztapalapa of Mexico City on the night of August 15, 2022.
Actually, I'm already "half" familiar with Iztapalapa because I was living in a neighborhood that was right on the border area between Tlahuac and Iztapalapa right before this.
So I was seeing parts of Iztapalapa.
Basically anything east of the Anillo Perif. Canal de Garay line.
Seeing touristy areas like Parque Cuitlahuac and Monumento Cabeza de Juarez to shitty "grey zone" neighborhoods like San Antonio.
Now I'm on the other side of that Anillo Perif. line just slightly north of Cerro de la Estrella.
I moved here into some apartment building where a small family lives and 3 other random people.
So what's it like?
Initial Impressions of Iztapalapa
Taking into account also my previous experiences mentioned already, here's how it has been so far:
First, there are some real shit hole neighborhoods to be fair.
Like the general area surrounding Volcano Yuhualixqui or Colonia San Antonio.
While I do like the occasional shit hole neighborhood that is congested and has lots of activity, I haven't seen so far any specific colonia or neighborhood of Iztapalapa that fits that description to a T of my liking.
Instead, I've seen a few here and there that are, as I wrote here, "grey zone" areas.
Basically, lifeless shit hole areas without much activity outside.
Having said that, not all of Iztapalapa is like that.
In fact, in the area I'm in now, I don't find it to be too lifeless outside.
In fact, it's not as dangerous in my specific area as people make the area out to be.
You often hear Iztapalapa to be described as a real shit hole but I'm increasingly finding that it obviously depends on where specifically you are at.
Also, to be fair, I don't typically use public transportation outside of the metro so I'm less at risk of being robbed by gunpoint.
Anyway, for the specific area I'm in, it doesn't feel too insecure outside.
I did have some random street dudes looking at me the wrong way a few days ago but they didn't do nothing.
On top of that, I remember my first night moving here where I showed up in my Uber and some random dudes were smoking pot outside and looking at me strange as fuck as my vehicle rolled in outside the building that I was moving to.
But they didn't do nothing either.
Outside of that, I did have two street dogs approach me last night as I was walking home with some esquites in hand.
....Maybe they wanted to attack me and steal my esquites?
But I tossed some water at them from a water bottle and they ran off.
Outside of that, no issue.
Also, compared to the last area I was living in, I haven't heard a single gunshot outside ever.
I've been here for 2 weeks now and not a single gunshot.
Whereas the last area I lived in involved gunshots quite regularly somewhere in the distance.
Not a single gunshot.
So, above all, it doesn't feel too dangerous here.
The biggest risk actually really does feel like the street dogs.
My apartment building has a nice roof I can sit on top of after climbing some stairs and just relax on after placing my 5 dollar plastic chair on.
And I always get a few dogs barking at me from the distance.
This area, above all, is the classic example of why you both need to 1) learn the "invisible rock" trick of living in third world neighborhoods and 2) always have a bottle of whatever liquid to toss at random dogs.
It really is the dogs that are the most threatening.
Anyway, when it comes to the people, they seem OK.
The people of Iztapalapa don't seem the friendliest but they're not rude on average.
But you do have more rude people here on average than other areas I've lived in.
An extra tensity that you don't see as common elsewhere.
And "tensity" is a better word than hostility.
They aren't dicks or xenophobic or nothing.
Just a certain tense vibe more common among some of the locals here than I have seen in other neighborhoods of Mexico City -- be it shit hole ones or nice ones.
Like when I lived in Santo Domingo of Coyoacan and found the average person to be actually VERY hospitable and nice despite it being more of a shit hole neighborhood.
Just got along with the locals much more there.
Here in my part of Iztapalapa and other areas I've seen, people are not rude but they do have an extra tensity to them than I have seen elsewhere.
More on edge.
More private security with big ass guns like I saw in Guatemala.
Outside of that, there's a few other things to mention when it comes to security:
One, I've had one woman refuse to visit me.
Some random ass chick I met online who won't visit me to fuck even though she was down because she doesn't want to visit Iztapalapa.
OK with me visiting her but she won't visit me.
Actually, that's the first time ever in my time in Mexico where a woman told me that she ain't coming to my area.
Second, I have Uber Eats again.
In the last area I lived in, Uber Eats -- for whatever reason -- wouldn't visit my specific neighborhood.
Now they will.
But not always!
I have no idea how Uber Eats works but, based on what I'm understanding, it seems like they don't tell the drivers where I live until they pick up my order.
In the last neighborhood, I straight up didn't get a single driver picked from Uber Eats. I guess they just straight up didn't exist.
Where I live now, there are drivers but it's not uncommon for them to cancel on me during the night.
During the afternoon or day, no issues.
During the night, they pick up the order and then cancel literally a fucking minute or less after getting my order.
They never tell me why.
But I did have one guy ask me before picking up my order "where do I live?"
I told him.
He cancelled right there.
Just today as I edit this, I had that exact thing happen again as you can see here on August 30, 2022.
Then he cancelled.
In fact, since I moved here, literally half of my Uber Eats drivers cancel when they know where I live.
Either after picking up my order or asking beforehand.
It's gotten to the point where I just tell them ahead of time "hey, I live here. You OK bringing my shit over?"
Sometimes they cancel beforehand and sometimes they don't.
I do that because, if they already picked it up and then cancel, I have to reorder versus them canceling before picking up the food and then Uber tries finding another person to pick it up.
When it came to my order yesterday on August 30, it took literally three attempts to get someone to deliver and the last dude named Luis was brave enough to visit but only after asking this question here.
Just saves time.
Out of curiosity, I looked up the most dangerous neighborhoods of Iztapalapa and mine didn't make up the top 5 of the first article I saw.
So I don't know.
Maybe it is dangerous but it doesn't feel that way.
It legit does feel safe enough to walk outside.
The main issue really so far has been the crazy street dogs but they aren't an issue on a day to day basis.
Most of them just bark at me whenever I sit on the roof enjoying the view of the neighborhood.
This view right here.
But, when discussing Uber Eats, I guess I should mention food here is better too than the last area I lived in on the border of Tlahuac and Iztapalapa.
Simply meaning there are more street food options -- especially when I get onto the Ermita Iztapalapa avenue.
The last area I lived in felt like a food desert where nobody was offering food at most hours (including afternoon).
Here, it feels OK.
Not as nice as other areas like Santo Domingo or Roma Norte in terms of food but you got options at least.
Finally, what about the apartment itself?
Well, there's a few things.
For one, it has hot water in the shower. So that's nice.
Second, it does seem to have some minor electrical issues with the washing machine. The landlord said he'll fix it. So we'll see. Whenever someone uses it, the lights in my room flicker. It doesn't annoy me but it does concern me that it could be a bigger issue.
Third, I haven't seen too many bugs. No flies. No mosquitos. A cockroach or two in the kitchen but nothing else and not too common but is a thing.
Fourth, the landlord is all about kissing my ass and making sure I like the place. Always on top of it. Always checking to see if anything could be better. His wife seems to be a stereotypical barrio bitch who hits her kids, uneducated and probably shits her pants. Their kids seem friendly.
Fifth, neighbors are OK. I don't know them too well.
Sixth, they have a nice roof as I said. I actually do enjoy sitting up there, vodka in hand and just chilling with the view of the barrio. The distance. The endless houses that go on that remind you how big this fucking city is. The cumbia playing somewhere in some house nearby. The "barrio" aesthetics. The hot barrio sluts walking around with lots of skin showing. The third world dogs barking the living shit at me from the roof next door. It's perfect.
Seventh, the room isn't too hot. That's nice for Mexico City given that, as I wrote here, it can be a problem. Also, the room has no windows that I live in. Might sound like a problem but I prefer it that way. No sunlight heating my room up nor the need to open a window and let mosquitos in.
Eighth, the place is only 110 USD a month. Cheap as fuck.
Ninth, how long will I stay here? I have no idea. At least 3 months. At most until January 1st. No later. We'll see.
Finally, they have a lot of stuff that is very convenient for me. The water refilling place is only a minute walking distance away. They got a very basic gym nearby that is 30 seconds walking away and some nicer gyms that are about 5 to 15 minutes walking away.
Got a Soriana very close.
Even a handful of spots selling cheap liquor. Though one of them I won't be going back when this drunk bitch behind the counter began mocking how I said "setenta."
Fuck that bitch.
But I got other places to buy my vodka.
Anyway, above all, I got nothing else to add.
There are so far aspects to this area I like and aspects I don't like.
If I could change anything, I'd make my specific area more congested with more activity outside but completely get rid of the homeless dogs.
And maybe add more of a "community" feel among the people that isn't as tense.
Outside of that, it's an OK area.
These have been my initial impressions over the last two weeks but we'll see how things go forward.
If you got anything to add, drop a comment below.
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Thanks for reading.