Recently, I moved from Milpa Alta to Colonia la Federal of Mexico City.
For those who don't know, Colonia la Federal is a neighborhood just a few minutes walking south of the airport.
It's next to some of Mexico City's more dangerous neighborhoods of Pantitlan Oriental and Agricola Oriental to the east.
And Colonia La Federal is also known for it's unique spider web design from the top as you can see here.
I've been here for almost a week now and here are some of my initial impressions from being outside these days.
Perhaps this shouldn't be a surprise because it's literally a 2 minute walk from the airport.
But when I was first walking to the nearby Metro Hangares a week ago, I was surprised to see an airplane fly SO CLOSE to the ground above me out of nowhere.
Given I'm American, my ass legit thought "OH MY GOD IT'S ANOTHER 9-11!!! IT'S GOING TO CRASH AND KILL THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE!! OH MY GODDDDDD!!!!!!!!!!"
Then the plane went to land normally and nobody shouted "ALLAH AKUBAR!!"
Anyway, given I've never lived this close to the airport before, I was just surprised for a brief second to see an airplane so close to the ground.
Here's one of them I saw that night.
In terms of living here anyhow, it doesn't bother me actually.
The sound of the planes is regular but not at all distracting.
Growing up, I actually lived close to a small ass rural airport in Iowa but obviously didn't have the traffic nor the big ass planes like they got here.
But it doesn't bother me anyhow. Just took me aback for a second to see an airplane so close to the ground.
My very first walk through La Federal was more on the east side of it at around 6 PM on a normal day and I didn't see anyone selling food aside from 2 people.
No street food whatsoever.
Just 2 restaurants and 1 of them looked to be close to closing down that night (at 6 PM).
One of them had food that seemed a bit more expensive than food prices I seen elsewhere.
And the other had normal prices and the food was good actually.
But really the problem seems to be the relative scarcity of restaurants.
You'll find more though the closer you walk to either the center of the neighborhood or the western side of the neighborhood also.
Layout of Neighborhood
As you already know, it's more of a spiderweb shaped neighborhood based on what you saw in article cited earlier.
The area all around isn't very active everywhere.
Similar to Agricola Oriental or Pantitlan Oriental, you just don't see too many places selling food or being open too late.
There are some bars though. Saw a cool karoke looking bar nearby.
But, as I hinted at before, really a lot more activity can be found in the center or the western side to the north or south of the center.
But anything on the east side is relatively more dead.
However, it's not bad if you live on the eastern side.
It's a walk of 5 minutes to get anywhere else in the neighborhood. It's not a big neighborhood at all.
There's only two parks I've seen so far in La Federal.
Known as Parque Publico Independencia in the south western corner.
And also Parque Federal closer to the center.
It's normal. Nothing to write home about.
If you want a bigger park, you'll need to go to Metro Deportivo Oceania or Metro Bosque de Aragon.
If you're living in La Federal though, the closest metro will be Hangares.
That means you are 3 to 4 metro stations from where you'll see a big park called Bosque de Aragon near the two other metro stations mentioned.
I quite like Bosque de Aragon and it's one of the nicest parks of Mexico City in my opinion.
You can see an article I wrote on it here and 3 metro stations away (though you'll have to change metro lines once) is not a long trip.
So, when it comes to parks within walking distance, you don't got much going for you outside of at least two but you do got a very nice one that's not far at all if you ain't a sissy ass bitch scared of riding the metro.
The area is OK for women.
I haven't tried dating anyone here yet.
But, in the streets, the women I see are not the typical barrio looking women you see in certain parts of Iztapalapa or Pedregal de Santo Domingo.
There's a part of me that wonders, by the way, how many international women you could bang here.
Like women who work as pilots or on an airplane somehow.
Like some French chick who is staying in a nearby hotel for a night or two and happens to be on Tinder.
Would make sense, no?
I haven't tried looking for that shit though. Haven't been on Tinder yet but it's something that crossed my mind.
One thing I do know though is that, by being in this side of Mexico City, you are close to Metro Pantitlan that is connected to 4 metro lines.
Would make it easier for women to travel to see you from more diverse points of the city.
Though parts of the pink line are closed as I write this.
But you get the idea.
Logistically, that would be good for dating.
Nearby areas of Agricola Oriental and Pantitlan Oriental have had reputations of being some of the most dangerous colonias of CDMX in recent years as you can see here.
I've walked through those areas during the day and felt OK.
For La Federal, it doesn't feel dangerous whatsoever.
Though, for someone who feels perfectly fine in mural hunting in Iztapalapa and living in Santo Domingo, I guess some of you might question my idea of what is safe.
Still, for La Federal, it doesn't feel dangerous at all.
Feels perfectly safe.
Though, to be fair, there was some weird ass dude looking at me oddly the other night when going outside to buy water at around 9 PM but nothing else.
You'll be fine anyhow.
Connection to the Rest of CDMX
It's definitely not in the center of CDMX.
Not close to gringo favorite areas like Condesa or Roma.
OK, still closer than Milpa Alta, right?
But the area isn't too bad when it comes to connections.
Like I said, it has 4 metro lines that you can more easily access from here so actually traveling around the city is arguably easier from this point.
At least if you use the metro religiously.
The only thing I'd mention about that though is that you'd be getting back onto Metro Pantitlan to access the other 3 metro lines and, as you can see here, that can be a pain in the ass during certain hours.
And, as I wrote here, even if it isn't rush hour, Metro Pantitlan can be confusing as fuck to navigate during your first time using it.
Even for someone like me who has years using the metro religiously.
Honestly the most confusing metro station of CDMX until you've been there a few times already.
It's not Polanco.
Not even Insurgentes Sur.
But it has some bars.
When moving in the other day to the area, I saw a karoke bar that looked full as fuck where people seemed to be having a good time.
Even had a homeless dude standing outside it who had a look of "damn, if only I wasn't a broke ass motherfucker I could join these people."
But broke ass motherfucker he kept on being.
Outside of that, you don't see as many bars as other areas of the city.
Not the most exciting area for nightlife but it has a few options nearby.
Nothing to write home about.
I've only seen 2 gyms in the area walking around.
But there's also a private gym in the building that I live in so I don't go to those other gyms.
But you got a few options that are OK.
Otherwise, I know you have more in nearby Agricola Oriental because, when apartment hunting in that area, I know I saw them.
There's a Walmart in La Federal.
There's also a supermarket or two in nearby Agricola Oriental/Agricola Pantitlan (one of the two) that I remember seeing when apartment hunting.
A few other supermarkets somewhere in the area I see on Uber Eats.
Street markets though?
Haven't seen any yet but not saying they don't exist. Sometimes they exist on certain days.
My initial impression is that this area might not have one. I kinda wonder how much "community" this area has compared to other parts of CDMX and if they'd have a street market here.
Who knows. I'll find out someday while living here.
Compared to other parts of CDMX, there isn't as much of a community feel to the area.
It kinda reminds me of my time in GAM by metro deportivo 18 de marzo.
There's some areas of CDMX -- like parts of Milpa Alta or Pedregal de Santo Domingo -- where that community feel is more obvious.
You feel it more.
Or in some of the original towns of Xochimilco.
But not here.
Feels a little more urban.
And less of that community feel.
Generally, it's a pain in the ass to find any place to move to in this part of Mexico City.
Be it Agricola Oriental, Pantitlan Oriental, La Federal, Tepalcates, etc.
I've looked at least 4 or 5 times now over a year and a half.
Usually found something but the option always falls though and, on the occasions I did look, found very little anyhow.
You just don't see many people renting "move in ready" rooms that are furnished with utilities included.
Sure, it'll be easier -- just like anywhere -- if you are looking for something in rent that isn't furnished with no utilities included (especially if it's an apartment).
The fact that I found something that works well in La Federal and it's nice as fuck is just crazy.
I'll probably write an article on this soon.
But I got to be honest that it's crazy as fuck to me to be living in a place like I am now.
The apartment itself is dope as fuck.
Own gym. Not crazy hot inside. Has hot water in the shower. No bugs. No rats. Clean. Has a real kitchen. Looks kinda modern. Has a decent apartment view from the window. Private security. Etc.
Much nicer than some of the other apartments I've been living in over the last year.
Feels weird almost to be living in a place this nice.
Like damn I'm too used to the apartments I had or saw in Milpa Alta, Santo Domingo, etc.
I might just stay here longer than I was planning literally for that reason alone.
Can't stay too long (not a year obviously) because there are a few far away neighborhoods left I'd like to spend a month in (Magdalena Contreras, Cuautepec, etc).
But, given how nice the apartment is, I might stay a few months longer than originally planned.
The 4 Arboles
Keep in mind that this is just "an initial impression."
I could be wrong here but I think the nearby neighborhood of 4 Arboles right next to La Federal is where also you'll find a lot of the other nicer apartments in the area.
It seems like a lot of people in this area talk about both areas being together "Colonia la Federal y 4 Arboles."
And, when you walk around the 4 Arboles area, you'll see buildings here and there with gates and private security where people live.
If you are apartment hunting here, keep that in mind.
Anything to Add?
For anyone who knows La Federal even more than I do, add a comment below.
Or leave any questions below if you have them about this area on things I didn't cover.
But that's all I got to add for now based on what I've noticed over the last week.
Leave any comments below anyhow.
And follow my Twitter here.
Thanks for reading.