A tale of two forests


When most people in Mexico City think about bosques (forests), one name comes to mind: Chapultepec. The park is the city’s largest and it’s full of attractions: paddle boats, museums, a castle, several lakes, plenty of places to eat inside. But head east, past the Centro, close to the airport, and there’s another sizable bosque, an island of green in an ocean of low-slung houses and exhaust-filled arteries. It’s called the Bosque de Aragon. 

My boyfriend lives around the corner, so I’d peeked into the bosque on the drive by several times, but it wasn’t until last week that I actually headed inside. We went for a little morning workout around 8:30 a.m. and encountered the place full of runners, bikers and a couple groups doing publicly-sponsored (i’m told) aerobics classes.

The place is kind of a thicket. There are asphalt paths, but the grass is totally overgrown, and if there were 911 services for landscapers, this plot would generate 30-minute waits. We saw two dudes clipping grass with those long, hand-held, noisey grass cutters that day. My boyfriend joked they just continue around the park in circles forever and ever, and that’s how the place gets tidied up. Maybe it wasn’t a joke?

Coincidentally, I happened to be working on a story about the other bosque that same week. The city is planning on building a High Line-like elevated garden into Chapultepec. I asked the coordinator for the project if there were any plans for enhancing or renovating Aragon.

No, he said, almost like it had never occurred to anyone there.

Photo by Only Charlie (creative commons flickr)

Photo by ruto (creative commons flickr)

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