We often hear about La Condesa or La Roma as emergent neighborhoods, full of history, architecture and bohemian art… However San Rafael is one of those secrets hidden within the city, still remaining so real, where you can live in your own bubble surrounded by friends and “compadres”.
This neighborhood was born in 1891, due to a lack of space when the city reached an exponential growth in population. Modern and casual, perfectly traced with straight lines, resembling such of a notebook; of course the “pan coupé” trend was used, where corners are bent in a 45 degree angle, providing an elegance structure to the buildings (in addition to preventing carriages from crashing when turning the road). Don’t get confused though, this wasn’t a suitable neighborhood for the city’s elite, it was more of a place mixed with antique house and neighborship. If you take the time to visit, you would find houses from the 1920’s, with straight structures, modern building dating from the 1940’s and 1950’s and even some craziness of Arabic style.
Among the streets you will find the Cine Opera, which doors were opened in 1949 where the Golden Age of Mexican cinematography could be admired. Just imagine stepping outside and spot the famous faces of Pedro Infante or Maria Felix. This isn’t however the only cinema, you will encounter theaters with ostentatious decorations and wide salons, such as Teatro Aldama and Cine Encanto.
Regardless, glamour never lasts. The difference of social classes grew, resulting in the construction of a subway system and bringing along the unregistered and informal commerce. This was the perfect excuse for its habitants to move to better neighborhoods.
In spite of this aspect and modern changes, this neighborhood has managed to keep its heritage and the buildings recover it’s prestige. Expert real estate agents, restaurant owners and entrepreneurs claim that this neighborhood will the next emergent neighborhood of the city, with artistic, culinary and cultural proposals; and I must admit that I share their opinion. But then again, I’m not an expert and I wouldn’t recommend you to invest all of your income, therefore I welcome you to discover this area yourself. Slowly and getting surprised by the breeze of nostalgia perfuming the area; a nostalgia of philosophical profoundness, naming the streets as they are now.