Like so many things in Mexico City, street names embrace the surreal over the logical. You can ride the metro from Cuatro Caminos to Tasqueña without noticing you’ve crossed over oceans, deities, poets, and continents—but, if you learn to pay attention, the entire city becomes a tarot card reading full of symbols and coincidences.
Throughout 2022, I catalogued the themes of the street names in each neighborhood of Mexico City. The investigation found more than 150 themes, including sea animals, operas, poets, African countries, moons of Saturn, geology, Greek mythology, and characters from the Iliad.
In his book Circuito Interior, Francisco Goldman writes of coloniaTrabajadores de Hierro (“Iron Workers neighborhood”):
What’s it like to be a child, trying to incorporate the fact that you live on Calle Metalúrgicos (Metallurgists Street) into your sense of the world’s hidden meanings and magic and of your place at the very center of it all? That your street, your colonia, is a magnet, pulling the entire universe down towards you?
As part of my research, I also interviewed people who had grown up or spent time in these neighborhoods. Their stories added lived experience to my investigation. What was it like to grow up in colonia Media Luna (Half Moon neighborhood), where the streets are named for the solar system? One respondent spent their childhood visiting friends on other planets, while their crush lived on Calle Marte (Mars Street) — always just out of reach.
Inspired by classic map typography, the index features Antique Olive Nord, Futura and Futura Condensed, as well as hand lettering. The title uses a hand-drawn version of Antique Olive Nord and Futura. Cooper Black is used for the letters and numbers of the map grid (A1, B3, etc.) both in the index and along the sides of the map.