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Condesa usually refers to an area comprised of three Mexico City neighborhoods or Colonias, Condesa, Hipodromo, and Hipodromo Condesa. It is often refered to as the Soho of Mexico City. This was once part of the estate of the Countess Miravalle and hence the name Condesa, the countess. In the early 1900s, in the era of Porfirio Diaz, the racetrack or hipodromo flourished here. The track is now the circular Avenida Amsterdam and within it is another circular street, Avenida Mexico. At the center is Parque Mexico. Close by is Parque Espana.
Most of the residential development of Condesa followed the end of the Revolution in the 1920s and 30's and much of the optimism of this period is reflected in the many remaining examples of Art Deco and Modernist architecture. Some of this architecture was lost to development in the oil rich 70's when single family homes were demolished for apartment buildings. Even today ,with the popularity of the neighborhood and the scarcity of land, contemporary apartments and lofts are replacing many of the charming original buildings.
Still Condesa remains a charming mix of new and old, trendiness and traditional Mexican life. The area fills in the evenings with cars from all over the city as people go out to the many restaurants and clubs. The parks and tree lined streets accommodate joggers, residents out for a stroll, dogs being walked, and young lovers. Along with the stylish shops, restaurants, and galleries are the upholsters covering sofas on the sidewalk, carpenters sawing, and the auto mechanic fixing cars at the street corner.