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Amazing aerial photos of Mexico City

Interesting how these things get around. The word of these amazing photos of Mexico City got to me from him, who got it from him, who got it from him, who apparently found them here, which is where, for me, the trail went cold.

The picture Patrick Crozier chose to reproduce is particularly extraordinary. Talk about ‘fake but real’. Something to do with how the guy photoshops the pictures to make things clearer, I am guessing. I often do the same with shots I take from airplanes.

Architecturally, I think this is particularly bizarre. There are times, may the God Who Does Not Exist forgive me, when I yearn for a violent revolution in sleepy little Britain, just so that the planning permission (i.e. non-permission for almost anything remotely interesting except when the government wants it) system collapses, and people could build, in Britain’s still overwhelmingly green and pleasant land, whatever crazy thing they liked. Just as a for instance, why are there not more castles built nowadays, with cylindrical and pointy towers?

Mind you, extraordinary things are still being built in Britain, by the sort of people who are still allowed to do such things.

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13 comments to Amazing aerial photos of Mexico City

  • A_t

    Hm, not sure if this is part of your trail or not (tho’ quite possibly) but this is where I first came across the site.

    They *are* stunning shots.. utterly unreal-looking, some of them.

  • Verity

    Why do Brian and A_t think some of these shots look unreal? I think they look real enough, taken from a helicopter.

  • You often see wonderful things on the edges of cities in former communist countries (or former dictatorships of other stripes – I am thinking Spain and especially Portugal), too, and these things are often residential. The rationale is the same. A free market allowing private money to build property has come into being, but the stultifying planning regulations that stop the building of interesting stuff have not. One occasional pastime I have in foreign cities is attempting to find something fascinating I saw out the plane window as we were coming in to land. Public transport systems often don’t go to these parts of town, guidebooks are completely useless, and you often get bafflement when you say you want to go there. (And figuring out where it is you want to go in a way that can be communicated can be difficult too).

  • Verity

    When I first went to S Korea, there were acres, if not miles, of cement block apartments for workers who had never lived anywhere with running water before. The people of Seoul were immensely pleased with them and proud of them. Mexico City has a population of around 13m. These dreadful little houses will be palaces to a family who has never had its own accommodation before, and has never had electricity or running water before.

    The only horrifying thing that struck me on looking at them is the thought of all those Mexicans jammed up so close and the inevitable nightmareish noise level with everyone playing radios and TVs simultaneously and streets full of families where everyone is talking at the same time. Oh, god!

  • Jacob

    Fascinating photos. Thanks for taking a break from free speech sermons and posting this link.

  • James

    It’s amazing to think of just how domesticated we’ve managed to make image editing and rendering packages so quickly.

    I love showing old people this sort of thing. It reminds me of a friend who showed his grandparents the ‘dancing baby’ screensaver and made out that it was a real baby dancing. They fell for it hook, line and sinker, of course!

  • emy

    James, I doubt that the grandparents ‘fell for it, hook, line and sinker’, they were probably just humouring their retard of a grandson, by going along with the joke…:-)

  • James


    Sorry, I forgot- you were there and he wasn’t… How silly of me.

  • emy


    Didn’t need to be there to appreciate the implicit nastiness of the scenario you described…

  • Verity

    James – Yes, I was there, too, and the grandparents were just indulging the young smartass. Grandparents have managed to survive to their present age through not being stupid and not being gullible. This generation of grandparents has seen, and integrated into their lives, more technological changes than any generation in the history of mankind.

  • Midwesterner

    The picture titled “Self Explanatory”,

    I wonder at the story behind that.

    It looks like The Big Party version of the end of the chase scene in The Pink Panther.

    (I hope I’m referencing Peter Seller’s movies correctly.)

  • Those nightmarish little boxes …funny, I remember the lyrics from 1st year of studying English (5th grade) in small, still Soviet Socialist, Republic in Central Russia, where the concept of “everyone is packed in their very own little box houses signifying something bad had to be explained to us by the teacher…no one in class lived in family-owned apartments or houses.

    I loved the landscaped runner (or whatever that creature is doing) most of all; clearly he’s not intended for passerbies’ enjoyment, only for those who can see him from the air.

    And what’s that residential building on the hill, resembling the the lathe mashine tool?

  • mike

    An example of the continuing influence on modern architectural tastes of Le Corbusier and co.