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If you go: Mexico

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December 11, 2005

What to read

''The Labyrinth of Solitude"by Octavio Paz (Grove, 1985).

Classic prose work on Mexican culture.

''The Mexico Reader,"G.M. Joseph, Timothy J. Henderson, Gilbert M. Joseph, editors (Duke University, 2003).

History, culture, and politics.

''Lonely Planet: Mexico,"John Noble et al. editors (Lonely Planet, 2004).

To steer you from city to city, street to street.

What to watch

''Amores Perros" (2000)

Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, an abrasive, R-rated tale of life in Mexico City.

What to listen to

Los Dandy s

''Lo Mejor de lo Mejor" (RCA Victor)

Greats from singers of soulful ballads.

Where to stay

Holiday Inn Zócalo

Av. Cinco de Mayo 61, Mexico City

011-52-55-5521-2121

E-mail: pc.mexdt@wm.holiday-inn.com

A few steps from the center of the city. Doubles $73.

Paraíso del Desierto Grand Hotel

Blvd. Independencia 100 Pte., Torreon

011-52-871-716-1122

An oasis in this desert capital. Doubles $90.

Where to eat

Café de Tacuba

Calle Tacuba 28

Colonia Centro Historico, Mexico City

011-52-55-5518-4950

An ornately tiled institution serving classic Mexican fare. Entrees $5-$10.

OK Maguey

Blvd. Constitucion 421 Est

Colonia Los Angeles, Torreon

011-52-871-716-9228

More Mexican classics, emphasizing steaks. Entrees $4-$7.

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