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The Parque José Refugio Ménez may be the most named park in Mexico City. The park is in the colonia Postal, however its Public Market is in the colonia Miguel Alemán. It doesn’t get any easier until perhaps one realizes that these physical boundaries are official sometimes, and unofficial at others. Most city residents just rely on their friends and neighbors rather than any authority to tell them how things are named. It part of the reason some places have been, in fact, very long preserved.
If all that doesn’t confuse you, rest assured that the park is sometimes still called by its former name, Parque Miguel Alemán, for the neighborhood to the south, and for the former president. It’s rarely called the Parque Postal, (not to be confused with the glorieta, three blocks to the east). It’s also known as the Parque Odesa, another of its former names.
José Refugio Ménez was a postal worker, and the park is sometimes also called “Parque del Cartero José Refugio Ménez.” In fact, there’s also a monument to postal workers in the center of the park.
The neighborhood with the park, today called colonia Postal, began as housing for postal workers. It was known as Unión Postal for many years, and the first homes had to be raffled to convince postal workers to move in.
The neighborhood with the Mercado Postal is the colonia Miguel Alemán. It’s directly south of the park. Named for the president of Mexico from 1946 to 1952, it’s also possible that the park is named for the crosstown highway, the Viaducto Miguel Alemán. The highway forms the northern border of the alcaldía, two neighborhoods to the north.
In this case, we have a neighborhood park which has been beloved for generations (and under many names). In 2016, it underwent a major rehabilitation. Neighborhood residents, from Postal and Miguel Alemán, joined public servants from the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing (SEDUVI), the Public Space Authority (AEP) and the Benito Juárez alcaldía.
The park, at 14,330 square meters got new playgrounds, a public gymnasium, new benches and even community gardens. Today it’s the center of the neighborhood.