Artists, musicians and the TJ hipster scene have two little alleyways in Tijuana, or Pasajes (Gomez and Rodriguez), that provide an an alternative to the grinding old school tourist scene of Tijuana’s Avenida Revolucion. On Saturday September 14th, Pasaje Gomez (between 3rd and 4th on Revolucion on the East side of the street) was the location of Tijuana Art Walk.
The Pasaje’s in theory are open Friday and Saturday afternoon and evenings, but hours appear to be random. But if you are on Revolucion it is worth a shot.
We arrived in mid-afternoon and artists, restaurants, and retro vendors hawked their wares. Everyone was very friendly despite the fact that there were very few artists or original art. The scene reminded me of Tijuana’s punk scene in the 80s headed by Luis Guerena and his friend Omar that centered around Luis’s tiny apartment nearby to the current Pasaje’s.
You have to admire the energy and desire of Tijuana residents to create new things in the face of overwhelming obstacles. I’m a big believer in the capacity of art to bring new life to cities and urban spaces. If only local authorities did more to support alternatives to what is a moribund tourism industry in Tijuana.
The thriving gastronomic scene is one example of a new tourist alternative, but cleaning up the city and replacing ugly graffiti that mars streetscapes throughout the city with more murals, would be a start.
As always change in Tijuana is bottom up and grassroots. But I guess that is the point.