Tijuana Art Walk

TJartwalkArtists, 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.

The entrance to Pasaje Gomez from Revolucion.

The entrance to Pasaje Gomez from Revolucion.

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.

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These kids run a design studio called Rusty Nails Productions.

These kids run a design studio called Rusty Nails Productions.

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Street Art in Tijuana: Avenida Revolucion and Pasaje Rodriguez

Artists and restauranteurs are trying to bring Tijuana back. It is not an easy task. The once proud Avenida Revolucion, the heart and soul of touristy Tijuana is struggling to stay alive. Artists have inhabited former curio “pasajes” or passages. Pasaje Rodriguez near the corner of Revolucion and Third is one of them. Pasaje Rodriguez has cool little boutiques and galleries. Unfortunately most were closed when I was there on a Sunday afternoon. Best to return on a Friday or Saturday evenings. I will be back. Be sure to visit and eat at Javier Plascencia’s amazing newly renovated Caesar’s Restaurant on Revolucion–great food and very cool historic bistro atmosphere.

A mural in Pasaje Rodriguez.

A mural in Pasaje Rodriguez.

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Mural in Pasaje Rodriguez.

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Mural in Pasaje Rodriguez.

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The sheriff of Pasaje Rodriguez–I’m not sure what and don’t ask…

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Mural in Pasaje Rodriguez.

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Mural in Pasaje Rodriguez.

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A more traditional style historic mural.

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On Avenida Revolucion

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On Avenida Revolucion–this type of art can remake a city. It will take a lot more to bring Tijuana back. Art can heal and bring people together and demonstrate that “forgotten” corners of a city are not at all forgotten.

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I love this.

Ended our excursion with a light lunch at the newly renovated Caesars's Restaurant on Avenida Revolucion, now run by Javier Plasencia and his brothers.

Ended our excursion with a light lunch at the newly renovated Caesars’s Restaurant on Avenida Revolucion, now run by Javier Plasencia and his brothers.

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