Just got back from a fantastic (and sleepless) weekend in Guanajuato, a beautiful colonial city perched on a steep ravine about four hours by bus from Guadalajara. We visited the Cervantino Festival (named after Cervantes, the author of Don Quixote), saw tons of concerts, met many new people, ate some delicious food, and saw at least one sunrise from the top of the city. More about that in the next blog post, once I collect all the fantastic picture people took last weekend.
Meanwhile, I´m going to share an aspect of Guadalajara that I´m particularly enamoured with: street life. Unlike back home, streets here are more than just a conveyance from one place to another. They house a vibrant informal economy, peddlers of everything from windshield wipers, 30-second car washes, candies, and balloons hawk their wares to drivers stopped in traffic, performers ( glass-walkers, fire-breathers, clowns, ¨ singers and guitar-players, and even the odd melon juggler or two) set up shop at intersections while traffic is paused for red lights, and food stalls offering everything from freshly-fried churros to tacos al vapor, freshly pressed juices, and more festoon most street corners in the central business district. Colorful graffiti pops up in unexpected places…on the walls of banks, in side alleys, and even in a few ¨designated graffiti zones¨, comprised of white squares painted on to the walls of several businesses in my neighborhood, which I´m sure were ¨designated by the artists themselves and not the local goverment.
Walking becomes an engaging, sensual experience…almost like attending a variety of informal-, impromptu performances, exhibitions. My friend Andy and I have been taking a lot of photos of street art in our area of town, so I´ll stick those at the bottom of this post. Stay tuned for an entry on street food (featuring the infamous La Calle Los Tacos) in a week or two. Cheers!