26 June 2014

Jocotan

One thing I love about Guadalajara is that it's really just a collection of little pueblas and neighborhoods that sort of accidentally became a metropolis of 5 million people and the second-largest city in Guadalajara.  You can walk a few blocks away from downtown and the main cathedral and suddenly be in a neighborhood that's oriented around its own church and shops and doesn't really care about downtown even though it's just right there. Mexicaltzingo and Analco are two examples of this.

This only works when you're walking though; otherwise you pass through everything too quickly and don't really see the differences, or you skip the smaller roads.

This even applies out where I live.  Most of the neighborhoods are newer and upscale and filled in gaps between smaller places and aren't particularly interesting, although they're pleasant.  The Monday and Tuesday tianguis both are firmly in these neighborhoods and are a little more expensive, are more likely to have well-dressed women buying vegetables who bring their help along to carry the vegetables, and feel a lot like a farmers market in the US.  The Friday tianguis tries to be that, but it's too small and is strung out between the railroad and the road and just isn't as conducive to heels. The same vendors are generally at all three of those tianguis.

But if you get out a little further, you get to the Wednesday tianguis that's on the border between the upscale neighborhood and Jocotan, which is one of those little pueblas that was swallowed up by the metropolitan area. This tianguis is a little cheaper, a lot more crowded, much bigger, and sells different things.  You start at one end, the more upscale end (although the neighborhood is nowhere near as nice as the Monday tianguis neighborhood) and work your way down Ramon Corona/Novelistas to the other end where you're in Jocotan and all of a sudden you're really in Mexico.  And it's lovely.

And then if you keep going (probably in your car) out past the periferico, you get to San Juan de Ocotan and even it is part of the city now with the terribly snooty Valle Real north of it and the periferico connecting it to everything else.  But it's still its own place, with its own problems, and its own church.

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