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The New Tijuana

The New Tijuana

It’s not the Tijuana of yesterday…

Oh, up on Revolución, there are still the burros painted like zebras, merchants trying to lure you into their stores with great lines like “100% discount for you today!” and, yes, the occasional drunk gringo…but literally underground lies a new Revolución-one that is ruled by the youth and thrives on art and making new out of old…in every sense. In this new Tijuana, the stew of change simmers on the brink of boiling.

This new generation of Tijuanenses, a talented group of young 20 and 30 somethings, try to change the perception of their town and their beloved country. They demonstrate what their parents taught them about work ethic and combine it with the new trend of activism as they rebuild and reinvent. They are entrepreneurs opening new boutiques, cafés and restaurants boasting a wide variety of cool. Their goal? To create a new artistic community, to band together and help each other, to make Tijuana a place where they want to be…a place to be proud of.

 

Artist Tita Lopez muses about how they have taken shopping at the segundas and flea markets and turned it into a new fashion trend.

They show their wares with pride and, interestingly, their street fashion seems to represent the flavor and unique energy  present in the city itself.

In this callejón you can, within a few steps, see
up-and-coming fashion designers sewing, art galleries glowing with local talent, and hip cafés with local musicians singing poetic melodies of possibility. This is what I imagine when I think of what San Francisco might have been like in the 60’s. A definite vibe of love wafts by me along with the scent of tacos that invite me to stay awhile.

From what was a boarded up broken down image of a bad economy, these people are rising like a phoenix in the hidden alleyways below the main drag. It smells of new paint, and you can see embers of hope glowing – but the crunch of broken glass beneath your feet reminds you of how fragile that hope can be. These Tijuanenses are proving the old axiom that necessity is the mother of invention.

 

 

 

 

 

All Images © 2016 - Alicia Santistevan - All Rights Reserved Up