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  • Lorelei Rubik

24 Hours in Tijuana


View from Hotel Ticuan.

Unlike the hills of Los Angeles, where the wealthy live high atop the valleys, in their own miniature paradises, the hills of Tijuana appear crowded. A multitude of color with hardly any space left for green, apartment beside apartment, like a large family squeezing in a small, hot room for a photo. It appeared endless.

There was a brewery spot with a gathering of food trucks a fifteen minute walk from the hotel. Alex and I both bought a pint for $90 mx ($4.59).

We had to rush back to the hotel to leave for the Megadeth show, so we hailed a taxi. Ours in particular was a van.

The next day, we checked out of the hotel and wandered around, searching for some breakfast. We wandered through an alley with little shops and cafes.

We were recommended to Cafe El Patio on Av. Francisco.

This man made huevos rancheros that made Alex cry. I asked Alex to translate that I thought he was handsome.

We returned to the alley with little shops. It wasn't very busy. I'm guessing because it was midday Monday.

Everything was so vibrantly colorful.

The walls and doors to the shops were covered in beautiful works of art.

Malvia Coffee Bar set us up with a couple of divine cappuccinos.

We surfaced from the alleys to venture around outside. I saw Hotel Nelson from afar, so of course I had to get a photo of it. Spot the USA sign on the left.

Musicians were everywhere.

Right around here, I mentioned that I would love to get a mango margarita before we left. A man outside a restaurant with very good ears heard me, and told us he could whip us up one right there.

While we sipped our fresh drinks, Alex tipped a musician with a missing tooth, and a whole band came and played a song for us. The missing tooth man played a guitar and sang with a wholesomely warm voice. What a special experience.

We finished our drinks and continued to wander. I mentioned to Alex how sometimes my legs feel heavy after I have a drink. We bought some churros from a friendly man with a street cart and a warm smile. They were the best damn churros I've ever had.

The church was packed, even though it was 2pm on a Monday.

We stopped in here in search of more film. We found a lot of vintage Mexican music.

Alex was enjoying Tijuana. :)

After seeing some music videos in the Las Pulgas disco club last night with women dressed in sexy costumes and seeing this, I have a feeling that a lot of Mexicans might have a thing for role playing.

Hello, Nurse Tijuana.

This was my last shot of Kodak Portra 800.

We returned to the alley where we found a shop with cameras and film. I bought this roll of expired Kodak Gold 400. Most of the shots were unusable, all of them had a green cast over them. These were a few that I could salvage after taking them into Photoshop and doing some serious tweaking to get an image to show.

Christian Pelafustan Lopez had a table set up in the alley with his hand painted t shirts displayed. I fell in love with one of his designs of a dragon in space. He said he could paint one on a shirt that fit me in around 2 hours. Alex translated for me that he had been a taxi driver, then started drawing and painting. He was so sweet, and my shirt is so lovely. If you want to see his work and follow him, his Instagram is @christianpelafustan.

We ended our day at a bar on top of our parking garage, with good craft beer and the most incredible views of the city. We could see the US/Mexico border to the north, and the family and relatives of Tijuana to the west.


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