Thursday, November 5, 2009

Turista Libre : porque Tijuana es libre

Turista Libre 1.1: Hosted by Mr Derrik Chinn
(now on Twitter)

While trying to get funding for this project, I wrote this introduction:

Strolling through the downtown tourist strip of Avenida Revolucion, one will notice the unmistakable absence of turista drinking in bars, eating at local restaurants, and purchasing goods. The Los Angles Times reported that tourism plummeted by 90% from a high in 2005 to a miserable low in 2008. The media’s portrayal of the violence in the city has frightened even some of the bravest would-be turista and kept them from coming to Tijuana. As the violence fades, the city is becoming a forgotten tourist destination.

In the United States the dominant emotion surrounding the city and even the word “Tijuana” is FEAR. Our neighbor city, pressed right up against us, is not something to be afraid of, avoided, or swept under the rug and ignored. It is a city of problems, as all cities are, but it is a city of great beauty, flourishing creative communities, and amazing resilience. Turista Libre tours will show people the city’s great treasures and hopefully, with each visit to Tijuana, they will transcend the fear and come to enjoy all the of this great things this great and complex city can offer a visitor.

Bringing back the tourists, one group at a time...

Turista Libre was fantastic.

It began on foot. We talked up Santiago Argüello, that cool street with no cars next to Revolucion. There were a lot of people out, a lot of decorations, etc. Looked like lots of people were out enjoying the summer-like afternoon.

Then we took a bus over to somewhere in Zona Rio. We ran into a tour bus that took us to see Proyecto Público/Privado (article on the project) a series of public billboards around the north side of the city.

(The tour bus)

(Charboogie one of two pieces)

(Charboogie artist)

(Alfredo Gutierrez in front of his amazing billboard)

Next, we headed to the Hildago Mercado. (I had never been here before). It was beautiful.


Then we walked to La Cacho... and no day Baja California is complete without fish tacos and beer.

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