30 May 2012

El Jardin

Something basic about the city again for those who have not been reading this blog for three years. The historic center is situated further up on the side of the mountain from where I live, a fifteen or twenty minute walk. There are two major plazas up there, Plaza Civica and El Jardin. El Jardin means “the garden,” and that plaza is the one most often frequented by tourists because it is dominated by the Parroquia, a church of striking appearance. The photos above show El Jardin and the Parroquia from the air.

Many of the neighborhoods in town have their own little plazas situated around their churches. My neighborhood plaza is a half block from my apartment. That small plaza is my regular hangout. However, on Thursdays I routinely go up town to pass the time at the Jardin while Laura cleans the apartment. She does not like me under foot while she does that.

Plazas are an important institution here. The locals would much rather go to a plaza and sit around or parade around than stay home and watch television. The old couples sit in the evening and watch, seldom saying a word to each other. The young people parade around endlessly to be seen. Into the night. People stay up late at night and get up late in the morning.

El Jardin in the early morning hours, 11 June 2010.

Last Thursday afternoon, 24 May, I stuck the small camera in my pocket, something I had not done in a while, and headed off to the Jardin after once more being run out of my own apartment by Laura.

Working the plaza.

There is the young, crippled beggar gal at the far right, Rick, working the plaza as usual and coming in my direction to tap me.

The promenade along one side.

The hotel San Francisco at the back of the plaza.

The Parroquia, which is difficult to photograph . . . 

. . . and a professional lady relaxing before working the plaza later at night.

A particularly hot mariachi band was working the plaza, too, performing for a couple. The video capability of the little camera leaves a lot to be desired, but I shall put up the video of them in any event.

I feel obligated once again to put up the promotional Chamber of Commerce video, "The Heart of Mexico," because I stole the aerial still shots at the top of this entry from it. However, the video is nearly unwatchable in my opinion.

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