Let's Talk About Tijuana

Let's Talk About Tijuana

The Untold Story of Party Town

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Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, is home to one of the most acclaimed gastronomic and cultural experiences. The epicenter of the ultimate road trip scenario, it becomes a link between beach towns and high-end nightlife. In the past years, the city has been stereotyped as a dangerous scene. Foreigners have deemed going to Tijuana as a fatality, missing everything the city has to offer. Tijuas, TJ, Tia Juana, call it how you want, contains an explosion of color, music, food, booze, and scenery. As Manu Chao sang in his 1998 rendition to the city of adventure, "Welcome to Tijuana."

Tijuana is home to the Caesar Salad

Photo by Brenda Colón Navar

Yes, people, the Caesar salad was born in Tijuana, Mexico. Created by Alex Cardini in the 1930's in his brother's very famous restaurant Caesar's. Still holding a gold medal decades later for it's decadent menu and historic presence to the city.

Set David Cameron's Academy Award film "Titanic"

photo by Kathia Borbolla

The late 1990's saw James Cameron and his crew traveling an hour off from Tijuana to the beach town of Rosarito. Baja Fox became home to various scenes of the movie "Titanic", such as the infamous sinking of the boat in the final scenes. It also became setting for other big films such as Pearl Harbor. The scenery is still intact for those who tour the water sides of Rosarito.

Valle de Guadalupe: Mexico's own Napa Valley

Photo by Abigail Quiroz

An hour drive from Tijuana takes tourists through a scenic drive through the ocean side and curvy roads in a rustic drive into the very prestigious vineyards of Valle de Guadalupe. The vineyards are home to one of the biggest wine cultivators such as L.A Cetto, Monte Xanic, Baron Balché, among many others. It hosts tours to those who visit, introducing endless gustations of wine and gourmet foods. Valle de Guadalupe offers countryside elite bed and breakfasts to enjoy the vineyards to its fullest. Because what could be better than endless tasting of wines, cheeses, and slices of bread? Mexican food. Fun fact: drinking age is 18, just saying.

Telefónica Park: Upscale food trucks

photo by Eileen Guo

These novelty food trucks have come to swoon the public for its gourmet dishes and breweries. Gastronomic options range from high-end poke tostadas to quality meats and cheeses dishes to accompany with wine. Its rustic display within a big storage room has become the ultimate hanging spot for the hipster millennials, booming Instagram stories with its new "it" place to hang out in.

Mercado Hidalgo: A farmer's market maze

Dulceria Don Max Mercado Hidalgo

This is no bs merchandise, this is legit Mexican products imported from all over the Republic. You have candies from the south, quality tequila and mezcal, and an exotic array of fruits, vegetables, and rare foods one wouldn't even know existed. On one hand, you can walk through displays of food, souvenirs, piñatas, candies, and whatnot. Then there are the witches who have their little shops with powders and herbs to cure your loveless life or beer bellies. What seems to be a square of shops proves to be one of the most intricate shop mazes, where you go through a door and end up in another hallway.

Puerto Nuevo: Pounds of fresh lobster by the seaside

Plex Online

Puerto Nuevo proudly serves its visitors one of the best lobster cuisines, accompanied by a concert of Mariachi while watching the sunset at the beach. Its most famous dish is constructed of pounds of lobster, freshly made flour tortillas, and refried beans while sipping on ice cold beer.

Feeling Bohemian? How about some poetic music, dim lights, surrounded by starving artists?

Joanne and Tony Dibonna

El Lugar del Nopal has been around for ages in Tijuana. It has been a hanging spot for those who did not yet make it into the music industry, but probably have more talent than those in it. You experience first hand, music with substance in it. It is a cocoon of artists exposing their talents in a dark yet serious air with deep conversation, good martinis, and amazing tapas. You have folklore, paintings, books, a Greek-like tree-filled garden with lights. The total combo... Fun fact, my own mom gave concerts back in the 80s in her hippie-like days of Hispanic singers like Silvio Rodriguez to music from Carpenters and Air Supply. The ageless room of talented individuals has made El Lugar del Nopal, a timeless hippie hole of bohemians.

CECUT: A cultural center offering paintings, theater, mummies, 360 Imax and the unimaginable

Photo by Isabella Moreno

CECUT, or "the ball" as locals have come to baptize it, is a world filled with culture and art. It offers theater and expositions of the latest art tendencies to timeless classics like Diego Rivera and Salvador Dalí. Within the CECUT are shops filled with books from all over the country ranging from biographies to Mexico's legendary hauntings. There is always a new event being hosted by CECUT, celebrities from Mexico come to bring artistic satire shows. Musicians bring their music to expose it to the people by playing outside on the premises. The infamous "Tijuanarte", is a festival that happens once a year, bringing with itself the rarest forms of art and food, bringing people from all over the city and San Diego to bring it to life. The Book Festival also lights up the floors of CECUT with the diverse and cultural texts it imports from around Mexico. Finally, CECUT has become a center of art and culture for its people, but not without the 3D Imax experience in "the ball", where one is submerged into the 360 film inside a dome.

Riochia 7: The jungle cabin

photo by CafeRioChia7

Offering a description of this place cannot be fully described. It is fair to rank this restaurant among the top cuisines in the city. Riochia's location adds to its mysterious allure in Tijuana, given it is next to graveyard where Juan Soldado, an alleged man was decapitated unjustly for a crime he had not committed back in the late 1930s. Riochia7's pathway is eerie yet drawing in its faithful customers every time. It serves traditional indigenous food from Chiapas, with its French pressed coffee, and maize drinks, to its mole tamale wrapped in banana leaves. The scenery within the restaurant is one that could be compared to Tarzan's treehouse, in a darker aspect. A piano accompanies guests, while the adorned walls show portraits of Mexican ancestry. The food is 10/10 and the ambiance in the room indescribable.

Need a caffeine IV? Das Cortez

Das Cortez is a relatively new coffee shop adorning the corners of upscale neighborhoods in Tijuana. Begun by a young businessman, it soon became a hit. Before you knew it, Instagram and Snapchat showed the stylish black letters on coffee sleeves. Das is not only trendy because of its black and white design, but because of the quality of its coffee. The taste of its drinks has a defined flavor that can be traced back to its origin. The difference between Das coffees and say, Starbucks, Peet's and such is that this flavor can be differentiated unlike the tendency of coffee to taste like, well, commercial coffee. One of the most beloved drinks at Das is its capuletto, a dark espresso for the strong stomachs. The iced latte, matcha, to its intricate yet delicious Lavender Mocha.

Obrasweb

Look, the list of places that are worth giving a visit to the great city of Tijuana is endless. The list above doesn't do justice to the wonders the city has to offer. However, it is important that one brings to light just how many hidden treasures this border city has to offer. It has been minimized by public scrutiny due to its proximity to the US and the polemic of politics in the past years. However, those who have dared to roam this city can attribute its magic to unforgettable spring break adventures, beautiful scenery, amazing food, and some of the best and liveliest people you will ever meet. May I say, one of the best tacos in the country as well are rooted here in Tijuana, because, well, not everyone in the country puts Guac in tacos, or put cheese in quesadillas, a heated argument all Mexicans know. All roads lead to Mexico once you decide to open your hearts to what I call the Mexican holy trinity: tacos, tequila, and tamales.

Cover Image Credit:

photo by Jav20 Wikimedia Commons

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17 Classic Michael Scott Quotes To Lift You Up Any Day Of The Week

Only the best.

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No matter what number of re-watch you're on, Michael is always a joker. Here are 17 times that will make any day of any week better.

1. "Should have burned this place down when I had the chance."

2. "There were these huge bins of clothes and everybody was rifiling through them like crazy and I grabbed one… and it fit! So I don’t that this is totally just a woman’s suit. At the very least, it’s bisexual."

3. "Yes, I’ve heard ‘women and children first’, but we do not employ children. We are not a sweatshop, thankfully. And women are equal in the workplace, by law, so if I let them out first… I have a lawsuit on my hands."

4. "Close your eyes. Picture a convict. What's he wearing? Nothing special, baseball cap on backwards, baggy pants... he says something ordinary like... 'yo, thats shizzle.' Okay. Now slowly open your eyes again. Who are you picturing? A black man? Wrong. That was a white woman. Surprised? Well, shame on you."

5. "Toby is in HR, which technically means he works for corporate, so he's really not a part of our family. Also, he's divorced, so he's really not a part of his family."

6. "I have flaws. What are they? Oh, I don't know. I sing in the shower. Sometimes I spend too much time volunteering. Occasionally I'll hit somebody with my car. So sue me! No, don't sue me. That's the opposite of the point that I am trying to make."

7. "That's what she said."

8. "If I had a gun with two bullets and I was in a room with Hitler, Bin Laden, and Toby, I would shoot Toby twice."

9. "I understand nothing."

10. "I am totally alone right now, with only my thoughts. I love it. I'm loving it. I can literally say anything I want. No one is gonna here me. Wish I could have gone with Ryan on that cool retreat! Jan has plastic boobs! I HAVE HEMORRHOIDS! Doesn't even matter."

11. "Dwight, you ignorant slut."

12. "Nobody likes beets, Dwight. Why don't you grow something that everybody does like? You should grow candy. I'd love a piece of candy right now. Not a beet."

13.  "Yes. It is true. I, Michael Scott, am signing up with an online dating service. Thousands of people have done it, and I am going to do it. I need a username, and... I have a great one. *types* "LittleKidLover". That way people will know exactly where my priorities are at."

14. "Sometimes I'll start a sentence, and I don't even know where it's going. I just hope I find it along the way. Like an improv conversation. An improversation."

15. "When I was Ryan's age, I worked in a fast food restaurant to save up money for school. And then I lost it in a pyramid scheme. But I learned more about business right then and there than business school would ever teach me."

16. "I want people to be afraid of how much they love me."

17. "The world sends people your way... Ryan came to me through a temp agency. Andy was transferred here. No idea where Creed came from. The point is you just have to play with the cards that you're dealt. Jim, that guy is an ace. Dwight is my King up my sleeve. Phyllis is my old maid. Oscar is my queen. That's easy. Gimme a hard one. That's what Oscar said. Toby is the instruction card you throw away. Pam's a solid seven. And yeah, you know what? Ryan is probably, like, a two. But sometimes twos can be wild. So watch out. And I am obviously the joker."

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Kiss of Death: Callejon del Beso

The era of colonial Mexico brought with it one of the most tragic and chilling love stories to haunt the streets of Guanajuato.

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The story of Doña Carmen and Don Luis has pulled tourists from all over the world to visit the haunted stretch of Callejon del Beso (Alley of the Kiss), in Guanajuato, Mexico. This stretch measures 68 cm in width between two balconies, that saw the beginning and end of one of Mexico's greatest and most tragic love stories.


Doña Carmen was the daughter of a wealthy man, rumored to be violent and strict with his only daughter. Rumor has it that his strict ways and jealousy led him to raise his daughter in solitude and estrangement from the world outside. This had been the case for many years until Carmen met Don Luis, a humble and working man who captured her heart instantly. They began courting at the nearby church until word reached Carmen's father. At the news of his daughter's secret love, he threatened her to send her to a convent and went as far as arranging a marriage with an old and wealthy Spanish man, that would bring him great amounts of wealth.

At the news of this chaos, Carmen sent her lady in waiting, Doña Brigida, to inform Don Luis about the events. Desperate to keep their relationship, he began to look for solutions that would allow him to stay close to Carmen. He furiously looked, until he came up with a plan: he would pay whatever was needed to acquire the room whose balcony touched Carmen's across the stretch of the bricked alley from house to house. This brought a temporary solution for the lovers, seeing them talk for hours while holding hands, falling more in love every day. Life seemed perfect and everything had fallen into place.

One night at the sound of muffled voices, Carmen's father rushed to her room. Where he found Doña Brigida guarding the door. Her father tossed her lady in waiting aside and rushed into her room. Finding her daughter with her arm stretched across the window, he furiously rushed dagger in hand, pushing it into his daughter's chest.

A numbing silence came upon Don Luis, as Carmen's hand became limp in his. To which he placed one last kiss on her hand, bidding farewell to the woman he loved one last time.

The story earned this stretch 68 cm wide alley as the Alley of the Kiss, or better known as El Callejon del Beso. Legend has it that if a couple visits the place, they must kiss on the third step below the balconies to ensure seven years of perfect happiness. If a couple neglects to do so, seven years of doom will come upon them. It has become one of the most visited places in Mexico. And well if you are single, then you just don't apply to the criteria. However, if you are single and come across the enchanted steps and balconies, locals say you must return asap to the place and secure your kiss with your beloved to ensure your fate.

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