Friday, July 21, 2006

General Street Stuff

Juarez St downtown is a great place to get ripped off and/or score a cheap electronic thing. It is the market of ripped software, video games, and all kinds of stuff made in China that Americans didn't buy enough of. If you ever wonder what happens to stuff that Wal Mart can't get rid of - this is where it goes. To the streets! I like it down here. I usually never buy anything, but it's interesting to wander around for a little while on Juarez or in the surrounding area. It's not as groomed as some of the other neighborhoods, but it's downtown and while there's a movement on to "rejuvenate" the downtown core, it's not progressing at a "canary wharf" (London) pace. It seems that's what all the big cities are doing now- kicking out the rent control scum and glitzing up the downtown cores. One could also call it "sterilizing" but one man's hovel is another man's loft I guess. I do like espresso coffee though so I'm guilty of complacency. I'll never forget last Christmas when I came down here to buy gifts and saw a woman selling tequila shooters and raw oysters on the half shell from a rusted shopping cart over a windy, dusty metro grate. So as you can read, it's not gonna be Times Square tomorrow.

tiangis in Juarez ave.

"networking appliance wholesale reseller requires FT personnel"

Torre Latino in the Bkgrnd. Frustrated looking dude in the fore.

Where would the world be without tarps? The tarp has saved us all. Someone should get a Nobel Prize for that- I'm serious.

Look at this picture: Can you see something wrong? I took it in the middle of the Zocalo.

Let's move in a little closer...

Uh huh. This room cleaner emerged nonchalantly and started cleaning the OUTSIDE of the window in her uniform and runners with no ropes or nothing!

And you thought your job sucked. Scary stuff. I wanted to run over and scream, "it's not worth it!" but maybe it was. Now I know that people are full of it when they say, "Mexicans take jobs Americans won't do!" I think it reads more like, " I'm too afraid to do or unskilled to do without dying!" This experience confirmed for me a suspicion I've always had about the claptrap surrounding the construction of the Chrysler Building and the Empire State building in NYC among other big things... I used to believe that romantic story the tour guides tell about how Mohawk first nations people were shipped in to do the dangerous work cause they "Had no fear of heights..." Sure sure... ok. Is it the same "fearlessness of dynamite in caves" that Chinese immigrants had while they were making the railroads? I'd dig deeper into this ironic joke, but the whole idea is so obviously racist, sexist etc. that I have trouble writing it. But I think you get what I mean. Why do I have to always be so bleak? It's not entirely my fault. She stepped onto the ledge. The world presented itself to me and I filled in the blanks. How can you look on the bright side of that? There is no bright side of that.


Anonymous said...

Good stuff as usual Clay!

Your pix and description makes me think of the San Jose flea market in a more urban setting.

That lady's job definitely doesn't look OSHA approved ... yikes.

Good run down on the elections. Nice to get a view from someone who's there. Been reading stories recently about Mexico City and the protests the last few days. Made me think of you. Not the protesting part but just whenever I here Mexico City.

Anonymous said...

That looks like the Hotel Majestic which is where I like to stay when in Mexico City...I was in one of those rooms facing the Zocalo one night prior to a day when the President was scheduled to appear for Flag about 11:oo pm I noticed that there was a human being on my little deck outside my window...not being sure that this was on the agenda I called the desk and they sent someone up to investigate. We opened the shades and the window but there was no one there so we stepped out and this person had somehow jumped to the next window but his objective was simply to put up bunting for the safety net for hime either. The next morning, at breakfast on the roof, we were all held back from the edge by the ubiquitous military men with big guns. This was back in PRI times...every rooftop around the Zocalo had men with guns...the sguare took a couple of hours to fill with busloads of kids and various branches of the military. Everybody was safe and the Prez came and went in about 15 minutes and then the square emptied for the next few hours.

PS they have a great cafe on that rooftop.