Tag Archives: tienguis

Where I Live

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Where I Live

Aguascalientes City is in the state of Aguascalientes in central Mexico. Aguascalientes means “hot water.” And there are hot springs close by, even in the city.

My neighborhood is called Las Flores, which means “flowers.” The streets are all names of flowers. The name of my street is Begonias.

There are two tiendas, corner stores, within a block of where I live. There are about a dozen scattered throughout the neighborhood. Their shelves are full as there are no hoarders here.

There are three cocinas, kitchens, within four blocks of where I live. My favorite one has fresh vegetable salads and fruit salads. The dishes change daily and offer a variety of food from soups to desserts. I prefer to avoid the fried food but occasionally I can’t resist the flautas.

A block away is the lavenderia. I drop a bag of laundry off and a few hours later I pick it up, clean and neatly folded. It costs a few pesos, and far less than I’d spend buying detergent and fabric softener. And it’s done for me.

There are a number of small restaurants, gordita stands and taco stands in the area. A block away from home is Expoplaza where a number of food stands open up on the weekends at night.

Some of the specialty stores include butchers, fruit stores, bakeries and even a couple of pie stores. Fresh tortillas are made daily at tortillarias. There are also doctors and dentists, and even a pet store.

A tienguis takes place on Thursdays. This little street market features everything from fruits and vegetables to tools and everything in between. Many vendors are set up on tables but some just put a blanket or sheet on the ground to display their wares.

There is a lovely little park at the end of my street. I’ve spent many an hour coloring and watching the children play on the playground. People are always curious to see my art and it leads to many interesting conversations.

And did I mention that there is also a bull ring at the end of my street?

A Washingtonian in Aguascalientes

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A Washingtonian in Aguascalientes

It’s great to be back here in Las Flores. Being the only gringa in this barrio, it’s not surprising that so many people around here remember me although I was gone for a year.

Let’s get Covid out of the way. I don’t wear a mask outside. However masks are required in shops, restaurants, etc. Sanitizing mats and temperature checks are common. Done.

I’ve been out walking again and am delighted that my favorite cocinas and restaurants are all still here and open. However the nearby cinema is gone, not just closed.

The weather is comfortable and the thunder boomers tend to hold off until nighttime. I still haven’t found time to go and color in the park yet but tomorrow is another day. Today I’m looking forward to strolling through the tienguis.

Tonight is the reading of the gritto and tomorrow is Independence Day. I plan to venture into Centro and join in the celebration.

Vive Mexico!

Today in Aguascalientes

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Today in Aguascalientes

It’s hot out there. The 90s have arrived. Days like this I miss the ocean in Mazatlan.

Thursday morning there is an outdoor market in my neighborhood.

Restaurants are closed. Take out and delivery only.

Bars are closed here although my friend told me they’re still open in Leavenworth, Washington. Go figure.

Schools are closed. I haven’t heard anything about the indoor malls yet.

A friend in Zacatecas told me this morning that she couldn’t find chicken or eggs. So far we have no shortages here in Ags.

Corner tiendas are open. Note in my pics that these are not completely enclosed. Lots of fresh air gets in and social distancing is easy as there are seldom more than 2 or 3 people in them at the same time.

My saving grace are my daily coloring sessions in the park. The flowers are beginning to bloom again.

I really miss all the time I used to spend walking in and out of shops and engaging in conversation. It was a great way to socialize as well as practice my Spanish. Now most of my socializing is over the internet or on the phone.

A silver lining to every cloud……more time for writing!

Different But Interesting

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Different But Interesting

I walk a lot here in Aguascalientes. I go in and out of shops in Centro where I engage the locals in conversation to improve my Spanish speaking skills.

I also come across other nonverbal but interesting things in this quaint city.

Have a look at this poster I saw yesterday. Beer and yoga. Quite the combination. I can’t quite get my head around it but apparently many Mexicans can.

On my morning stroll through the Jardin San Marcos I encountered this colorful character. He was leading a walking tour in the area.

Preparing for the Ferria San Marcos is underway near the Expoplaza. The entire street is being redone as well as the path that goes by the park. I snagged this photo through a hole in the fence surrounding the construction site.

When you don’t have a yard for a birthday party the street will do nicely. Very different from the parties I made for my kids back in Canada. While bouncers were rare but parties in bowling alleys, roller rinks, mini golf centers and cinemas were common.

On my walk to the tienguis I passed by the junkyard. Look at all those plastic items on their way to be recycled.

Amidst the food vendors, used clothing, tools and miscellaneous hodge-podge I found this breath of fresh air at the tienguis.

Leavenworth is a Bavarian village and Las Flores is a quaint barrio. I am blessed to be able to enjoy both.

I Live Where???

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I Live Where???

This winter my home base is in Las Flores, Aguascalientes. I discovered this neighborhood last winter and love its proximity to the historical center and several museums, all within walking distance.

The name of my street is Begonias. All the names of the streets are flowers. (Las Flores is Spanish for “flowers.”)

This is a photo of the hotel where I live. You won’t see a Hyatt sign here. It’s an old house that’s been renovated into a hotel. Each room has its own bathroom. Common areas include the kitchen and laundry area.

Raul is the owner and takes good care of his properties. He is currently renovating a house where I first stayed for a week when I arrived. Not only did he move me and my luggage from place to place, but also a fridge and a microwave. I guess you could say that my room has now been transformed into an executive suite. None of the other rooms here have these appliances.

The following photo is the bull ring at the end of my street. It sees a lot of action during the Feria in the spring, but otherwise sits empty.

On my morning walk I encountered this neighbor across the street from my hotel. Cute, isn’t he?

There is no shortage of tiendas (corner stores). These two are at the other end of my street.

Two blocks away is the church I attend. It occupies the main floor of an apartment building.

Today is Thursday which means the tianguis (flea market) occupies a street a block away from where I live.

There is also an abundance of food available in this area, but I will save that as well as some other places in my neighborhood for another blog post.

Shopping??????

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Shopping??????

Aguascalientes is an exciting city with a treasure of museums, churches and parks to explore. I had originally intended to stay for one month. I am now into my second month and still have a list of places I want to go and things I want to do. Last Thursday I decided to check out the Altaria Mall instead of my usual exploring. A 20 minute Uber ride and I felt like I was in an entirely different world.

I’m staying in Las Flores which is a typical Mexican neighborhood. The Altaria Mall is like any American mall and has many of the chain stores such as Bershka, Pull and Bear, Radio Shack, Starbucks and more. One of the flagship stores is Sears, so I now feel like I am in Mexico as Sears has all but vanished in the USA and Canada. The other main department store is Liverpool.

As I strolled through the mall, I was amused to see that Liverpool was selling Krispy Kreme donuts. I selected a Boston Cream but was disappointed and realized how much I missed Tim Horton’s in Canada. 

I walked by ComicX and I recalled fond memories of the one in Mazatlan where I often went with friends. I couldn’t help but snap photos of these lovable characters.

Hours later I found myself back in an Uber headed for home. Along the way we passed a tienguis close to where I was staying. I traded my sandals for track shoes and headed back out.

This tienguis was primarily fruits and vegetables with only a smattering of other items. It was much smaller than the one I used to frequent in Tlaquepaque. I was enchanted by the birds in cages and of course enjoyed the people-watching.

That was my shopping day…….from one extreme to another.