Lovely Mazatlán

June 4, 2011

Last night we had a wonderful and leisurely dinner with friends at Molika (Belisario Domínguez at Constitución) and then decided to walk over one block to the Plazuela Machado.  We strolled the perimeter, looking at the booths  of hand made items and people watching.  We settled ourselves on a bench close to the music and settled in, like so many Mazatlecos, to enjoy a relaxing evening chatting with friends outdoors.

Here are a few things we noticed that make Mazatlán (and México) so wonderful:

Family love. Moms and teen daughters arm in arm. Large family groups laughing at restaurant tables.

People in love. Couples on benches sitting close together, talking and kissing, oblivious of their surroundings.

Kids. But no sullen kids with hand held video games.  Laughing kids chasing each other around the kiosko or walking arm in arm with their families, or painting ceramics with a group of other kids.

Dogs. Last night we fell in love with the black pitbull puppy named Negro (black) who was perfectly behaved off leash and intensely focused on his owners.

Music.  The music last night was a wonderful group – about 7-8 people with drums and guitars singing wonderful romantic music in Spanish.  The stage is set up on the weekends at the corner by Café Pacifico and took the evening from wonderful to fantastic.

Dancing.  Several couples danced in the street in front of the stage, people smiled their direction.  Across from us, a couple walking by friends spun together for an impromptu dance on the sidewalk.  She passed her purse to her friend and danced several songs, clearly loving the music and each other.

People sitting on benches. Like us, all the benches were occupied by people relaxing after a meal or a stroll.  If you are on a budget and can’t afford to eat out, you can still enjoy the music and the social environment and never spend a cent.

The Air. Last night was so perfect.  We sat there in our sleeveless dresses and bare legs enjoying the perfection.  A bit of humidity to make the air feel smooth, the temperature absolutely perfect.  A nice breeze rippled through now and then.

Smiles. I’ll end with this one, people smiled and smiled.  And not just us, although I did my share.  People here are happy, really know how to be happy. And usually all it takes is to be sharing a meal or a conversation with friends and family outdoors while enjoying some excellent music.  It’s contagious, too. I’m still smiling from such a wonderful night.


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More about Nancy

I'm Nancy, a US expat living in San Antonio Tlayacapan, Jalisco after 11 years in Mazatlán, México.

    1. You have captured perfectly the magic of a beautiful night on the plazuela. How often I feel how lucky we are.

      1. Judith, I wonder sometimes if someone could maintain a bad mood in a Plazuela evening. I doubt it!

        Michael, We miss you, too. You really should stay for the summer sometime. Without all the gringos and tourists it is a way different place.

    1. Ah. You made me perfectly miss Mazatlán.

    1. I agree that you have perfectly captured the joy of living in tropical Mexico. I’m glad we both found our spot in paradise.

    1. My favorite place in Mazatlan, at my favorite time of day. Wish I could be there, but I’m so glad you were. You know how to really appreciate a special place.

      One thing San Carlos lacks is a central gathering place. There’s a plaza in front of our church, but it doesn’t get used by the public like yours does. My dream is that someday someone will create a setting as romantic and pleasant as the Plazuela in Mazatlan.

    1. We managed to take in Plazuela Machado in March. We had the most wonderful time! And you’re right-smiles everywhere!

      1. Jonna, Merida had the same feel in the plazas at night. Lovely!

        1st Mate, I hope San Carlos could develop something like it, too. But it seems most Mexican cities have a main square – I wonder why San Carlos doesn’t.

        Marty, I especially love the Plazuela on the weekend, after 9 pm or so. And the air was so balmy if the benches were more comfortable I could have stayed all night!

    1. Claro que si!! Riding home from the airport last evening, a Mexican gentleman asked me what I liked best about Mazatlan, and I think I covered all your observations in my answer. But it isn’t just Mazatlan, it is ALL of Mexico and most All Mexicans. They have maintained a lot of what we have forgotten; family, friendship, frolic and an open heart. Now to get back to my Mexico City downloads..taking forever.

    1. Nancy, thank you for expressing the love so many of us have for Mexico and its people. As I read I was right there sitting beside you ( and dancing with the other lady ), I could feel and smell the air. Indeed a perfect evening!! This would make a great outline for an article pro Mazatlan to be published somewhere over and over.

    1. I really like the “El Michoacan” Paletas place across the street from that structure in your picture. It’s a convenient place to hang out and wait for the Sabalo Central bus!

      1. Jason, Actually, El Michoacan paletas is across from the Plazuela Republica, the main civic plaza across from the municipal building and the Cathedral. The kiosko in the picture is the Plazuela Machado, a smaller plaza and ringed with restaurants – and a hopping place every night but especially on the weekends. In Centro there are two other plazas – Plazuela Zaragoza (where there is dancing every Thursday evening) and Plaza Hidalgo, with a library in the center.

    1. Ah, ok, my mistake, its hard to show scale in that photo. Actually, we went to the Plazuela Machado, but they were doing welding work on the Kiosko last week so we couldn’t get too close to it.

      We didn’t get to eat at any of the restaurants in the Plazuela or near it. We wanted to go to Topolo but it was closed on Monday, and we never got back down there at night.

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