Love and Non-Love in Mazatlán

August 24, 2012

You all know how much I love it here. I loved it one early evening this week when Paul and I strolled along the malecón, stopping here and there to take pictures. The one at the top is one of those lovely evening moments – a group of friends out boogie boarding at the end of the day. Truly gorgeous.

The picture below is another good one. I had been hoping that one day the city would make repairs to the Escudo (shield.) This is a landmark at the end of Olas Altas and had been let go way too long. Lots of tiles on the side facing the ocean were missing – and that was the side with the Mazatlán shield! Finally they are working on it and from the length of time and the care they’re taking I think it will be a good job.


I love that they’re repairing the shield. On my bike ride the other day I noticed there is paint scraping going on along the malecón, so I think it will be getting a coat of paint. That’s good news!

There are some things I just don’t understand, though. A short time ago the palapa roof that extended the shade for the sidewalk restaurants in front of the Belmar Hotel was removed so that it could be rebuilt and replaced. After a short period of time with their work shut down by INAH they are back making the repairs. INAH always seems so arbitrary to me – wanting things to stay the same to preserve the historic look and even though a change might have even made the building more authentic and historic. Sigh. Below is a photo of the Belmar roof work.


I almost hate to show this next one. Why oh why was this building ever allowed in Centro Historico? But oh well, it’s here now – and thankfully they are taking care of the serious problems they’d been having with the exterior. There was so much spalling concrete that for the last couple of years they had nets around part of the exterior! It will look fine when it’s done – I just wish the old building it replaced was still there.

If you haven’t lived in an area with concrete construction you might think “Concrete – it must last forever!” But the reality of concrete is that it will last a long time if water doesn’t get into it. But any little crack or craze and over time you’ll have big problems.


As I walked along taking these photos, I thought of one thing I don’t love – chewing gum. The malecón is dotted with globs of gum that are almost impossible to remove.

Every visitor to Olas Altas for at least the last five years has probably exclaimed about the building below. On a curve overlooking the water it has sat unfinished and deteriorating for years. At long last there is some action there and the sign says that they are hoping to have various retail and restaurant spaces within. Called Claussen 101 – we wish them all the best. I wouldn’t mind sitting there with a nice beverage watching the sunset some day!


Between Claussen 101 and El Canucks de León is a new little place called Punto Fresca. I haven’t been there yet but I like the idea!


One thing I don’t like here in town is the graffiti that is everywhere lately. While for six months or so last year there was a crew painting it out, now the graffiti just gets worse and worse every day. Makes me wonder if there are any police watching out for kids doing this graffiti – presumably the many ni-ni’s – kids who don’t go to school or have a job. What can be done? In my opinion cleaning it up would do more for Mazatlán’s tourism effort that many other things money has been spent on!


I’ll get out this weekend and take some photos or video of the finally mostly completed tourist corridor. There are still a lot of problems when it rains, and I haven’t walked the entire route since I’ve returned from the US so I’m sure there will be some surprises.

If you were wondering about the title of this post – Love and Non-Love in Mazatlán – I hope you can tell there are way more things I love than things I don’t. And if I was ever feeling cranky all I would have to do is look at the picture at the top of this post and I’d be transported to a happy place.

More about Nancy

I'm Nancy, a US expat living in Mazatlán, México but excited about moving soon to México City.

    1. La Cassona-we’ve always wondered what was up with that building-thanks for filling us in. That’ll be really nice having a lovely restaurant in there. On the road out to Torres Mazatlan there are a couple of buildings that were started and have never been finished. And you know how the humidity gets to them-they’re fading fast!

    1. Nancy – you are so right about the graffiti. If there was one thing I would change about Maz it would be that. Most cities have some graffiti, some more than others but in Maz it seems like an epidemic. And unfortunatly can be a sign of deeper problems. Hopefully it eventually will peter out.

    1. It seems they have been working on that monstrosity of a building at the curve in Olas Altas for decades. I wish them well as it is a maintenance nightmare, I’m sure. But, yeah, with the right retail or combination retail/coffee/snack shops it could be a great stop on a walk.

      I assume Punto Fresca is going to be either fresh fruit or a salad place with smoothies and whatnot. Is that case?

      The Poder Judicial has been an eyesore for as long as it’s been standing there like some concrete monster; I always feel like I’m walking by a prison when I walk through Olas Altas. But, like all things, you get used to it after a while.

      Do you know how graffiti is managed in Mazatlan? I always assumed that the reason property owners left it was that they would tire of repainting their buildings with the proliferation of graffiti “artists” there appear to be in Mazatlan. Is there a government program within the city to handle this? Nothing makes a place look worse and immediately hostile than graffiti, both here in the States and in Mexico.

      Thanks for the great pics.

    1. La Cassona! I’m so excited to read what is proposed for there. We’ve been looking at it all last winter when they were working on it wondering what it was supposed to be. It is in the most gorgeous location.
      I’m sad to hear the graffiti is getting really bad again. A problem which seems difficult to solve even here in Winnipeg. They just arrested two people though and have charged them. That takes a lot of work by the police and the public.
      Wonderful they are repairing the shield.
      Thanks as always for keeping me connected to my second home.

    1. The only thing I don’t like about Punto Fresca is that they took away the sidewalk. Now, to get to Canucks de Leon, you have to walk in the street. Maybe they’re going to put in a new sidewalk in front of the restaurant?

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