Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Walking tour of Mazatlan #1 3.4.08

I’ve finally taken my camera with me on my walk down the malecon and wanted to share with you the sites where we’re walking every Tues, Thurs, & Sat! It's about a 4 mile stretch and the total trip takes about 2 hours, including both bus rides.

We start out at Marina Mazatlan, and jump on the bus heading to the Malecon which is simply along the waterfront. We get off just before a place called Valentino’s, which is at one end of the malecon. Valentinos is a building that holds several businesses – restaurants, bars, & other shops. It is the large white building below.

The first statue that you see along the malecon is this one. The López Sáenz Monument was created as a millenium gift to the city from the artist. This monument is a stylized Sinaloan family looking towards the future. The artist, Antonio López Sáenz, is a Mazatleco who has become one of México's most notable artists. In fact, every year during Carnaval, a talented new artist is awarded the López Sáenz prize for art. Cast in bronze in a foundry in México City, the monument was unveiled on New Year's Eve, 2000, in a public municipal ceremony. You can see a full story here... http://www.pacificpearl.com/archive/2000/february/feature0.htm

The second one is this one. It's of a group of sea lions. I can't find any details of what or why it is there although.

The third one is “Monumento 100 anos de la Cerveza Pacifico”, a leaky copper beer tank commemorating the first century of Pacifico beer, a major beer brand here in Mexico. This homage to the Pacifico Beer Factory was unveiled on March 14, 2000, the hundredth anniversary of the day the brewery first began producing Pacifico beer. The Pacifico brewery was founded by three German immigrants, Germán Evers, Emilio Philippi and Jorge Claussen. The brewery was acquired by the Modelo group in 1954. The monument itself, which was designed by brewery workers, is a huge copper cooking vat capable of holding 24,000 liters (6336 gallons) of beer.

Then, looking across the street, you’ll see the memorial to local songbird Lola Beltran. Beltrán’s well-deserved fame flows from her dozens of songs and recordings of Mexican folk-style “Ranchera” music, which she popularized during many world tours.

Next is the monument of the pulmonia, the local mode of transportation here in Mazatlan. Their name means pneumonia, but they are the hottest thing in town. Pulmonias are open-air taxis, little more than fiberglass go-carts powered by Volkswagen Bug engines. They were introduced to Mazatlan in Pictured here is Danni, from Kinship and if you’ll notice just behind the pulmonia, the hill has a lighthouse at the very top of it. Pulmonias are treated almost lovingly; mechanics at the local pulmonia repair shop make house calls. People from all over Mexico bring their old Bugs to Mazatlan to sell them for parts for pulmonias. Mexico is the only country in the world where VW Bugs -- and the new VW Beetles -- are made. The pulmonia design and name have been registered with the federal patent office and there is a Pulmonia drivers union. The union has tried to introduce pulmonias in such other resort cities as Acapulco and Puerto Vallarta, but local transportation unions objected. Mexican unions are powerful and blunt, and their objection to something usually ends all debate. In one town, when the Mazatlan folks brought in a pulmonia to show around, members of the local transportation union torched it.

I'll post more of our walk in a later post!!


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