With another free day to wander I hit a couple of places that I wanted to see but were closed on Saturday and Sunday do to the civil unrest and no work day Sunday. One of the places which I was interested in seeing was an old building right off the plaza that is actually a pawn shop. Kind of interesting when you have the city palace, the main church, and a pawn shop sharing the main plaza. I guess as history goes and why a pawn shop was allowed to stay in its location is that it has been doing business like that for as long as the plaza was there so it became its own entity and then tourist attraction. The few blocks off of that side of the square is all dedicated to jewelry as well so I guess it fits and creates a good lead in. Smart marketing. How it works is like any other pawn shop. People who are in need of cash bring in their jewelry, salespeople make an appraisal (most of the time just weighing and giving gold/silver related prices). If they accept they take the appraisal ticket to a payment window and they receive their cash. I am not sure if they receive some time themselves to buy the merchandise back or if it is a completed sale like a normal pawn shop. Inside the building there are some other financial services, but there are two large salons with a bunch of cases and tons of used jewelry all with price tags up for sale. It was neat to walk around and take a look at all the different stuff. I am not a jewelry connoisseur so can´t tell if the stuff is a good deal or not but there were quite a few people looking around at the stuff. I wasn`t able to take any photos inside the salons but in the main halls they had some nice stained glass which I can never resist taking photos of (Israel/Palestine).
Walking back through the Zocalo (Central plaza) to catch the metro, I noticed these guys lined up against the church fence. What they are are freelance handyman. They basically line up out there with their tools and a sign that states their specialty and wait for customers who will shop them and then take them to wherever to fix whatever. Pretty neat concept.
After a stressful time tourist crap shopping (which is jockeying for position with long bus rides as not my favorite things to do), I took a stroll back to my hotel instead of using the Metro. Just down the road from my hotel I saw this really cool cafe/sandwich shop. It was kind of an oddity so I went to check it out. One of the highlights to visiting Mexico city is going to watch the Lucha libre events (basically WWF Mexican style). As I missed the couple of events a week that they had when I saw this place I figured that I had to go in to make up for a missed opportunity. The place was owned by one of the retired luchadores (wrestler) and was now a very popular lunch spot. They made primarily sandwiches and some typical fare in an old cafe style set up. On the wall were many different masks as well as all the memorabilia from his time as a wrestler. The sandwich maker looked just like the newspaper clippings and photos but he was kind of young so I am thinking it was probably a son. Down the same road were also some old school 1940-1950´s dedicated coffee shops with the old memorabilia and photos. The places were very classic and not touristy as all as they were constantly filled with locals having a coffee or snack.
If you could down this thing in fifteen minutes it was free. Didn´t see any photos of past winners so don´t think it is possible. The regular sandwiches are pretty damn good though although a bit pricey.
Tags: 1, Mexico