Thursday, March 20, 2008

Viva Che! Vive Calle las Casas!

You see Che all over the place in Oaxaca, but I was particularly charmed to find him on a pink hightop in a shoe shop on Calle de las Casas.

Calle de las Casas has to be one of my favorite streets in Oaxaca. It runs on the south side of the zocalo. Open stalls on the sidewalks offer lucha libre masks and punky messenger bags, bootleg DVDs and traditional Oaxacan sweets, stuffed with a custardy cream. I love the displays of bootleg cartoony socks, starring everyone from Woody Woodpecker to the Pink Panther. The chocolate factories--Mayordomo, Soledad, Guelaguetza, and many smaller indy spots--are on the nearby cross-streets (Calle Mina has quite a few). People swear by Ton-ita (Stall #80 in the Benito Juarez market) for chocolate made the old-school way, with a metate.

Mostly I love Calle las Casas for the urban drama. It make Oaxaca feel like a city instead of a town. Yes, there's the diesel fumes and the crowds, but there are also the gems and discoveries that make city life so beautiful.

No comments: