Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Markets in San Miguel de Allende

Mexico is a land of markets. In Mexico City there are countless markets - in San Miguel de Allende, the finite number of markets and their ability to actually be counted - is just a function of the relatively smaller size of this city.

Nonetheless, there are a lot of markets here.

First of all, you have the Mercado Ignacío Ramirez and the virtually linked Mercado de Artesanías. This is the major market in the center of town and is located just North, off of the Plaza Civica which is across the street from PACEMD.

The upper red thumbtack is the end of the artist market, the middle red thumbtack is the beginning of the vegetable/fruit market.

This is the market we visit almost everyday - to buy vegetables, fruit, chicken, and in other small things we need for dinner or for the day. Things are fresh and cheap in this market - plus there is nothing hidden like in the Grocery Store. For example, Kryste stumbled upon a truck full of cow carcasses today parked just outside the entrance, complete with skulls and bones. In addition, next to the chicken breasts were the left over chicken heads to use for broth. Still a fun place to go and just no comparison in terms of freshness to a Publix/Kroegers, etc.

In addition to the food market, the Artist/Craft market seems to stretch endlessly - moving via a series of stalls from building to building.

Now, don't think this is the only major market. Only 1-2 miles west at the corner of San Rafeal and Guadalupe is another major market -- Mercado de San Juan de Dios. This market has similar items to the big market described previously but is also the place to go for clothes and household materials - think Target/Walmart with a series of stand alone stalls instead of aisles. The stalls stretch out of the building and run for blocks north all the way to the corner of Insurgentes - essentially almost linking this market with the Mercado de Artesanías discussed briefly above.

The far left thumbtack (far west) is the San Jose Market. PaceMD is Yellow and the other market previously described is marked by the two diagonal red thumbtacks.

Okay, that's the two major markets that are always present but in addition, there are some rotating markets as well.

First of all there is the Tuesday Market which is in between the large modern grocery store in the plaza we refer to as "America" (more on that in another post) and our neighborhood - Atascadero.

The location of the Tuesday Market is the second red thumbtack from the bottom.
You can tell two things from this GoogleEarth image -- (1)It's not a Tuesday, because the area would be packed and (2) This is before the strip mall - America - had been built (no office depot yet).

I would describe the Tuesday market as something akin to a U.S. Flea Market, although I can't really see what the difference is between the cheap goods - shoes, pirated DVDs, pets, etc - sold at this market compared to the San Jose market - but people who live insist that there is, indeed, a difference. One of the strangest things to me about this market is how crowded it is - on a Tuesday morning - not a holiday.

Those are the markets you can find on the map. But, it seems like a market appears every other week in the Civic Plaza (for example, this week is the book fair and two weeks ago was the campos craft fair -- crafts from the surrounding areas). If not in the Plaza Civica, then in the mostly American run Instito Allende (this week there is a craft fair and there was also one on the weekend of Los Locos).

No comments: