Specialty Items, Tijuana
The shop owner Javier Zaragoza, showed me the most beautiful pair of exotic ladies cowboy boots! Exactly what I was looking for for my daughter;s upcoming wedding! He took the time to fit me perfectly and gave me an excellent price!
What to buy: I shop for handmade items in TJ!
What to pay: I expect to pay what the locals pay, not the tourista prices!
A typical tourist may not have time to order something specially made but this is a possibility for many people looking for just the right thing.
In Tijuana, there are many creative artisans who display their wares in the open air markets. Here you see an example of stained glass window hangings and lamp shades. If there is not a style to your liking it is possible to have something custom made.
Enrique Ramirez is just one of the artisans you might contact and stained glass is just one of the items you may have custom made.
Ceramic tiles, wrought iron items, furniture and silver jewelry are other special order products that are quite popular, well made and priced reasonably.
Many cowboy boots stores are around Avenida Revolucion. For sure, there are more around the city but I don't know them.
Some of the boots are illigal, be carefull!! depends of the leather. If the store assistand is honest you won't have any problem, get their bussines card and the ticket before you leave with your new boots.
Prices are so different. They asked us for a couple of boots around $175 and we took them for $100. It is in fashion for ladies in Spain.
Many stalls along and off Avenue Revolucion sell various ceramics.
What to buy: Handpainted ceramic boxes that have been painted and glazed by locals make the most gorgeous jewellery boxes or gifts for your friends back home.
What to pay: You will always pay more in the stalls that are along the Avenue, but for a small ceramic box you should expect to pay around 4 dollars, any more than that and you are being ripped off.
Small but terrific boot/shoemaker -
La Casa del Avestruz. Don't waste your time in the main shops for Cowboy boots - get them custom made. Antonio made me two pair a couple years ago - I wear them a lot and they are still beautiful. Top quality work at a great price.
What to pay: I bought 2 pair custom made with Ostrich for $350.00 US for both pair.
You can find (and buy) a lot of various in size and colors Mexican moons with Mexican suns at numerous stores around Plaza Viva Tijuana. Do you like them?
What to buy: Mexican moons with suns :-)
What to pay: Bargain, bargain, bargain.
I did finally bought these two figures as on my picture - do you know who they are?
Please, please e-mail me if you know something about them. I look at them and... I still know nothing :-(((
Although I liked them much I bargained quite a lot. It seems that after a lot of bargaining in Turkey, Tunisia and Morocco I am not so bad in it :-).
From my friend Linda (lmkluque) from San Diego:
Your MEXICAN SOUVENIRS probably don't really have a name.
They are reproductions of pre-Columbian artifacts. "Pre-Columbian" means, before Columbus. The gods of the Aztecs, but I doubt seriously that they are copies of genuine gods, rather the creator's idea of the "type" of artifact found. Of course a real pre-Columbian artifact would be worth lots of money and usually can only be found in a museum.
Thank you, Linda :-).
From my friend Paula (paulapes) from Rhode Island, USA:
I don't think your statues are of particular persons, but rather maybe symbolic things like they used to bury with the dead (!) or something like that. That's my guess anyway :o)
Thank you, Paula :-)
What to buy: Local craft.
What to pay: First price was $30.00, finall... $30 for these 2 figures and 1 cross (of $12.25 at first price). Did I over-pay? :-)
This store sells stained glass and Tiffany lamps.
If you like you can choose among numerous of them. Personally I didn't like it, this one stained glass with Coca Cola logo especially hehe - look at my picture, please. I am not sure whether it's Mexican art ;-).
What to buy: Stained glass or/and Tiffany lamps.
What to pay: Bargain, bargain, bargain. First price for these stained glass was $20, finall... I even didn't try to bargain.
Are these colorful crosses example of local, Mexican art? Hmm... maybe. I didn't buy them but you can if you like.
By the way: do not expect them to pack your gift in special, colorful gift box or paper, they use regular, simple paper or even newspaper instead :-).
What to buy: Colorful crosses.
What to pay: First price: $5 - $15 depends on size.
Look at these "Mexican suns". Do you like them? They were available in various size and usually one color as you can see on my picture.
Do you know what do they symbolize? First I thought about ancient Maya culture but... I don't know. Maybe it's just a tourist trap, he? E-mail me, please if you know more!
What to buy: Mexican suns :-).
What to pay: Bargain, bargain,bargain.
I did find a lot of various crosses made of metal, glass and wood in this store. I liked some of them and finally I bought one. Do you like them?
What to buy: Crosses.
What to pay: First price was $5 - $15 depends on size. Bargain, bargain, bargain. Good luck :-)
Look at my picture, please - such figures (various in size and colours) were easy to find in Tijuana's gift stores. Are they example of local art? I called them "brotherly circle". Who are those 7 figuers? Do you know? E-mail me, please!
Hmm... they were too large to transport them by a plane and not so easy to pack them in my car luggage compartment and not so easy not to damage them during our long USA trip. So... I didn't buy them :-(((.
What to buy: Mexican art - these 7 figures on my picture (approx. 8-10 inches, 20 cm tall).
What to pay: The first price was $30, so the last one could be $25 or less, I suppose. The small ones costed $15 (first price) but... they didn't look so nice.
You can fine (and buy) quite different - more colorful - mexican suns at numerous stores around Plaza Viva Tijuana. Hmm... do you like them?
What to buy: Mexican suns :-)
What to pay: Bargain, bargain, bargain.
Finally I bought this cross as on my picture.
Do you like it? Hmm... nothing special but looks quite nice in my living room now :-).
What to buy: Crosses.
What to pay: Bargain, bargain, bargain - first price was $12.25, finall... $30 for this cross and 2 stone figures (of $30 at first price). Did I over-pay? :-)