En el mes de Mayo abrirá sus puertas el nuevo Museo de Niño en San Diego. El edificio fue diseñado por el arquitecto Rob Quigley de San Diego, y dentro del espacio central estara un mini-teatro que diseñe y que se esta en proceso de fabricacion. El museo abre el 4 de Mayo 2008.

Proyecto: Mini-teatro para niños
Diseño: Generica Arquitectura, Tijuana. Rene Peralta
Cliente: Museo del Niño San Diego, California
Diseño estructural: Ing. Salvador Medina
Constructor: Drei Kiel
Corte con Laser: RMS Laser, La Mesa, California


Coming soon -Here is Tijuana- en Kobra

Hace una semana llegaron de Estocolmo, pero no de la privada en villa fontana donde los -Uribi- malandrines de la vivienda nombraron las calles -con cantidad de mini casas- como las capitales europeas, que quizá los jefes visitaron en alguna luna miel. Estos señores si llegaron de Suecia hacer una entrevista a Fiamma Montezemolo, Heriberto Yepez y un servidor. Llegaron esperando el humor de trabajar juntos, buscando la ironía entre nosotros como lo muestra el libro. Lastima por que llegaron dos años después, cuando la situación en la ciudad es muy difícil. Ya ni los que estamos acostumbrados al "hustle and bustle" de la ciudad podemos estar tranquilos. Atravesamos la ciudad, fuimos a los lugares de siempre, pero como siempre tan diferentes después de dos años. Desde Villa Fontana, a Playas de Tijuana, y terminamos en el Parque Teniente Guerreo, donde inicio la ciudad, lo hicimos así por nostalgia de aquellos tiempos cuando Tijuana se creía una ciudad urbana, el trazo del Ing. Orozco "revisited". De ahí a terminar la entrevista los tres juntos frente a la estrella, no es mi lugar predilecto pero en fin, prefiero refritos de la Tijuana culturosa, a las noticias de hoy.

Para los que pueden ver el programa Kobra en europa, la entrevista saldrá en Marzo 17, 2008. Se sube a la red un día después.


Revolution Avenue RIP

Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times
A convoy of heavily-armed federal police roll along Avenida Revolucion. Since January 1st this year, more than 2-dozen people have been killed across the city.

The one-time party mecca is a ghost of its former self. But merchants say beautification efforts and police crackdowns have left downtown safer and spiffier than in years.

By Richard Marosi, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
February 17, 2008

TIJUANA -- Marcos Rojas, a waiter at Mr. Tequila Restaurant, roams the Plaza Viva Tijuana, eager to pour double shots for partying tourists. This downtown gateway used to be crowded with Southern California day-trippers, Midwestern families and busloads of German and Japanese tourists.

But empty bars and shuttered businesses now outnumber people mingling near the broken fountain. Rojas, who earns tips by making a show of slamming tequila shots on the table and pouring them down customers' throats, says it's been a week since he performed one of his signature tricks, twirling a tourist on his shoulders.

"Look around, it's dead," he said.

In the sleepy plaza, down the lonely pedestrian promenade leading to the heart of the tourist district on Avenida Revolucion, bored waiters and strip club hawkers compete for the trickle of customers, while old-time merchants wax nostalgic about the days when a downtown dotted with attractions drew millions of visitors, including the occasional Hollywood star.

Tijuana's recent wave of violence appears to have driven another nail into the coffin of a tourism industry already hobbled by its reputation for tacky tourist traps and rowdy bars and by long waits at the U.S.-Mexico border crossing.

Visits are down 90% since 2005, when an estimated 4.5 million came to the area, according to the downtown merchants association. On an average day now, only about 150 tourists show up, the association says. Some encounter the latest Tijuana spectacle: convoys full of heavily armed soldiers rumbling down Avenida Revolucion.

Grant Bourne, a 23-year-old tourist from Australia, took a break from visiting San Diego's beaches to spend a recent afternoon in Tijuana, where he marveled at the striking contrasts between the two cities.

The odd sight of soldiers next to the mariachi-filled Plaza Santa Cecilia enriched his visit in a culture-clash sort of way, he said, and the military presence certainly made him feel safe. But he planned to stay downtown, he said, because "I was told not to stray too far off this street."

The tourism collapse is especially sad, many merchants and tourists say, because people may not be aware that recent beautification projects and police crackdowns have left the area safer and spiffier than it has been in years.

Tree-lined promenades feature repaved sidewalks and roadways. Police sweeps have cleared out the drug addicts. Gone too are most of the beggars and hookers. At the balcony bars, club owners have turned down the ear-splitting volume.

Many stores showcase high-quality products: silver from Taxco, Talavera pottery from Michoacan, handcrafted stained-glass and leather products. The Cuban cigars at the business association-approved stores are authentic, and tourists can get custom-made furniture and pinatas at the historic arts and crafts market.

"That's what really represents downtown Tijuana," said Andres Mendez Martinez, coordinator of the merchants association. "Quality products and traditional goods from all over Mexico."

Still, they acknowledge, that's not what Tijuana is famous for these days. It's the bloody battles between police and organized crime that make the headlines.

Since Jan. 1, more than 50 people have been killed across the city, some in wild shootouts that terrified bystanders. Last month, police discovered an organized-crime hide-out near downtown that they said included a training center for hit men complete with a soundproofed basement shooting range.

Recently, the upscale restaurant Hacienda Cien Años, which once drew tourists, was identified by U.S. authorities as a front for money laundering.

Downtown has been flooded with police and has been largely free of the violence. No bystanders have been killed in the shootouts. A crackdown on corrupt transit cops has resulted in fewer reports of extortion, and merchants immediately report officers who stop tourists without reason, according to police.

Still, the negative image hangs over the city. "In reality, the violence isn't targeting tourists. It's between drug traffickers, criminals and police. But the tourist doesn't know the difference," said Victor Clark Alfaro, director of Tijuana's Bi-National Center for Human Rights.

Meanwhile, merchants say even some of those who haven't been scared off by crime reports may be reluctant to visit because of new, stricter requirements for Americans reentering the U.S. from Mexico -- and fears that the rules will make crossing the border slower. U.S. citizens used to get by at the border crossings with oral declarations of citizenship. Now they need to show proof both of citizenship and identity.

"Americans had 9/11; we had 1/31," said Rojas, the waiter, referring to the date the new rules went into effect.

Aiming to ease the transition to stricter requirements, Baja California tourism officials recently announced a new program called "Get Your Passport" that offers discounts at certain hotels and restaurants to people with U.S. passports.

In the early days of Tijuana tourism, in the 1920s and 1930s, the economy grew fast by catering to Americans' appetites for vice, and the city's tourism fortunes have long risen and fallen with the changing social mores and economy north of the border.

The fabled Agua Caliente casino and racetrack thrived during Prohibition and attracted such Hollywood stars as Charlie Chaplin and Gary Cooper.

In the postwar era, San Diego's growth as a U.S. Navy port provided a steady stream of thrill-seeking sailors.

Tourist flows peaked in the 1970s, say experts and longtime merchants, but the end of horse racing and the closure of the jai alai arena in the early 1990s started a steady decline. Along Avenida Revolucion, bars and nightclubs offering a warm welcome to underage drinkers opened to take up the slack.

Only glimmers of the past remain.

At the historic Caesar's Restaurant, which calls itself the "officially certified" home of the Caesar salad, a picture of Paul McCartney sipping a margarita hangs over the bar. A bartender, engrossed in a chess game with the lone customer, dismissed questions about the ex-Beatle's visit.

Meanwhile, a waiter was busy hanging up a sign on the railing outside -- for Caesar's Men's Club. At night, the former banquet hall in the back of the restaurant becomes a strip club. "Come by later," said a waiter. "The lap dances are only $20."

Farther down Avenida Revolucion, pushy shoeshine boys and loud barkers compete for visitors' attention, tossing out such lines as "Got a Mexican minute, mister?"

Many bars offer all-you-can-drink deals. Locals pack the Caliente casino, with its 10-cent slots.

Young men urge passersby to saddle up for pictures on the Tijuana zebras, the donkeys painted white with black stripes that epitomize Tijuana tackiness.

It was all too much for James Osborne, a 25-year-old visitor from Iowa. Standing under a "Come Back Soon Amigos" sign, he said his 15-minute visit with a friend was too long.

"We've had enough," Osborne said. "Everybody's trying to hustle you."

Keith and Diane Heuser, hospital administration professionals from Iowa, had a different experience.

The couple and their friends bought a $180 leather jacket and a silver necklace, ate chiles rellenos and drank margaritas.

"We're having a great time. It's tacky but entertaining," said Keith Heuser, while smoking a Cuban cigar on a stroll down lonely Avenida Revolucion.

It used to seem as if Tijuana could attract an endless supply of tourists like the Heusers.

"We never imagined that tourists would stop coming," said Clark Alfaro of the Bi-National Center for Human Rights. "It's a shame."



Tijuana Moods en la Bodega de Papel

Es un placer invitarles a una noche de jazz, cine y ciudad. Hoy en Tijuana renace el género musical que fuera parte de una larga tradición en nuestra ciudad desde sus inicios.

Se reinventa el jazz tijuanense en el mismo lugar que lo vio nacer, en la Zona Centro. Este Miércoles 20 febrero
en la antigua bodega de papel, a partir de las 8 pm se presentaran los avances de la película documental Tijuana Moods, que narra la historia del jazz y espacios urbanos del Centro por medio de un recorrido visual y auditivo. Imágenes urbanas del pasado se yuxtaponen con tomas contemporáneas de los espacios históricos de la zona centro. Tijuana Moods es un documental en proceso, que lleva más de un año de investigación y rodaje. Escrito y producido por Rene Peralta, arquitecto, autor de un libro y ensayos sobre el urbanismo contemporáneo e hijo del pianista tijuanense Rodolfo Peralta “el plato” .La fotografía y dirección cinematográfica la lleva acabo el reconocido director de cine Leslie Bernstien, su trabajo, de dirección de cámara y efectos especiales, han sido partes de filmes como la Pasión de Cristo, Apocalitpo, Vanilla Sky entre otras cintas. Los invitamos esta noche a ver los avances del documental Tijuana Moods así como también un fragmento de una película publicitaria del casino Agua Caliente filmada en 1937

Al Punto de las 9 pm y después de la presentación de Tijuana Moods se presenta, como todos los miércoles, Cabanijazz Project, excelente conjunto Tijuanense presentando su material de Latín Jazz. Dirigido por Javier Cabanillas en las percusiones, Felipe Garcia, batería, Iván Trujillo, trompeta, Javier Martínez, guitarra y Ramón Casas bajo. Un Proyecto de alta calidad musical en búsqueda del espacio musical y urbano del jazz.

“CABANIJAZZ PROJECT nace de una inquietud personal de explorar el genero musical de Latín Jazz. Teniendo un proyecto hay que nombrarlo, y es ahí donde empiezo a utilizar mi apellido, que es un apellido Latino con parte del nombre del género musical, junto parte de mi apellido "CABANI" con la palabra "JAZZ" y ahí nace CABANIJAZZ como una representación de Latín Jazz. Un género musical en donde NO hay limitaciones. Es una improvisación que da lugar a una conversación continua entre todos los músicos. Además, Latín Jazz es SABROSO! Lo primordial es ampliar el conocimiento del genero Latín Jazz logrando así influenciar, inspirar y motivar el lado artístico y musical de Tijuana y su alrededor por medio de un repertorio de arreglos y estructuras originales”.

Javier Cabanillas

Miércoles 20 de Febrero El evento inicia a las 8 p.m. La Antigua Bodega de Papel esta ubicada en calle 11 entre Revolución y Madero, Zona Centro, Tijuana, No Cover.


The Young and the Restless Spring 08 Woodbury University San Diego

El Jueves 27 de Marzo, como parte del ciclo de conferencias que organize con Andrea Dietz, estará en Woodbury el arquitecto Mexicano Michel Rojdkin. El proyecto Museo de Chocolate de Nestle por Rojkind Arquitectos será exhibido en el Brit Insurance Designs of the Year and Design Awards 2008

On Thursday 27 of February, as part of the lecture series I co-organize with Andrea Dietz, we will have at woodbury Mexican architect Michel Rojdkin. The Nestle Chocolate Museum by Rojkind Aquitectos will be exhibited at the Brit Insurance Designs of the Year and Design Awards 2008.

Urbanismo Sustentable
Jaime Lerner en TEDTalks. Alguien pase este video a los desarrolladores de vivienda en Tijuana!