Tijuana can be a difficult city to navigate through, which is probably why most tourists stick to the entertainment and shopping area of Avenida Revolucion.
But not far from the frenetic downtown, Parque Teniente Guerrero provides an oasis of calm: Old men read newspapers, portrait photographers ply their waning trade, and chess fanatics duel it out on the concrete surfaces of about a dozen specially-marked tables.
Parque Teniente Guerrero is a five or six block walk west from the intersection of Third Street (also known as Felipe Carrillo Puerto – see map below) and Avenida Revolucion, and it is one of the stops of a new Tijuana tour that aims to show tourists the city’s other offerings. Read a story, with information on the tour schedules, by The San Diego Union-Tribune here.
On weekends, local families bring their kids to play at the park and and listen to live music at a central gazebo. Visitors relax in wrought-iron benches and shoe shiners – “boleros” – put the sheen back into shoes that visiting Mexican-Americans typically bring in bagloads. The park is neatly manicured and full of large, shady trees. One of my frustrations with sprawling Tijuana is that it has no real center but this tiny park manages to evoke a traditional gathering place.
(The park’s chess players enjoy an audience and they would probably be amused to play against a gringo or two.)
A map of Teniente Guerrero in relation to Avenida Revolucion:
screen shot of Google maps page.