Mercado Artesanias, tucked up close to the border east of Revolucion, is a great place to shop for curios and souvenirs. There you’ll find furniture, statues, cast cement garden furniture, shoes & boots, stained glass, ceramics, clothing, blankets, leather, glass, carved wood and worked metal, even good copies of pre-Columbian artifacts – all at prices better than you’d get on Revolucion.
Artesianas is between Negrete and Ocampo taking up about four city blocks north of Calle Secunda. I once found a boot factory – it wasn’t actually in the Mercado, but by talking to the merchants I was given the direction to a factory that made boots for me to sell back in the States.
Back then, Mexican goods seemed to be rustic and made by hand: distinctively in the style of the Southwest or Mexico. It’s different today. Now they offer ceramics in modern or Asian styles, stained glass (often copies of Tiffany lamps), and other art that’s derivative of non-Mexican styles.
You’ll walk among scores of shops large and tiny, discovering wonderful art and lovely crafts. The shopping is a joy, since no one is hectoring you to buy. Yes, you’ll see all sorts of things you don’t need at all, but isn’t that the fun of shopping?
Stop by and explore: there is surely something that will catch you eye. And if you are looking for gifts for the folks back home, this is your spot. Set aside a couple of hours to shop here – you’ll need the time.
And you’ll need some nourishment to keep you going. Worry not – there are several small food joints tucked into corners, including Tacos Beer, which lies right up against the wall separating Mexico and the US and has tacos two for a buck and plenty of Mexican Cokes and of course beer.
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