TIJUANA.- More than a few were stunned by article citing Tijuana as the most hated city in the world. The list, compiled by CNN, also featured Los Angeles, Paris and Lima; the comment section quickly heated up with angry readers complaining against the author and the network itself.
In Tijuana's case, defense came from its own citizens and tourists who have been to the border in the last years. CNN's article showcases a city of at least 8 years ago where violence rates were high and cheap entertainment was the main attraction.
Why don't we agree, they ask? Because we know of the efforts being made to change that poor image by the government, the touristic appeal it holds, "Baja-Med" gastronomy's huge boom and we also know that Tijuana being a key point in reaching Baja's other treasures like the Guadalupe Valley is a definite plus.
The author also forgets how Tijuana lives up to the commitment of having such a valuable neighbor as San Diego. In a recent meeting, mayors of both cities talked about the Mexican city's recent development and it was confirmed that safety precautions by San Diego's authorities did not include Tijuana as a place not to visit.
Mexican citizens themselves have elected Tijuana as one of the best cities in the country to work and study even with the global crisis affecting the economy and many working fields.
People like Anthony Bourdain, Andrew Zimmern and Bill Esparza have nothing but good things to say about Tijuana's food; gourmet restaurants as well as street vendors have such a magic touch that they recommend to come and taste it all.
Some visitors have even gone out of their way to introduce new gastronomic experiences to anyone up for it and that are easily looked over for fear of the city's former reputation. Another great example is the "Life and Food" blog which displays places even locals may not know about; it is impossible not to crave what Kristin Díaz posts there.
As far as entertainment goes, the city has also reinvented itself. Throughout the whole year we can find many artistic festivals; Downtown Tj is living a new era with the 6th Street (Calle Sexta) as the central character Avenida Revolución used to be.
New bars tend towards the Pub style while at the same time allowing for the chic of new generations and showcasing the growth of the area's craft breweries.
Music is no longer your typical Norteño or Banda groups. Nortec Collective and its members have taken upon themselves the task of mixing Tijuana's soundtrack.
People who live here do not see two countries; they see a unique region, different from the US and from Mexico and they proudly take that flag throughout the world.
Tijuana is a great city; hated? Not at all. She has always welcomed anyone who wants to meet her with open arms.
Original Text : Brenda Colón
Translation : Karen Balderas Licea