A grandiose and spectacular event was held March 21st at Tijuana's Cecut cultural center to celebrate and present the book Tijuana 22000. No, it's not a book about our beloved border city twenty thousand years from now but a series of short stories that show the everyday hustle, bustle, art, and culture of downtown life ( 22000 being the zip code for downtown TJ). The event was absolutely beautiful and truth be told, I usually just go to these things for the free booze but in this case the book actually grabbed my attention. Held in a walled patio, free booze, free food and a wide variety of hipsters, TJ intellectuals, Tijuana renaissance band wagoners and uptight fresa girls all in attendance to the ring of about 200 people. The actual book presentation was held in El Cubo and the pre and post cocktail party held in a beautiful patio where more than once I heard the random gringo say "This is so nice I wouldn't think it's TJ". It was that kind of event. Muy bonito.
A few free beers and a play list of all Tijuana bands playing in the back ground and now it was time to make our way to EL Cubo for the actual presentation. The book is published by French publisher Olivier Dalle and his Enville 37 publishing house. The book's main author was present ( Paola Gonzalez ) as well as the French Publisher and the two main photographers Jofras and Turista Libre famous /adopted son of Tijuana Derrik Chinn. The presentation was long and horribly booked by CECUT as another event's applause and cheers could be heard during the book presentation but the Q and A section was decent and did I mention free food and drinks afterwards?
The publisher explained that the book follows a series of books published by him that are different neighborhoods in the world and their zip code, hence the name Tijuana 22000. Famed Tijuana author and recently deceased Rafa Saavedra also contributed with the book serving as a mentor to the main author and writing one of the short stories. The book is flawless in design and photography making it easy to debate as one of the best books written about Tijuana ever.
In the era of the so called Tijuana renaissance the logical question ( and source of some social media debate and beef prior to event ) is, How do a French publisher, Coronado, Ca author ( with Tijuana Ties ) and photographer from Ohio write a book on downtown Tijuana?[/
The answer is quite simple ( my answer), Tijuana is open ground to be discovered by any one. It doesn't matter if you are French or from here and were protected from the downtown area as a child( I pretty much was ) due to your social upbringing or from Ohio. Tijuana is the modern day Ellis Island. It welcomes us all and discovering it or re discovering it is a art all within itself. Hip Hip Hooray for all involved!
The book does a great job in not over exotifying the city and it's stereo types. Paola Gonzalez tells us "I have always wanted to write a book and always found TJ to be a fascinating backdrop.'' The reason of how and why downtown Tijuana she says '' I made a list of categories: art, fashion, la setxta, oddities, but fundamentally I wanted to showcase creativity whether it was artists or creative ways people make a living. En ville 37's main goal is to dispel stereotypes. Tijuana is plagued by many negative stereo types predominately that of violence, destruction and debauchery. There is so much more to TJ than just that. The book aimed to give a sample of the diversity of life, and its creativity.''
This book is beautiful and you can own a copy.
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