If you wander deep into the throat of downtown, you will find streets and alleys lined with people and clothing and of course food. People making a living, existing, and alive. Sounds and scents encompass you, bathing you in a cloud of energy.
At 7am the steam is rising and the tacos are sizzling. In between racks of clothing and long tables of shoes and socks, you will find ladies and their children, teenage daughters and adult sons, cooking up special dishes to feed those who have come out before the sun rises and the traffic begins.
It’s cash only and you can find a variety of different foods, the familiar hot dogs on the grill topped with a fresh ensalada de nopal. Juices of every flavor, the colors bright and rich from the sweetness of their taste. Handamde tortillas and pancakes, cooking on hotplates and browning in butter and oil; and every variety of taco you could possibly imagine. Most of the food is quick and simple to accommodate the moving crowd. There are deep fryers and hot plates, Tortilla presses, and coffee carafes. Salsas in every degree of hot. Baskets and food carts. Stacked stools with family names written on them, bundles of napkins and plastic forks. A mass of things.
You follow where the lines are and you know its good if a small crowd has gathered. You seek out stools to sit on, and you gather with your family to eat together. Most of the street vendors are ladies who are sweet and gentle, others are sassy and rough. Don’t take pictures unless you’re going to buy something, they’re not there to give you a show. This is life, a way of life. It’s money in their pockets to feed their families, to pay the rent, to send their kids to college. Mothers, Matriarchs, Fathers and Sons, making something out of nothing. Thriving. Pumping and pulsing in the heart of the city.