More mural art.

More mural art.

What I refer to as “Midtown Guadalajara” runs east from Chalpultepec to 8 De Julio, and south from Calle Independencia to Libertad (map last below).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Older buildings like this still dot the neighborhood.

Older buildings like this still dot the neighborhood.

 

The Avenida Vallarta passes directly through its heart, but much of what’s worth seeing and doing in this eclectic neighborhood happens on its less-traveled streets.

 

2015-04-23 Guadalajara Midtown East 04 newsstand

Midtown newsstand

This is a walking experience, and ready accessibility via public transportation means ‘no car required’.

 

These neighborhoods are a great pastime during the day, but come alive in the evenings, so consider a Saturday night stayover.

 

Museo de la Ciudad (Independencia @ 8 De Julio).

Museo de la Ciudad (Independencia @ 8 De Julio).

Start with the Museo de la Ciudad (Calle Independencia 684, just east of 8 de Julio), which presents the history of Guadalajara from its founding in 1542.

 

This building housed a convent of Capuchin nuns beginning in 1761, and its courtyard is now a venue for installations, exhibitions, lectures, and tastings.

 

Sculptures in the Andador Coronilla.

Sculptures in the Andador Coronilla.

 

Six permanent exhibition rooms house artifacts of the historic, urban, ethnographic, artistic development of the city and its inhabitants.

 

Four other rooms house temporary exhibitions that invite repeated revisits.

 

Andador Coronilla café.

Andador Coronilla café.

 

From the Museo there it’s two blocks to the Andador Coronilla, a street-turned pedestrian thoroughfare line with restaurants, cafés, and studios that offer dancing, drawing, and painting lessons.

 

A cobbler works leather into footwear.

A cobbler works leather into footwear.

 

Laborers and shopkeepers occupy the neighborhoods east of Federalismo, and these streets afford a snapshot of everyday life for blue collar Mexicans.  (See also my post South Centro.)

 

A slow day at the casket store.

A slow day at the casket store.

 

Mural art abounds on neighborhood walls.

Mural art abounds on neighborhood walls.

 

From there it’s another two blocks to the Parque Revolución and the University of Guadalajara, which add its own flavor to the mix.

 

 

One of several bicycle rental racks is located in the Parque Revolucion.

One of several bicycle rental racks is located in the Parque Revolucion.

 

I posted my take on the daytime Parque last week.  In the evening other parts of this neighborhood come alive.

 

Habitat bar and pool, Parque Revolución.

Habitat bar and pool, Parque Revolución.

2015-04-23 Guadalajara Midtown East 15

Painting by Maclovio Perez Garcia at Habitat bar.

 

 

The Parque’s southwest side is home to several restaurants and bars.

 

Habitat features a good selection of craft beers, wifi, and pool tables.  It’s also home to some eye-popping art.

 

1er Piso (Premer Piso) Jazz Club interior (Pedro Moreno @ Escorza).

1er Piso (Premer Piso) Jazz Club interior (Pedro Moreno @ Escorza).

 

West of the park on Pedro Moreno is the 1er Piso Jazz Club.  The door to this walk-up location is both austere and obscure (just west of the intersection on the south side of the street), but the inside has comfortable feel of an intimate cabaret.  1er Piso had good food and a great bar.  Saturday evening performances begin at 10:30PM (reservations recommended).

 

Café Gato Negro (Pedro Moreno @ Robles Gil).

Café Gato Negro (Pedro Moreno @ Robles Gil).

 

Cafe Gato Negro has an inviting atmosphere and serves specialty coffee drinks and a modest menu from 2:30 PM.

 

Next up on the walking tour of Guadalajara’s engaging Midtown:  The Templo Expiatorio and the University of Guadalajara’s Museo Bellas Artes.

 

 

 

 

Interior, Café Gato Negro.

Interior, Café Gato Negro.

 

 

To reach Midtown via public transportation:  From Ajijic or Chapala, take the bus to Guadalajara’s Central Viejo bus terminal (around USD $3.50). 

 

From there it’s a short taxi ride, or you can catch the macrobus a couple of blocks east on the Calzado Independencia.   Take it for the short ride to the Tren Ligera station at San Juan de Dios and ride it two stops to the Juarez station (each about USD$.50).

 

There are a number of boutique hotels in this area, but I rate experience as good at the Hotel Portobelo, and the Casino Plaza, which offers free in-and-out parking.  Find great weekend rates on Hoteles.com.

 

Guadalajara Midtown map

 

See also my related posts on Guadalajara Midtown’s Parque Revolución and Guadalajara’s South Centro neighborhood, or browse the complete portfolio of my Guadalajara posts.

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