Hotels and restaurants dot both sides of the street that takes you from the Mazatlan historical center to the marina at the north end of town. If each hotel was represented on a map with a red pin, and each restaurant a blue pin, you would have a long
row of pins. You could climb up on the head of one pin and walk all the way to the marina without ever touching the road.
A half block down the calle, in front of the Hotel Playa ,is a colorful eatery that calls itself the Gringo Lingo
A kid in front of the eatery, holds a menu, stands on the sidewalk and talks us inside for a meal and a Pacifico beer – one of Mazatlan’s gifts to the world. There is world class fishing in these waters that drew Hollywood stars in the 50’s, taking time off from the rigors of stardom and Los Angeles. You see photos of John Wayne and Robert Mitchem in travel brochures in local shops and huge marlin dangling from the end of ominous hooks connected to dock scales.
This evening the three of us are enticed into the Gringo Lingo complete with bright primary school colors, hanging potted plants, and an extensive menu of Mexican and American favorites. There is only a handful of patrons when we enter and only a few come after we find a table. It is early in the evening and people are still recovering from sunburn and too many afternoon margaritas.
This evening we try tortilla soup and chicken wings. Ordering food is a tricky business in Mexico even though menus show pictures and have food descriptions written in English as well as Spanish.
Dining tonight in the ” Golden Zone, ” we eat what tastes good to us and look for movie stars.
Mazatlan, in it’s day, was where gringos went to speak their lingo to the ocean sunsets.
Mazatlan, today, has lost some of it’s charm. Now, it feels like a big marlin that has hung a bit too long from a big hook on the pier.
If places could just remain the way they used to be,mostly natural and undiscovered, we travelers would all be the better for it.
While the places I visit are new to me, there is no question that I have been preceded where I go by many.
If going someplace no one has been was my goal, I would never get out of my house.