Tijuana’s history, culture, and music make it both uniquely Mexican and yet at the crossroads of cultures, even a crossroads of the world.
The city is one-half of the San Diego/ Tijuana metropolitan area; it has been said that the US people work in SD but live in TJ. People certainly come to the city from all over the world, to visit or stay; the population is diverse and includes South and Central Americans, Asians, and of course people from Sinaloa, Jalisco, Oaxaca…
Like Las Vegas, Tijuana has spent plenty of time and money trying to shake off the sin city image to attract more family-style tourists. The lawless “anything goes” days of danger and abandon are certainly in the past, though the excitement of the sahdy and illicit still draws many to the Avenida Revolución and Zona Norte. However, the tourist story of Tijuana is only part of the story, and perhaps the less interesting part.
One of the big stories of the last decade or two has been the explosion of activity within the art community of Tijuana. Bulbo and other collectives produce some of the world’s foremost dance, theater, and visual art with a definite ear to the authentic and ‘underground’ currents of inspiration in Tijuana. Mural grafitti and large-scale sculpture can be found throughout the city, sometimes where you least expect it but always making an impression.
The musical scene is diverse and often unique; while the nightclubs host bands from all over the world, performing and bringing their sound to the mix, the significant movement is from local artists who absorb and reshape the musical inspirations that have gone before. The proud energy and subculture support that came of age during the punk era has spilled over into many genres, from the traditional and faithful to the most modern and abstract.