I’ve been spending a lot of time in Tijuana lately. I love that place.
In many ways, it’s the least Mexican of cities, but in a good way. True, it’s got none of the colonial architecture that tourists love in the Mexican interior. The town has only been what you’d call a city since the 1960s.
It was a blank slate in many ways. Which is good. For neither does it have the stifling and controlling economic structures that keep those outside from rising, and which are part of life in so many cities in Mexico. There’s a more meritocratic vibe in Tijuana, due to its newness and its proximity to the US. For those reasons and others, it has a very large middle class.
That middle class is changing, has been changing, the town in many ways. One is way is through high tech. There’s a real entrepreneurial effervescence nowadays, with lots of young people looking to tech as a way of starting their own companies, and not just some mom-and-pop tiendita either, but enterprises that provide employment for many.
That’s the idea anyway. It’s early yet. A lot to see, a lot can happen – or not. I’ve been writing about it for a website in San Diego: Xconomy.com/san-diego. Here’s a story on opera, high tech and Tijuana.
And another on a kind of incubator for new tech ideas. And finally, a piece on Startup Weekend in Tijuana, an event to prod new ideas into actual businesses.
Headed now out to Drew Street in northeast Los Angeles to see how one of my favorite gang neighborhoods is faring.
More on that later.