In Guadalajara’s Colonia Americana, locally renowned as trendy and vibrant, residents feel themselves to be alternately basking in and contaminated by the near-constant festivity on Avenida Chapultepec, and by dozens of top-rated restaurants, hotels, bars, bookstores and more.
But nowadays that sense of centrality is mostly felt in the frequent drone of helicopters blaring almost unintelligible warnings to “quedar en casa” (stay home). Otherwise, the area is largely deserted, peppered by a few hardy restaurants that have remained open—mostly to help staff get by, it is said—and a handful of pharmacies and convenience stores. In addition, construction sites in the area, and there are many, remain hives of activity.
Since late May, the area has also become peppered with small businesses that have closed permanently. Perhaps movers show up, or a sign appears with a new address, presumably in a less expensive area. Or one simply notices blank windows staring back. An over-fancy disco, a computer dealer, a sophisticated plant store, a travel agency, an English school, an English bookstore—all in a few square blocks of each other and none exactly bustling before the new coronavirus brought lockdown in March.