It seemed to only take a declaration October 11 by the influential, British tourism and leisure magazine Time Out that ranked Guadalajara’s Colonia Americana number one on its list of “coolest neighborhoods” in the world, to bring out the fangs of local critics indignantly berating its flaws.
Of course, the spotlight on Guadalajara, which I’ve long considered the best big city in Mexico, is a departure from the perennial focus on tourist magnets such as Puerto Vallarta and Cancun. Indeed, Time Out had underscored that the list’s purpose was to find spots more beloved by locals that tourists. But none of that soothed skeptical Tapatios twittering about Colonia Americana’s problems with water, crime and urban decay, despite a British magazine calling it the place to be.
“First-world chingao!” one tweeter called Time Out’s list a week after the article, using a derivative of the vulgar chingar—what some people wish to do to their enemy’s mother. Others compared the color of the neighborhood’s water to Nestea, bemoaned house doors and windows covered with graffiti by urban “artists” and generally discredited Time Out’s accuracy.
“They say that, but I don’t think they walked along the abandoned part of [Avenida] López Cotilla,” groused colonia resident Omar Magana, although he allowed he has positive feelings about the area too.