he rugged beauty of “The Gold Coast,” the 70-mile stretch of coastline that leads to Ensenada, is reminiscent of Big Sur. (Photo courtesy Baja Breeze Magazine)

he rugged beauty of “The Gold Coast,” the 70-mile stretch of coastline that leads to Ensenada, is reminiscent of Big Sur. (Photo courtesy Baja Breeze Magazine)

There’s more to Mexico than swine flu and drug cartels. But you wouldn’t know it by watching cable news.

It’s true that President Felipe Calderon’s efforts to crack down on the Mexican drug cartels have unleashed inter-gang killings. It’s a face of Mexico that we may find grim and frightening even though it poses little, if any, risk to law-abiding Americans.

But Mexico has another face, another story that runs counter to the conventional wisdom: Baja norte is coming of age.

Behind the scenes, a new Tijuana has been hatching into a vibrant, multi-layered city, arguably more cosmopolitan than some U.S. cities. And in spite of its problems, it is experiencing something of a cultural renaissance. Tijuana’s creative community, named among the top eight in the world by Newsweek, includes a new generation of bold, contemporary artists, writers, graphic designers and multi-media artists, film makers, and advertising agencies. The Tijuana Cultural Center, an architectural triumph in itself, is now an important venue for the arts. Read the rest of this entry »

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