The new Tijuana cool

New York Post, 8/17/11

IT’S tough all over, but for Tijuana, the last few years have been murder.

Terror fears? Let’s build some walls. Illegal immigrant fears? More walls again, tighter restrictions, longer lines. Oh, and now that crossing the border is a huge pain, how about we tack on a bird flu scare. And just for fun, the drug wars?

Stroll down the Avenida Revolucion these days – the heart of this Baja California border city’s tourist zone – and you’ll find it as forlorn as a winter’s day on the Coney Island boardwalk, with gate after gate rolled down, shut tight. Last year, it was reported that nearly sixty percent of the businesses in the once-thriving district had failed.

Something happened, though, while we were out. Today, with the local drug wars at a lull and the mood around town one of cautious optimism — statistically, the city is safer right now than popular American destinations like New Orleans, says Jason Thomas Fritz, editor of culture and news site Tijuanalandia.com – Tijuana feels different.

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