street of dreams…

5a Ave hacia Ave Constituyentes

5a Ave hacia Ave Constituyentes

I love Quinta Avenida or 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen.!! It’s one of my favorite streets.!! So many shops, so many restaurants, and people watching to the max 🙂 The above photo is a balcony view of Quinta Avenida and Constituyentes. It marks the halfway point between “old” 5th Avenue and “new” 5th Avenue. Please note the Olmec stone head and fountain in the center of the intersection.

Quinta Alegria courtesy of everythingplayadelcarmen.com

Quinta Alegria courtesy of everythingplayadelcarmen.com

Recently, they opened a new shopping plaza at Quinta Avenida entre Constituyentes or 5th Avenue and Constitution.! It’s called Quinta Alegria or Happy Fifth. It’s a three story plaza featuring a Sanborns department store. It was under construction when I lived there, but has recently opened up and it looks beautiful.!! I can’t wait to visit 🙂

5a Ave desde arriba hacia Ave Juárez

5a Ave desde arriba hacia Ave Juárez

Fifth Avenue technically begins at Juarez. Juarez is considered 1st Street even though all the streets after it are even numbers. The majority of bus routes begin on Juarez. One of the main taxi stands can also be located at Juarez and Quinta. As well as, the ADO bus station which services the Cancun airport, tourist sites, and other cities in Mexico. Two blocks from the same corner is the entrance to the Cozumel ferry. Juarez also contains a plethora of Mexican stores that cater to locals; while, Quinta is more focused on tourists.

Calle 12 y Ave 10 (parte trasera de la Plaza)

Calle 12 y Ave 10 (parte trasera de la Plaza)

The picture above is the back of Quinta Alegria at the corner of 10th Avenida and Calle 12. 10th Avenida is a little quieter than 5th Avenue. When I was in a hurry to get home and wanted to avoid tourists and/or didn’t have time to converse with locals, I would take this street home. Unlike Quinta, it is not a pedestrian street, so you have to navigate cars and bicycles. But I still felt like it was a quicker walk. 10th Avenue also has some nice restaurants like Sushi Ken, Como Como, and Don Sirloin just to name a few.!

Calle 12 y 5a Ave

Calle 12 y 5a Ave

Finally, Quinta Avenida and Calle 12 is on the world famous 5th Avenue, but somehow manages to be a quiet haven among the chaos. It’s near a hotel and some residences, but it’s claim to fame for me is the beautiful trees that dot the middle of the street. At night, flickering lights hanging from the trees illuminate the walkway. Calle 12 is also sometimes called Calle Corazon or Heart Street. It’s very beautiful and very romantic 🙂

Calle Corazon courtesy of  playa.info

Calle Corazon courtesy of playa.info

quinta avenida

quinta avenida equina calle 2

quinta avenida esquina calle 2

I believe my friend P., the photographer, has begun a stealth campaign to bring about my return to playa.!! jajaja… P. posts and sends me beautiful photos for my blog. Recently, she has also begun to post photos directly onto my facebook page with messages aimed directly at me.!! She began her campaign in earnest last week with the blog post called “sweet torture”.!! It happened again today.!

The above photo was found on my facebook page this morning with the following caption –

Tu adorada 5a Ave Rose Boras” or “You adored 5th avenue Rose Boras

Of course, its true. I have always adored Fifth Avenue or Quinta Avenida.! In fact, I talk at length about it in the post “bienvenida de nuevo”. But it’s like being reminded of a past love that you might return to one day, but probably not today.!

I responded to P. with nostalgia and deep longing –

me: “lo extraño..!!”
me: “is that Casa del Agua in the background.?? es que Casa del Agua en el fondo. ??
P.: “Yes, it is…kiss
me: “un beso

Deep sigh… I do love the energy of Quinta Avenida. I miss how everyone knew me and said hello as I strolled by 🙂 Casa del Agua has fantastic seafood by the way if you are ever in Playa del Carmen.!! Unfortunately, today I will have to take a stroll in my neighborhood in Chicago. Luckily, the weather is beautiful or I might have been crying/swearing instead.!! jajaja

bienvenida de nuevo..!!

courtesy of buyplaya.com

courtesy of buyplaya.com

Upon my arrival to Mexico, I called one of my most treasured friends, C., for dinner.! We initially met at the first hotel I worked at in Playa del Carmen. Even though, we went on to different jobs, that first meeting was so amazing – we became immediate friends and confidantes. C. is a former dancer who now spreads the joy of dance to younger generations. There were a few things on our to-do list together – talk..!! A lot..!! I also wanted to eat at El Fogon – I needed authentic Mexican food.! And finally, we took a stroll down Quinta Avenida. Ah it was good to be back 🙂

buyplaya.com

courtesy of buyplaya.com

One of my most treasured activities when I lived in Playa del Carmen was to walk along the famed Quinta Avenida. Though of course to me, its fame was a minor reason for the stroll. Usually, Quinta was my path to work or my means home, my sojourn to dinner, or a friend’s house. Always, there were salutations to be proclaimed to the endless parade of friends, colleagues, and acquaintances met along the avenue. And constantly, there was people watching – local, expat, tourist, and even the four-legged variety.

courtesy of buyplaya.com

courtesy of buyplaya.com

For tourists, Quinta Avenida showcases all the best that Playa del Carmen has to offer. The fantastic restaurants, the high end stores, the kitschy tourist markets, souvenir shops, and bars are all on full display every night of the week. Quinta Avenida is only open to foot traffic and while you can walk and shop on it during the day, it gets pretty hot outside. Very few shops or restaurants have air conditioning along the route. Therefore, evening time is the perfect time to promenade the length of Quinta Avenida. Quinta Avenida or Fifth Avenue comes alive as the sun sets over the Caribbean!

courtesy of playarealtyexecutives.com

courtesy of playarealtyexecutives.com

And no night is lovelier to saunter down this amazing pedestrian boulevard than Thursday night. And it just so happened to be a Thursday when I arrived.!! Every Thursday evening, starting at 6pm, there is an open air art show in the middle of the avenue. Artists from all over the Riviera Maya, including Playa del Carmen, display their artwork and their talent on the chic avenue. The event is open to all local artists, both Mexican and foreign nationals, who reside in the area. The art show promotes twenty city blocks of amazing and beautiful art along Quinta, beginning at Avenida Constituyentes (18th) and ending at Calle 40.

courtesy of es.holarivieramaya.com

courtesy of es.holarivieramaya.com

Caminarte, as the art show is called, is a take on two Spanish words. Caminar means to walk in Spanish; while, arte means art. The two words combined together refer to an art walk! Caminarte was conceived and organized by the 5th Avenida Xaman Ha committee in 2009. Other collaborators include the local municipality, the Riviera Maya Fidecomiso, the 5th Avenue Neighborhood Association, local businesses, various hotel groups, and the Chamber of Commerce of Solidaridad.

courtesy of buyplaya.com

courtesy of buyplaya.com

The purpose of the art show is to provide free exhibition space for painters, sculptors, photographers, performing artists, and musicians. The organizers also hope to increase global awareness and exposure around Playa del Carmen’s lively and talented artistic community; while, at the same time, creating a sense of community and belonging among the artists, the locals, and the expats. Caminarte is a marvelous and versatile display of their artwork. As well as, the art show fosters a spectacular and thriving social scene.

courtesy of buyplaya.com

courtesy of buyplaya.com

I always loved walking along Quinta on Thursday evenings! And my first night back was no exception.!! In fact, I made it a point to be out that night frequently because the atmosphere was always exciting and electric. People stopped to look at the artwork, talk to the artists, and talk to each other! My favorite spot was sitting outside in front of the Starbucks on Quinta and Calle 28. The artist who used the space in front of that Starbucks created the most beautiful female faces by painting with dots or pointillism. I always wanted to buy one and take it home with me!

courtesy of playarealestatemail.com

courtesy of playarealestatemail.com

That night was sheer bliss. Talking to C., walking along Quinta, and soaking in all the magic of Playa del Carmen while enjoying Caminarte. It was a magnificent way to be welcomed back to town..!! The next time you find yourself visiting Playa del Carmen or really anywhere along the Riviera Maya, I heartily endorse a leisurely walk along Quinta Avenida. Do all the amazing activities the area has on offer – excursions, ruins, the beach, cuisine, and beverages. But while you are here, please remember also to take some time to appreciate the work of the area’s brilliant and gifted artists!