I promised Juan Carlos and Andreas from the Internations.org Quito get together that I would write again. Apparently my blog is catching on. Whoop Whoop! Please don't scalp me if I misspelled your names. Blame it on the Whiskey and Pisco Sours. The Internations event was amazing and I met a lot of other expats and "extranjeros" who are walking in my shoes.
Last time I told you all that Centro Historico and the Mariscal District are night and day, and I was asked, "Why?".
Since you already know what Centro Historico is, (If you were paying attention to my last entry), I will focus today on Mariscal. If you are from Los Angeles, or have been to Hollywood then Mariscal in my opinion is Ecuador's version of Hollywood minus the stars on the street,....Oh.. and that silver dude.
Mariscal is like grand central station for tourists who are traveling throughout Ecuador.
There are more bars per square meter here than a prison yard, and I am not just talking about places to get a drink. Every establishment has barred windows, barred doors, and barred ceilings. Even the third floor of a building is barred up. You can also get some of the most delicious Chocolate bars here that come from Mindo but that is another story. I even saw barbwire wrapped around a tree. Who is going to steal a tree? Maybe they just don't want people to piss on it.
Back to the other bars where we get belligerent, the choices are infinite in this gritty but festive district. Every bar is packed from 2:00 PM till 2:00 AM on Wednesday Through Saturday. Sunday is a day of rest and church here in Ecuador so you can not buy booze after 4:00 PM unless it is with a meal. I would have snapped pictures of the Plaza Foch, but it is hard to hold a camera while you are two fisted and there is no way I am giving up one of my Ecuador's finest cervezas, Club Roja.
This beer is delicious and reminds of the many Newcastles I drank with my friend Isaac in the states.
Some of my favorite places to go to here in Plaza Foch (Reina Victoria Y Mariscal Foch) are:
Q - Nice vibe and awesome happy hour
Finn McCool's - Authentic Irish Pub
Mulligan's - To play Billiards and Foosball
Cafe Espanol - Ecuador's version of Starbuck's also located on every block
Restaurante Olympico - best Chinese "Chifa" EVER.
Playa Azuca - Good place to eat
There are also plenty of nightclubs but I am not the nightclub type so I will let you explore those on your own.
Mariscal is much more modern than Centro Historico and sometimes you forget you are in another country. I guess you could say it is more "Westernized", or "Gringonized" or whatever you want to call it. I snapped this Mariscal Skyline picture from the 11th floor of the Hotel Mercure.
Beautiful isn't it. I love living here. But be careful walking around here especially solo and at night. As with any major city crime does exist so don't walk around like your in love. Watch your surroundings and please don't wear your backpack on the front because that looks corny and doesn't protect you from someone who wants your stuff. Besides, the backpack slashers and pickpocketing types tend to hang out in Centro Historico, so if you get robbed in Mariscal it will probably be with a knife or gun anyways. Wearing your backpack on the front makes you look like a mark. Your pretty much saying "Hey! I am a gringo tourist! I probably have an Ipad in my backpack which is why I am so scared to wear it regularly!". I see thousands of people with backpacks on and they get to their destination just fine. Be aware, not paranoid, or you won't enjoy your time in Mariscal. It is probably best to only bring what you need anyway.
They have beefed up security significantly in this area in the past few months. Like I said before, don't walk around drunk and stupid by yourself especially at night and you will probably be fine. Take a taxi instead of walking if it more than a few blocks.
the bottom line is, Orlando Florida is more dangerous than Quito, and I don't see American's thinking twice about visiting Disneyworld. So... Tranquilo. But do yourself a favor and leave the flower print Hawaii 5-0 ass button up shirt in your closet at home.
I only write this because I read some other blog from some other Extranjero which basically said "don't come here you will definitely get robbed". With that type of attitude you are probably right. I suggest people like should read "The Secret", or at least watch the video.
Anyhow, if you plan to come to Mariscal hit me up and I will show you around. Speaking of which it is 11:00 and I still haven't had a beer yet, so I must go.