Have you ever stumbled onto – or into – a space and immediately inhaled in quiet glee and adoration of of whatever it is you find particularly beautiful? Such a moment occurred when I happened upon the Centro Cultural San Pablo (San Pablo Academic and Cultural Center) in the center of Oaxaca.
On a random Friday afternoon I found myself wandering through the Zocalo wondering how I wanted to spend the rest of my afternoon before my date with Mr. Tall Dark Haaaaaaandsome and Speaks Great English. I was floating high on the purchase of my new hat, which I still love.
I allowed myself to be temporarily distracted by the herringbone bricks inlaid in the grass. By the succulents climbing a facade to make a wall of cacti. By the exquisitely curated art exhibit inside the center. And I haven’t even mentioned the cafe with the super fast wifi. Or the glass enclosed library which became one of my regular hot spots…. I know I mentioned the super fast wifi.
If you need a quiet space to focus and work with fast wifi, SP is definitely a space to consider.
My selfie session was interrupted by a photography student who took some pictures of me. I like to think it’s because of my hat and not because he was horrified at the indignity of a selfie stick.
The interior exhibit of fine arts included a small collection of beautiful huipels. The skill and amount of dedicated patience that goes into the making of these gorgeous garments is beyond any I possess… of either.
I walked through the photography exhibit documenting, through magnificent pictures, the relationship between the people of Oaxaca and chocolate. Chocolate is indigenous to the area and has been traded and consumed, even used as currency and in rituals since pre-Hispanic times. Heck, during my Temazcal I was instructed to pour chocolate on my body. Side note: THAT was an overwhelmingly outside my comfort zone experience!
Even though my Spanish is only good enough for me to read approximately one quarter to a third of what is written, the photographs were so dynamic I could understand the story and the importance.
In the matter of a single functional space I found: two fine art exhibitions, a highly functional library, a restaurant, a cafe, an art space, a public performance forum (beautiful concerts by the week), a respite from the busy bustle of Ave. Indepencia, a creative work space, and a cafe with beautiful local coffee and many chairs for reading or gathering and talking with amigos. Look at their website or Facebook to see numerous workshops, concerts, and screenings they offer, definitely by the week and seemingly by the day.
How have you encountered your “my little secret” spots, whether traveling or in your own home town?
Centro Cultural San Pablo:
Hidalgo 907, Centro Histórico