I duck under a concrete arch and immediately I am in a demented wonderland, far away from the urban lassitude of the plaza. Violent graffiti covers concrete pillars that support the glorieta above.

Here, too, vendors sell wares, but of a different sort — lingerie, leather, and metal implements. Glassy-eyed, pierced, tattooed punks in bondage outfits and tattered clothing blow smoke rings and silently dare anyone to speak.

Hypnotic post-metal echoes, trance-like, from tinny speakers somewhere out of sight. Another small pizza shop advertises pizza by the slice, but nobody goes in. Mostly I am ignored. I walk past the pizza shop and pop out onto Calle Puebla, back into the daylight.

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