On Calle 6 Oriente between 4 Norte and 5 de Mayo is one of my favorite streets in the world, lined with candy shops that also sell extraordinary talavera ceramics. This is not ordinary candy. It is made from the pulp of sweet potatoes and take on a multitude of shapes and flavors. The best shop, Dulce Sta. Clara de Lirio, is in the second block from 5 de Mayo going toward the outskirts of town in the direction of the talavera market street. The camotes here are made on the premises and people come from Mexico City especially to buy. It is owned by a beautiful, aging couple who look to be quintessentially regal and the sweets are delicious.
I am on the hunt to find the shop where I purchased four beautiful hand painted talavera ceramic DO4 mugs made by Virgilio Perez last December. In and out of shops, I have a visual image of the space, and finally find it several store fronts down from Lirio. It is called La Flor de Santa Clara. There is an abundant selection of mugs and Stephen and I choose four more. The cost is $140 pesos each (which converts to $10.60 each). I ask for a discount; they offer $520 pesos for the four; I counter with $500 pesos for all or $38 USD, and the deal is accepted.
We stop at Hotel Royalty sidewalk cafe on the Zocalo for drinks and a light supper snack before heading back to the hotel. Couples and families stroll. Balloon vendors entice children. A thrill for the toddlers are the young men who blow big soap suds bubbles as the children run to capture translucent balls and squeeze them before they hit the ground to disappear. Lovers sit on the ancient wall bordering the Church of the Angels, snatching kisses. We walk hand in hand back to Camino Real Puebla as the magic hour between afternoon and sunset descends.
Photos on this page by Stephen Hawthorne and Norma Hawthorne