The Malecon Upgraded
Author: Marie Nelson
The new Malecon in Puerto Vallarta has a sweep that brings to the store-and-club side that same open airy feeling as the pathway next to the ocean.
I realize this facelift is controversial, but I could only appreciate the tasteful palms, vines and trees breaking up the expanse and giving tourists, shoppers, sightseers and joggers plenty of room. Cleverly designed, wide wooden slat benches enable walkers to sit and view the ocean or storefronts in equal comfort. All this, to me, made shopping more inviting.
The street is now on the same level with the sidewalks on the shopping side and boardwalk on the ocean side, unifying it all into a grand boulevard. Large freeform planters are attractively filled with plants of variegated, green and dark red foliage dotted by palm trees. They include wide comfortable borders that ingeniously double as seating, especially while waiting for the fireworks at night.
The path along the bay appears wider and now boasts river stone designs embedded throughout its span. A wide border fronting Banderas Bay also doubles as comfortable seating from the Rosita Hotel to the hub of restaurants near the little lighthouse. This is the point where auto traffic resumes.
Public art has been rearranged and new sculptures have been added. Especially impressive was the ring of bronze chairs, mostly weathered by the salt air but partly burnished by the wear and tear of innumerable people sitting, rubbing or stroking. And if you’re wondering where the dancers of Papantla have gone, their tall dance pole has moved further north, in front of the No Name Boutique. The impressive sand sculptures and rock art remain near their original locations.
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