Enter the time capsule to a quarter of a century ago…a hot dusty street with vendors sitting in front of small shops fanning themselves. In this rustic part of Peñasco, most of the owners and craftsmen lived behind their shops, some in little more than lean-tos. That was the “dirt mall” or “shacks Fifth Ave” of long ago. Moving right along to modern day and the now you see paved streets, wonderful shops, some still “open air” but many with doors and windows. Yet none have lost their charm. The wares are still an amazing variety of hand crafted and ‘made in Mexico’ rare pieces. No “made in China” labels to be found.

Polo Orihuela is one of the patriarchs both then and now of what has morphed into “Rodeo Drive”. Having relocated from Toluca some 25 years ago, Polo is someone known and loved on the Drive. If you’ve shopped in the Kokopelli Store I know you must have fallen in love with his beautiful pottery. Polo the creator, a true artisan that brings such tasteful color combinations to his earthen and stoneware. You can often see him working in the back room of his shop and, of course, he can paint something just for you. He has passed his creativity and tradition of hard work on to all 7 of his children – each of whom also own shops on Rodeo Drive.

Speaking of his children, son David is the proud owner of Mariachi’s and Tequila. If you haven’t been there lately you’re in for a surprise. The charming interior of this terrific restaurant has gotten even better. The menu has been modified with some new offerings that are to die for while the old favorites are still to be had. Their mango shrimp salad and Chiles en Nogada are the best.

Time for a break.