In my last post I began showing you photos of store and business signs in the neighborhood where Alejandro lives. Here are some more...
I don't think I have ever seen a city with more pharmacies than Mexico City. The word for pharmacy is easy to recognize... "farmacia".
Unlike U.S. drug stores which usually sell all sorts of things not related to medicine, a "farmacia" is pretty much limited to health (and some beauty) products. Also, unless it is an antibiotic or painkiller, most medications do not require a prescription. Many pharmacies also have a doctor's office that offers very economical care for minor health problems.
But more than pizza parlors or sushi restaurants, in any neighborhood of the city, you will see "taquerías". Whether they are sit-down restaurants or sidewalk stands, taco joints are everywhere.
The word "taquería" brings us to another point. The words for many kinds of stores in Spanish end in the letters "ía". (Don't forget the accent on the "i".)
A "panadería" is a store which sells "pan" (bread), in other words a bakery.
Something unique mainly to Mexico is a "tortillería". Here tortillas, Mexico's staff of life, are cranked out on machines. Some upper-class Mexicans may look down on tortillas, but for many Mexicans a daily trip to a "tortillería" for a big stack of them is a must.
A "dulcería" (dulces = candy) is a candy store. Often, they also sell piñatas. In this photo you can see a few hanging at the entrance.
"Zapato" means shoe, so a "zapatería" is a shoe store. There seem to be almost as many shoe stores as there are pharmacies.
The word "papelería" comes from "papel" meaning paper. It's a stationery shop. Do we even have stationery shops in the U.S. anymore, or have they disappeared with advent of the "big box" office supply stores? There are certainly still a lot of hole-in-the-wall "papelerías" here where you can buy school and office supplies. I have also gone to "papelerías" a number of times to have presents gift wrapped. In the modern age, these shops also often serve as internet cafés for people who do not have computers. You can also get photocopies made here.