city at night

city at night

Monday, June 12, 2023

More Signs

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.


This pharmacy specializes in generic drugs.



"Farmacias Sana Sana"  Healthy Healthy Pharmacies
"Simplemente más barato"  Simply cheaper



A "casa de funerales" is a funeral home, but a "velatorio" offers the services of a funeral home, plus a hall in which the "velorio", the all-night wake, can be held.  Many families, however, hold the "velorio" in their home.



This language school offers classes in English, French, Italian, Portuguese and German.




General plumbing service
Gas and Water



Another easily recognized word... "óptica" (optician)



A type of restaurant that you will find in Mexico is a "cocina económica" (economical kitchen) which serves a very inexpensive meal of the day ("comida corrida") each afternoon.


In addition to the "comida corrida" this place also serves "desayunos completos" (complete breakfasts) and even has a "taquiza" (a taco buffet).  They also have "servicio a domicilio" (home delivery).

Speaking of food, Mexico City has a lot of pizza parlors.



Somewhat surprisingly, sushi restaurants are also quite popular here.


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.




The "panadería" of Don Félix claims to have the best hot bread in the area, all day long.

Closely related to a "panadería", in fact, often the same, is a "pastelería".  Since "pastel" is the word used in Mexico for cake, a "pastelería" will feature more in the way of cakes and pastries.  A lot of shops will label themselves as a "panadería / pastelería".


The banner above this shop is out of date.  They are still advertising "rosca de reyes", the pastry that is served on January 6th, the Day of the Kings.


A "cafetería" is not at all like a cafeteria in the U.S.  The word comes from "café" (coffee), so it is a coffee shop.  This place is also a "tamalería", a place that sells "tamales".


I find it rather disconcerting that some businesses have Anglicized their names with the use of an "apostrophe s", something which does not exist in Spanish.

Do you remember the word "abarrotes" from the last blog post?  This grocery store is also a "cremería", a store selling dairy products.



A "cerrajería" (from "cerradura" - lock) is a locksmith's shop.



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.



At a "pollería" ("pollo" = chicken) you can buy fresh chicken cut to your specifications.




It's not a very common word, and it's only used in Mexico, but a "recaudería" is a green grocer's shop.



"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.






That concludes your Spanish lesson for today.  I hope that you enjoyed it!






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