View Full Version : Brockton O'Tools TJ Guide (updated Jan 2007)

06-01-07, 03:27
brockton o'toole's tijuana faq


updated: may 2007

introduction: more than ten years ago the multifarious demands of my financial affairs brought me to san diego for the first time. after concluding my business, i was in the mood for a little adult entertainment so i soon found myself in tijuana wandering the turista strip along avenida revolucion. enticed by barkers promising all manner of carnal delights, i foolishly patronized several clubs. all were disappointing clip joints interested only in separating me from my money. i departed unsatisfied and wondering where the tj legends had gotten their start.

on a subsequent visit i used my barbarous spanish to put inquiries to knowledgeable locals, who introduced me to the gentleman's playground that is the zona norte. about the same time, one of my technical staffers recommended the internet as a useful business tool. that's when i discovered the concept of a document answering frequently asked questions (faq). it occurred to me that others could benefit from my tj experience. and so it was that the tj faq came to be. the rest, as they say, is history.

in the years since i first posted this faq, the amount of information available online about the zona norte has exploded. much of it is very detailed and accurate. and frankly, some of it comes from gentlemen who spend far more time in tj than i. my goal here is not to supplant that information, but rather to provide a primer for the total novice who speaks no spanish and who is ignorant of the basic logistics involved in a typical evening trip from the united states to the zona norte and back. the idea is to get you south of the border and get you laid with a minimum of risk, drama or expense. if you follow the procedure described below, your tj sojourn will be easy and fun. armed with this information, there is no need to be concerned about traveling alone or an inability to speak spanish. as you will read below, a few common sense precautions will keep you perfectly safe. there is no need to pay somebody to be your tj "guide, " because these directions are well and truly idiot-proof.

planning your tj trip: there was a time when you had to visit friday or saturday night to ensure the best selection of girls. no more. thursdays and sundays offer nearly the same selection. and the lineup monday through wednesday, while somewhat smaller, is still good. some eschew the weekend nights because the clubs are so crowded. but i rather enjoy wading through a place packed with gorgeous girls knowing i can fuck any of them. the zona norte also operates during the day, albeit at a less frantic level. if you have no choice but to visit then, your best bet will probably be the adelita bar, which has a day shift of girls who arrive about midday and remain through happy hour. (more on the adelita bar below.) finally, keep in mind that the pleasures of tj mix nicely with the less carnal tourist attractions available in san diego and environs. so this faq includes some lodging information for those interested in arranging overnight accommodations during a vacation. if you're a local, or you're just going for the night, skip ahead to the section entitled "crossing the border. "

location: tijuana is just south of san ysidro, california, which is about 25 miles south of downtown san diego, and about 150 miles south of los angeles international airport (lax). if you are visiting, renting a car is the most convenient way to get around if you don't mind the expense. but if you're trying to economize, or you're concerned about drinking and driving, you can get from san diego to tijuana using public transportation, which includes buses and an extensive trolley system. see www.sdcommute.com.

lodging advice for the novice: gentlemen who are traveling on a tight budget often contact me to enquire whether they might economize by lodging in tijuana. i generally recommend against this. a perfectly serviceable room in chula vista within walking distance of the trolley can be had for less than $50 per night. lodging in san ysidro is even cheaper. in tijuana, unless you stay in a frightening dive you'll pay in the vicinity of $40 per night. granted, that's somewhat cheaper. but the accommodations will be far less comfortable and secure. of course, some people are unconcerned with creature comforts and they enjoy soaking up local culture, spanish phrasebook in hand. for them, i have a brief discussion of tj hotels below. for everybody else, especially the newbies, i include the following discussion of lodging in southern california.

socal lodging: obviously, there are numerous hotels in all prices ranges in san diego. so if your vacation involves seeing the sights of san diego by day and spending your evenings in tijuana, you can definitely stay in san diego. if tj is your primary focus, you can save time and money by staying in one of the communities south of san diego: national city, chula vista or san ysidro.

in national city, i have for more than a decade recommended the all suite highrise hotel overlooking san diego bay. (which began life as the radisson suites, then morphed into a red lion, and finally the bay view suites.) alas, that property has been converted into a condominium. which is really a shame. the suites were large, the sunsets over the warships at anchor were stupendous and the freeway access was easy. your faithful scribe spent many pleasant nights there and he is definitely going to miss it. there is, however, a holiday inn across the street.

farther south is chula vista. if you are not going to rent a car, this is where i recommend you stay. more specifically, i recommend you stay at one of the motels clustered around the intersection of e street and i-5. there is a trolley station and visitor information center there. within easy walking distance you'll find many restaurants in all price ranges serving all manner of cuisine, plus several strip malls featuring a grocery store, liquor store, laundromat, drug store etc. everything you could possibly want is within a ten minute stroll.

go to google maps, and search for 91910 or "chula vista, california. " then use the "find businesses" function and search for "hotels. " you'll see all your choices displayed on a map. i like the days inn, which is just steps from the trolley station. if you're on a budget, the motel-6 and the travelers inn & suites are options. the former is basic, but clean and it has a pool. i've not stayed at the latter, and you should be aware it has some uncomplimentary online reviews. there is also the royal vista inn, which as i write is undergoing a complete renovation.

note well: as discussed more fully below, trolley service between the border and points north between midnight and 5:00 a. m. is sporadic at best. this is especially true during the week. you can check the schedule at: http://www.sdcommute.com/rider_information/trolley/trolleymap. asp so if you are a real night owl, you should consider renting a car or staying in san ysidro within walking distance of the border.

speaking of san ysidro, you won't find much in the way of luxurious lodging there. but there are several modest motels available that are clean and comfortable. the consensus favorite seems to be the travelodge. however i have received several reports of the staff there divulging credit card numbers to criminals who then make unauthorized charges. caveat emptor and pay with cash if you stay there. there is also a motel 6.

tijuana lodging: if you have your heart set on staying in tijuana, you're pretty much on your own. suffice it to say that if you are willing to pay upwards of $100 per night, you can find luxury accommodations as comfortable as any in the united states, europe or asia. the hotel real del rio in the upscale zona rio neighborhood is popular with travelers who desire first-class lodging. there are also excellent resorts further south in baja california.

at the other end of the scale, there are numerous hotels in tj where you can rent a room for as little as $20-30 per night. these hotels, however, are extremely basic. often there is no air conditioning, television or telephone. the floors are tile, the walls are bare, and the linens are (to be charitable) well-used. moreover, you'll probably need to speak some spanish to deal with the proprietors. if you are a bilingual, adventurous type of guy who is unconcerned with creature comforts, these hotels are an option. but frankly, i do not recommend them. if you have your heart set on staying in tijuana at a comfortable hotel without spending a fortune, the best value can be found at the la villa de zaragoza hotel, which is located at 1120 avenida madero, between 7th and 8th streets. (behind the jai alai emporium, which should be on most maps.) rooms are about $40-75 per night and feature the usual creature comforts such as air conditioning, television, and telephone. in addition, the staff speaks some english. call them at 011-52-664-685-1832 or surf over to www.members. aol.com/hotellavilla.

traveling to the border: if you are using the trolley, just head south on the blue line until you get to the last stop at san ysidro. when you get off the trolley at the san ysidro station, you'll be on the east side of the port of entry complex, which straddles a gigantic freeway carrying northbound and southbound traffic. (i know there isn't any ocean nearby, but the usa government still calls it a "port" of entry.) then follow the directions below for entering mexico on foot.

if you have a car, i strongly recommend against driving into mexico for a number of reasons. the insurance on your personal car is no good in mexico, so you'll have to buy special mexican auto insurance. don't think you can avoid the problem by renting a car. if you drive a rental car into mexico it is an express violation of the rental agreement. so if anything happens to the car, you are personally liable, even if you bought the insurance or loss/damage waiver! and even if you surmount these obstacles, it's rather difficult to find your way around and safe parking is very scarce. in fact, secure parking in tj will usually be so far away from where you're going that you will have to take a cab anyway. on the way back to the united states, the wait at the border can be hours long.

best bet for drivers: drive down to the border, park on the usa side, and walk across. to do that, go south on the i-5 and get off at the exit marked with a green and yellow sign reading: "camino de la plaza. last usa exit and parking. " go six-tenths (0. 6) of a mile along the exit ramp to the four-way stop. go straight through the intersection and you'll see several parking lots on your right. i recommend the last lot on the right before you reach the dead end. park near the duty-free store. do not leave anything visible in your car which would tempt the smash-and-grab crowd.

if you plan to seriously imbibe: be aware that efforts to arrest drunk drivers are intense in and around san ysidro. the police are well aware that many people return from mexico after drinking then drive home from the parking lots near the border. i have received reports of traffic stops by san diego police officers between 12:00 a. m. and 5:00 a. m. , in which a trivial traffic violation serves as a pretext to check for intoxicated drivers. moreover, the california highway patrol sometimes sets up a sobriety checkpoint on the entrance ramp that connects to the northbound freeway.

obviously, you should be not be driving if you are impaired. but you can lessen the odds of getting stopped by the san diego police by parking on the east side of the port of entry, in any of the lots near the san ysidro trolley station. i recommend the one behind the jack in the box restaurant, which always has spaces available, and which charges reasonable rates. from those lots, the entrance ramp to the northbound freeway is just a few yards away and you will be less exposed to law enforcement.

you should also be on the lookout for a sobriety checkpoint on the freeway entrance ramp that is sporadically set up by the california highway patrol. these checkpoints are usually well publicized. moreover, the ramp is visible from the parking lots or the freeway overpasses, so there is no excuse for blundering into trouble. caution: if you see a checkpoint you may be tempted to get on the freeway using another ramp slightly farther north. i recommend against this because it's reasonable to assume the police will be looking for drivers doing just that. do the smart thing and head for the cab stand near the trolley station. no matter what the fare, it's infinitely cheaper than getting arrested. you can return the next day by trolley to retrieve your car.

entering mexico on foot: from the west side parking lots, exit the lot, turn right on the sidewalk and walk to the dead end. from the east side parking lots or the trolley station, follow the crowd toward the port of entry building. you will see ramps up to a pedestrian bridge crossing over the freeway. go up the ramps, across the bridge and down on the west side. there you will see two big noisy turnstiles that mark the southbound pedestrian gate into mexico. after passing through the turnstiles, you'll enter a pedestrian plaza about 200 yards long, with various government offices on your left and a wall with a mural on your right. although there is a small government checkpoint about halfway down, there is usually no inspection of southbound pedestrians by mexican officials. (needless to say, however, the mexican authorities reserve the right to search you. so don't be a bonehead. leave your contraband at home. that includes all manner of weapons, including knives and pepper spray.) if you are not traveling beyond tijuana or staying longer than 72 hours, you are not required to obtain a government-issued tourist card.

at the southern end of the plaza, you will see two more turnstiles. go through one of them and on the other side you will find a fleet of yellow taxis and numerous drivers, almost all of whom speak some english. hire a cab and tell him you want to go to adelitas (ah-day-lee-tas). the yellow taxis do not use meters, and you are supposed to be charged a flat fare of $5. but once in a while, the driver will ask for more and feed you a story about gas prices going up or something. this is especially common if the driver sizes you up as a gullible tourist. you can generally avoid this fate by speaking spanish (even halting, high school spanish) and by sitting in the front seat of the cab, which is a local custom. but even if the driver asks for more than $5, my advice would be to pay the extra buck or two. it's not worth bickering over such a small amount of money. also, be sure to carry exact change. unlike the bars in the zona norte, which cheerfully accept dollars and honestly make change, cab drivers are less diligent in this respect. finally, some cab drivers will try to talk you into going to a massage parlor (which of course offers more than a massage). he's only doing it because the massage parlor pays him a kickback. so politely decline such invitations and insist on going to the adelita bar. ditto if the cabbie claims the adelita bar is "closed. " he's lying to you.

safety alert: you may be tempted to save the cab fare and walk from the pedestrian entry over the bridge into downtown tj. this is *extremely* dangerous and you should never do it! the neighborhoods you must traverse are not exactly the nicest parts of tj and there are lurking bandidos who specialize in robbing unwary pedestrians. be safe not sorry. pay the taxi. ditto for your return to the border. again: walking between the zona norte and the border is *extremely* dangerous! plain enough?

why not avenida revolucion? by following this plan, you will be eschewing the main turista drag along avenida revolucion. when it comes to commercial sex establishments, you will not be missing a thing. it's important to note that prostitution is officially illegal throughout tijuana. in the zona norte, however, there is an government-sanctioned "zone of tolerance. " as a result, everything is open and aboveboard. not so along avenida revolucion, where, in deference to the tourist trade, the official prostitution ban is enforced (albeit with varying degrees of vigor). granted, prostitution continues there. but the need to hide it from the authorities makes it a dirty, depressing outlaw scene. imho, most of the strip clubs and hooker bars along avenida revolucion are dives that specialize in stealing from gullible turistas. the facilities are seedy, the drink prices are outrageous and they frequently don't make honest change. as for the girls, most are ugly, some are she-males and lots of them are very skilled pickpockets. even if you're lucky enough to find a decent one to go with, you'll pay a fortune for a scarifying experience in a dingy room.

so stay away from avenida revolucion clubs, no matter how insistent the barkers out on the street may be. (also avoid anyone who is hawking a "donkey show. " this type of entertainment doesn't exist.) if you simply must begin your evening on avenida revolucion, i suggest you visit one of the numerous "college girl" bars and tune up by leering at the 18 year old socal sweeties. then hop a cab to the adelita bar. (again, walking is not recommended.)

the commercial sex scene in the zona norte: when you get out of the cab at the adelita bar, you will be in the middle of the zona norte, so called because it's north of downtown. (some call it the "zona roja" or red zone.) as i noted above, prostitution is officially "tolerated" in this area, so everything is out in the open. you'll see numerous bars crowded into a several blocks. most of them make an effort to look like a dance hall. there is usually a dj (or rarely, a live band) a dance floor, and girls sitting around. some of the girls do no more than dance with patrons and sit at their table in exchange for a small amount of money, or in exchange for buying them drinks on which they earn a commission called a? ficha? there is a market for that kind of service from guys (usually locals) who are only interested in drinking, dancing and chatting. but most of the girls are hookers. the zona norte also features numerous small hotels that rent rooms by the hour. you strike a deal in the bar, then go to the hotel. unlike the furtive commercial sex scene in most usa cities (and along avenida revolucion) it's all very above-board, organized and convenient. the zona norte generates lots of dollars in an economy that sorely needs hard currency. so nobody is going to do anything to hurt the hooker trade.

you might be tempted to stumble from bar to bar looking for a girl who strikes your fancy. but there are dozens of places, and as i explain below wandering around the zona norte can be risky. even if you managed to check out all the tiny bars on all the various side streets, you would almost certainly conclude the vast majority of the girls in the zona norte hooker bars range from ugly to just passable. (see, however, my disclaimer on beauty and the eye of the beholder, below.) you get what you pay for and most of the bars in the zona norte cater to locals who don't have much money.

for the newcomer, there are only three places worth going to: the adelita bar, the chicago club and the hong kong club.

getting your bearings: the adelita bar is on the south side of calle coahilla just west of avenida constitucion. you won't find calle coahilla on most tj maps, but it's easy to find if you remember that it runs east and west, parallel to calle primera (first street) but one block to the north. there are online maps of the zona norte at various sites. my favorites are at www.**********.net/maps. htm.

the hong kong club is located in a narrow street that runs parallel to calle coahilla, but half a block south. zona norte veterans call this street? the alley? from the adelita bar turn right, walk to the end of the block, turn right again, walk half a block, and turn right a third time. this will put you in the alley. walk about three-quarters of the way down the block and you? ll see the hong kong club on your right.

the chicago club is located roughly kitty corner from the adelita bar across the intersection on the east side of avenida constitucion, half a block north of calle coahilla. exit the adelita bar and turn right. walk to the intersection and look diagonally to your left. the chicago club will be on the right side of the street, about 100 feet down.

zona norte safety: like any urban neighborhood, the zona norte has its safe sections and its not-so-safe sections. fortunately, the adelita bar, the chicago club and the hong kong club are located in the safest part of the zona norte.

you should have no qualms about traversing the short distance between the adelita bar, the chicago club and the hong kong club. even a tj novice who speaks no spanish will be perfectly safe and quite comfortable going back and forth between these clubs. if you are new to the zona norte scene or you just want to cut to the chase and find the best-looking women, i recommend you restrict your movements to these three places.

the remainder of the zona norte is generally safe, but there is a threat from "rateros, " who are guys that sneak up behind you and then use a choke hold until you lose consciousness at which point your pockets are emptied. the rateros usually prey on obviously drunk guys who are walking back to the border alone in the wee hours, or who stray into the seedier parts of the zona norte. years ago the rateros were so blatant that the police located a substation in the zona norte and cracked down on them. the number of muggings declined sharply and today they are very rare. still, you should be street smart. whenever you get off the well-beaten path between the adelita bar, chicago club and hong kong club, walk in the street and keep your head on a swivel. this will make it more difficult for rateros to surprise you from a doorway or sneak up from behind. moreover, as i noted above, do not under any circumstances attempt to walk to or from the zona norte. i cannot emphasize this strongly enough. take a taxi. lastly, be smart and empty your wallet and you pockets of nonessential valuables. i carry only my car keys, currency and a drivers license.

watch out for "tour guides" and touts: if you look like a first-timer, you may be approached by one of a number of polite, presentable english-speaking guys who hang out in the zona norte and try to scam visitors. these guys will feed you a story about how they have inside knowledge of where the absolutely hottest girls can be found and they will offer to take you to this mythical place. don't fall for it. at best, they are pimping for some massage parlor or dive bar that gives them a kickback to bring in customers. at worst, they are setting you up to be robbed or shaken down by the cops. don't stop walking. just keep moving and nicely decline their invitation.

dealing with local police: prostitution is officially tolerated in the zona norte, so patronizing the bars or going with the girls is just fine. but you will attract the attention of the police if you act like an asshole. so don't drink on the street, [CodeWord140] (http://isgprohibitedwords.info?CodeWord=CodeWord140) in alleys, pick fights with locals, stumble around obviously drunk or engage in other loutish behavior. the police are very strict on narcotics and weapons, including knives, mace and pepper spray. if they catch you with any of that stuff you are seriously fucked.

moreover, mexican law permits the police to search you at any time, and unscrupulous officers sometimes take advantage of this. you may become a shakedown target if you fall into conversation with one of the shady guys who hang out on the street in the zona norte. the police then search you claiming you were trying to buy drugs. they're hoping to find some kind of contraband they can use to extract a "mordida" or bribe. never talk to the guys who approach you on the street. just keep walking and steer clear of them. the cops consider viagra and the like to be contraband. so if they catch you carrying it, they'll raise a fuss in the hope you'll offer a bribe.

sexually transmitted diseases: prostitution in the zona norte is somewhat regulated by the authorities, who require the girls to get regular medical examinations. when they do so, they receive a card from the health department that permits them to work in one of the zona norte clubs. the authorities conduct periodic spot checks to ensure that the girls are complying with this requirement. moreover, as i note below, condom usage is virtually universal. imho, these safeguards reduce the risk of contracting a std from one of the girls in the zona norte bars to almost zero. granted, no system is perfect. the regulations can be flouted or circumvented. bribes can be paid. and accidents happen. so every guy has to evaluate the risk for himself. all i'm saying is that in *my* opinion, the risk is vanishingly small. whether it justifies the reward is up to you.

let's see. so far you've read about how to avoid getting mugged, getting arrested and getting a std. cheerful material this is not. but necessary. use your common sense and follow the faq and you'll be just fine. the risks are actually very, very low. fortunately, things pick up from here. now you're going to read about getting laid by some very hot girls.

the adelita bar ===============

noisy, crowded, hot and loud, the adelita bar is without doubt the largest and most successful club in the zona norte. by zona norte standards, the interior is lavish. there's a good sound system, comfortable seating, excellent lighting, and numerous flat screen televisions that usually feature sports. (the mens room, complete with full-time attendant, is positively spotless. throw this guy a buck for his hard work.)

as of this writing, beer is $3. 50 a can or bottle for all the mexican brands. if you do not imbibe, they also offer soft drinks and mineral water at comparable prices. like the other zona norte clubs, the adelita bar works on the dance hall format. but over the years the number of girls who dance with patrons has steadily diminished, no doubt because the majority of customers are norteamericanos who don't know the mexican dances. there is only one dance floor now, and it is mainly used for periodic strip shows by a handful of girls. but every so often you'll see a mexican patron take one of the girls for a spin.

before i describe the girls in the adelita bar, a brief disclaimer is in order. i realize that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. so i will disclose up front that my taste runs toward the norteamericano ideal and within that paradigm i prefer petite women with "fine" facial features. (for example, alison lohman, sienna miller and kate beckinsale.) i am well aware that many mexican women have curvier figures and "broader" facial features. and i'm aware that lots of men (not necessarily all mexican) prefer that look. so when it comes to my comments about the looks of the zona norte girls, as they say on the net ymmv, my. 02 worth, and imho. finally, don't forget that on a busy weekend night, the selection will be good enough that you can almost certainly find somebody who you think is gorgeous, no matter what your type.

in previous editions of this faq i have opined that lots of the women in the adelita bar are short, dark and, to be polite, "curvy. " i have also said that truly stunning women were very scarce there. over the years, however, the selection of girls at the adelita bar has steadily improved and the lineup now features some amazing hotties. indeed, i can state without fear of contradiction that if you're looking for the largest number of girls who are totally hot (by norteamericano standards) you'll almost certainly find what you seek at the adelita bar. as of this writing, there is no other club in the zona norte with as many smoking hot chicks working as the adelita bar. moreover, if you like the latina lovelies there are plenty of them at the adelita bar as well. and yes, the short round chicas are still represented.

in the adelita bar, most of the girls stand around in the aisles when they are not sitting or dancing with patrons. sometimes when it's slow, the girls will perch in booths. but usually they stand around, which makes it easy to approach them. different girls gravitate to different spots out of habit and whenever they are in the bar they tend to stick to the same spot. a few circulate, but most park in one area and wait to be approached. for reasons i do not understand, the hottest girls in the adelita bar congregate in an area that has become known to patrons as "hottie central. " to get there, go in the front door and walk straight ahead until you come to an open area of floor at the back of the club. that's hottie central and on a busy night it will be jammed with girls and guys standing shoulder to shoulder. it's like being at a super-crowded party, only the girls are hotter and you can fuck any one you want. you'll also find a good selection of girls standing in the aisles between hottie central and the men's room. and don? t forget there's more to the adelita bar than hottie central. so make the rounds and check out the rest of the girls. you may find a diamond in the rough.

usually, the girls are not bashful about talking to you. this is especially true for norteamericanos who are alone. some guys like this, some don't. i think it's fun. where else can you have a young girl walk up and grab your ass while she tells you how good she can suck your cock? hint: don't be concerned if you fail to see a girl you like straight off. the selection of girls at the adelita bar is constantly changing. frequently the selection at 2:00 a. m. is superior to what is was at 10:00 p. m. so be patient. you may discover somebody totally hot in the wee hours.

strategy: don't sit at a table. instead, buy your drink at the bar and wander around the club. you'll get a better look at the girls and you'll have a chance to chat with the friendlier ones. while you are listening to her sales pitch, i've found if you keep smiling and talking, your hands can roam a little and the girl won't mind. this of course is the reason you're in the zona norte: to get away with doing things that would get you slapped anywhere else. the girls' english ranges from pretty good, to virtually non-existent. but don't let the language barrier keep you from the girl of your dreams. almost all can speak enough english to negotiate a price and get you laid. if you choose, you can buy your girl a drink, but there's usually no big hustle to do so. drinks for the ladies run $7-10.

if you seem to like her, she will ask you if you'd like to "go to the room, " or "go to the hotel" which is their euphemism for doing business. if you say yes, she'll quote you a price, generally $50-70. if you're of a mind to haggle, you may counteroffer, keeping in mind that once you get to the hotel you will be required to pay an additional $12 for the use of the room for 30 minutes. the price quoted by the girls usually includes 30 minutes of her time, which typically takes the form of fellatio, followed by intercourse to a single climax. note i said "typically. " some of the zona norte girls, especially the new ones who are just starting out, will decline to perform oral sex. if this is important to you, it would be wise to ascertain in advance if this service is available. you can also arrange a 60 minute session by paying a higher fee to both the girl and the hotel. "special requests" (bareback blow job, anal, etc.) are negotiable as well, usually from the second or third tier girls. just be sure to come to an agreement in the bar so that there are no misunderstandings or disappointments when you reach the room. don't be embarrassed about discussing all this. amiable negotiation is practically a national sport in mexico and the commercial sex trade is the whole purpose of the zona norte. provided you are polite (a quality that's *very* important in the mexican culture) you don't need to worry about offending the girls by asking for what you want.

chicago club =============

i long considered the chicago club to be the premier hooker bar in tijuana. but over the past few years this place has slipped to second place. the number of girls working in there has declined steadily, and the percentage of truly scary chicas has increased. i'm not talking about hookers with less than ideal looks. every club has those. i'm talking old, fat, creepy and just plain disgusting. there are still some hotties in the chicago club lineup, but they are increasingly scarce. moreover, it's difficult to find them because the lighting is too dark. perhaps they figure that in the gloom you'll be fooled into going with one of the lesser girls.

despite my misgivings, i still recommend the chicago club. it? s a zona norte institution, it's clean and comfortable, and with patience you can find a truly stunning girl. but watch out, the action here can be very uneven. on friday and saturday, you'll find 40+ girls. sunday and thursday, you'll see 20-30. monday, tuesday and wednesday can be slow. in fact, it's possible to find the club virtually empty. my theory is the hottest girls do well enough working three or fours days a week that they sometimes take the rest of the week off. nevertheless, even if you're worried it will be slow, the chicago club is a mandatory stop during any zona norte excursion. but be aware that the time you visit is important. even on busy nights, the chicago club is usually empty until 9:30, and it takes another hour after that for all the girls to wander in. peak selection will be from 10: 30 to 1:00 a. m. after that, the girls begin to drift off. the chicago club definitely caters to night owls.

the chicago club also attracts foreigners with money, especially asians. if there are numerous asian guys in there when you visit, you can be assured the girls will soon appear. somehow, the word just gets around. when you first walk in, a waiter will try to steer you to a table. insider tip: politely decline on the pretext of going to the men's room, then choose your own table. do not sit at the bar. that's where most of the girls hang out, and they get a little peeved if you sit in "their" place. ditto for hanging out in the alcove near the coat check. for the absolutely best view, sit in one of the small booths that surround the dance floor. (my favorite is the one near the ladies room, because eventually all the girls walk right past you.) if you would rather play the high roller, sit at one of the elevated booths up against the wall. very las vegas.

the center of the chicago club is dominated by an step-up wooden dance floor with the usual disco lighting. unlike many other zona norte clubs, there is no mexican music here. nor is there a band. it's all recorded techno-dance stuff. on busier nights, they also have several strip shows. every few hours the dj will dim the lights and starting yammering away. then several girls will come out one at a time and do a strip act, which culminates in them being topless. the quality of the strippers varies. some nights, you get average-looking girls who just seem to be going through the motions. other nights, the women are hot and the show is hotter.

unlike at the adelita bar, where the direct approach works best, the smooth move at the chicago club is to use you waiter as a go-between with the girls. when you get your drink, tip well and show some loyalty by ordering all of your drinks from same waiter. (the management of the chicago club must believe the old "they all look alike" nonsense. so the waiters wear a name tag that has a number on it, presumably so that you can keep them all straight.) sip and stare and listen to the pounding dance music. repeat as necessary. when you see a girl that strikes your fancy, tell your waiter you would like to buy her a drink. he will ask her to sit down with you. while it's ok to approach a girl directly, and to dispense with the ladies drink, i think using the waiter to invite the girl over for a drink works best. if the club is busy, or if the girl is totally hot, she is likely weighing competing invitations. moreover, you might be seated where it's impossible to keep her in sight as she circulates throughout the club, or when she returns from the hotel. so it helps to have the waiter on your side. if you've tipped him well, and he thinks he's going to get another tip from the girl's drink, he'll plead your case for you. the girl's drink will run you about $8 and if you throw the waiter $10, he'll be most pleased with the $2 tip. chat for a while, then strike a deal.

the chicago club girls charge about the same as their adelita bar competitors, but some will quote a price $10 or $20 more. again, polite dickering is part of the game. as of this writing, even the hottest girls will take $60 for a standard session, and if it's slow or you're dealing with a second tier girl you can do better.

like the girls at the adelita bar, the girls at the chicago club will insist that you wear a condom during the session, including for the blow job. some girls will let you go down on them and some won't. others will do anal sex or accommodate other special requests negotiated in advance. if the hotel is busy, when your 30 minutes is up they will remind you of the time limit with a knock on the door. but if it's slow, or the girl tells them to bug off, they're not real strict about enforcing it. on your way out, one of the guys who cleans the rooms will solicit a tip of $1.

hong kong club ================

the hong kong club is a combination strip club and hooker bar on three levels, with the second and third levels overlooking the ground floor. drink prices are comparable to those at the adelita bar and chicago club. on busy nights they will set up a tub of beer outside the front door and require you to purchase one as sort of a cover charge.

most of the girls at the hong kong club will eventually appear on stage and strip. this would be epic if they were all hotties. but alas, the load factor at the hong kong club leaves much to be desired. fortunately not all the girls are chubby, and most nights there will be at least a few worth watching.

the hong kong club also offers a two girl show during which the girls get naked, cover each other with shaving cream, and roll around on the stage with each other. usually the girls who do this show are fairly attractive, and for a tip you have a chance to cop a soapy feel. definitely a novelty act, with just enough perv value to see at least once.

private dances: the main feature on the third floor is a collection of phone-booth-size areas for private dances. if you fancy a girl and want a private dance, for about $30 per song you can retire to one of these booths. typically the girl will be totally nude, and at the very least she'll grind her ass into your crotch lap dance style and let you fondle her tits. some girls will do more, such as stroking your cock through your pants with her hand, or doing something similar with her mouth. i've even had girls unzip my pants and reach inside to stroke my cock with just my boxers in between. i've also had girls who let me finger fuck them.

take note, however, that the private dance action at the hong kong club can be uneven. the girl is totally in charge of how nasty things will get, and as in strip clubs everywhere her goal is to extract the most money from you for the least amount of service. is it possible to get off during a private dance? sure, but it's going to be via manual stimulation in a stuffy little booth, there's going to be fabric in the way, and you'll probably have to pay for more than one song. and let's not forget that you can get laid in a hotel room by one of the hottie central girls from the adelita bar for $72. so it doesn't take many songs for the curves to cross.

if you can afford it, the private dance action at the hong kong club is a nice way to tune up before getting laid at another club. it's also an option for guys who for whatever reason want to get off without actually fucking any of the girls. finally, it's a good way to test drive a hong kong club girl that you're considering taking to the hotel.

speaking of which, most of the hong kong club girls will go to the hotel. but the scene isn't quite as simple as at the adelita bar or the chicago club. some girls prefer to make their money off drink commissions, so they'll string you along by promising a fantastic session at the hotel in order to get you to buy numerous expensive drinks. zona norte vets call this "getting ficha fucked. " you can avoid this fate by being clear that you're interested in going to the hotel and politely pressing for an immediate departure. remember you're in the zona norte and everybody knows the score. if the girl's still dragging her feet after the second ladies drink, move on. the hong kong club is not a usa strip club, it's a hooker bar.

the drill at the hotel used by hong kong club girls is the same as at the hotels next door to the adelita bar and the chicago club. twelve bucks for the room gets you half an hour of time. i think the rooms here are slightly nicer, but then again i'm not there to admire the decor.

returning to the united states: when you've had enough fun, catch a cab back to the border. (or as the locals call it "la linea. ") same fixed fare of $5. the driver will let you off at a little turnaround on the east side of the multiple lane road headed north to the united states. from there, you'll walk up the sidewalk about 100 yards to the pedestrian inspection building.

sometimes there are a couple of cops hanging out near the taxi drop off point, and occasionally they will stop pedestrians and search them. this is not common, but it does happen. (in over a decade of solo trips to tj, i've been stopped exactly once.) again, they are looking for something they can use to extract a payoff from you. one thing they like to find is viagra, because so many guys buy it without a prescription. so if you buy any vitamin v in tj, be sure to buy only what you'll need for one night, and swallow it immediately after purchase. if you don't have anything on you, the cops will send you on your way.

walk north along the sidewalk, past a few shops including a drugstore (where they sell the best macaroons in the world) to the doors into the large border crossing complex. you will go down a long corridor until you come to the pedestrian inspection area maintained by the usa authorities.

leaving the united states was easy. getting back in is a little harder. in the language of usa immigration law, the burden is on you to prove "beyond a doubt" that you are "entitled to enter. " since 9/11 the inspectors require some kind of picture identification. often they just glance at it, but sometimes they will run a brief database search. if they aren't convinced you are a usa citizen, they always have the option of making you prove it. a passport is perfect, and soon one will be required. (google "passport mexico land travel" for the latest rules.)

if you are a usa citizen of hispanic descent or you have a "foreign" appearance or accent, they will question you more closely. be sure to have whatever documentation you need. if you are a foreign tourist visiting the usa , you must present your passport (with usa entry visa) so they know you are not trying to sneak into the usa via mexico. they will not, however, stamp your passport with an entry cachet unless you ask. sometimes, they'll ask you to make a "customs declaration" by asking what, if anything, you are bringing back from mexico. for the rules on what you can and cannot bring back from mexico, check out the usa customs service web site.

once you are admitted to the usa, you will leave the pedestrian inspection area through doors straight ahead. at this point, you are on the east side of the highway.

if you took the trolley, you'll be just a few steps from where you board for the northbound trip. caution: northbound service after midnight is sporadic. as of this writing trolleys were scheduled to depart at 11:59 p. m. , 12:29 a. m. and 12:59 a. m. on saturday nights there is an extra departure at 1:59 a. m. after that, there are several hours in the middle of the night when the trolley is not running. for the latest schedule, see:

www. sdcommute.com/rider_information/trolley/trolleymap. asp#blu

if you find yourself needing northbound transportation when the trolley is not running, you can usually find a taxi near the trolley station. the fare is about $25 to the motels i recommend on e street in chula vista and probably double that if you go all the way to downtown san diego.

if you drove down and parked on the east side, your lot is straight ahead out of the pedestrian inspection building. if you drove down and parked in one of the west side lots, however, you need to cross over to the other side of the highway. to do this, once you get outside the building, make a hard right, almost a you-turn. you will see a series of ramps that leads up to the pedestrian bridge that crosses over the top of the northbound and southbound highways. descend the ramps and you'll see the west side parking lots.

that's it. have a great trip!


brockton o'toole