Holy Toledo

Many years ago a friend of mine stayed at this hotel, known as the Toledo, on the corner of Independencia and López in the centro histórico. The room rate was dirt cheap, but he said it was clean and cozy, and the staff treated him as if he were a long-lost member of the family. Later I found out that this is where the ficheras from nearby bars -- the Florida, the Kit Kat and the Villa Rica -- take their customers who are after more than a dance and drink.  Readers of my book First Stop in the New World may remember Paty, a fichera who has had numerous platonic adventures with the ancient Spaniard who owns the hotel.

I always liked the building because it looked like a slice of pink Wonder Bread.