copy-of-rancherita.jpg One of my favorite dives used to be located a few steps from the Plaza Garibaldi, where mariachis warble and blare for the minions in Mexico City. The hang, called El 33, was a bar where transvestite prostitutes began to arrive at two or three in the morning, to relax after finishing a night's labor. Until dawn they tended to drink, dance, laugh, cry and look for boyfriends - the real ones, not the short-timers in exchange for a few pesos. The place abruptly closed its doors a few years ago.

A little while ago a reduced version of El 33 opened in the same location. Literally reduced: Without the long hallway and enormous salon in the back, it is now one of the smallest bars in the city.

On Fridays and Saturdays there is a show, which includes an Alejandro Fernández impersonator, an XXL-sized drag queen who lip-synchs along to Lucha Villa records (while wearing a banana-yellow dress with embroidered daisies), and the woman above, who imitates the singer Alicia Villareal. She began by thanking "the most select drunks of Garibaldi" for arriving to catch her act, in particular a woman who, according to the singer, "was my boyfriend when she was a man." In the above photo, she demonstrates her maternal instinct with a particularly childish customer, mid-song.