Furniture Mart or Zoo or??? … The Art of Puerto Vallarta

A friendly wolf licks Peggy’s face at the Furniture Mart in Puerto Vallarta.

Peggy and I have been coming to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for a long time, long enough to see the lovely two and three story hotels along the north beach replaced by would-be sky scrapers that encroach on more and more beach.

We always stay at the Krystal Hotel, which is located along the main road between the airport and downtown. Years ago, we bought a time share here. It’s not something you do as an investment, regardless of how fast the sales people talk or whip out figures that you are not allowed to take away and study. In fact, there are much less expensive ways to see Mexico. Forget what we paid originally, the ever-increasing maintenance fees alone would easily cover an annual visit to PV, or anywhere else in Mexico.

But Peggy and I like the staff, our villa comes with a swimming pool, and we have fallen in love with Puerto Vallarta: its art, great dining, tropical sunsets, friendly people and amazing wildlife. There is even a taste of more traditional Mexico once you escape from the popular tourist areas.

I’ve blogged a fair amount about the town, more than I remember. I laughed a couple of days ago when I was doing Google research on PV’s public art, came across a promising heading, clicked on it, and landed on my blog.  

I’ve even blogged about the furniture store directly across the road from the Krystal. And I am going to blog about it again— today. I can pretty much guarantee that it is unlike any furniture store you have ever seen. It all started as a failed restaurant. Peggy and I ate there once upon a time.The food was good but the customers were scarce.

The family scurried about,searching for some other way to make a living and decided to make furniture.They also decided to sell art decorations for the home, everything from cute little ceramic frogs to giant metal rhinos. Collecting unusual items became something of a passion.

There must be hundreds of ceramic frogs hanging out at the Furniture Mart. This one is a cutie, complete with eyelashes.
Contrast it with a full sized metal rhino!

The three, or four, or maybe five story structure feels like an Escher painting where you meet yourself coming and going. It is crammed full of art, wood carvings, pottery, strange statues, masks, and Mexican knick-knacks galore, as well as very unique furniture. There are thousands of items. The family of Carlos Paez Coronado describes their building as the Furniture Mart, the largest store of its type in Mexico, and a museum.

We visited this time with Peggy’s sister Jane and her husband Jim who were staying at our villa with us for a week. Jane loves ceramic plates and has dozens of them. We knew she would like the store. Senior Pepe greeted us and assured us that if we bought any item costing a few grand and weighing who knows how many pounds, he would personally deliver it to our doorsteps in Oregon or Sacramento. (Anyone need a 20-foot-long table?) He and his brother fill up a truck with purchased items and make an annual trip across the border. We disappointed Pepe on the mucho grande sale, but Jane almost bought enough plates to make up for it.

I have enough fun wandering through the Furniture Mart that I am going to do three posts on it: One on the wonderfully wild (and tame animals), one on the pottery, and one on the furniture and weird things. Today it is all about animals!

A ferocious jaguar stalking across the floor.
With big teeth.
A friendly dog…
That Peggy pets.
A toothy lion.
An eagle and a jaguar have a discussion about which is most ferocious.
Given this eagle, I’d say a toss-up.
A realistic carved horse…
That Peggy befriends.
Puerto Vallarta’s favorite lizard: The iguana. I’ll be doing a post on these big fellows.
Head shot!
A turbaned elephant…
A trumpeting trunk.
A crabby crab.
A fighting stag displays its hooves.
I’ll conclude my exploration of the Furniture Mart today with this striking painting of a giraffe. Next up on the Mart will be ceramics ranging from pigs to plates.

It’s Turkey Day here in Puerto Vallarta, so Peggy and I will be heading out for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Several restaurants cater to the day. But I couldn’t find a turkey to represent the holiday…

So, a moose will have to do!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all of our Internet friends! –Curt and Peggy. 

25 comments on “Furniture Mart or Zoo or??? … The Art of Puerto Vallarta

  1. Hello from Mexico. We have spent some diverse time in Mulege and now are in the Cabo area. Your market meandering definitely put a smile on my face. Now is that a Canadian moose by any chance? 🙂

    • Peggy and I loved Mulege when we spent a month down there in 2000, Sue. We were located on a little creek that we could put our kayaks in and paddle out into the gulf. Each morning, trucks would come by with fruit, water, pastries, cheese, etc. I sat outside our small RV and wrote while Peggy wandered into town or worked on her own projects.
      I’m sure that’s a Canadian moose! 🙂 –Curt

      • It was a highlight of our year off, Sue. But then there were the Canadian Rockies, most of Americas National Parks, New England in the fall, the Alaska Highway, etc., etc., etc. (Grin) –Curt

  2. I remember you posting photos from this store earlier — at least, I think I do. They certainly have some great items, and the way the store came to be is a delightful tale, too. Personally, I’m fond of the crab and the frog, but I’m trying to remember — is there a giraffe at your house? If there is, did it come from here, or elsewhere? And was it Peggy’s doing?

  3. The crouching jaguar looks so real I would avoid it and go to the furniture section. Helvi too likes plates. Yesterday we discovered we have 4 cheese plates made from glass, and yet we prefer the cheese just from a wooden platter and never use the glass ones.

    The art reminds me a bit from Balinese carvings. Very beautiful.

  4. Wow! What a marvelous variety of some incredible stuff… not that I think I’d go for that 20-foot-long table. I’m not sure it would fit inside my house! 😀 Glad to see you two having some fun and enjoying your stay in Mehiko. You missed some much hoped for rain out our way!!! That was enough for me to be thankful for.

  5. So many of these animals are fierce! I would get a kick out of having that jaguar in my home – if for nothing better than to watch peoples’ reactions to it. The horse is gorgeous. I agree that the wolves with Peggy is the best photo here. 🙂

    • It really did appear that Peggy was getting a friendly lick! 🙂 And I agree on the wood sculptures. Now having enough space… That might be a horse of a different color. (grin) –Curt

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