The Mercado Gascasónica is a giant neighborhood market in San Diego Ocoyoacac. Today it’s most famous for the name it draws from the whimsically called street out front. The simple fact is: There is no Lago Gascasónica.
- According to legend, a worker penned the street name in honor of Sinaloa-born General Celestino Gasca Villaseñor. Gasca was a Revolutionary-era leader who was appointed head of the Federal District (i.e.; Mexico City) by President Álvaro Obregón soon after the Revolution. As streets in Tacuba are named for lakes, there needed to be a lake named for Gasca first. There just wasn’t one named for Gasca. And thus the name. The old General, though, was too radical to be Mayor and quit by 1923. He was involved in anti-government insurrections even as late as the 1960s. Still, he’s honored in towns in Mexico, and even other streets in Mexico City. In Iztapalapa for example, is a street named for Celestino Gasca, and not for the fictional lake named for Gasca.
The Mercado Gascasónica opened in the late 1950s at the close of the “rastro” that had served Tacuba for generations. Most meat processing moved to the north to the Rastro de Ferrería in the mid-1950s. Today, the market is still home to some 375 merchants (according to a 2017 UAM study). It’s a magnificent place to eat. It’s also an important neighborhood center in one of Miguel Hidalgo’s few original settlements.