If you look a little more closely at this guy's wares, you'll see the image of a Warner Brothers' cartoon character on some of the balloons. Yes, nothing says "I love you" like Tweety Bird.
Tweety appears frequently on shirts and signs. A polleria on Canal Street features him (her?) on the front of the building. Makes me a little queasy, Tweety and chicken breasts side-by-side. Don't get 'em mixed up...
Cartoon characters on balloons: do you think they're used by permission? I wouldn't bet on it. This is a country where today you can get a DVD of Apocalypto for thirty pesos ($2.70); that is if you don't mind an occasional silhouette of a theatergoer's head wandering across the image.
But today isn't about intellectual property. Today is for romance, and nobody does it better than Mexicans. When evening falls, embracing couples inhabit the shadows, somehow simultaneously steamy and innocent. On park benches, they become intertwined in ways I can only marvel at.
I noticed that mostly women are buying balloons. Cute. Men are buying flowers, wheeling out the big guns. Valentine's is indeed a big holiday here, and maybe an even bigger night.