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Estrella del Norte
Mercado de Artisanas, 2nd Street, corner of Avenida Aldrete, Tijuana

The best values are in the traditional Mexican designs, and they feel like real fountains, when they're as high as you and fill your garden with vague classical-romantic shapes and the bubbling of water. At the North Star, they have five-foot-high carved stone fountains from $250. But the best value is the concrete fountains. A five-foot, four-layer conch-shell design costs $140, a slightly smaller one $110. A fantasy woodland fountain with a bear holding a fish is $120. A two-foot single dish is $15. The biggest is a seven-foot monster with four dishes with ground-level pool surround blocks, for $260. The stone fountains are carved in Guadalajara. The concrete ones are cast in Playas de Tijuana. They say the concrete will last just as long. The good news: you're saving up to $5000 on San Diego County-sold fountains. The bad news: you have to lug it back north yourself.

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