Changing faces

First

WHEN WE bought the double lot where the Hacienda now stands, this was the face we turned to the outside world. It was the face the property came with. It was humble, and we liked it that way.

The neighborhood is blue-collar, to state it politely, and we did not want to stand out. We kept this face to the world for about five or so years, but we wearied of it.  So we painted it like this:

Second

The white wall at the right is the entrance to our neighbor, the sex motel. A sharp observer will note there is no sidewalk outside our property and the stand of banana trees that I planted after a couple of years. It gives us a nice tropical look even though we’re nowhere near a beach or jungle.

While the recently completed storefront construction was under way, I decided to have the workmen repaint the entire façade, and this is how it looks now:

Today

There is a sidewalk the local government installed a few years ago. And we have a second entrance on the right, which is the storefront or, as it currently stands, my lovely wife’s pastry workshop. Since the ground level on the inside is significantly higher than street level, the workmen built stone steps.

Those stone steps, to my mind, are too narrow, so the workmen will return today, their last bit of labor, to make them wider. That brick tower between the two metal gates houses the water tank for the new storefront. I climbed up there a few weeks ago and took this really great photo of the street.

Last year we added a little red tile roof over the main entrance because it looks snazzy and Mexican. And we have lost all hope of blending into the neighborhood.

* * * *

The pastry shop is completed! And here are photos. Completed is not totally accurate because the space still lacks the counters and shelves that we’ll install, plus a big work table in the middle of the floor.

A photo gallery of the entire construction process is here. It too is completed.

outside

kitchen

inside

lavatory

For comparison, this is how it all started in November. That brick barbecue pit at the far right has been swept away. It was there when we purchased the property, and we never used it.

before

18 thoughts on “Changing faces”

    1. Señor Calypso: Thanks. It’s been quite an experience. We’ve had work done here over the years but nothing so extensive. My wife is chomping at the bit with business ideas. I, on the other hand, prefer to let it sit. Well, apart from her baking her pastries out there and liberating the kitchen in the house.

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  1. I am about to undertake my own construction project. In my absence, the contractor who built my place is going to repair the two leaks in the upstairs terrace. I only hope it goes half as well as yours. I look forward to seeing your new construction sometime in the near future.

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  2. I am envious of your wife’s taller para pastelería. I am going to be seriously looking for a new stove, and especially an effectively functional oven. But we won’t be adding onto or modifying our rented house.

    Saludos,
    Don Cuevas

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    1. Señor Cuevas: What we’ve done is one of the many advantages of being an owner, not a renter.

      (Note to non-Spanish speakers: taller para pastelería means pastry workshop.)

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  3. Nice addition. Interesting to see how you handle the entrance because of the elevation change. You lucked out, it would never pass approval NOB because of the ADA laws that have been forced upon the populace.

    So now you will get a comfortable chair and sit there reading while she toils to bring money in …
    What a pretty picture.

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    1. Debi: I weigh what I weighed when I was 21 years old, just under 170 pounds. And I’m 6’3″. In the late 1970s, living in food-fixated New Orleans, I weighed about 225 pounds. I began to take that off around 1980 when I realized it was out of control. Been skinny ever since.

      But I get your drift. Actually, I eat virtually none of her wares. It’s difficult to do sometimes.

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    1. Andrés: When the next revolution breaks out, I have my vantage point. The only thing I lack is armaments. Perhaps some boiling oil, which would be nice to pour over the collectivists.

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  4. Looks great. I especially like your outside wall color. But your paint color reminds me of SMA. Your neighbors on each side are following the painting rules of the area. Is no one enforcing those rules, especially on a gringo. Oops. Former gringo.

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    1. Great God Almighty, Patzman! It looks like San Miguel?! We’ll be repainting tomorrow morning for sure.

      Actually, the area’s color scheme is not enforced this far away from downtown. We paint whatever color we want.

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