Getting stoned

IF YOU’VE ever wondered what a cobblestone street in the making looks like, wonder no more. Behold!

For a few months now, major work has been under way on two streets radiating out from the southwest corner of our spectacular main plaza. It was supposed to be completed by Easter Week, but that’s not going to happen.

A major component of the labor is installing wider sidewalks. The sidewalk to the right side was about half as wide and, of course, that meant the street was wider.

Now the street will be narrower, a trade-off.

That sidewalk surface is just a concrete base now. Flat stone will be installed atop it. It will be quite snazzy.

The street itself won’t be smooth. Cobblestone streets never are, but newly installed ones are smoother than older ones.

Time takes its toll. After about a decade, driving on a cobblestone street goes something like this.

I’m not a fan of cobblestone streets. I prefer smooth concrete or, barring that, asphalt. But our town trades on tourism, and tourists like to see cobblestone streets.

They go nicely with our tile roofs of red clay.

The fact is that our mountaintop town improves yearly. And the same goes for our property values.

17 thoughts on “Getting stoned

    1. Troy: There are a couple of wider sections that appear to provide parking on one side. It will be a one-way street. Where the wider sections are not there, and for most of the stretch there are none, there will be no room for parking at all. Before the work began there was parking on both sides for most of the length. It’s a two-block stretch they’re working on.


  1. The more things change the more they stay the same. It’s been my experience that the wider the sidewalks the more stuff that fits on them like concrete steps, taco stands etc. And at least where we go in Mexico they installed beautiful cobblestones but had to rip them up later because they forgot to instal the drains. Hope your new street will be beautiful and functional.


    1. Brent: I think it will be beautiful and functional. As for filling up with taco stands, that’s not likely. The municipal government keeps a pretty tight rein on that type of thing.


  2. They (?) have been cobblestoning our hill out here for over a month … a little bit here, a little bit there. Big trucks coming up the other road, and the dust is flying everywhere. Two roads up both dirt and one closed for the cobbles. Hope they (again?) get back at it soon as every crevice in my house is full of grit. Will be super nice when completed. Then I hope they (?) do the other road and the one in front of our place … it’s either dust or mud … love it though.


    1. Peggy: This started months ago. I forget how many. This type of work is extremely labor-intensive. Good thing that labor is inexpensive down here. I send best wishes toward the project in your parts.


  3. I love that walking surfaces are being attended to because it’s so easy to stumble and make a grand spectacle.


    1. Carole: Walking around in Mexico requires constant attention to the surface ahead of you. People come down here from up north with the firm habit of not doing that because it’s not necessary above the Rio Bravo. Lawyers have seen to that. Nobody sees to it down here, and uneven surfaces and holes are everywhere. It’s a serious problem for visitors, especially older ones.

      Our streets and sidewalks are pieces of cake compared to the horrible mess in San Miguel. Walking around there is constantly taking your life in your hands, so to speak. Just one more reason not to live there. That and all those Gringos and Canucks.


  4. Yeah. Tourists like to see cobblestone streets. So quaint…until you start walking around on it. The streets in SMA just about killed my feet.


    1. Angeline: The streets and sidewalks of San Miguel are a horror. They make our streets and sidewalks here — even the ones that have not been renovated — seem like superhighways.


  5. I walked a few cobblestone streets in Honduras, usually around some public square. Most were dirt and mud.

    Aren’t there a few in New Orleans? Might just be my fading memory, but I seem to recall some in the Quarter.


  6. I have to wonder sometime the thinking that goes into the street department in Patzcuaro. Cement would be a longer lasting way to do the street but, as you say, the tourists need the uneven surfaces to walk on as they schlep their souvenirs around.

    The disturbing thing is the recent changes to the streets around the plaza where they have turned them into one-way streets. I notice that no one pays any attention to the new direction arrows since a few establishments cannot be arrived at correctly if you tried to guide your vehicle the proper direction.

    So, I just drive the wrong way for a block or two.


    1. Don’t be a scofflaw, Tancho. God knows, there are enough of them in this country already. Drive the right direction. Due to living out in the boonies, you do not get downtown as often as I do. I too found the new street directions annoying at first, but you get used to them. They are neither worse nor better. They are simply different. And you can get wherever you need to go with no problem, and certainly without driving against traffic. You say no one pays any attention to the new directions. Of course, they do. Well, almost everybody. There are, as always, a few stubborn coots — no names will be mentioned — who can’t adjust.

      Change is a part of living.


  7. We have a few openly cobblestoned streets in Boston, and then quite a few that lurk under asphalt. When holes develop in the asphalt, then the cobbles show through.

    I love the music in the linked video. Who is that?


    Kim G
    Redding, CA
    Where all the streets are built to a boringly current US standard.


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