Around the barrio …

New street light that looks to be solar. But maybe not.

Today is Ash Wednesday, which means yesterday was Mardi Gras or, as we call it hereabouts, Carnaval. Normally, it’s one of the worst periods in our hardscrabble barrio because the locals go loco with up to four nights of blaring concerts on the neighborhood plaza just a block and a half away.

In recent years, we’ve made it a habit to skedaddle to somewhere that’s not here. Last year we went to Guanajuato. This year we went nowhere because it was nice and quiet even though a Gringa who lives not far away in our hardscrabble barrio was complaining about freelance festivities on her street. I heard nothing.

No official Carnaval this year thanks to the Kung Flu.

Yes, I am not the only norteamericano who lives in the neighborhood, but I have been here the longest. Actually, I have been on the mountaintop longer than almost all Gringos and Canucks who now reside here, too many for my taste, actually.

Most belong in San Miguel de Allende.

Just here in the barrio, there is a Gringa in one home and a Gringo couple in another, all of whom arrived here long after we built the Hacienda. The Gringa lived downtown before moving nearby, and the couple, who are in their 90s, bought a big, fancy home from another Gringo couple who had bought it from another sole Gringo even earlier. I watched all these goings and comings from right here.

The initial owner of that property was a gay bookseller who returned to the United States and shortly died at a fairly young age. The second owners fled to Uruguay due to some police problems, according to gossip. The current owners seem to be really fine folks.

We had been warned yesterday that our state and quite a few others likely would suffer rolling blackouts as Mexico tried to cope with an energy crisis in the north of the nation, which was a result of the problems above the Rio Bravo, the Texans and their hippie fans. But nothing happened here. The lights stayed lit. More importantly, Netflix stayed lit.

Speaking of lights, over the past few days, a crew has traveled around our barrio changing street lights. Before, we had the large bulbous variety — the one outside the Hacienda had been burned out for over a year — and now we have the sleek version you see in the photo. I’m thinking that little circular, blue thing on the top means it’s solar-powered. I hope so. It’s a good use of solar power.

We have a solar water heater on our roof that does next to nothing. I have disconnected and given up on it. If you want it, it’s yours for the taking. No joke. It’s our second solar heater. The first did not work at all. The current one simply works badly, at times sending scalding water to the shower via the cold tap. Yes, the cold faucet.

This morning dawned cold, but it did not freeze last night as it did the previous three nights. How do I know? I check the birdbath at 8 a.m. Solid or not? Low-tech information.

Storefront update

Photo taken just this morning.
The middle of last year to provide perspective. That’s the lone builder and his wife.

Here’s a photo update on the storefront construction that lumbers on across the street. As previously mentioned, it’s being built by one man with the occasional assist of his wife who totes things. He works most days, but he wasn’t at work this morning. I suspect that’s because it’s Ash Wednesday.

It’s a lovely day, and we’ll be dining on beans, rice and sausage (from San Antonio) this afternoon. Later I’ll drive to a carwash, and after that I’ll head downtown for a nice café Americano negro on the plaza with a chocolate-chip cookie.

16 thoughts on “Around the barrio …

  1. That round thingy on the top of the street light is no doubt a dusk to dawn photocell. I would guess that this is a new LED fixture, uses very little electricity for the light produced, and should last years before burning out. Only the latest for your barrio!

    Regarding the lot across the street, is the vacant land to the right of the new building owned by the same guy? Do you think he will use it for off-street parking?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Phil: You know more about lights than I do, as we have previously discovered, so I imagine you are correct. Whatever the thing is, it works, which is more than the previously dead thing hanging up there for the past year was doing.

      I do not know if the home builder owns that area just to the right. I guess I could ask. Will it be used as off-street parking? Not a chance. There is plenty of street parking, plus there is no business in our neighborhood with off-street parking. Just ain’t necessary.


      1. I was going to make a comment virtually the same as Phil’s. Instead I’ll merely concur.


        Kim G
        Boston, MA
        Where we’ve had those things for years. Much better than the orange lights they replaced.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. We keep our Casita RV fully generated with a 100-watt solar panel. Works great, man! I’m not totally sold on solar, but in some applications it’s a godsend. All we need is sun, a few consecutive rainy days, and I might sing a different song

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I suspect that gizmo is a light sensor that turns the light off and on. We have them in our neighborhood. They work until they get covered with pigeon poop. Then they stay on all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Señor Gill: Yes, Phil has made that observation already, and I suspect both of you are right. As for pigeon poop, we have few pigeons here, but lots of birds who also poop. Time will tell. Better to stay on all the time instead of off, I think.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I suspect with your photographic talents, and perhaps a rainy evening, you could make a marvelous photo of that lamp. C’mon! Most of us don’t have the luxury of flying to Pátzcuaro to see a street lamp. And the combination of winter and covid has made life boring enough that we all crave such sights! C’mon man! (To quote a certain high official.)



        Your northern harasser.


        1. Kim: As I responded to Phil via email just this morning, giving the reasons why I am very unlikely to do that. One, due to the configuration of my home and yard, that light pole is a block away, literally. Two, by dusk, I am in my jammies. Three, it’s cold out there, especially in one’s jammies. Lastly, all that would come of it is a black square with a light in the middle.

          So, nah. Sorry. You’ll have to break your boredom in some better way.


          1. I seem to recall a couple of factors about your neck of the woods. One, it rains mostly in the summer. Two, dusk comes much later in the summer. And three, it’s not cold there in the summer. Four, if it’s raining, the light will reflect off the raindrops. Five, you’re a much better photographer than that reply suggests.

            Six, I’m still possessed by the persistence you referred to in a recent reply to one of my comments.




            1. Kim: Generally, it rains from June through October. Dusk does come later in the summer. It’s not cold here in the summer. It is quite nice, temp-wise. Yes, I am a good photographer, but my camera is not high-end.

              As for the persistence I referred to recently, uh, I do not recall to what you are referring. I am daffy.


Comments are closed.