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.
ROUNDABOUTS noon on a spring day is the perfect time to sit in the yard with an electronic book.
If the natives have nothing to celebrate, which happens often enough, you’ll find a smooth calm. The air will be cool. The sky will be blue. The breeze will be blowing stiff enough to wiggle the wind chimes hanging in the nearby veranda.
At this hour the hummingbirds will be dining about the bottle-brush tree and so will butterflies. Sparrows will be chirping.
I’ll be sitting in a mesh chair next to the glass-top table, and I’ll be shaded from the sun, which grows a bit brutal in spring, by the big brown umbrella. It’s a good mix altogether.
Two things might disturb this scene. One is that I doze off, which is common, no matter how engaging the book. This does not affect the calm. It simply renders it moot for moments.
The other is that a freight train will blow by, but this lasts no longer than 60 seconds, and the calm returns. The butterflies and hummingbirds don’t seem to notice.
Even on a calm spring midday, I like the passing train especially since it’s brief. It sounds of vagabonds, a life that appealed back when I was very young.
This midday peace is broken when my child bride comes out of the house and says she’s ready to go to the restaurant.
I OFTEN refer to the capital city that sits down the mountain, about 40 minutes from here on a smooth four-laner.
We drive there at least once a week, almost exclusively for shopping. My mountaintop’s shopping is restricted mostly to tacos, tires and rebozos.
My first eight months in Mexico were spent in the capital city where I studied Spanish at a language school while living two months over a garage. I then spent another six months just walking around and living in a rented house.
I didn’t much like the town. Before moving there I read online that it was similar to the American Midwest, sorta dull. It was to Mexico what Topeka or Omaha are to America.
One day I took at bus up the mountain to visit the ancient and very different town where I’ve been a long time now. I liked it. I moved here. Been here ever since. Gonna die here.
However, in the past 17 years, the capital city has improved immensely. I would not mind living there now. I might even prefer it, but I’m not going to move.
Recently, an online piece from two years ago was brought to my attention by the inimitable Jennifer Rose. It describes our capital city in an admirable and accurate way.
Take a look. There are also great photos. The author, Stephenie Harris, claims it’s the most beautiful city in Mexico that nobody visits. And she says why she thinks that is the case.