Progress of the storefronts

This morning.

Watching the solitary fellow building the two storefronts across the street — with the assist of his wife on occasion — remains an interesting pastime. You can just see him on a low scaffold on the right side. Below is how it looked in October. I took the second photo from the water-tank roost atop my wife’s pasty kitchen, which abuts the street. When I took the October photo, I thought they were building a house, but nope.

Soon we’ll be a bustling commercial thoroughfare.

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

Busting out

entrance

STOREFRONT CONSTRUCTION is nearing completion here at the Hacienda. Most everything has been done except opening the new space to the outside world, which is what you see happening here.

The above photo was taken at noon yesterday. To the right is the bathroom door, which remains to be painted. The honcho promised that the entryway would be open and the metal sliding door installed before day’s end.

And it was.

gate

A spanking new stove and refrigerator are sitting against the wall at the rear, which you cannot see here. The bathroom is a done deal with colonial tile around the sink, and a toilet ready for sitting. Photos later.

This project started in November, and we’re going to be soooo happy to have it over and done with — and these talented guys out of our faces. For an ongoing gallery of the project, see here.

Septic tank symphony

THE BOYS have been here for a month now, arriving every morning before 8:30., building the pastry workshop as my lovely wife has chosen to call it, not the kitchen, not the storefront.

This brief video serves just one purpose: to give you a short taste of life on a Mexican construction project. There on the left is the helper, José, who looks to be about 16. He should be in school. Down in the hole is Juan, who looks to be about 35. He is an artist at what he does, incredibly skilled.

The music is theirs, blaring from a dusty boombox nearby. A Mexican construction project requires music, always. The size of the crew varies, but usually it’s just these two because Ramón the honcho is also building the new courthouse downtown, and a courthouse outranks a pastry workshop.

Ramón told me it should all be finished in another week. Due to Christmas, I am skeptical. I’ve also decided to paint the entire façade of the Hacienda property, what you see out on the street. We will be so pretty.

rebarJust a couple of hours after the video was shot, the septic tank roof had been covered with boards — supported from below by parts of trees — and rebar laced atop the wood. There’s an opening at the top left of the tank.

And then just an hour or so later, the entire shebang was covered in cement.

cement

As always, a blow by blow photo spread of the construction can be found here.

And the previous post about this matter can be found here.