Rather than vegging out in front of the TV, Paul and I decided to spend the remaining few daylight hours of a beautiful late-summer Connecticut weekend poring over our collection of Yucatán house porn. Living in Mexico (2004) (Taschen); Casa Mexicana Style (2006) (Stewart, Tabori & Chang); and Hacienda Courtyards, Hacienda Style (2008), Casa Yucatan (2006) and The New Hacienda (2003) (Gibbs Smith) were laid out before us. We devoured these books a couple of years ago, when the books were more current and our love for Yucatán was still fresh, but during [Read more…]
Archives for August 2013
I like rock gardens, and good thing I do because it looks like we certainly have the rocks for it. When we first encountered the backyard, covered with trees and vines, that we were walking on such a thin veneer of soil. Today, the backyard looks like a lunar colony exploded, and to restore our concrete jungle’s former lush and verdant qualities, it’s going to take some strategic thinking.
On one drizzly morning, we went to Casa Nana to meet the person in charge of designing our landscape. She called over the foreman to tell him we wanted to have stakes banged into the ground. The look on the foreman’s face was priceless. Shock, annoyance, and then resignation. I couldn’t [Read more…]
It was never at the very top of my list, but I have been really curious about Liverpool, the upscale department store in northern Mérida. The whole Galerias Mérida, in fact, with an ice-skating rink at its core, has been somewhere in the middle-bottom of my list. I wanted to see just how posh Liverpool really was, and I had to see that ice rink, a very nice use for the center of a shopping mall.
Think that people in the tropics wouldn’t know how to ice skate? Wrong. There were some fancy skaters out there. I wouldn’t be surprised if an ice hockey league started before long. I also ticked another item on my list: We each had a cookie from Kukis by Maru. Delicious! Rich, natural chocolate flavor and just enough sweetness. Energized by the sugar surge, we strode past the Casino Life (which is not anywhere on my list) and a bunch of little boutiques and headed to Liverpool.
We went to go shopping. Not just everyday shopping, but shopping for Casa Nana. We needed a washer-dryer, fridge, and a range hood. Our designer had compared models and prices at other places, and decided [Read more…]
Trips to Mérida are all about friends, food, architecture, and coffee, and not always in that order. Before 10 a.m., it’s just about coffee, and the city that once offered tourists packets of Nescafé and powdered milk has come a long way. And the fact that we gobbled the lion’s share of the coffee served by our hosts last week didn’t quench our thirst for caffeine-based pleasures.
We love all kinds of coffee drinks, and they’re all widely available in Mérida lately, but lately we’ve been stuck on cappuccinos. Here’s our running list of where we’ve taken cappuccino breaks this year: [Read more…]
One day last May, somewhere in that no man’s land between Santa Ana and Santa Lucia parks on Calle 60, Paul and I were exhausted from walking in the heat. There was nothing open except the lobby bar of Hotel Los Aluxes. We took refuge there. One other time, I needed to use the bathroom, and there were no other options than the facilities of this hotel. We ended up exploring, taking panoramic photos of the Centro from the upper levels, and enjoying margaritas in the very same lobby bar down below. Then last week, we again unexpectedly ducked in to shelter ourselves from a sudden cloud burst.
Are we the only gringos to have found such sanctuary in this otherwise nondescript hotel, a concrete box trimmed in marble and glass?
Los Aluxes reminds me of the bland, clunky mid-range hotels that were being built at the Jersey Shore when I was growing up there. Neither glitzy nor shabby, the hotel is staffed with a team of doormen and valets who welcome you in no matter how bedraggled you’ve become after roaming the Centro like a fool at midday. They have [Read more…]
On Parque de la Maternidad, the artists were set up in their usual spots. We’ve been coming here long enough to know what to expect on a Sunday when we stroll down Calle 60, heading from the music and assorted vendors on Santa Lucia, and then pass the painters and artisans on the next, smaller park that you approach when you’re headed to the main square.
I keep swearing off little impulse buys. When we move here, we’ll have large walls, and I want to fill them with large-scale pieces that we bring down from Connecticut. But then a small mounted digital print of an imagined cantina, or an oil of a colorful parrot, or a copy of one of those many corner plaques, will charm me. I don’t usually buy figurative art; I prefer more abstract, expressionistic pieces. Here, I don’t care. I bring them home, knowing I’ll only have to lug them back again one day. We hear getting [Read more…]