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…]
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…]
Well, Wednesday was a delight. I got to stay home from work (a little stomach bug) but with our air conditioning on the fritz, all our windows were thrown open and I got a taste of that “indoor-outdoor” living we hope is not too overrated once we finally move to Mérida. Officially “on call” and checking my email, I was home on a workday, looking with a new perspective at this little Cape we’ve lived in for 20 years. My sunroom, if I squint, is my terraza, and those squirrels outside are iguanas. The cardinals are parrots. My pasta tile floors squeak because they’re really oak, but I can kind of ignore that.
Today is Friday, and the windows are still flung open, but it’s
Some youngish travelers from Italy were guesthouse neighbors back in January. They were in Mérida for the weekend. Over breakfast, we would ask how their evening went. Each time, they were sort of downcast. They enjoyed the cathedral, the bus tour, and all the historic architecture, but their dinner at fast-foodish Los Trompos “was OK.” The next day, their dinner at La Chaya Maya had them concluding that Yucatecan food isn’t for them.
Yes, travel in Mérida isn’t fool-proof. There are good and bad choices before you. Even if you choose the right restaurant, you might make a bad choice from the menu. Restaurants here are uneven, through and through.
La Chaya’s new outpost in Santa Lucia is romantic, gorgeous, very tourist-friendly, and puts [Read more…]
I know almost nothing about gay life in Mérida.
There was a website devoted to the topic, but its gone now. Google search engine results don’t give much information. Hopefully now, this item will come up when people search “gay Mérida,” and the poor reader still won’t learn anything. Much.
Google “lesbian Mérida” and you’ll find even less.
There are some very gay clubs, with entertainment, outside of Centro, and one in the hotel zone, plus a spa and some gay-friendly cafés in Centro, but of all the gay people I see in Mérida, and there are quite a few, these places aren’t really mentioned or even relevant. People here work hard, have their friends, socialize in private homes. I’m not sure who is going to the clubs, with their drag shows and strippers. Some bloggers have suggested they cater to the sugar daddy scene, with young needy boys seeking a caretaker that they can take care of.
Lately, stories about gay murders have been troubling. An accountant in Progreso was clubbed to death by someone he connected with, I assume a hustler. More recently, a gay bartender in a bar near the main market was murdered in a “crime of passion,” according to police. (2013 update: Since this post, two more homicides of gay expats by young men in questionable circumstances. The second one was especially heartbreaking because it was the second time I know of that he was attacked by a young man. The first time, he was in a coma and not expected to pull through. But he did, and now this.)
But gay couples seem happy here. One couple was on a cable TV show, portraying their purchase of a house. Gay expats are prominent, running real estate agencies, cooking schools and galleries. Until there was a gay-owned guesthouse, but it was sold. (2013 update: I know of two gay-owned, straight-friendly guesthouses now: Casa del Maya in Santa Ana and Villa Verde in Santa Lucia.)
This is a conservative Roman Catholic city, but the people are tolerant and sweet, even as national polling indicates significant opposition to gay marriage or adoption. The city is more “live-and-let-live” than New England, where I live now. So is Mérida gay friendly? The truth is mired in shades of gray. Just choose your friends carefully.
By now the doorbell sound was iconic, announcing the start of another episode of
House Hunters International Global House Hunt. [Read more…]