I’m coming down off my “booking high,” the feeling I always get when I book airline tickets to Mérida. Whew. Let me catch my breath.
I keep hearing that selections have improved. So why do I have such a hard time finding, in my price range, a sofa I don’t hate. Even a lot of the sofas out of my price range look like designs that played out years ago north of the border.
Right now, I’m shopping online, so I haven’t seen anything in person and I haven’t tested Yucatán’s notoriously stuff cushions. Our time in Yucatan is always precious, and furniture shopping can be a huge time-suck. So I’m using the Internet as much as possible, contacting [Read more…]
The winter weather, usually moderate and dry, has been a letdown for many, and I think it’s starting to get to people. Normally a public square where people encourage each other, Facebook forums are now repositories for crankiness, accusations, laments, and acrimony. On a Cancun-centered timeline, I see the mother of 2-year-old twins at her wit’s end trying to run a house and fight off boredom. “I have only met a very few honest people since I moved here,” an expat wrote on another Facebook group. I don’t know how to recover from reading statements like that. The weather isn’t helping; 2013 saw three times the normal rainfall in Yucatán, and soggy spirits abound. Even photos from Yucatán have lots their color and have taken on a gray tinge.
Even though we’ve hired the best professionals we could find, the Casa Nana project has not been easy, either. Our creative partners in Casa Nana have been the architecture and design firm of Reyes Ríos + Larraín, a well-known and widely respected husband-and-wife team who have hugely influenced contemporary interpretations of Yucatecan style and design. They have connected us with [Read more…]
Mérida is celebrating the arrival of P.F. Chang’s and California Pizza Kitchen in a new section of Plaza Altabrisa called City Hall. Starbucks inhabits one of the Paseo’s historic mansions, a stone’s throw from the Walmart. Burger King presides over one of the Centro’s most historically significant buildings near the main square. I’ve accepted long ago that this is the reality of our world today, and why shouldn’t a city of a million people have the latest of everything? A few years ago, it seemed more expats were chagrined at any signs of corporate steamrollering, but today this touch of the familiar is embraced, from what I gauge on social media. And if I can have a Taco Bell in my neighborhood in Connecticut, why can’t Meridanos have a TGI Fridays in theirs? We can’t preserve the old Mérida in amber.
But then there’s this. An Elvis and Marilyn Monroe impersonator opening a 1950s-diner-themed Johnny Rockets at the Mérida International Airport? Yes, there is already a Burger King there, so I’m not claiming that any kind of cultural purity has been breached. At the airport entrance, a jaguar sculpture, symbol of the Mesoamerican wilderness, was replaced by [Read more…]
No, I’m not done bitching about the sidewalks in Mérida. It’s just insane. Look up to admire the work being done on the facades in the Centro, and you risk twisting your ankle on the crumbling sidewalks or gaping potholes that are all around.
Here’s something brilliant: Outside this one popular cantina on 62, the crack in the sidewalk is marked with an equally hazardous [Read more…]
I’m back in Mérida now, and the first thing I want to share on my little blog has nothing to do with the city’s beauty, its culture or the lovely people, including the friends I’ve been reconnecting with this week. No restaurant reviews follow. No remarks about the weather, or tourism, or even the house we’re building.
The first thing I want to tell you is that the scary hole in the sidewalk outside the Comex on 60 and 47 is still there. Yes, this treacherous gap, which seems like a very easy repair job, remains unfixed. If you’re walking north on 60, and you see Santa Ana park up ahead, don’t let images of Mary’s panuchos dance too vividly in your head. You might not notice a shocking jagged gap in the sidewalk, right on this very busy street corner, ready to pull you in and inflict some serious injuries. In a city where the sidewalks are notoriously bad, this little road hazard is particularly egregious.