Over on Yolisto, there’s an ongoing discussion of Mérida’s neighborhoods. Residents of Campestre seem contented. The freestanding, sometimes eccentric homes up there are often resemble Jersey shore weekend homes. Others have compared the neighborhoods north of Centro to San Diego or south Florida. Not at all what I am looking for! So why do I keep looking up there?
Closer to Centro, I have noticed some pretty-ish homes in Itzimná. I can’t help but notice that some finished homes there are prices under what some Santa Ana ruins are going for. There’s a bulky Mediterranean-style home, painted pink with white balustrades, there that I’m strangely attracted to, although I’m baffled why a house that scale wouldn’t carve out room for a garage.
Going there would stick me in that model of living (which in my shorthand I’m calling “suburban” but I know that’s not a precise term) that I don’t see for myself. Again, for my New York friends — it’s like shopping for a co-op in Chelsea and buying a ranch in Bergenfield.
Another person on the expat forum may have found a happy medium. He is “is close enough to enjoy Centro and the wonderful old homes, but not so close that traffic is backed up all day in front of the house. It’s not too much farther to the Circuito de Colonias and is 98% residential. A few corner stores and “Coke & chips windows” on a few houses. Very settled. All the families have lived here for generations, so it is stable, practically zero crime, everyone knows everyone, no one “acts annoying” (like loud music – really!), just laid-back, peaceful, “tranquilo” Merida. It’s great!”
It’s one thing to tolerate streets with heavy traffic, but when buses idle in front of your house, you’ve bought the wrong casa.
Another contributor splits her time between Campestre and Santa Ana. When in Santa Ana, she can no longer ride her bike.
“I enjoyed being walking distance from lots of restaurants and cultural events, and the street life was a lot more interesting than in my much quieter “suburban” neighborhood. However, grocery shopping was a challenge and I didn’t want to ride my bike on the congested streets. I was on a relatively quiet street, but the front door was so close to the street that every time a car zoomed by it seemed to suck the air out of the living room and replace it with exhaust.”
Shopping in Centro is so easy because you’re scouring a three-square-mile area. If I start looking at points north — for wide streets and somewhat better access to those Gulf breezes — my job becomes a lot more complicated.