Monday, May 18, 2009

Not your basic Neighbourhoods

I love it when people comment on something or ask a question about something they have read on mexicoatlast. In response to a query about some of the pictures I sent ...... Mazatlan is a city the size of Winnipeg, and I'm not even going to try to pretend that I've been everywhere in the city, so will only mention the areas we know fairly well.

From what we have seen, houses in Mazatlan rarely have front yards, however, behind the front door, there could be a beautiful courtyard, hidden from public view. In some areas of the city, the walls appear to be blackened and unkempt – this is often caused by the rain and himidity in the summer months, and also by the effects of being beside the ocean. It is not uncommon to see a building where the front wall, facing the street, has been freshly painted, while the side and back walls not visible from the street are left to weather. We've also walked past homes that are so small, and very sad and shabby by our standards. However, it also not unusual to see the owner, out with a hose, cleaning off the sidewalk, or sweeping up garbage from the curb. Then again, there could also be a whole family living in a house that appears to be totally deserted, with no effort made to tidy up, anything, at all. It`s a totally different culture.

We live in an area of the city called Centro and we are very close to the area referred to as the Historical area. It is not uncommon to see a total ruin beside a house that has been completely restored. Quite often, these ruins are just shells, and all that is left is the outer wall of the home. If the house is being restored at times a totally new house is built inside the shell of the original property. However, the exterior, when restored, must retain the original appearance and even the colours are regulated by the Historical Society – just like at home. The restored homes and buildings are spectacular and truly lovely. The ruins are truly beautiful in their own way; I find them fascinating. We overlook one from our patio and I have spent many hours staring at it and would love to know it's story.

It can be very tricky walking in this area. There are so many stunning buildings to look at but it is also a good idea to keep your eyes to the ground as the sidewalks are very uneven (often change in front of each building) and because of the hills, quite often have stairs – also uneven. We have also learned how important it is to keep an eye out for the air conditioning units mounted on the side of buildings, overhanging the sidewalks, often at forehead level. Ouch. You really need to have a third eye when walking the streets of Centro!

There are areas in the city where the houses are brand new, and the streets look very similar to those at home. Friends live in one of these areas, Las Gaviotos. This is where we stayed when we used to come down for our 2 week breaks from reality before we retired and if we weren`t in love with Centro, this is probably the part of town we choose to live in for our winters. It`s very pretty – the streets are wider, the sidewalks somewhat more manageable, and the houses are of course much newer. There have certainly been changes over the years. Wanda and Tom have just moved into one of the new high rise condos which have been built right on the beach. We`re looking forward to seeing the finished product as we first saw this as a huge hole in the ground. Brenda and Wayne have moved to an apartment just down the street, across from the beach. Their street has trees and also houses with grass!

We`re amazed by the amount of growth a little further north, in the Marina area. Mandy and Don live in a beautiful condo over looking the Marina, another building that didn't exist when we first started coming here. The high rise towers are sprouting up everywhere in this part of the City, and also same rather glamourous looking gated communities. I don`t know this area well, but it doesn`t really appeal to me – it just doesn`t feel like Mexico. However, who knows, after years of tripping over the curbs, an elevator could look rather enchanting. Never say never!

No comments:

Post a Comment