Monday, November 19, 2007

First Impressions

The first house we finished in Merida back in 2001 was Ermita. When we told local people where we lived they recoiled in horror. It didn't help that I'd decided I couldn't get a decent haircut in town and so let my hair grow to my shoulders. It didn't help that we drove a 1986 jeep cherokee with two fox terriers hanging out the windows either. But the thing that horrified everyone the most was that we lived downtown and in the worst part of town. I never met the local drug dealers and addicts that were supposed to plague the neighborhood. I did meet the local kids who hung out break dancing in the park and my neighbors just wanted to know when I was going to knock down my old ceilings and build a mezzanine. It wasn't long after that when I saw this house on calle 75 for sale. I loved my 18th century ruin and thought this mid-century modern was about the worst thing on the market. Five years later I thought it was about the best thing on the market. I'd been collecting and making modern furniture that just did not fit into Ermita and I was in the mood for something light and clean. It was the open sky and the big garden that convinced me to buy the house though I had no idea what to do with it. The garden wall reminded me of the morning in 1987 when I was the only person visiting the Ryoanji temple rock garden for a least an hour. I kept hesitating to re-plaster the last old wall in the garden so I filled the garden with gravel and left it... see the last photo on this page.

In 2006 Ermita became the hot neighborhood for expats looking for a nice old colonial. I spent the better part of 2007 renovating this new house around the corner from Ermita. Josh and I moved from Ermita to El Portico de la Candelaria the house he had renovated through most of 2006. Now I want a real zen garden in the middle of no where. Thank god we still have the jeep and now we have 3 fox terriers...

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