Chanclas y conchitas | Flip flops and shells

 cobertizo

— This post was originally written in Spanish.  Scroll down for the English translation! —

Una de las partes que más extraño de nuestra vida mexicana es el pueblito veracruzano en donde viven los parientes de Aron.  Este pequeño pueblo se ubica justo al sur de la frontera entre Tamaulipas y Veracruz.  Fuimos de visita cada primavera durante mis primeros tres años viviendo en México.  Ya después, la inseguridad en todo el pais — debida a los enfrentamientos criminales, desconfianza en las fuerzas armadas y la policía, y la delincuencia en general (tal como matanzas, robos, extorción, secuestros, y violaciones de mujeres) — básicamente nos desanimó de ir dondequiera.  Entonces, no hemos vuelto a visitar por unos años.

Y uno de los detalles que más valoro de estar cerca de la costa a lo mejor a Ud. le suena tontito Siga leyendo | Continue reading…

Photo exploration of architectural styles & materials in Poor-Monterrey

One of the most beautiful aspects of Mexico is the architecture.  Particularly in non-affluent parts, there is an  incredible range of building materials, paired with unmatched creativity, used to construct homes, public spaces, and commerical buildings.  Here are some of my favorite examples (from 2008) of material use in Poor-Monterrey.  Click any of the images for a higher-res version.

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Uno de los aspectos más bellos de México es la arquitectura. Sobre todo en las zonas menos afluentes, hay una increíble variedad de materiales, vinculados con una creatividad sin igual, utilizados para la construcción de viviendas, espacios públicos, y edificios comerciales.  Éstos son algunos ejemplos favoritos (del año 2008) del uso de materiales de Monterrey-Pobre.  Haga clic en cualquier foto para ver la versión de más alta resolución.

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The most common type of planter is an ordinary bucket.

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Housing near the frutería in La Moderna

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Elaborate housing/business

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I’ve always thought it was interesting that sometimes the only way to distinguish one residence from another is the color blocking of paint on the front façade.

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Various materials for the construction, and pallets stacked up for use or for sale

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Façade of a school

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Multiple textures and tones

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Public fútbol rápido court

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Roof space is often important/handy for clothesline use.

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A more upscale home with protected front entry

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These design blocks create interest and permit filtered sunlight to enter the upper level

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Various upper-level add-on spaces

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A curved Monterrey sidewalk I always thought was curious

Fearing and fearing not in Nuevo León

bardacaidaTake a look at the photo above.  This broken-down fence is located at the end of the main avenue of the mass-housing community in which we lived for more than two years.  I took this photo in July of 2011, during a small, personal mission of mine to photograph the tons of trash polluting the street views in our fraccionamiento.  At the time of the photo, this site never struck me as much of anything, other than the landmark I used to judge distance on my 12km runs — 3 to 6 times a week throughout most of 2010 and 2011.  The barda at the edge of the avenue was almost exactly 3km from our house, and I would at least run here and back twice on any given morning.

But 5 months later, the site, and this photo, would begin to give me chills. Continue reading