How to build a stone street

A FULL RENOVATION of the street surrounding our large, spectacular plaza downtown has been going on for quite a spell. It started last November on two streets radiating out from the plaza. Those streets are completed. New, wider sidewalks too.

Another radiating street is being done as we speak, plus two sides of the plaza itself have been the object of work for weeks now. One of the principal pluses of this work is a brand-new drainage system, which was sorely needed.

I’m downtown for a brief spell most afternoons for café Americano negro and ogling beautiful women who pass my sidewalk table. Finishing that, I walk over to see how the work is progressing. I find it highly interesting, and I’ve never seen this sort of manual labor done in the United States.

The work done above the Rio Bravo is faster, more efficient, less lovely and, I’m betting, lasts far fewer years. Our work here is slower, less efficient, more lovely, and will stand the proverbial test of time.

Another notable difference between how things are done here and how they’re done up north is that there are no barricades to keep pedestrians and onlookers at bay.

That’s great for Nosy Parkers like me.

Coffee, cookie and construction

cafe

OUR MOUNTAIN town is packed to the treetops with tourists. Not fond of it myself, but it’s good for the local economy, and I’m down with that.

Much of Mexico goes on vacation between Christmas and New Year’s, and at times it seems they all come here. Many of them do.

Yesterday afternoon, I was sitting at a sidewalk table with a café Americano negro and a chocolate chip cookie from Costco. Most of the sidewalk tables were occupied, and hordes of folks were walking by. It was good people-watching.

Finishing my café and cookie — I ate just one, which is why I am so svelte. I don’t make a pig of myself — I stood and walked across the street and the plaza to the far side where a yuge renovation project is under way.

The renovation is taking a very long time, months, and my video illustrates why. Watch those guys detailing the flat stones of the sidewalk. It will last a century or more.

We don’t do prefab.

Another interesting element is that the construction work is not closed off. Pedestrians walk all around the workmen and through the half-finished street and sidewalk.

In the United States, the area would be closed, and all the workmen would be sporting hard hats. It’s probably more perilous the way we do it, but it’s far more interesting too.