Sunday, February 10, 2008

10,000 Ex-pats

Well I have for a long time "pooh poohed" the idea that there could possibly be that many expats in San Miguel. By my count it seems like there are about 2500 of us full time........but last night caused me doubt as I went to the Fourth Anniversary of La Aurora (I'll explain what that is in a minute or two). I kid you not, there had to be at least 4000 people there! Or at least it seemed that way. Last year there were 1500 and although I've never gone in the four years since it opened, I looked like a guppy with my mouth hanging open at the amount of people. Within an hour of the appointed opening at 6PM, you" couldn't stir them with a stick". Yes, I know there was free champagne and chocolate, but geez there was a flock of them. I also realize this is "high season" and a lot of these people are snowbirds but holy was wall to wall people. I am now reassessing what I've been told in the recent past and ready to admit there are more expats here then I have realized for quite a while..............darn.
Ok, for those of you who don't know what LaAurora is, it was a fabric mill that made "manta" fabric which is a natural cotton. It brought a lot of jobs to San Miguel and it closed down a few years ago. This is a perfect example of "adaptive reuse" in architecture. They have left a lot of the big equipment and cogs and things in the building but the majority of the space is now art galleries, designer showrooms, a couple of restaurants and a wine bar. I so love when a building that can no longer function in its intended capacity is reused in a new and effective way. When I redesigned the Hacienda del Sol in Tucson it was an adaptive reuse as well. It had been a girl's finishing school from the 20,30's and 40's that became (with design and modification) a boutique resort hotel and restaurant. I was honored to do this project.
(PS) I had intended to post the photos of the rocks and the wall today but for some reason the blogspot won't let me upload them...........maybe tomorrow.

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