Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Streets of San Miguel de Allende.......are.....EMPTY!

I intended to write this blog yesterday - but Margaritas, Madness and More took over. Charley prompted me to get busy and get this out. Your "woman on the street" reporting, if you will. These photos were taken yesterday at NOON as I was walking to the bank and the jardin. NOON, I say. The first, for those who know San MIguel, is Aparicio where it intersects with Tecolote. NOT a high traffic area, unless I'm walking on it. Then I spend my time clinging to the walls to keep from being run over by a taxi, Corona truck or worse - the dreaded garbage truck.
This is Nunez looking at San Francisco - a very busy street. Very. But not now. Again this is noon on a Tuesday.
And the final is a block and a half from the jardin on San Francisco - even busier then the other two - but not now.

The "sweat birds" haven't arrived and Lordy, they better. The restaurants have employees standing in doorways just looking for a customer. The bank was empty of all but one other customer when I was there yesterday. No one in La Conexion - the mail service on Aldama. Good grief - where are you people?

Add to this the scuttlebutt I was told at a party Monday night by someone "in the know". The Bibliotecha Home and Garden Tour - the bellwether of tourist statistics, had FOUR people one weekend and sixteen the next. It has not gotten any better. Now let me put this in perspective. Typically the smallest number I remember is around 150 people who are shepherded into buses to see private homes. And the highs can be in the 400's. This information was given to me by someone who has worked on this tour for twenty-two years. The money from the tours provide scholarships for students to go to middle, high school and college. This IS serious. Again, where are you people?

The rains have NOT come as yet. But as I write this at 1:15PM, it is a cool 77 degrees in my house and it will probably get to mid 80's with a humidity percentage of 20 to 30%. That temperature will drop after about two hours. It will be in the mid 50's at night. Perfect sleeping weather.

Now to address the silliness about the danger on the highways - from federales or whoever. Again, I drove up, alone and drove back alone. In April and June. No wild shootouts, extra road blocks or anything like that. It was the same as it has been for the last 25 years, except the roads get better and better - think I-10.

Now, I personally like no traffic, lots of taxis, plenty of tables in my favorite restaurants - but rather then be selfish - get thee down here. Other people need your dinero!

San Miguel is still a beautiful, safe, cultural, happy place to be. Do you think I would be here if it wasn't? Or all the other ex-pats who love it as well?

Calling allllllll "sweat birds"!
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17 comments:

American Mommy in Mexico said...

Pictures say it all and the post is well written too.

Thanks for getting the word out.

Steve Cotton said...

As for me, I am sitting here by the se -- sweating. But we have rain.

Babs said...

ANd NOW the rains have come - not a shower, I mean RAIN with thunder and everything.......YEAH

Felipe said...

Cannot argue with these photos which prove what I have said for years: There are no Mexicans in San Miguel.

Islagringo said...

Welcome back to the reality that is Mexico right now. Everywhere it is the same. We should have at least a 52% occupancy in the hotels here right now but we are hovering, and struggling, to maintain 17%. Times are getting really, really hard.

Anonymous said...

your weather sounds perfect! i'm in the 90s (97 two days ago)and very high humidity in key largo, but i am loving every minute of it.
last evening as i walked on a dock i saw a manatee, right next to the dock, i'd never seenone up close before. then i saw a bunch of barracuda. this morning while on my walk, i saw a myriad of birds-the most impressive, a long billed crane. i could see myself spending some winters down here and some in mexico.

enjoy your new friend's company.

teresa

Babs said...

Oh Felipe, what a silly comment. There are only, maybe, 2500 of us full time ex-pats in a popoulation countywide of 140,000. The town itself probably has 25,000 residents, so we're 1%. The saving grace for San Miguel is that 80% of its tourism is Mexican. And now with the UN World Heritage designation, even more in country tourists are coming..... Wayne, I'm so sorry to hear that. Teresa, aren't manatees fascinating? I'm glad you're having fun in Fla.

Felipe said...

Oh, Babs, I was speaking tongue in cheek. Not sure where you get your figures, but what I have read is there about 8,000-10,000 of you people in San Miguel, and it´s about ten percent of the population.

I imagine, as with most things of this sort in Mexico, nobody knows for sure.

But if you pointed a camera down most streets in downtown Pátzcuaro in mid-day, you would see folks, us Mexican folks.

Ruco said...

WELCOME BACK MISS BABS. MY TOWN OF MAZATLAN IS SUFFERING THE SAME WOES. RESTERAUNTS ARE CLOSING, HOTELS SUFFERING, BUT- THEIR STILL BUILDING CONDOS, AND FANCY RESORTS, WONDER WHERE THEY THINK THE PEOPLE ARE GOING TO COME FROM, AND, THE HOTEL PRICES AREN'T CHEAP. YOU'D THINK THEY WOULD DROP THE PRICES TO INCITE THE PEOPLE TO COME, BUT THEY WON'T. IT'S THE MEXICAN WAY.

Felipe said...

Ruco, it´s the Mexican way indeed. My wife and I went to see (again) some condos here in Pátzcuaro last week. They´ve been available for over a year, and I do not think they have sold even one. They were going for 1,100,000 pesos at first. There are only four completed with, I think, two more planned. They are nice, modern with some snazzy touches. We were/are thinking of buying one to rent out.

I said to my wife: I bet they´ve lowered the price. She scoffed, saying prices don´t get lowered in Mexico, just raised, which generally is true because the locals seem to have difficulty grasping the basics of capitalism: No sales, lower prices. Lots of sales, raise prices.

For them, it seems always to be raise prices, regardless of anything, especially on Jan. 1 of every year, which seems to be some kind of mystical date.

However, when we went by there, the salesman said they were available "for a limited time" for 985,000 pesos.

Maybe some reality is slipping into some of the thick noggins.

Babs, there ain´t no counties in Mexico.

Babs said...

Ahh Felipe, then it is the "municipality". It reaches from Hwy 57 to who knows where to the west and up to Delores Hidalgo and who knows how far to the south. Big territory.
I think the real estate people keep upping the ex-pat population to get more to come here, but if one were to count the Juarde, the local phone book, there are about 3200 names of ex-pats. One realtor said yesterday there are 12,000 - well they must all be hiding in their houses!
And Ruco, thanks for the welcome back. I've missed hearing from you!

Felipe said...

Sounds like Jacksonville, Florida, where the city and the county are one and the same, making it one of the biggest cities in the United States, but it´s not. It´s just smoke and mirrors.

Mic said...

Most of the "sweat birds" probably don't have money any more for vacations or winter breaks. Sounds like it's time for those in the tourist trade down there to "float & regroup" and figure out a way to make a living that doesn't rely on tourism. Rip Tide Philosophy.

Not wanting to be unsympathetic, it's just hard times all over right now....and appears like it will be so for awhile.

Still, I believe in the long run it will work out for the best and we'll become better for the experience.

1st Mate said...

Looks like the perfect time to get down there. Quick service, no waiting, plenty of walking-around space...Do they still think the flu is rampaging?

Donna said...

While I'm sure the economy is a factor, I think it's the least part. I think the combination of flu and narco-violence is having much mroe effect. I have a store in the US and we've noticed a real change the last 3 weeks or so. People are starting to spend money again--not quite like before but they definitely seem to be less afraid than they were 6-8 months ago. I think it's likely to be a while before Mexico is once again on peoples travel radar.

And I'd come down in a minute if I could. I'd be there tomorrow! Hopefully I can make it in August.

Have the rains really started?

Babs said...

Yes, Donna the rains have come - two nights in a row and its cloudy today - aaaah, exhale, the heat is over for another year. I'm with Felipe over at Zapata Tales, having livedin the south for mumble-somethinig years, if I never sweat again I'll be happy. BUT I do like it warm, just not 90+ degrees warm.
Mic and First Mate it IS the time to come here. The papers in the US are using sensationalism to sell papers - so what else is new? The HEADLINES the day I left Houston were about 16 people murdred in Acapulco - of course they don't say how many were murdered or run over in Houston that day. It is an every day front page negative story in the Houston Chronicle - drives me nuts. THANKFULLY, San Miguel's majority of tourists are Mexican - 80% so for those businesses not dependent on gringoes - they're ok, sorta. I hope the US and everyone pull out of this economic crisis. I thank the Universe that I'm not trying to "do" construction and design anymore. I remember the fallout of 1987 when you couldn't find a project in Texas if you would do it for free.......tough, tough times.

Kay Cox said...

Geez, but this is hard to even imagine...they all must be on Houston's freeways.