Friday, July 11, 2008

Every Girl's Crazy 'bout a Sharp-Dressed Town

Congratulations to San Miguel de Allende for finally making it into UNESCO's list of world heritage sites. The town campaigned pretty hard for it, though it's not exactly clear to us why. Not only do they not need additional tourism, but the booming trade in Texan gringa plastic surgery is bound to be affected, since UNESCO rules prohibit the alteration of historic facades without a permit from INHA. That's not a bureaucratic maze you want to wander into if you're already feeling your mortality.

Querétaro's historic center has been a UNESCO site since 1996, and every few years UNESCO comes around to inspect. We're not sure when, exactly, but the next walk-through would appear to be imminent, because the whole city is running around like a guy who's been wallowing in his own filth while the wife was away, and her plane is landing in an hour. This includes forcing all the outdoor restaurants in town to take off the illegal roofs over their seating areas (which coincided with a period of rain so torrential and relentless that town elders were consulting clergy), making local businesses replace too-big or too-ugly signage, and simultaneously ripping up every street in the traffic-choked center so that electrical and phone wires can be hidden underground. (Mexican hole-digging technology[*] has far outstripped its putting-orange-cones-around-the-hole-in-the-road abilities, and it's likely that many of these trenches will double as mass graves. Strangely, that doesn't disqualify you from UNESCO designation.) Also, sometime in the last 48 hours - unbeknownst to me, even though I've been home the whole time - someone came and painted our house, or at least the graffiti-covered parts of it, in a color that's reasonably close to the actual color of the rest of the house. (Since this picture was taken 24 hours ago, a non-UNESCO-sanctioned orange penis and testicles has been scribbled next to the front window, in case anyone from the City is reading this.)

* [Another reason I should always carry a camera with me: Walking past some of the roadwork on C. Pasteur this morning, it appeared to be Take Your Child to Work Day. In this case, Daddy's job was driving the John Deere front-loader backhoe with special jackhammer attachment. Because the cab seats only one, the five-year-old boy had to hang on to the outside of the cage, supporting himself on the wheel well. It was all perfectly safe, of course, because they were outside the Virgen de Guadalupe's church.]


Rooby said...

I've not been a blog-watcher (I know, I know, what rock have I been hiding under?), but you're keeling me. :) Greetings from Beaverton, OR.

Burro Hall said...

Welcome to the internets, Roob. This really is the best of it, though, so no need to explore any further.

Anonymous said...

Last week a friend emailed this blurb about San Miguel's new designation as a World Heritage site. I'm just now getting around to opening last week's emails. I feel compelled to tell you that the designation involves money - apparently lots of it. Thus the reason for the campaigning.
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