Monday, September 21, 2009

The Two Faces of San Miguel Chapultepec....

The fate of San Miguel Chapultepec seems to be hanging in the balance. Will it lapse further into dilapidation and decay or will its promise as a des res neighbourhood finally be realised??

Sandwiched between Chapultepec Park and Constituyentes to the North, and Colonia Condesa to the South, San Miguel is a tranquil, leafy residential neighbourhood right in the heart of Mexico City. It has the peaceful atmosphere of Coyoacan or Condesa from earlier times, before they got a little saturated and over-developed into the trendy barrios they are today. The area has some of the most exquisite colonial architecture found anywhere in the Big Taco...

The smart, well kept colonial homes hark back to the area's heyday in the forties and fifties before DF residents fled the central neighbourhoods firstly because of fear of crime and then fear of another earthquake after the devastation of the 1985 shake which wreaked havoc and destruction throughout the Centro Historico, Roma, and Condesa...

The area is purely residential with no shops, cafes, bars or restaurants which characterise its better known neighbour, Colonia Condesa, but as one wanders the quiet streets, more and more, the other face of San Miguel begins to take over. Boarded up buildings, dilapidated facades, graffiti covered walls, windows open to the skies, are all signs that the place is slipping further and further into decay and decrepitude...

The area seems to be literally hanging in the balance with a run down, empty boarded up building to match every lived-in well-maintained home ......

With the economy still trying to recover from the reeling blows of both swine flu and the global recession, it is hard to predict which way barrios such as this will go. It seems so poised and ripe to become the next ultimate des res neighbourhood. But will it ever happen??

I am sure this final shot is not most people's image of the heart of Mexico City. For other windows on the world that may be equally surprising check out the My World Tuesday postings by clicking here.... Enjoy!!

14 comments:

Sylvia K said...

That is sad to see! So many lovely places falling into ruin! Guess there are other things that are almost as destructive as earthquakes! Terrific shots! Really paint a very vivid picture! Thanks for sharing!

Have a good week!

Sylvia

magiceye said...

laid back....
that was a nice tour of Chapultepec

Regina said...

Nice shots! thanks for sharing.

Ackworth born said...

I feel neighbourhoods need a few local shops if they are to flourish - maybe that is one of the problems here - mind you this kind of thing happens here too and areas can change character from fashionable to unfashionable over time and the other way too.

eileeninmd said...

It sad to see the buildings in such decay. The windows are such lovely designs. The buildings could be wonderful. I have seen areas like this get turned around and look beautiful again it can happen.

Maria Berg said...

Blue, green, brow and yellow houses, good of you to put them together like that, MB

koala said...

I love those collages of same colored neighborhoods. You have a keen eye.

Snap said...

Terrific shots. Wonderful architecture. So sad to see the disrepair.

Catherine said...

thanks for all your comments... I really hope this area does not fall into absolute rack and ruin...It has so much potential..

Gaelyn said...

Sure hope the bario gets fixed up instead of torn down. It is quaint archetcture. Thanks for the nice tour.

SandyCarlson said...

I see graffiti has made it to this part of paradise. What an incredible place. I hope it survives this economy and wins the support it needs.

A Cuban In London said...

I loved the way you traced the splendor to decay process through your collages. Many thanks.

Greetings from London.

Catherine said...

Hi gaelyn, Cuban and Sandy - thanks for stopping by... and like you I hope the barrio gets back to its former glory...

J said...

Wonderful photographs, very atmospheric. I love the sorbet colours of the maintained houses.