Thursday, August 9, 2007

Packing up for Merida

Fast breaking news is that I am leaving for Merida in the Yucatan on Sunday. It looks like a pretty big city, I know it contains half the population of the Yucatan which is in the 2 million neighborhood. I cannot imagine what it will look like or feel like beyond what I see on people's blogs and in y tu mamá también. I was talking to someone last night about ancient pictograms and I am most excited about learning about Mayan culture, which as advertised maintains its hold on the community despite the tourist culture that has descended on the scene. There is also supposed to be a center for traditional medicine in Hopelchen in the Campeche state where a lot of Canadians go for herbalists, bonesetters and midwives. Mmmm, Canadians.
I think I am mostly ready to go. I even said goodbye to Martin on the Block. Martin sits in his old green Lincoln every day (when he is not on his stoop) and if I don't say hi to him two times a day, things are a little out of whack. Since I was in Wisconsin for a week without telling him he got a little nervous and started asking every white person on the block where I was. So I made it back, only to have to tell him I would be gone for 6 weeks! All the alternate side street parking revolutions I will miss! So many times Martin will sand and re-bondo the patchworked green coat on the car that I will not compliment, and how many times the inside will be re upholstered with new found blankets and fabrics! Martin has lived on Halsey since his kids were small, and he is probably 150 years old even though he looks like he is 50. So he has been here a while and he knows EVERYTHING that happens on the street. It is his job. One time when someone in my building got rid of an old Apple 2e and a tv, we installed them at Martin's house. He asked me if the tv was the type of thing with 'movin pictures'! So we welcomed him to the age of technology. Now you can see the tv on at night, lighting his living room. After about three days with the computer, I found it on the curb. Martin doesn't have time for that junk. I understand.
So even if only for 6 weeks, I feel like I have to say goodbye to Halsey St. By fall there are less people on the stoop. All the Jamaican men will have to put their canaries back inside. So goodbye Bed-Stuy, my warm and hostile home sweet home.

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