No Wet Paint Please

It’s not nice when you see something charming decaying. But sometimes the decay itself has a certain charm. The urge to renovate must be resisted, the tins of terracotta and blue left in Homebase. Peeling paint and weather beaten wood are so photogenic, and add atmosphere and a sense of timeless glory to the neighbourhood.

It does depend on the neighbourhood of course. Coyoacan walls and fronts get a regular lick of paint. True 21st century Bohemia. But Centro Tlalpan should be left as it is, except, perhaps, where the graffiti artists have plastered their painted vandalism. The photo below would simply not have been worth taking is someone had taken it upon themselves to put some varnish and the contents of Comex across it.

Charm of Decay


8 thoughts on “No Wet Paint Please

  1. You would love Havana, Cuba. Place hasn’t seen a paint brush in decades, piles of rubble strewn around every street, old ladies chomping on foot-long Cohibas while hanging laundry out to dry. Great spot for photos.


    • I’d love to go to Cuba, especially before it opens up to the US and becomes Gringolandia. The old 50’s cars particularly tempt me…but alas. My other half, like many Mexicans, don’t see the sense in ‘leaving one third world country for a vacation in another third world country’….


  2. The problem is, flaking paint and decay are magnets to graffiti and destroyers of property. Once gravity shows its effects, human destruction helps it along. Although the human touch can be ugly. Nature’s isn’t.


  3. Dan in NC says:

    You need to take a long weekend in SMA with your camera! Gentle decay, and planned weathering and decorative fading is everywhere – just part of the over all charm of the town! Yeah, there is plenty of new, spiffy stuff around, but 500+ years of living does put a little gravitas to the environment there!
    Dan in NC


    • SMA is one of several places in Mexico, along with Baja, Zacatecas, Real de Catorce and a few others, that I really want/wanted to visit. Tick tock. Time is counting down and money is tight with all the airfares to pay….



  4. Dan in NC says:

    Been to Real 14, and it IS FAB – BUT! hit SMA and 45 minutes out of town you are at Pozos de Mineral – another fantastic ex-mining ghost town that is sloooowly being gentrified. A number of photographers and artistes have put down their roots there, leaving the schmaltz of SMA out of sight.. Visit, and get a two-fer dude!
    Dan in NC


    • I’d love to but really, money is tight! Two airfares to the UK to save for, extra baggage to pay for, a visa that costs as much as an air ticket, and Xmas is coming up….I get two to three weeks off over Xmas. Without pay, sadly…

      I do have one last bit of exploring to do though. One of my students comes from Pachuca. He’s going to show me around his town and Real de Monte before I head across the pond. I’m looking forward to that.


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