Friday, January 18, 2008

Frozen Music

"I call architecture frozen music," wrote Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

I used that line in an article I wrote for a Japanese music magazine two years ago when I was living in this very same Mexican fishing village. The little cinderblock houses, all in a state of mild disrepair, seemed to be built out of bits of mariachi music, the Tarzan yells of the agua vendor (I can hear it now in the distance as I write this), the plonk-plonk-plonk of the propane gas truck, the lopsided "Alley Cat" coming out of the little red ice cream scooter-truck, the crowing of our non-chronistic roosters, the nightly "dog-net" surf-barking through the air...

I imagined the exposed re-bar on all the roofs to be some sort of prayer for a better tomorrow, when there will more babies, and hopefully, more money for that second-story -- or third-story -- add-on.

And then one day, someone tells me. "It's for tax reasons. The house is 'unfinished' and therefore has a lower tax rate."



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