Monday, June 15, 2009

up on the rooftop

Despite the title -- no reindeer will be found here.

And, far as I know, Santa Claus has never jumped down a chimney on this roof.

In Melaque, chimneys are as rare as tax-paying cabinet nominees in Washington.

But the rooftop of the house is the last area we need to visit on our tour through the house.

So, up we go one more flight of stairs -- to the roof.

Most homes north of the border do not have roof living spaces. In contrast, many Mexican homes have their "family rooms" on the roof -- especially in coastal regions.

At the top of the stairs, this is the view that will greet you. I remember my first impression was that Salvador Dali and Edward Hopper had produced an uncataloged collaboration.

The owner of the house uses the roof as one of her prime living areas. It is easy to see why -- with views like this.

I have not been able to spend much fun time on the roof. There are just too many stairs for Jiggs to make the trips up and down.

But I have spent a good deal of time on the roof in my role as Chief House Sitter.

Most homes have their working parts hidden away in basements or garages. Not Mexican homes. They wear their utilitarian functions proudly.

The roof is where the important workings of the house reside.

I already told you about the clothes drying operation in i have a little list. It is on the roof.

But, so are the water system and the hot water heater.

For those of you who do not live in Mexico, let me describe the large black tank. It is called a tinaco.

A pump fills the tank with water from the municipal supply in the street. The water mains do not have enough pressure to force the water up to the roof. Gravity then feeds the water down to the shower, toilets, and sinks. Very economical. Very simple.

There is an additional structure on the roof I have not yet discussed. And that is the dome.

The dome is more than an interesting architectural structure -- a structure I can spot at anywhere along Navidad Bay.

When the Moors conquered Spain, they brought many innovations with them. One of them was the dome.

I wrote earlier that the house does not have a chimney. That was not entirely accurate.

When domes are properly constructed, hot air will rise through and out the dome, allowing cooler air to replace it in the dwelling. Natural air conditioning. No ozone holes created here.

So, there you have it io three installments. The house where I will be living until mid-December.

I will leave just a bit too early to discover whether reindeer and Santa Claus will show up on the rooftop.

Something else for me to put into the "not entirely accurate" list?


Julian from SC said...

Nice house indeed. Do you have a good feel on what a house like that costs these days??

I'm just curious, as I cannot see leaving my wife, and she will not move south. Unless they pass this newly discussed Value Added Tax, that is!! Then she says she'll move - no question!

Say hi to Jiggs!!

Charley said...

Edward Hopper and Dali together in that one photo.....I saw it too!
Good one.

You sound happy. Remember a blender is good for other things besides margaritas and coladas.
Try skim milk, bananas & strawberries and a little protein powder. Whip it up! Great way to start a day.

Steve Cotton said...

Julian -- Prices are difficult to determine right now. There have been no completed sales on beach property for a year or so. My guess is that five years ago, the house would have sold for about $200 K. In a revived market, it would probably sell for around $900 K. But, it is not going on the market any time soon.

Charley -- My bowl of cereal with a banana is still my favorite breakfast choice. Even though I long for ham and eggs -- often.

Larry Prater said...

Do you have a short list for where you will spend Christmas? Maybe the mountains should be next, such as the state of Morelos, around Cuernavaca or Tepoztlán. Jiggs would like the cooler weather. Within a few miles the climate varies from warm to cool, depending on the altitude.

Rosas Clan in Tulum said...

My kids are still hanging onto santa. He is not a real main event here. But my kids do love the birthday party for Jesus on the 24th and then the day of the Kings on Jan. 6 (that is when they get all their presents cuz it is when the wise men gave gifts to Jesus) But there are a ton of pasadas from the 16th to the 24th and there is ALWAYS a pinata.

I do love the house - and the view. I love living on the beach.

Calypso said...

What rental price range is a palatial pad like this ('hoping this is OK to ask).

Jonna said...

What's in that little room next to the tinaco? I see the water heater but what is the black square on the floor? Just curious, that's a well built little room for something.

The view is incredible, sunsets from up there must be awesome. Enjoy!

Beth said...

I'm struck by the lack of railing along the roofline. Can you imagine a house in the US built like this! I think not. Why is it people around the world can be trusted not to tumble off a roof, but not in the US?

Ron said...

The gratuitous swipe at high-level public servants did not improve the quality of the post at all, in my opinion.

Otherwise it was another wonderful post.


Anonymous said...

Ok, I think this song was written for your azotea.


Kim G
Boston, Ma
Where, alas, the roof is VERY steep, and the slates are slippery. So I avoid it.

Steve Cotton said...

Larry -- No short list yet. But I will probably want to stay near the coast. After spending the summer here, why not get an opportunity to enjoy the dessert?

Rosas Clan -- This will be my first Christmas season in Mexico -- since the 1970s. I'm looking forward to it.

Calypso -- I am a house sitter, not a renter. But the houses along the beach have a huge range of rent. All the way from $700 a month to $2000 a week, with quite a few outliers.

Jonna -- Remember the green bathroom? The tub is just below the opening. The windows on the roof structure open to allow someone to sit in the big tub and look at the stars. Sunsets and sunrises on the roof are stunning.

Beth -- I took Jiggs up there once. He ran over to the edge and plopped right down with his paws hanging over the edge. If it is safe for an ancient dog, you would think most humans could figure it out. Mexicans give far more credit to adults than do the litigation-oriented nations north of the border.

Ron -- The danger of blogs and comments is the absolute absence of a sarcasm meter.

Kim -- Much better choice for my KEWL roof.

Ron said...

Yes, that is a danger :).

I enjoy your posts and will comment when moved. Being a public servant, albeit a tax-paying one, I was moved :-)

Steve Cotton said...

The greatest compliment a writer can receive: the audience was moved.