Sunday, August 24, 2014

on the rebound

We all know him.  The guy whose relationship goes down in flames.  He then shows up the next week with a young beauty claiming: "She's the one."

Well, I am that guy.

Just over two weeks ago in i bought a house, I told you the tragic tale of losing a negotiating battle on a Mary Poppins house -- practically perfect in every way.  It would have made a great house for my extended family.

It was the second short-end-of-the-sick experience I have had within the last year.  For whatever reason, it appeared that I was not going to find happiness as a home owner in Barra de Navidad.

But I had not taken into account the effect of true love.  During my search for a house, I had noticed a house that had extremely interesting lines.  But, for some reason, I had bypassed it.  At four bedrooms, I thought it was too large for our needs.  As illogical as that now sounds.

Four bedrooms would be perfect for us.  One for each of our groupings -- with an additional guest room.

The area where most expatriates (and a lot of middle class Mexicans) buy is called Pueblo Neuvo ("New Town").  With its equally platted lots, it resembles a suburb of Miami.  With a Mexican twist.

The new house is not in the expatriate area.  It is located in an area where most of Barra's permanent Mexican residents live.  A neighborhood where expensive and simple homes can reside side by side without any obvious judgment being made.  For those of you who live in Mexico, you understand the mix.  You undoubtedly live somewhere similar.

The moment I looked at the place, I had an emotional connection with it.  And I did not understand why.

Certainly the place is very functional.  Its lines are almost Bauhaus -- with a bit of Mexican modernism thrown in.  Very little ornamentation. 

The relationship between the first and second levels is evidence of its provenance.  A neo-classical design would create a golden ratio between the first and second stories.  The architect-owner opted for a more functional equalization of the stories.  The effect pulls the second story lines downward, putting the visual emphasis of the construction on the inner courtyard.

The courtyard is the visual center of the house with its geometric pool and entertainment area.  The house itself is built around the perimeter of a double lot.  A bedroom in each corner, and the living room and kitchen on opposite axes from each other.

As I was leaving, I realized why this house had such an immediate impact on me.  When I was helping my mother move to Bend from her house in Gladstone, I found the basic outine of a house I had designed in the sixth grade.  A house built around a central atrium with each of the rooms opening onto it.  I was in a Roman Empire phase.

I have fallen in love with my junior high sweetheart.  And far enough in love that I signed an offer to buy the house yesterday afternoon.

Once again, I will wait to see if my bride leaves me waiting at the altar -- fiddling with that ring in my pocket.

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