Monday, March 31, 2014

Build it and they will come

They are "redoing"the Zona Colonial, which is an UNESCO World Heritage site. There were the usual foul ups which we expect here, things that make life interesting. Archaelogists complained  that some of the excavations to bury the electric lines and repair the streets were damaging the footings of the precious 16th Century buildings. Bloggers with cameras reported that workers on the public gate to the Parque Independencia were, in fact, Haitian.  And then geologists observed that the black mold which had covered the old stones had not been treated or removed and would therefore seep right through the new plaster work in a couple of years.

I saw the new plaster work the other day. A bit of black mold could improve it, give it that Colonial look.

The new highway from the all inclusive resorts in Punta Cana has been completed so that bus loads of tourists can come and visit easily in one day. It is supposedly only two hours one way. And they do want the Zona, with all the trinket shops, art shops, little restaurants, and historic sites to be ready. They have already done a wonderful job in getting the garbage picked up on schedule.

Pretty soon, there will be a lot more buildings opening up for sale.

And pretty soon New Yorkers will be here.

I know it. I am a New Yorker myself.

When I first moved to Asheville, North Carolina, in 1990, I could have dropped into a coma in the middle of main street on Friday at 5 PM and no one would have found me until Monday. But, I said, ::Beware, Asheville, the New Yorkers will be here.

Now, the downtown condos start around $300,000 and there is a street fair almost every weekend in the summer.

For me, Asheville was over run by just the same sort of NY style commercialism that overtook.. well.. New York.. Gone is the Greenwich Village of my youth. Gone the Times Square. Gone the street people. Gone the Jane Jacobs ideal of a city on the stoops.

And they are not in Asheville either.

But here.. well, not in the Zona because that is already too pricey.. but HERE in Gazcue.. there is still a neighborhood.  Huge old trees whose roots have cracked the sidewalks, primary schools whose noise fills the streets, delis and colomados who deliver everything. And the thrashing Caribbean Sea as a daily meditation spot.


Only if you are died in the wool urban. If your deepest criminal streak is jaywalking.. if your favoirte pastime is people watching... if you do mind gas fumes, truck horns and chaos.. soot.. and here. piles of garbage.. and street dogs.. and young boys posing as shoe shiners.. asking for money..

and Hookers.. let us not forget the Ladies of the Night.

For myself, I kinda like the Red Light Districts.. but it is not for everyone

And tell any Dominican abroad that you live in Gazcue and he will say, ah Rica.. because we also have some of the finest old house, best apartments, and Trees... Ah the Trees..

I walk to the market, and the grocerty boy with the cart follows me home, stopping on the way as I pick up fruit from the fruit seller, flowers from the flower lady, ripe avocados from Christina. When I lived on the third floor, he walked up with the groceries.

You bet I tip large.

So yes, you can live here.. just like in old New York.

Yes you can live on a generous Social Security check.

Two bedroom condos in Gazcue start at about $75000. Every once an a while there is a full elegant house in the 400k and up region.  Maintenance costs start around $50 a month. There are no taxes for property under $150lk

Many of the older apartments have small rooms for live in maids, called "cuartos de servicos":, large enough for a single bed, with its own toilet and shower.

No Medicare, though.