AntigŁedades | Mexico | Living in Mexico


Stop! Antiques!


We pass many places selling country antiques, strung out along the Delores Highway. Roadside establishments selling farmhouse pine furniture are hard to find in the U. S. But they're alive and well here.


The presence of these places is, for me, another throwback to the '50s; part of what makes living in Mexico so appealing to me.

Just try and buy an old farm wagon to adorn the entrance to your country property. In California's Sierra Nevada Foothills, they're almost unavailable and unaffordable if you do manage to find one. Around here, you can choose from dozens.


Casa Reyna (Queen House) sits on the Celaya Highway, just south of the glorieta (traffic circle) at the edge of San Miguel. A large motorcycle sculpture catches the eyes of passers-by.


The motorcycle illustrates the practice of converting antiques into decorator items, rather than conserving them. Although in this case you probably wouldn't want it in your living room. Two tractor wheels, some heavy-duty coil springs and an RCA public address speaker horn form a massive iron hulk maybe 12 feet long. Where would you put it?

The proliferation of these outlets is driven by the large gringo population in these parts. Few expats bring entire households with them when they move here. Like Jean and me, they sell most of their furniture up north, and shop here to replace it.

One of the larger establishments along the Delores Highway is Mexico Lindo. Virtually no piece in the place goes unmodified, usually by application of painted designs.


Puertas (doors) are in demand, either for use in remodeling old houses, or to convert into tables. Many are handmade from iron-hard mesquite strengthened with forged-iron studs. They're heavy, strong and beautiful.

Carved wooden statues of religious figures, especially St. Michaels, are in ample supply at Mexico Lindo. This one is life-size.


No telling if the painting on the figure is original, but the paintings on the door panels behind him are almost certainly new.

This 1930s-era panel truck has been converted into a... what? A hearse? A carriage? Whatever it is, we see here the first example of the whimsical, humorous painting that characterizes Mexico Lindo.


Other vehicles have been subjected to the paintbrush. They're not for sale, they're for advertising.


The bottom images are of the same panel truck: one side is painted as a coke truck, the other, Corona beer.

The pickup truck full of clay pots is resplendent with Mexico's coat of arms.

Decoration of the green pickup is problematical. Mexicans find my name, John, difficult to spell. What to do with that superfluous H? How do you get the J-sound? Chon? But with a J. Jhon. That doesn't look right. What the hell. Just leave it.


Words with double Es are tricky as well. I often see Chesse Pay (Cheese Pie, AKA Cheesecake) on menus. Deere appears to be equally difficult.

A cigarette-wielding hooker beckons alongside the entrance gate. Against the other gatepost, a man in lingerie waves a rose.


The presence of a public restroom at the rear of a courtyard is indicated by the figure of a man relieving himself.


As he sits, he's happily reading...


... a girlie magazine. Mexico Lindo's painter certainly is a free spirit.