First came the hipsters, then the models

fashion680aI’m art directing a fashion shoot in Greenwich, Connecticut in a few weeks, and to research the retailer who’s working with us, I found their spring catalog. Here are the images. Can you spot these locations? It ain’t Greenwich.

I was already aware that Yucatan’s Colonial and European architecture is often being used as a backdrop for fashion shoots. It was especially gratifying to see a local shop doing this as well. Because in the back of my mind, I’m still thinking that Merida is a figment of my imagination. [Read more…]

Visiting journalists have a way with words

My own collage from Eater's text and images, a nod to the beauty of words and to this blogger's frustrations.

My own collage from Eater’s text and images, a nod to the beauty of words and to this blogger’s frustrations.

It’s always interesting when a real wordsmith comes to Mérida and starts to write.

I’ve always struggled to capture the city in a way that communicates what it feels like to actually be here. I’ve struggled as far back as 2010, when my editor assigned me 500 words to write about my recent trip here. (I won’t even link to it anymore, I’m so embarrassed.)

The 500-word limit was impossible to begin with. The city, and the entire peninsula aside from the Riviera Maya, was unfamiliar [Read more…]

What Ellen, and everyone else, doesn’t know about Mérida real estate

ellenOn “Ellen,” a piece of Mérida real estate found itself in the daytime television spotlight.

Ellen DeGeneris apparently has a segment that mocks funny real estate listings. One from Mérida (she didn’t say where it was from) was a groaner.

“This sounds promising. It says right here, ‘Cute home in the historic center.’ Let’s see this cute home.”

Cut to an image of yucky, rundown rooms. The audience groans with horror. “Oh honey, I love it,” Ellen jokes. “This black mold is adorable!”

A cheap shot? Yes. But it illustrates the learning curve most of us north of the border have had to go through. Even if you’ve cultivated an eye for Centro ruins, your spouse [Read more…]

T Magazine: ‘Not much to shake a stick at’ in this ‘sleepy town’ of artists and models

tmagThe New York Times travel section has done a good job bringing news from Mérida to readers. Ask the Times’ fashion magazine to do the same, though, and you get an entirely different Mérida.

If you’re tired of mawkish depictions of a quaint and charming Mérida, it will be refreshing to know that today, a new article paints the city as a homely, pissant backwater whose faded beauty has been salvaged by a “clutch of creative insiders.”

Here’s how the T Magazine piece starts out: “On arriving in the sleepy Mexican town of Mérida…” It didn’t take long [Read more…]

Merida is the new Brittany

I’m officially convinced that Merida is this year’s trendy new name for baby girls. In 20 years, you’ll see an influx of young women named Merida moving to Mérida, wondering why a city in Mexico would have a Scottish name.

WordPress lets you see what search terms led to some viewers, and “name merida,” “merida name,” and “background of name merida” keeps popping up. Go ahead, try it. Search “name merida” and see that the Google algorithms produce. What looked like a traffic spike yesterday had nothing to do with an interest in Yucatán, just movie goers curious about the name. I’m not terribly pleased about this, but [Read more…]

Mérida is a cover story again

Condé Nast Traveler‘s July issue arrived yesterday, and one of its coverlines made my heart jump:


The pleasures of Mérida

(The art, the shops, the meals)

It’s always great to see the virtues of this city extolled in print. Departures wrote a nice foodie article for their American Express Platinum customers last year, and gay-travel magazine Passport wrote in great detail in a recent story, but The New York Times seems to have the largest impact when they decide to write about the place that only travel writers call “the white city.”

But they aim at tourists, barely mentioning some pretty significant population trends going on… people like me buying properties and planning to move there.

The Traveler article initially seemed to cover all the usual bases of a travel article: photos of Rosas y Xocolate, an interior shot of Los Dos, a colorful horse-and-carriage. Closer inspection revealed that writer Amy Wilentz took a different approach, however. Rather than with romance, the  [Read more…]