Casa Esmeralda, Calle Hildago

34 … The grand tradition of re-birthing grand traditions as decades turn to centuries…

Casa Esmeralda, 1992, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Gary Ruble.

There she was, on the road to the airport, unkempt but enticing. Photo: Gary Ruble

This is Casa Esmeralda, 1992, beautiful in its own overgrowth, painting peeling, walls cracking, ceilings missing way of being. One sensed she was a former beauty queen, posing outside of town to the northwest, halfway between today’s airport terminal and yesterday’s cathedral. She is waiting for a new adventurer – owner to arrive and serenade her, woo her back to a place she once was, a courtship repeated several times through the years. Through it all, the inclement weather, man’s unending skirmishes, El Camino Real’s dust and accumulated wear and tear from all those she gave shelter to, she is still here.

Casa Esmeralda, 1996, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Less than fours years have passed in the long life of Casa Esmeralda.

Oh my, spring 1996 and Casa Esmeralda is looking good with a youthful patina and structural glow. On close inspection, dignified, and understated, workmanship confidently announces itself complete. A transition has taken place. A new direction, anchored in the past, steps boldly into the future. History repeats itself.

casa esmerlda 1996, alamos, sonora, mexico.  photo by anders tomlinson.

Are these walls that could tell stories?

Centro Álamos is a short distance down the road to the right. When in Álamos all roads seem to meet at Plaza de los Armas. The airport, and road to travel north, are to the left. From here, one could begin a journey to anywhere on planet earth.

Remodeled home on Las Auroras. Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

A wonderful example of a ruin restored to modern splendor.

Conviction, or lack of, is always evident in the details. Here, time is frozen in classical design and a master’s hands. This window looks out on a well-trafficked road and listens to sounds that are hundreds of years old. Today and Yesterday face the future together.

View to the norhtwest from Guadalupe Hill, Alamos,Sonora, Mexico. Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Casa Esmeralda is somewhere in this view from Guadalupe Hill.

Loma de Guadalupe sits in the middle of Alamos, and the barrios, that are south of the new road to Navajoa. Casa Esmeralda can be seen on the right-hand side of Calle Hildago which cuts diagonally across the photo on its way to the airport. Guadalupe Hill is historic ground with encompassing views of Alamos. It is where the jail was, or is, I am not aware of its present location, all I know is that this is prime real estate. At the time of this photo there were 27 men and one woman incarcerated. In the past, there were up to 75 prisoners lodged behind jail walls, with no view, on top of Loma de Guadalupe.

View from Above

Mt. Álamos is some 6,500 feet above sea level. It towers 5,000 feet above the town of Álamos. It is another world, wild parrots, dry tropical forest, granite and… Up and down is a day’s effort, it is well worth it. To reach the top it is recommended to start hiking early while it is still dark and cool.
Photos and editing by Anders Tomlinson. Music from “Camino Songs” by SonicAtomics.

A Way of Life

Behold a Cornucopia of Color, Shapes, Textures and Scents.The flora of Álamos is the many splendors of Sinaloan tropical forest and Sonoran desert living together in unexpected harmony. Many properties have gardeners watering, pruning, consulting, planting, cutting, raking, commiserating, trimming and… year round. Flowers and vegetables are planted in November for winter blooms and crops that last until May or June’s heat… Mangos, papayas, bananas, palms, amapas, orchidias and other trees provide food and shelter for native and migrating birds. Cascades of colors come from flowering vines: blue veracruzana, orange trumpet, red, magenta and orange bougainvilla and… And the smells and scents that envelope one’s senses… Formal, informal… it all contributes to this symphony and riot that is the passing seasons in Álamos, Sonora, Mexico.
Photos, editing and produced by Anders Tomlinson. Music is “Jardin de Colores”, written and performed by Samuel Delatorre Dorame, from his 2013 CD “Memorias de Álamos, Sonora.”

A special time in a special place for people who feel special.

This is the introduction to a film that was shot over the 1993 winter holidays in Álamos. This is a glorious season for the town. We start out at the airport and head east into town and visit the Alameda lined with stores and professional offices.

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©2013 Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved.

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