I live on Elm Street.
The city of Torreón is divided into colonias, which are neighborhoods or boroughs. I live in Colonia Torreón Jardín, which is a sub-division built in the 1970s and possibly the quietest neighborhood in North America. It’s completely residential. No shops or restaurants here. There’s a park one block from my apartment where people walk and run early in the morning and late in the evening walk their dogs or push their children in strollers. There are soccer games on Sundays and little kids playing baseball in the afternoons. I can hear the cheering from my balcony.
“Jardín” is “garden,” and all the streets here are named for trees or flowers. “La Calle Olmos” is “Elm Street.” The corners are Calle Tulipanes (Tulips) and Calle Tejocotes (Mexican hawthorn).
Torreón Jardín is bordered nearest me, on the east, by Paseo de la Rosita (which as best I can figure out means “The Walk of the Little Rose”), a broad street with shops and restaurants and a lot of traffic. It’s not comfortable to walk on Rosita because cars park on the sidewalks (where they exist), and the traffic makes me nervous about crossing it.
To the southwest, the neighborhood is bordered by Avenida Cipresses (for cypress trees, which are different than Louisiana cypress trees, but recognizable), a divided avenue with homes, a few shops, and within walking distance of my house, a laundry and a 7-11. The residents park their cars on the sidewalks, so you’re sometimes obliged to walk in the street. It’s not really wide or busy, but it’s dirty and the cars that pass throw up dust.
I walked a long way up Cipresses on a Sunday afternoon and then back home through the neighborhood. There was nobody around. Dogs greeted me with yips or snarls from behind garage doors and gates. A lone vendor on an umbrella-covered bicycle called out something I didn’t understand, his voice echoing from the walls of the houses. I didn’t see or hear anyone come out to buy any of whatever it was that he was selling.
On Saturday morning from my apartment I can hear garage doors opening, cars going in and out, and a horse clip-clopping by. The garbage truck rings a bell so you never miss trash pick-up. A man goes by in the street calling out to us to buy brooms, but I can’t get to the balcony quickly enough to catch a photo.
As I sit here in the kitchen, a puff of breeze carries a tangy restlessness to my nostrils and my skin ripples just a little. I feel a touch of cabin fever coming on.
To be continued . . .