03 Dec If it’s Broken, Fix It!
While this seems like common sense, consumerism has created a mindset in which we think to replace rather than repair. But fixing what’s broken is beneficial for many reasons: it saves money, reduces waste and often extends travel. I believe it behooves a traveler to seek out these go-to places to facilitate repair anywhere they stay long term.
Nobody goes through shoes like a traveler. Why throw them out when they can be re-soled or mended easily and cheaply? In San Miguel de Allende, I have an amazing cobbler who has fixed everything from sandals to completely replacing the soles and heels on my favorite (and well-worn) cowboy boots. He also makes custom shoes, in my case lyrical dance shoes, with expert precision.
Getting there: Located on the last block of Reloj before Calzada de La Luz. The Zapateria is on the left.
Of course, having your own basic tools or a lightweight multi-tool can increase self-sufficiency and prolong the life of the items you have at your disposal. We have a hardware store on every corner, but I’m partial to Don Pedro’s because it’s like a hardware superstore. Whatever you’re looking for, they have.
Getting there: Ancha de San Antonio, next to Stirling Dickinson and the Real de Minas hotel.
While many of you won’t even place this term, a haberdashery is quintessential in my book. They sell sewing items: needles, thread, elastic and much more. Owning a simple sewing kit for basic repairs make your travel threads last longer, reducing costs for replacement. I love the Iris in downtown, right off the Jardin. It’s often busy, but worth it.
Getting there: San Francisco, one half of a block from the Jardin.
For those who feel daunted by self-made repairs or have encountered a larger problem, say one of the only two pair of pants you own just ripped in half or you just got invited to a white tie event (i.e. a Mexican wedding) and have nothing to wear, a tailor is generally less expensive (and better for the planet) than buying something new. There are many fantastic seamstresses and tailors in San Miguel, but I’ve worked mainly with an exceptional designer, or modista, on Calle Canal who has altered a handful of things for me, from cheap buys at the Tianguis (open air market) to designing and creating some outrageous performance costumes.
Getting there: From Canal, pass the bridge going away from the Jardin. Casanova bar is on the corner and his studio is across the small side street from the bar. Sign reads “Hamburguesas” … go figure!