At the moment, existing or ‘live’ old neighborhoods that are spared from the wrecking ball are either refurbishing their exteriors or reconstructing in slivers of spaces that can be found. It makes the tight squeeze of the alleys and courtyards all the more … ahem, intimate.
Often, they appear to be just a light facelift. Other times, the safety codes are simply so appalling that occasional inspections lead to warnings of much-needed home improvement.
Home improvement is a constant activity in the alleys and courtyards and help is not very far away. There is a surfeit of available handymen (or women), trained and otherwise, to help you with plumbing, wiring, repaving, unclogging drains etc. Hence, they are very much part of the daily on-goings within the communities.
Labor can sometimes be a family operation. In this case, husband and wife are paid a little money to haul bricks. Since a babysitter is out of the question, often times, you just have to bring the little tikes along. Plop them in a pile of dirt, and they will be endlessly entertained.