On a picture postcard day like this, one that comes after the rain, and before the next rain, and before the smog has a chance to creep back like a midnight-snack running houseguest who opens your fridge and moves stuff around, you can’t help but want to hang out the window and take pictures.
Everyone was in on the action, including this dog, who had been (somewhat unfortunately) dressed in a trash bag, cleverly fashioned into a cape. This makes me wonder a) who dresses the homeless dogs and b) why do they stand for it? My friend and I wondered if we should take his coat off for him, but weren’t sure how he’d react, so we left him to bake in his mini-sauna. He didn’t seem to mind.
And the day rolled on, and I walked through it, moving at roughly the same pace, though maybe slightly faster, like being on the moving walkway at the airport, hurtling towards the disembodied voice that says, please beware of the end of the moving walkway. On the way I found some sights. Here we’re moving east, out of what I like to call “barrio bajo” (in contrast to the barrio alto, or “uptown” in every sense of the word) from Barrio Brasil into Bellas Artes (where I saw the pooch), and then further up into Providencia, and finally into Las Condes, and back down again.
Here’s a piece of downtown that the tourist board probably doesn’t expect you to want to see. It’s an old facade that still stands, hopefully waiting to be one day used in some urban renewal project. I believe it might be the old El Mercurio (newspaper) building, but I could also be wrong. Any thoughts here, people?
Then we have this sight, close to the Casa Colorada, a Santiago-based museum, approaching Bellas Artes.
The day was so glorious, that even my old building (the farmed salmon-colored one) looked vaguely liveable. The giant blue building in the foreground is the by-the-hour hotel next to my old building. Classy! Oh, and of course I blogged about it here, this time for Steven from Travelojos, a sort of pan-latin american blog with hefty Mexico coverage and the occasional guest post.
Next up to Providencia, where this kid was out with his new-mom pooch, leaping and playing (both of them).
Behind him, this man was raking out the fountain.
And, piano, piano, I walked further and further up, to the reaches of what many consider to be “the promised land” of Santiago, and they’re so clever that they’ve done word surgery and called it “Sanhattan.” Commentary on why Chile insists on comparing itself to everyone like an insecure 12-year-old girl instead of just loving itself for what it is aside, this is some of what you can see if you go to “Sanhattan” on a sunny day. This is in Las Condes, near the metro stops El Golf and El Alcantara, or just steps from your hotel, particularly if you stay at the Ritz Carlton here in Santiago. (look! Santiaguinos jaywalk! just like Manhattan)
and then this building, at the corner of El Golf and Apoquindo, where you can go and say hello to one of my old students, if you like.
And then there’s this somewhat-dated municipal building, which reminds me very much of a latticed pastry that I almost bought yesterday from Castaño, which is not, actually a chestnut tree, but rather a bakery chain. I didn’t end up getting the pastry though, and I’m still a little bitter, although at least I have this building to look at. Too bad it doesn’t (I believe) have raspberries inside.
At this point I was tuckered out from all the opulence, plus I had done what I’d needed to do and was starting get a nosebleed (insert exaggerated tone of voice here), and had to stop for some nibbles, back down in Providencia in one of my favorite places for sustenance, and for only about $6, you can get this (at Doner House, near Manuel Montt, review to follow):
(my friend’s arms do not come included with the meal, sadly, and the beer wasn’t mine either)
Then I headed home, where I was greeted by the the sight of this couple I always see under this structure (this is two blocks from my house).
They’ve got a pretty elaborate setup, and one time I saw the woman giving the man a haircut. I don’t know where they are when they’re not here, but I know that everyone pretty much ignores them, and they seem to live pretty much in their own world as well. They don’t ask for money, I’ve never seen them leaving trash anywhere or drinking alcohol.
and before I leave you, here’s a mural painted just a half-block from the couple, which I always think evokes the word, “fierce.”
And maybe it’s true that this entry is extralong because I haven’t written in a couple of days or maybe it’s just because I have so much to tell you and show you, and in the famous words of Tiffany Ard, on her blog electric boogaloo where she shows that she has as much creativity in her lower left liver lobe as I do in every fiber of my being, past, present and future and in which she talks about her really cool nerdy baby art for sale and her nerdy babies themeselves and loves her husband with warm awe, maybe you should have “read this part really fast” if it was too long for you. Of course, says that when she’s talking about health care policy, and I haven’t mentioned that yet, and might never do so.
And so I leave you to your sweltering summer and pending hurricanes and storm swells and tell you not to be jealous of my awesome views from that Wednesday because today they’re hidden behind a giant curtain of clouds’n ick.
Eso. (that’s it)