Monday, August 21, 2006

First Big Week - Part "Dos"

...So, as a continuation of my intial impressions.....

This time of year the weather can be gloriously sunny and crisp. But, it can also be a little windy and downright cold.

The buses, not blessed/cursed with the same emissions requirements can belch out diesel exhaust at an alarming rate. My travel partner (forever more referenced as "Golden Lotus" or "GL" for short) is finally over having a spontaneous asthma attack each time she sees one of these on the street.

The people here REALLY love their dogs. REALLY love them. In that regard, again, very euro. However, for some reason or another they can't quite lower themselves to being responsible for picking up after them.

The main streets get some doo-doo traffic, but the side streets....charming, tree lined, quite, cobblestoned, scenic walks, are made a little less picture postcard by the bomblets strewn seemingly everywhere on the sidewalk.

Here and there i see people sweeping in front of their homes and I get the feeling that short of homeowners, there is no service (save a VERY strong rain) that can/will clean up after these pooches.

GL and I, (here after known as "FuBarrio" or "FB" for short when referred to by her) took a trip to the old city, "ciudad vieja". Wow. Have I blogged about this yet?

Anyways, old colonial style architecture has always REALLY struck a chord with me. Almost the more decrepid, the more interesting, I'm very sorry to say....It must be my love of pouring money down endless ratholes (?) Because ciudad vieja has some of the most incredible buildings in the most hit-and-miss state of disrepair I've every seen....Aw's the hands down winner.

It seems obvious to me from the activity that it is undergoing a period of revival, but there are SO MANY buildings, that it could be another 30 years, or two or three RE cycles before it really begins to "wow" normal people -- "normal" people being people that see broken windows on main street buildings and cringe in horror....."abnormal" being like me, who say, "gee, i bet i could fix that up really nice" :)

We took some great pics. There is a street market in a section that is cordoned off for just foot traffic, lots of cafes, bars, etc. There are WONDERFUL little urban parks strewn throughout old town and it is also home to the "mercado del puerto". As soon as we get a cord to download our pics to the pc, i'll post some. in the meantime, i'll find some stock photos online so you all can get a drift of what i'm talking about....just keep in mind that the architectural detail tha you'll see in the pics, though in various states of decline/repair, are THROUGHOUT. It's not just a building or two here or there, so it's hard for me to capture just how many interesting buildings there are without u actually coming and visiting....which brings me to my next bit of news:

We have secured a three bedroom, two bath, duplex on a busy street, however immediately next to a charming little "walkabout" neighborhood....the best/safeest of its kind in the city. our home is directly opposite of the Italian consulate, and they run this town it seems like (the italians).

Two spare bedrooms, plus your own bath and the whole thing is furnished. The visiting lamp is now lit....might want to wait for more favorable weather conditions (late sep, early october and on), but we'll be waiting to hear from each of you! :)

--It dawns on me after finding a pretty good photo bank for ciudad vieja with the link to the right that it isn't really representative of the THRASHED sections of town.

Before u sell everything and move here thinking it's Madrid at 1/5th the cost, I'll try and find some pics that represent ciudad vieja's "handyman specials" & "needs a little TLC" (which are rampant)! Of course, the perverse me, I look at these as opportunities in disguise! :)

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