wall art in the city

April 14, 2013

p bridge 2

A sunny day in the UK – colour. light and smiles on faces – reminds me of more exotic places. In the Palermo neighbourhood of Buenos Aires, both of the walls under the railway bridge are covered with wall art. One side is a colourful display of figures and street life making a background to a very good stall selling fruit and vegetables . . . .

p bridge stall

. . .  on the other, a dramatic scenario with large animals cavorting over what looks like a patchwork quilt.

p bridge 3

p bridge 4

At the junction, there’s a seating area with plenty of space for both passersby and those that wish to take a few minutes to rest. The gentleman on the right has nodded off. We couldn’t dally as we were rushing off to Palermo Hollywood to seek out a repair shop . . .

1 seating


. . .  which we found here in this rather beautiful building.

doorway 2

Wandering back, this piece of wall art took my eye as well as the vehicle, an old Renault, parked alongside.

word art


I guess our journey to and fro had taken about an hour.  Back at the seating area, the gentleman was still dozing, so I presume that the seats are comfy as well as quite jolly . . . .


seating 2

. . . just a few more  images of how to enliven surfaces with freedom of expression. Some with a message and some as pure visual treats. I miss it.



wall art

We are the time. We are the famous

metaphor from Heraclitus the Obscure.

We are the water, not the hard diamond,

the one that is lost, not the one that stands still.

We are the river and we are that greek

that looks himself into the river. His reflection

changes into the waters of the changing mirror,

into the crystal that changes like the fire.

We are the vain predetermined river,

in his travel to his sea.

The shadows have surrounded him.

Everything said goodbye to us, everything goes away.

Memory does not stamp his own coin.

However, there is something that stays

however, there is something that bemoans.

Jorge Luis Borges  We are the Time  We are the Famous

en la cuidad

April 8, 2013

photo copy

Back in the capital after days in more remote and rural areas – Patagonia and El Calafate in Santa Cruz (posts to follow) – the panorama from Sinclair 3168 takes in the Rey Fahd mosque  with the Campo Argentino de Polo beyond. I had forgotten how the street trees are so imposing, also giving shade and the canopies giving a little breeze as well as adding something organic to the city fabric. Planes, acacias, tipa, jacaranda and  limes plus other more exotic species line the pavements . . . .





. . .   trees accentuate the cross axes and the junctions in Palermo Viejo, with their canopies spreading over the street cafes, bars and restaurants.


The facades of buildings, both old and new, are quite particular. I like the mix of some to revere and a few to smile at and with.






Tomorrow, a closer look at wall art , more decorative and with a narrative than graffiti, and the Parque de la Memoria.



At the crossroads of Calle Gurruchaga, we stopped for a while and watched the local clown perform and entertain – great fun . . . .




. . . and then back to sleep in a decent bed – bliss after nights on buses – and last glimpse at the city closing down –  looks quite delicious. Too tired to write any more so leave Borges to finish off.


The forms in my dreams have changed;

now there are red houses side by side

and the delicate bronze of the leaves

and chaste winter and pious wood.

As on the seventh day, the world

is good. In the twilight there persists

what’s almost non-existent, bold, sad,

an ancient murmur of Bibles, war.

Soon (they say) the first snow will fall

America waits for me on every street,

but I feel in the decline of evening

today so long, and yesterday so brief

Buenos Aires, I go journeying

your streets, without time or reason. Borges  New England 1967


en movimiento

April 2, 2013

en moviemento01

Long journeys are a time for reflection. I rather enjoy the passivity of lounging around airport lounges, listening to music, people watching, reading and generally taking a view on areas of life. I write lots of notes that I never look at again but, I find this outpouring from my brain and soul, a therapeutic process. However, I’m not so keen on the business of travel connections  – will this flight arrive on time to pick up the next easily?  – will I make it across a city by bus to jump on the right plane? – do I have time to race from one terminal to another ? – this is the part of travelling that I find stressful. At Frankfurt – a very glamorous airport – no hassle and a 6 hour spell spent horizontal on the comfortable loungers that gently ripple and keep the circulation at the right level.

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Early morning arrival at Buenos Aires – warm and sunny – and a trip across the city to catch the next flight. From the bus, a glimpse of the Plata and some fishing activity  . . .

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. . . from the terminal building, the proximity of the water makes an appealing landscape whilst inside, a memorial to servicemen who fell in the Malvinas makes me step back and ponder on the reasoning of the placement of this type of monument in such a busy concourse. Perhaps that’s the rationale:  stop and think.

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Flying above La Pampa, the beauty of the terrain  . . . minimal human interference on the ground but we flying overhead disturb the environment nevertheless.

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The final act is a show stopper – the Andes in full glory.

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Down on the ground, the journey continues after catching up with a special couple. The three of us set off on  The Old Patagonian Express for a short chug along the track through the flat dry landscape around El Maiten and Esquel. It’s a marvel of reconstruction and perseverance .Click to see the video of a derail.

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Marvelling at the fittings and the minuteness of scale, decide that we are heavy, lumpen passengers. It’s time to get back on my feet and move all limbs and breathe in the good air around this tree filled landscape – try to lose the heaviness of the human body. The poem, ah well, somehow arriving by water might have been more exciting. The next leg is 28 hours on a bus . . .

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Here is a coast; here is a harbor;
here, after a meager diet of horizon, is some scenery:
impractically shaped and–who knows?–self-pitying mountains,
sad and harsh beneath their frivolous greenery,

with a little church on top of one. And warehouses,
some of them painted a feeble pink, or blue,
and some tall, uncertain palms. Oh, tourist,
is this how this country is going to answer you

and your immodest demands for a different world,
and a better life, and complete comprehension
of both at last, and immediately,
after eighteen days of suspension?

Finish your breakfast. The tender is coming,
a strange and ancient craft, flying a strange and brilliant rag.
So that’s the flag. I never saw it before.
I somehow never thought of there being a flag,

but of course there was, all along. And coins, I presume,
and paper money; they remain to be seen.
And gingerly now we climb down the ladder backward,
myself and a fellow passenger named Miss Breen,

descending into the midst of twenty-six freighters
waiting to be loaded with green coffee beaus.
Please, boy, do be more careful with that boat hook!
Watch out! Oh! It has caught Miss Breen’s

skirt! There! Miss Breen is about seventy,
a retired police lieutenant, six feet tall,
with beautiful bright blue eyes and a kind expression.
Her home, when she is at home, is in Glens Fall

s, New York. There. We are settled.
The customs officials will speak English, we hope,
and leave us our bourbon and cigarettes.
Ports are necessities, like postage stamps, or soap,

but they seldom seem to care what impression they make,
or, like this, only attempt, since it does not matter,
the unassertive colors of soap, or postage stamps–
wasting away like the former, slipping the way the latter

do when we mail the letters we wrote on the boat,
either because the glue here is very inferior
or because of the heat. We leave Santos at once;
we are driving to the interior. Elizabeth Bishop  Arrival at Santos

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