On Friday, I went on a walking tour to see the murals in the neighborhood of Lavapies with Mimi and Gerardo, both artists themselves. I loved the mural behind them for its playfulness. You can see the reference to Matisse’s dancers in the top mural. Below, the mural is taking a poke at itself: the word “Spectaculum” means a place of entertainment and refers to the way street art can gentrify a neighborhood. So far, Lavapies retains its international not-gentrified character, and is full of immigrants from all over the world with a very strong sense of community.Continue reading
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, is one of my favorite places on earth. The city’s historic center is gorgeous and walk-able and friendly. On any day, you are likely to find parades and processions and music. But, partly because of its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the city’s historic center follows an elaborate set of rules…. how you can decorate your building, the colors you can paint your building, the kinds of signs you can hang, and the kind of noise you can make, among other things. It’s ordered and traditional.
But a few blocks from the historic center in barrio Guadalupe, the rules don’t apply….
Cartagena is a dream vacation spot on Colombia’s Caribbean coast. The old town is a maze of narrow streets lined with colorful colonial-style houses, shops and hotels. Vendors sell fresh fruit and Panama hats on every corner. Horse-drawn carriages breeze by the neighborhood’s many plazas, where musicians and dancers perform. Most of the music is Afro-Caribbean, a reminder that this was once a busy port for the slave trade.
Eleutheromania is Greek for “an intense desire for freedom.” The concept of freedom is a very big topic for a very long list of very big names. Continue reading
Street art has become a kind of big deal in some cities. It is an early stage experiment in some places, like Bangkok, and an integral part of the architectural landscape in others, like San Francisco’s Mission District.