Sunday, October 12, 2014

Living it up in Bogota

Bogota is an amazing city.  A Metro Population of about 11 million it is about the same size of Buenos Aires.  But less European influence here and more of a true South American Country.

Here there is a woman selling delicious Guava (Guayaba) on the street.  Bogota is the king of fruit and fresh juice street vendors.

Emptied pockets from the airplane journey
Visited an art gallery in Bogota called Botero Museum.  Every Friday they do a free Englsih tour from 4-6pm.  The address is :
Calle 11 # 4-41,
The gallery is the personal purchased artworks of Botero who is the most famous Colombian artists .  The museum also has works of Botero.

The painting above is Realism and it is of a gypsy.  Realism is all about capturing a precise moment, and trying to show the characters and scenes the way they really are.
This is impressionist using water color.  Impressionists dont catch one instant, they try and show the picture in time.  The watercolors give an impression that its not one instant, but to an untrained eye it might just look smudgy.
Lots of Surrealism from the 1900s here.  This one was very psychedlic.  This one is called "explosion in a cathedral"
This one is a Picasso
Now we are into the art of Botero himself, the man the gallery is named after and the man who owns all the paintings.  This picture is the "Massacre de Major Esquina".  It is one of those events in Colombian History that really give it a dark image.  A Community party in a nice village was stormed by gunmen and there were 27 people killed.  Most of them innocent partigoers that were important figures in their community such as teachers.  This event marked a shift in Colombian Security and peoples feeling of safety in their own country.  The nineties were a dark time but now Bogota and Colombia is an amazing place to visit, and more safe; but you still need to have your wits to you.  But no massacres like this are going down anymore.
This one is of Manuel Marulanda.  He was an important figure because he was the face of the Farc Guerilla movement for many years.  He rose to ranks through the Communist Party of Colombia.  As leader of the guerilla group he was never captured.  He died of a heart attack in 2008.

Botero is most well known for his sculptures though.  I seemed to like his political or culture paintings the best.
Terremoto en Popoyan.  A huge earthquake that destroyed the beautiful Colonial city of Popoyan.  Also a Botero.
"The Thief.  A Common figure in Colombian culture.

Enough about art.  Check out the food.  Grocery stores are loaded with fresh fruit and veggies.  It is very cheap here too.  5 bucks gets you an enormous bag filled with all the vegetables and fruits one could need.
Fried Plantanes on the left and delicious broken omelette on the right.  Fried Plantanes is a staple in Colombian and Venezuelan culture.  Everyone has a different way to cook them down here and I have been getting everyone to show me the different ways.  The attitude down here is that bananas are shit (even though you can buy them easily in grocery stores) and plantanes are the best.  You can eat fried plantanes for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
On the streets drinking Poker Beer with my friend Leo from Venezuela.  Still not sure if I am going to Venezuela.  It is definitely the most dangerous place for a gringo I hear in South America.  All the people I meet from here are so amazing.  I really want to go visit some of them.  but apparently you have to be really careful there.  Not like in Bogota or BsAs.
Donkey tied to a pole in the Candeleria section of Colombia.  When I get back to Calgary I am going to be an advocate for donkey racks in the city.  This is one of the reasons why I think Bogota is the cultural capital of the world.

Clouds rolling in over the city of Bogota.  Fortunately we missed this storm.  But there were plenty during my stay.  I am here in October and it is kind of a rainy season.  
Candeleria, the part of Bogota I am in, is very Bohemian.  Tonnes of people selling things on the street like necklaces, jewelery and bracelets. Lots of hippies.  I really feel that Bogota as a city is kinda like Nelson, British Colombia (with a rich mountain climate of active people and hippies), mixed with the enormity and little bit of sketchiness of a city like Los Angeles.

Everything in the store is made from 100% GMO.  No just kidding they sell eyeglasses.
Walking down the streets of Colombia around 4pm on the busiest and most popular street downtown you can see lots of police presence wearing neon green.  In this shot I count five.

All in all Bogota is a very nice place.  The people here are pretty friendly.  The food here is very cheap and their are plent of nice neighborhoods for tourists to stay in.  Literally you could probably spend a month here and still not see all of them.  I have only been here one week and I have still not seen the other nice neighborhoods such as Zona Rosada/Zona T or the nicest neighborhood Zona G.  But Candleria has a lot to offer.

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