So since there was some pretty good response to my post last week, here's a few more images of what life in Uruguay; or more specifically in my own neighbourhood of El Cordon, in Montevideo (the capital and only really significant city in the country), looks like.
So here's another example of a street market. Most of the week that's a regular road, that cars drive by. But for half a day, once a week, one block gets taken up with produce for sale brought directly from the farms.
Note in the background, the use of bright colours in the buildings; that's very common. Montevideo also looks stunningly different from most North American cities in terms of its diversity of style in architecture. In most cities in the U.S., the residential areas are rows and rows of nearly-identical pre-fab houses. Even the downtown areas tend to be uniform in style because whole areas of the core would be built or renovated at the same time. In Uruguay, that just doesn't happen. If you build a house here, you MUST, by law, hire an architect, and it will be a single guy doing the plan, and his crew will build it, and no two residential homes look exactly a like (you go out to the richer suburbs of Carrasco, where the people who live there pretty much want to be as much like Americans as possible, and you start getting these fucking mcmansions that look similar to each other, but that's as far as it gets). In the central areas of the city, you will find buildings on the same block that are from the '90s or later, that are from the 70s, that are from the 50s, that are from the 30s, or that are from the turn of the 19th/20th century.
Here's an image of the little hidden alley where The Abbey is found. Like I said last time, these are little complexes in the middle (as in, the center) of city blocks where you have five or six or seven relatively small houses (about 1100ft square, if the conversion site I looked at is right), that as you can see look very pretty, and have the benefit of being quiet, friendly and secure (particularly secure because you can hardly even detect it from the block, to get here you have to pass through a gate down a long thin hallway, so this is a bit like living in a secret passage).
Here's a (slightly blurry, sorry) example of a local business, in this case an art gallery I think; Cordon had traditionally been a lower-middle class neighbourhood and is now becoming an indie/alternative middle class neighbourhood (which is to say, it's quickly filling up with hipsters). There's lots of art galleries, design stores, the first 3d printer store in the city, cafes and thematic restaurants, second-hand/vintage clothing shops (which is RADICALLY new for Montevideo, if even 4 years ago you suggested such a business, people would have been almost insulted, because only "poor people" buy used clothes).
Montevideo, and especially the Cordon in particular, has remarkable street art. It's not a great shot so its hard to tell, but city shown on the ground in that mural is Montevideo itself, done with some considerable attention to detail. I think the flying chairs/couches are on account of this mural being on a block that's part of the old "design" district, an area of the neighbourhood that has has a lot of office-furniture and general furniture stores.
Anyways, that's all for today, but if people keep liking this, I'll continue next week.
Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Poker + H&H's Beverwyck