As before, these are all of areas in my neighbourhood ("el Cordon"). I'll mention these ones I'm showing you right now were taken at the start of summer (so, September or October 2014); newer ones will follow as we catch up (and eventually, I imagine I'll be forced to go out and take shitloads of pictures just to keep up). Anyways, right now it should already be cold, but we've been having the warmest autumn in recent memory (or really, the longest summer, because to a Canadian it pretty much feels like there's only two seasons here: Summer and Winter, with the latter being divided into a 'not really cold just wear a sweater' period that typically starts in mid-April and goes to mid-july, then a short 'it's fucking cold!' period from mid july to mid august, and then an 'it's not that cold anymore already?!' period from late august until mid-october). Right now we should be wearing sweaters but it's really still t-shirt weather instead.
Anyways, here we go:
Here's an example of the gateways that are prominent all over the older parts of the city, and especially in the Cordon neighbourhood, in this case the photo being taken from the inside of the entryway; this entry way leads into the middle of the city block where there's a small private alley and usually very nice small houses.
Here's another basic street-shot, but it's interesting because it contrasts two very different architectural periods and styles, that are just lumped side-by-side right next to each other with nary a gap between. The effect looks like a crazy patchwork quilt when applied to whole blocks and neighbourhoods and yet in spite of being a bit cacophonic is really beautiful just by being a feast for the eyes. Definitely way better than the row-upon-row of prefab housing and mostly-identical mcmansions you see in way too many North American cities.
Here's the entrance to a typical cafe/bar in the neighbourhood; in this case the spectacular Las Flores, which makes some of the best Milanesa sandwiches ever. They also have delicious empanadas and quite good (strong) coffee.
There's a bar/cafe (the two are interchangeable in this country) at least every couple of blocks in any residential neighbourhood and (like the British pub) these are often the hubs of local social life. In Cordon, things are changing so that Las Flores represents an 'old guard' type of locale; right on its opposite corner from it there's a new "Uruguayan-German-Irish Fusion Pub", halfway down the block from it there's a new "artisanal empanaderie", two steps from there there's a brand new "rock and roll pub", and on the other corner there's a brand new "experimental uruguayan-tacos plus sandwiches from strange ingredients" restaurant (that last one is actually a lot better than it sounds, even though the Taco is NOT part of Uruguayan cuisine). In the last two years the Cordon has just exploded with hipster popularity, but Las Flores is also still doing very well, on the force of both tradition and that you can buy an amazing huge (it takes up two separate buns to hold it all) milanesa (think weiner schnitzel) sandwich with all the trimmings for about $8. A cortado (sort of like a macchiato) costs about $1.95.
Finally, this slightly-blurry photo comes from just a bit away from my neighbourhood, in the Centro (the "downtown" neighbourhood). But I wanted to include it because it shows you the gallery-style thoroughfares that are very typical of that part of town, and the architecture. Some of these galleries are covered, most are not.
Anyways, hope you liked this glimpse of a country you likely will never go to and might otherwise never see. There'll be more in weeks to come.
Currently Smoking: Stanwell Compact + Image Latakia