Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Nostalgic gluttony - 10 years of Chile on my mind!

First time I stepped on Chilean soil was in June 2001. Unfortunately I did not own a digital camera back then so I will not be presenting any before and after pics here. But for those of you that share some precious memories with me from those times; this is dedicated to you!

Going up...
...to the top....
...to check out the smog!
Telefonica is still standing. Its just not called Telefonica anymore. Its Movistar. Same'ol, same'ol. Service unheard of and bills that come with extra unwanted charges. Same sh*t, different name.

Copa Menta. My Sunday lunch back in 2001. San Sebastian is called Fragola these days. But still in the same place. Powerhouse is something like Energy Gym...

Go figure! Here the essential question of "to be or not to be" becomes very accurate. The destiny of the girl in this playground  was decided in the white building with red balconies - almost 10 years ago!

Old meets new. Doll house versus Goliat tower... Largest shopping center in South America, highest tower and blablabla...too bad for the small shops down the street in Providencia...their days are counted.

Our first common home on the other side of the road from the dollhouse-Goliat-tower. Palm tree still standing. And somebody living in our depto on the second floor. They even bothered to place flowers in the sunheated windows. But I gather that they do not see the mountains anymore, nor the SAS Radisson (nowadays BLU) hotel.

A wall. And behind this wall, the former dictator, Agusto Pinochet, met his final destiny in December 2008.

Avenida Vitacura. The new MEGA-project on the left, the military hospital (Pinochet's death bed) on the right. And just a few steps away from our lovely home.

Who recognizes this? Ok, the tower is kind of spoiling the spirit... but yes, Lousiana still up and running on Suecia. And as I caught a taxi in this picture, I can also tell you all that the taxis nowadays all come with AC and decent seats. Yes, upgrading, big time.

Who misses this? El comercio ambulante! Quite practical. Sells what ever there is a demand for. When raining they sell umbrellas, when sun is shining sun glasses. And not to be forgotten the piracy: dvds, cds. Check out the cloth...its practical because if a policeman happens to come too close, these people just pack and leave. In a matter of seconds. So if Avenida Providencia is free from "comerciantes", you'll know there is a "Carabinero" closeby.

Famous Transantiago bus stop. Looks empty to me....
And the new color of the transsantiago buses. No more yellow.
What's wrong here? Can you see it???
The church tower that fell down with the earthquake last year. Not replaced yet.
Bar Torres in the center. What a lovely place. And they even have "old style" tango concerts in the evening. Can someone tell me why I never visited this place, while living in the city? Did not even know about it. Must have been the horror stories about down town in night time that kept me away. Should have entered Chile through Barrio Brasil instead of Las Condes...More adventures (and less Copa Menta..)
The floor of the tango bar. Charming, even that!

Parque Araucano and the new office buildings on the other side (Parque Arauco behind my back). Impressive, modern, huge. And below the Park they are currently building a water entertainment park. Talk about investments!...but this is also the municipality of Las Condes. They can afford builiding underground. Talking about tunnels, they are still debating the last strip of the concessioned highway* Vespucio in Las Condes, La Reina - neighbours want tunnel, probably too expensive for the private investors. But hey, were the neighbours in all the other xx municipalities heard when they built a gigantic highway right thorugh their neighbourhoods? Doubt it.

*Footnote: the private highways inside Santigao have made wonders to reduce traveling time! The tunnel next to the river is excellent for those who are ready to pay and wants to move east-west-east rapidly. Vespucio Norte and Sur are all highways now, payable with automatic TAG-system. And the Autopista Central gets you South-North-South on the Panamericana without even noticing that you passed a metropolis with a population of 7 million. What you can do with private economic incentives. I have to confess, I am impressed.

Back to the roots on Av. Matucana. Why not spend some capital on restoring these lovely buildings? Ah, right...we are in Chile...let me guess: private economic incetives missing? What about cultural heritage?

Then, a short commercial dedicated to hubby at the very end! 


Anonymous said...

QUE LINDO...QUE RECUERDOS...COMO PASA EL TIEMPO!!!Gracias por este reportaje, besos, Nina

Anonymous said...

Ihanaa! Tosiaankin tämän vuoden heinäkuussa 10 vuotta! Olisikin jo aika päästä käymään ja ihmettelemään muuttunutta kaupunkia.. Kaisa

Mia said...

...those were the days my friends!