Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Annals of transportation (1)... the elevators of Valparaiso

The town of Valparaiso is split up between the port-side quarters and the uphill town. In the time of horse drawn carriages, the steep slopes were difficult to master. After 1883, a number of elevators were built to transport people and goods uphill
Motorized transport made the elevators all but obsolete. About a dozen are left, but although they are part of the UNESCO monument of the old town of Valparaiso, not all of them are in working order
Whereas some are tourist attractions and frequently used, others are in quarters where people in the streets warn you not to go
Rusty corrugated iron houses where the elevator and graffiti are the only spots of colour
Hill-side entrance
The lady will take your coins and charge the slit to operate the turnstyle
A view not unlike a ship - operator in his navigating bridge
How long still?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Self portrait

Can anybody give a better description of himself?
Self-portrait of Pablo Neruda in his house in Valparaiso, Chile:

"(..) I, for my part, think, I have a hard nose, minimal eyes, few hair on my head, an increasing belly, long legs, wide soles, yellow complexion, generous of love, bad in calculations, confused in words, tender in the hands, slow in walking, inoxydable in my heart, fascinated by stars, waves, earthquakes, admiring beetles, walker in the sands, lump with institutions, eternal chileno, friend of my friends, deaf for my enemies, involved with birds, mal-educated at home, timid in society, brave in solidarity, regretting without object, horrible administrator, sailor on a tongue, healer with ink, quiet with animals, happy in thunderclouds, researcher in markets, obscure in libraries, melancholic in the mountains, infatigable in the forests, slow in responding, happening after years, vulgar during the whole year, splendid with my notebook, monumental with my apetite, a tiger when sleeping, quiet in my joy, inspector of the night skies, invisible worker, untidy, persistent, courageous out of need, coward without regret, sleepy out of passion, passionate for women, active for suffering, poet out of malediction, and stupid enough to tell"

I would subscribe to that....
Pablo, disculpe a mi la traduccion insufficiente eternalmente....

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Life in the city

Signs of hope....Valparaiso, Chile, 2008