When in Bogotá I made the mistake of staying in La Candelaria. Don’t get me wrong, the location is perfect for touring as it sits in the cultural center containing all of the main attractions and museums. I was torn between whether or not to stay there initially and read a number of articles to help me make my decision, including this one comparing the difference in nightlife between the city center and northern neighborhoods.
My mistake was actually rooted in a poor order of priorities: did I want to stay close to the center of the action, backpackers, and museums or in a place where I can do my favorite activity – strolling through bourgeoisie/grungy/quirky/gentrified neighborhoods to see what’s up in interiors, architecture, graphic design, and fashion? You know, the boutiques, consignment stores, and cafés with products that are way too expensive but have all the shiny appeal to catch your eye. Where did I find this in Bogota? Chapinero. Again, I didn’t lodge there but there I did what I do best, walked for hours through the residential and commercial streets, purely shooting whatever caught my attention, and chatting with some locals about their craft.
I’ve always loved art museums and I try to visit at least one in every city I travel. I believe that art does real magic in my brain. It solves problems that I don’t even know I have, with solutions that I don’t even know exist. I’m not a numbers person. Instead my mind connects images/ideas similar and strange, so that seeing something creative remains in my memory and shape shifts to meet me in a later situation – when solving client problems at work, when joking with friends, or even while trying to give directions to a stranger in a different language (still working on that español). I’ve grown to appreciate the creativity in anything and everything for what it can later produce. I found this on the walls of coffee shops, on street corners, and the green of plants and succulents.
While at the MAMBO – Bogotá Museum of Modern Art, I was inspired by an analogy of life and staircases. A stairway has many attributes and ultimately no detail is too small. How it curves. The depth and height of it’s steps. The angle of it’s ascent. It’s all meaningful for the journey of the walker going up or down. Does the curve make you dizzy? Take you for a ride? Does the depth make you slow down your stride and take the journey much slower? Is the destination more important or the path it takes you to get there? Such is life and such are the small details in the everyday.
I stumbled into a home goods store called Un Medio Creativo, mainly because it’s sign screamed, “Tienda de Diseño”. I walked in and found a garage sale of coin art, taxidermy made out of bike parts, a coffee table Rubix cube and the like. It. Was. Awesome. I wondered how the stuff got there and I guess my gaze begged the question because a guy working at the register walked over to me. I asked about the objects. “It’s all trash found in the street.” No way! In the streets of Bogota!? He, Camilo, and his business partner, Daniel, find “trash” and redesign it using their creativity and expertise in graphic design. There’s no way you can call this stuff trash anymore. I was so inspired by his craft and entrepreneurship. What an interesting way to use a degree in graphic design.
It’s images like this that will be the inspiration for my [future] wedding or decorating my new apartment or writing a birthday card or photography or my next destination…
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