Images: Thursday’s Commute

There are a number of interesting things that I would like to point out in this first photo.

Cruce, Santo Domingo de Heredia por la Basílica.

First, the squat, adobe house at the center of the frame is a traditional Costa Rican dwelling that has mostly disappeared from the national urban landscape. There is little culture of preserving the past here, so when a building like this one begins to deteriorate, it is usually razed for something deemed “modern.” (see this pic for my favorite modern house)

Further in the background you’ll see the belltower of the Basilica, one of many Catholic monuments to tithing erected around the country. In traditional Spanish design, the church sits on the east side of a plaza.

In the side mirror, you{ll see a person wearing a yellow shirt walking the line of cars backed up at the stoplight. These are recovering drug addicts who ask for donations, sell pencils or stickers or pamphlets at intersections all around the country. They have to meet a daily quota, then they receive as a salary a small percentage of everything else they collect. It’s not a nice job weaving in and out of incredibly dangerous traffic, where motorcycles do not have to respect the laws and can drive wherever they can. But they’re out of the streets, at least for now.

Here, we have a glimpe into downtown San Jose.

Entrada a San José, por La República

Here we can see the explosion of poor architecture that is downtown San Jose. Most people, when they decide to build, do not consult an architect in order to best use space, maximize air flow or otherwise try to transmit an idea or feeling through their construction. Instead, they hire an engineer to make sure the thing doesn’t fall down. As such, many buildings throughout the country are little more than reinforced rectangles.


2 Responses to “Images: Thursday’s Commute”

  1. Carla Says:

    Una visión muy auténtica de San ´José.

  2. Hilary Says:

    More than we can say for Haiti, eh?

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