Fishing poles in the waves
Just finished grazing
The full moon
Haiku poem from ancient Japan.
“Montevideo is a well hidden treasure”, said a friend of mine from Argentina. Her comment didn’t seem strange when she said it over a year ago. Taking a trip around our city at any time of year, especially Spring and Autumn, is an experience difficult to put into words. Trying to write about certain places where you can lose yourself in Montevideo is a bait and switch. You have the double challenge of trying to describe without transmitting the preconceptions we inevitably have.
Places to lose yourself in Montevideo
Our capital has a brief history, if we compare it to others in old Europe, but an impressive extensive development . La Rambla de Montevideo, for example, was in it’s time an urban development at such large scale that it configured part of the image of the city up to these days. It’s approximate 20 kilometers long and it´s creates distinct atmospheres. Sometimes naturally and other times due to the sensitive thought put in by people over time. it´s a democratic piece, openly strong. Able to withstand different interventions and aware from the historical moment it was built.
One can pinpoint different moments on this changing journey, a couple kissing immersed in the light of the setting sun, fishermen, ball players, pick-up soccer games, kids skating, excellent examples of epochs in Architecture, changing views of the city, friends enjoying various activities that the river offers (yachting, sun-bathing to mention a few).
University of Architecture, Design and Urbanism
When I spoke with my children about this text, I asked them which places they found interesting to comment about. One of his immediate answers was the University of Architecture, Design y Urbanism at the meeting of the two Boulevards. He found (I wasn’t going to clarify but yes; with the clarity and purity of a child) that the marvel of that building is in it’s great patio with the pond/amphitheater. Yes, that patio is the life of the emblematic building. That’s where the students circulate around to go to the classrooms. It´s also where, during the mild seasons, students have their classes. As well as being a place to talk, fall in love, make layouts and draw. In addition, the different species of shrubs and trees create a variety of atmospheres. At the end of the day and year, sieve the light and air.
I wanted to end with a complete example but one not so recognized by academic books or national tourism and it’s; Plaza Varela. Located on Artigas Boulevard and Brasil Avenue, it was my son who advised me never to forget this jewel of the city! The plaza is valued more each time. We ourselves as a new generation of dwellers of Montevideo (in this case Architects and parents as well) appropriated the quality public spaces without worrying about the structures. Valuing quality of life and living close together.
Plaza Varela is an island where the perimeter is a parking lot. On the inside a long and cared skating rink dotted by seats to share. In it’s heart are the different islets of activities and different levels; soccer field, playground, shade, walking, places to enjoy the evening. Different generations meeting throughout the day in one of the most dense locations on the capital.
This trip was brief, there are many absences in this concise look at this potent and actual Treasure. Good afternoon and see you soon.