Friday, December 12, 2014

The Real Puerto Rico: A Walk Through my Grandparent's Eclectic, Gentrifying Barrio

When the weather outside is frightful it's comforting to look back at tropical scenes, sip tea, and conjure exotic thoughts. Let's warm up with photos I took during my only extended walk in my grandparent's neighborhood in Ponce, Puerto Rico. It's gentrified since I saw policia trashing gang member's bicycles when I was seven, but my grandparents were still worried about my safety when I visited six months ago. The general area houses squatting drug dealers and is conductive to crime, but it was so nice to see formerly derelict homes renovated and loved. You can tell the current occupants take pride in their island homes.

Puerto Rican neighborhoods are juxtaposed. Finely maintained homes with harsh barbed wire fences. Nice houses with pretty gardens right beside (often, occupied) ramshackle structures. I think we could all use some color so I'm focusing on the fixed up homes but the shacks were just as fun to photograph. I'll reflect on those in another post.

I never get tired of photographing unique houses around the world. Every time I visit the island paradise that is Puerto Rico it's hard to leave. I start to dream about purchasing one of the ample, well-priced fixer-uppers.

I vividly imagine painting exteriors, cultivating veggie and herb gardens. I begin to think of how I'd advertise photography and videography services in the party culture that has a high demand for it. Maybe sell some soaps and crafts...

 Se Vende. For Sale. A house that set my imagination on fire with possibilities. Porch! Small and low maitenence! Garden! I love spanish-style houses.

Who knows, maybe we'll buy a "vacation duplex" so we can rent one half for profit and vacation in the other half.

For now, it's fun to dream. /comments off
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