Where in the World Is Kevin Drum?

I thought my “central time zone” misdirection would fool you all, and my plan would have worked if not for that meddling Ray Herrick, who correctly figured out that I’m in Bogotá. Yesterday’s photo was a picture of the cable car that ascends Monserrate. Here is Bogotá from the top:

August 4, 2019 — Bogotá, Colombia

Why Bogotá? It’s probably Joan Didion’s revenge. After mocking her description of Bogotá a couple of weeks ago, I guess it was stuck in my mind when I was pondering where to go. I drew a circle around Los Angeles looking for places not too far off, and as I looked South there it was. Nice, cool weather, an easy nonstop flight, and fairly cheap. So here I am.

I will resume normal lunchtime photoblogging tomorrow, but today, to make up for the lack of normal blogging I’ll regale you all with a long photo essay about how I spent Sunday. I got in at 5:30 in the morning, so I had the entire day to wander around.

My hotel is right across the street from Dos Gatos y Simone. Naturally I approve.

I haven’t eaten there yet, but I probably will. I want to check their truth-in-advertising status. After visiting Monserrate I ate lunch at Toro Burger, which is also right around the corner from my hotel—as are a couple of dozen other burger joints. I thought Americans were crazy about burgers and fries, but we are nothing compared to Colombians. I swear there’s a hamburguesa place every hundred feet or so.

Travel tip: french fries are papa francesca.

After lunch I wandered over to Septima Carrera, or Seventh Avenue, which is shut down on Sundays and attracts a horde of shoppers and the usual mix of street performers:

There were lots of dancers. And when you dance for donations, it all starts with the feet:

The festival extends all the way down to Plaza Bolívar. Here is the man himself:

Pigeons make ordinary mortals of us all. The Cathedral of Colombia is here, and although the exterior is fairly ordinary, the interior is quite beautiful:

The plaza itself is full of little kids feeding the pigeons.

But someone always has to bust up the party:

Colombia is a very dog-friendly place. There are zillions of them everywhere, mostly pretty good size dogs like this one. Either Colombians aren’t too fond of small dogs or else they keep them indoors most of the time.

Can anyone tell me the status of selfie sticks these days? I have the feeling that their popularity has been fading, but that’s not the case in Bogotá. They’re all over the place, and selfie stick vendors are everywhere.

Graffiti is officially tolerated in Bogotá, and it’s all over the place. I didn’t take the graffiti tour, which shows off the finest street art in the city, but here’s a more common sample:

The graffiti ranges from the ordinary to the quite beautiful. Overall, Bogotá has been a nice place so far. The weather has indeed been cool, varying between overcast and sunny. As I’m writing this on Tuesday morning, the sun is just starting to peek out from the clouds and it looks like it’s going to be a nice day.

Surprisingly for such a large city, the traffic isn’t really that bad. I guess this has something to do with their even/odd system of driving restrictions. My car happens to have an even-numbered license plate, so I’m not allowed to drive in the city on even-numbered days.

So that’s that. More tomorrow.


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