Do you know the way...?

There is so much to photograph in downtown San Jose. It's the part of the city that we as tourists are told to avoid at night (okay, one of the parts), but to me it feels like a combination of some cities in Europe and the more conjested, less fancy parts of New York City. It's pretty nonthreatening, at least during the day. The photos in this post chronicle the walk from my neighborhood to downtown and back; I live really close to downtown, so it's not much of a walk.

I feel like there's a lot more to share that has nothing to do with downtown or the wonderful street art and ever blooming flowers. Living here has been good, but frustrating. Costa Rica is known for its natural beauty, and when I took a job in the city, I thought I would have weekends to travel and explore the country. But it's hard to find legal work, and my "job" is not paying enough to allow for weekend excursions. Also, I'm exhausted and need to lesson plan for the following week. Sorry to burst the bloggy bubble, but this is reality.

I do enjoy living in San Jose. I like my neighborhood, and would love to write more in depth about the food here. It's just that it's too expensive, and as I said, not that interesting. But maybe that's the story: this isn't a food destination. Granted, I have almost too many cafes to choose from in my neighborhood, which is the best problem I could imagine having. I'm currently sitting in one whose vibe says: stay a while, play chess, blog. They even have free refills on their espresso drinks. And they're decent! The aesthetic is mid-century modern meets eighties movie nostalgia. I'm sitting on a couch upholstered with bronze and beige newspaper-patterned embossed fabirc. So in many ways, I am in my happy place. I just wish living here were sustainable for a couple of "perpetual tourists."
At the request of a reader (who happens to be my niecey mama), all photos shall be captioned! I love a good challenge, and this was especially fun: I came up with some of these immediately after taking the picture.

These tissue-paper flowers seem to live anywhere that's warm.
Living watercolor

The shittiest routes have the best art.

"Nothing like a good toke after building the pyramids."

Just chillin' with ma girls.

Requisite blogger photo: "Oh, I'm just smiling at something over yonder."
Meanwhile, on the other side of the street...


Jesus is my bus driver.
Barrio Amon, and to the right we have what I affectionately refer to as the "Troll Hole."

Lips and a kitty in the city
The wild Merlis emerges from the jungle. And yes, this skirt is another favorite Costa Rican thrift shop find.

Accidentally Wes Anderson
Here's what the parks downtown look like. Small, but diverse in their flora and well designed.
Cherubs in a nonfunctioning fountain

But first, lemme take a selfie.
Swingers' club in the park

Mosaics and murals for all!
Caption contest in the comments section.

Little bit of this, little bit of that: center city.

Some Roman-revival flavor (correct me, art history buffs!!) in the middle of the city, shining like a beacon.

Here's a shot that really lets you know we're in the mountains.
Just some rusty commissioned street sculpture in the sun

Up close and personal with another piece


Humpty Dumpty lives in San Jose. Reminiscent of a building in Braunschweig, but this one's not quite as three-dimensional.

Another building as art: cute corner cafe. Nothing like a sunny city day, cafes and a camera.

So much great street art...and here's a little
 number I'd like to dedicate to single-point perspective.
That mermaid is NOT having that eagle.

I don't know if it's viral advertising or what, but these "Lolita" folks are stenciling all over the vecinity of their new restaurant/bar/whatever it is they're opening.

I believe these bikes belong to the construction workers. The blanket is there every day, dutifully protecting against the elements. Reminds me of a black and white shot I took back in New Paltz.

Dose of reality: here's the scene across the street from our apartment. Never mind the "Trump 2020" and other hate graffiti scrawled on the barriers around the construction site. This is what gentrification looks like.


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