66.5457 m

According to Google Maps, that’s the distance between this apartment and our neighbors’ building in front (I doubt Google Maps’ accuracy, to the tenth of millimeter – but I do believe 66.5457 plus or minus 5 meters must be correct.)

66.5457 m is a great distance to feel, in Bogotá, as in some version of Rear Window: most neighbors have virtually no curtains. The area would perhaps be called “creative class” in other cities, I don’t know exactly what to call it. Chapinero Alto consists of not too rich, not poor people, who seem to travel a bit around the world, some involved in academia, some in fashion design, arts and crafts, writing, journalism, or just plain business. It is also considered “the gay” area in Bogotá – I still wonder exactly why (what I see is just a mix of families, couples, male-female, male-male or female-female, or single people, not too many questions asked in general – and a few enclaves considered “classically gay”: the supermarket on 63rd and 7th – quite a colorful and exciting place, I must say, the gym in front of it). For the most part, however, it seems to be an area where people like doing their own things and letting other people enjoy life as it comes, without much fuss. After almost two months living here, what I like best is perhaps walking (many nice walks near the mountains) or hiking into the Quebrada de la Vieja – where you can actually reach páramo altitudes if you have the energy – or just walking or running on Carrera 3A – all the way from 53rd to 72nd, and watching the super-eclectic architecture (40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s and even 10s all mixed up). I have come to like this mix quite a lot.

While I write I can see a neighbor dancing (she seems to be doing contemporary repertoire – from what I can judge). Two other neighbors seem to be discussing, perhaps enjoying some drinks. Someone has a computer screen on, with code. From 66.5457 m, all I can see is the unix-terminal-like screen, multicolored, and the guy typing code and going up and down screens. Someone else (not clear if a he or a she) seems to be playing violin. People sitting on couches, relaxing. Dogs or cats visible during the day, people with uncurtained windows at night.

Oh – of course, we have no curtains yet. We have not decided what to put. We must be watched by those people, from those 66.5457 m. I wonder what they see.

Fragmentos del DF


Esto es solo la mitad de las que traje. La Ciudad de México me hace la vida imposible, con su multitud de películas exhibidas casi indecentemente en todas partes: desde las piratas (pero de buena calidad) a la salida del metro, pasando por las del mercado de la Ciudadela o de San Juan, hasta las de la Cineteca y las de la Cafebrería El Péndulo o las librerías del Fondo de Cultura Económica. Los precios (en las legales, en la Librería del FCE) arrancan en 50 pesos (4 dólares). Godard entero, series de Kieslowski, cine de los años 30 y 40, Sokurov, todo Bergman, películas de Woody Allen que nunca había visto.

Caminar por la Ciudad de México puede sentirse como un atentado: me demoro el doble de lo normal en llegar a cualquier parte, porque en la calle, en cualquier librería de viejo, o en las librerías del Fondo me encuentro con películas buenas y muchas muy baratas. La limitación es el peso en la maleta.