Parking Montevideo, then and now

Montevideo Rambla, Ciudad Vieja. When we arrived here, late 2009, it was rare to see even a single vehicle parked along this stretch of road.

Consumer credit comes to Uruguay! At least that’s one explanation.

Car prices have fallen recently. This may involve poor budgeting by people new to credit, buying cars for only *so much* a month. Perhaps they don’t think about fuel (2.5 times the cost in the USA), maintenance, and insurance. Then enough of them figure out they really can’t afford a car, and try to sell it.

At any rate, it’s distinctly more difficult to find a parking place in Montevideo than a few years ago, to the point that I usually don’t even try, and head to a parking garage instead.

City walking tour

We got on well with Charles and Linda, the photographers from my last post, so I suggested we do the free walking tour of Montevideo, which I’d never done. The weather was forecast yesterday to be lovely, and it was.

The tour begins in Plaza Independencia, site of the fabulously overwrought Palacio Salvo, apparently once the tallest building in South America. Our tour guide, however, told us there’s Palacio Barolo in Buenos Aires, built a few years earlier to the slightly lesser height by the same architect.

I won’t bore you with a blow-by-blow, but here were a few noteworthy sightings.

Under “STOP,” someone has stenciled “de comer animales.” Stop eating animals. Optimistic soul: Uruguay has the highest per-capita annual beef consumption in the world.

In the Plaza Matriz or Plaza Constitución (take your pick, as you are welcome to do with Uruguay’s year of independence – maybe 1830 or maybe 1824 or…), street vendors have interesting historical items for sale.

But for North Carolinians Charles and Linda, it was the NC Highway Patrol patch that caught their eye. Is there really a market for this stuff in Montevideo? Apparently.

And then this: Happy arrival in Montevideo, showing a couple falling down marble stairs.

Is there a story behind this, or an inside joke?

Oh yes, and the interesting fence design in Plaza Zabala….

Design Notebook 20181201

It took us three consecutive day trips to Montevideo to get our Uruguayan passports renewed (actually to get our Credenciales Cívicas updated, a process gratuitously complexified by various functionaries in different government offices) – but we’re now good for ten years, yay! The latter two days involved lunch at new places: Lisandro, offering a variety of sandwiches and salads, but better yet, a peaceful location in crazy Carrasco, and Estrecho, similar fare but better, on Sarandí, the busy walking street in Ciudad Vieja. (Fun to note that Lisandro’s web site offers the address of their other location in Zonamerica as “Driving Rage,” which could, in this country, well be a Freudian slip.)

Yesterday, in Estrecho, the waitress gave us tourist map.

Montevideo tourist map

At first glance, it seemed promising.

Montevideo tourist map

But then I looked closer.

Montevideo tourist map

I guess the idea is you find a bike and make your way, maze-like, through this circuit that just kinda looks like it was laid out to accommodate the sponsoring restaurants and stores. Since we were recently in the area, I looked closer and quickly found a couple that gave addresses nowhere near their Carrasco locations.

Montevideo tourist map

On the flip side, this:

Montevideo tourist map

Postage-stamp sized listings of exactly 100 businesses, with details in 6-point type.

In terms of design, it’s attractive, and not particularly informative. It might be interesting to follow some of these routes, but I find nothing compelling about them. Nor would I settle on any of the sponsoring restaurants without learning more about them.

In the end, though, it’s got maps. And I love maps!

Montevideo: faces on buildings

Running errands in Montevideo the other day, I saw a building that seemed to share my sentiments about the weather.

Then, on Av. Italia, something I probably should have seen at some point but never have.

Teatro Cinematica 18, Av. 18 de Julio, Montevideo, Uruguay

But then, I note it wasn’t there in October 2015. And it’s not as though I’m on Avenida 18 de Julio driving, seeing as it’s one of my least favorite streets to drive on in Montevideo. Narrow lanes and lots of buses and pedestrians.

Teatro Cinematica 18, Montevideo, October 2915