I see food.
Everywhere. Continue reading
A day in San Jose is only a miniscule slice of its full story. But still, it tells us some things… what it wants to reveal to us, with a few surprises.
Police presence always seems more imposing in other countries, but I’m sure when tourists came to Barrie, Ontario and see our police in their shorts and bicycles doing the Lakeshore Drive circuit, they’re intimidated too.
Costa Rica has a huge surf culture – even surfer missionaries! Here you can look the part whether you hang ten or not.
Successful PI photo. During our time in Costa Rica, we didn’t see much evidence of “religion” besides this store and a large Roman Catholic church at the city centre. J-M’s books told him that RC is a holdover and is not widely practiced. We saw a few country iglesias, keeping in mind that we drove A LOT, but no signage to determine which denomination they belonged to. Oh, and we did spot a couple Jesus fish on cars. Otherwise, religion did not seem to be central to every day life in Costa Rica, at least not from outward appearances. We didn’t meet enough people to determine if it was important to them personally.
Love the movement in this picture, the little girl feeding the pigeons in the park with a mixture of terror and delight. As for the dude in the back right corner, I didn’t notice him till I uploaded the photo. The next picture I took revealed that he wasn’t break-dancing – unforch! – but bending down to tie his shoe.
Big Village owners and crunchy mamas, Karen and Leisha, would appreciate the inclusion of natural remedies sold at this healthcare stall.
Pet food stall. How else would you feed ALL THOSE DOGS?
Lottery booths are everywhere, in the shape of a fold-out table and usually an elderly person minding them. This lady just woke up from a nap on her scratch cards just before I snapped her photo, PI style.
Here is a picture of the mix of pedestrian, car and bus traffic at the best marked intersection downtown. Everywhere else, the simple rule is that vehicles take priority over pedestrians. Walker beware!
They must ice donuts like this elsewhere, but I’d never seen them before and my low blood sugar goggles told me they looked so attractive! J-M and I shared the brown and orange one on the bottom left, picking it for purely aesthetic reasons. Even halved, it was a whole lot of sweet.
Eating the donut was a great excuse to sit down and take a break. Looking out the window, I told J-M, “I absolutely LOVE observing human behaviour!” To which he replied, “Some of us call that people watching.”
He also thought it was appropriate that I had a WiFi sign over my head that looked like a thought-bubble. Profile Pic!
Looks like I got made in this PI photo. At each block you would see native women like this, each in traditional dress, with a baby in their arm. The cup is the receptacle for your pity. Whether it’s contrived or not, this makes my heart hurt.
One regret we have is that we expressly came to San Jose to visit the National Theatre. We decided to shop first, go to the NT afterward. We got there at 5 p.m., just in time to miss the last tour. The concierge, suggested we take pictures of the foyer and the grounds at least? There’s our excuse to make a return trip.
I decided to give our downtown a little love yesterday. I’ve been neglecting it for some time. I know it’s harder to appreciate store-to-store shopping in this weather, but there are advantages to being inconvenienced. There are the wider-reaching benefits of supporting local business… but even that seems to be shifting as retailers relocate to the large plazas in the south end where the world shops. On a personal level, however, those big plazas don’t give you the unique shopping experience of these old century buildings with their creeky floors, and exposed brick, with unique shopkeepers and their stories. Our downtown core is also our cultural and community centre. It’s where you hear about what’s going on around town, including business seminars, live music events, festivals and art crawls.
But yesterday, after taking a three-hour tour (and returning), I left with this question: why isn’t our downtown thriving?
Photo from mikey_e at virtualtourist.com, who describes downtown shopping as “interesting to walk along for a bit, but unless you’re into paraphenelia it’s unlikely to retain your interest…”
It might be that it’s March. It’s the worst time of year for most retailers, whether downtown or not. Until that sun starts shining again, people aren’t out in full force. There could be several reasons for that: vacationing, catching up from Christmas, too cozy inside to go outside… I have to keep in mind that I went out on a weekday in the middle of a snowstorm.
Does that explain the rotating FOR LEASE signs in the windows and the empty shelves inside the stores, though? Is downtown itself to blame for the lack of interest?
Here are some things that people have to contend with, when shopping downtown, which might be a hindrance:
What about you? Do you feel our downtown is thriving? If not, why?