Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Fish Feeding Frenzy in Paloquemao

The venerable Paloquemao market's fish section is packed these days (while the neighboring meat section stands vacant). This is Holy Week, of course, and even if the number of Colombian Catholics is declining - and many of those Catholics are only nominally so - as these photos show, eating fish during Holy Week is still popular, if only for cultural reasons.

Bagre on the chopping block. The fish is endangered and may be absent in future years.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

Monday, April 14, 2014

Finally, a Bridge to Somewhere

Concrete beams and a construction crane to lift them across Calle 26, where they will connect Parque de la Independencia to the modern art museum.
After a multi-year legal battle between the city and neighborhood residents, work has finally restarted on the bridge over Calle 26, between Parque de la Independencia and the Museum of Modern Art.

Neighbors had sued to stop the project, objecting in particular to the way it invades the park. It was halted for years while the court battle played out. The neighbors are right about the project's poor design. But, now that it's been started, it seems like the best solution is to finish it once and for all. The long-suffering park used to be much larger, but sections were sliced off as the city built avenues on its western and southern sides.

The idea of expanding the park above the avenue came from famed architect Rogelio Salmona, who also designed the Torres del Parque behind the nearby bullfighting stadium. Ironically, many of those fighting the bridge project live in those towers.

The section of Calle 26 between Carrera 3 and Carrera 7 will be shut for three months while huge beams are lifted into place. The platform, which is to contain green space and areas for cultural activities, is supposed to be completed in early 2016.

Three neighborhood residents - part of the group which fought to stop the project - watch the construction.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Nemcatacoa 'reinvents the Landscape'

The Nemcatacoa Theatre performed in front of the Museo Nacional today. This Bogotá troupe, which does 'street and experimental theatre' is participating in the ongoing IberoAmerican Theatre Festival. The performers were 'reinventing landscapes,' they said.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Faith in the Swiss Restored!

This old clock, a landmark in Bogotá's Parque Nacional, was donated to the city by the Swiss community in 1938, and restored by the Swiss Embassy in 2008...but for as long as I could remember, the clock didn't work.

However, last week, Swiss-linked institutions repaired the old clock, restoring our faith in Swiss workmanship.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

Friday, April 11, 2014

Circus in the Streets

The theatre festival now going on in La Candelaria includes street theatre across the city. Today, this troupe performed in the National University's Plaza del Che. 

The group's costumes were inspired by the gods of the Muisca indigenous people. 

But what would Che Guevara have thot about all this running and tumbling under his gaze?

Jugglers walk down a La Candelaria street.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

Petro II?

Gustavo Petro: Once and future mayor?
A high court's ruling that ex-Mayor Gustavo Petro may deserve reinstatement into office offers a scary prospect for Bogotá.

As mayor, Gustavo accomplished little - and almost nothing at all during his later months in office, as his battle to hang on to the mayoralty consumed him. In contrast, temporary mayor Rafael Pardo seems to be a man of action - at least in relation to the city's tangled transit.

If Petro is returned to office, pending another court decision, he'll only expend his energies struggling to keep his grip on that office. And, that will mean even more uncertainty and lack of long-term policies for this beleaguered city.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Victims' March

April 9, the anniversary of the 1948 assassination of populist leader Jorge Eliecer Gaitán, has been designated the Day of the Victims. This year saw a big march - of victims rights groups, and also lots of other organizations.

A woman waves a flag on Plaza Bolivar.

A fñag calls for a blank vote.
Union workers presentes!
Flags in front of the Supreme Court.

Preparing for the march near the Central Cemetery.
'Mining kills.'
Anti-riot police walk up Ave. Septima, behind them a banner of Gaitan. 
The spot where Gaitan was assassinated in 1948 has been turned into a shrine.

Two women heading toward the march. They said they were victims of right-wing groups. 
Victims? Demanding legalization of the 'personal dosis' of marijuana.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours