Saturday, January 15, 2011


I decided to go out again
after a long period
of dormancy at home
or surrounding streets.

The slow emptying of people in the vicinity of  Santurce is not the same in every sector.  Differences are evident.

Walking around with opened eyes presents opportunities to watch what happens to those with walking stamina, interested in nature and the process of structural and social decay. 

I am not really interested in human contact, the minimal, just to observe the  attractive or ugly scenery, not like a voyeur, but to keep things in focus.  Some beauty is found in the ugliness in some of these abandoned residences, in the eyes of this beholder.

About human relations...  I take my chances when necessary. I approach individuals willing to share any information about the space as I did with Carlos, attending his chickens when I took the photos.  But lets start with the pictures from bottom up.

This wooden unkempt house with a hot tin roof, shows an old building style gone for good.  I spent my childhood in a similarly designed structure 45 years ago. 

That is the time when bastards engineers, architects, private and public agencies and institutions with USA dollars vision, gave birth to the all powerful, everlasting concrete, with cinder blocks myth, later.

The myth was/is strong. It is simple, the theoretical security and protection per secula seculorum of concrete over wood.
At least in regards to hurricanes, earthquakes is another story.

It they were right, could someone explain why this house of over 60 years and still standing  went through all the hurricanes that passed by the Caribbean?

The blue concrete house above with a tin roof, a mango tree and horrendous cyclone fence is ugly as hell, I would knock it down.

On top concrete, roof less, with prominent aluminun, Miami style windows, (still around miraculously) is an abandoned duplex, one story in one my favorite alleys.

Callejon Buena Vista, formerly Rafael Alers according to Carlos who told the story. This house as many others is waiting (over thirty years), to be split among the heirs. Believe it or not.

This space would make an excellent restaurant for native islanders to balance the disproportionate amount of invaders, in the area.  At any rate, Carlos, keeps his thirty chickens under the shade of breadfruit, mango, quenepas and lemon trees.

The house on top of the rooster photo, is right next to the other.  I do like this house with a high roof for ventilation, nice elegant porch in an alley, where not many would worry about style. It stands out in any of the ten or so alleys I may feature here soon. 

Back to the issue of tourism.  In other countries wise people are providing tours to vicinities like this one.  You have had a minimal glimpse of the potential of this forgotten segment of the San Juan Metro Area.  At least for the curious about nature and habitats. architecture,


  1. Si vas a hacer un recuento de la pornografía urbanística de McOndo, te deseo suerte y paciencia porque tienes trabajo para rato. Al haber crecido en Santurce, recuerdo bien como el cemento/concreto/heces de arena y cal se vomitaban de cualquier manera en forma de muros, aceras y casas. El asfalto que abulta cada vez más tampoco es que añada a la belleza. Entre esto y las urbanizaciones tipo Eldorlando guanabí de Guaynabitch y Bayamonville, el puertorriqueño está between a rock and a hard place. Muy acertadas las observaciones del infierno en la tierra de urbanizaciones, moles y una cantidad de carreteras y carros que parecen venir de alguna dimensión paralela. Es necesario hacer ver que además del problema de la cantidad, la calidad como estética es rara avis. Loq que está más o menos bien hecho (que no bello) es sólo de quien paga precios ridículos. Para desgracia del homo cuponensis, McOndo no es del tamaño de Australia. Conozco gente de fuera que no acaba de comprender lo que se hace con esa ínsula barataria dejada de la mano de los dioses. salud, suerte y ante todo, paciencia.

  2. Agradezco la visita, las palabras juergan.