What happened to Summer?

Sweltering heat. I was promised sweltering heat. It was chilly today as we walked through the city. The temperature was in the seventies and the sky was overcast. I kept wishing I had a jacket.

During our walk today I was reminded on more than a few occasions why the city streets seem to be filled with trash. In the earlier part of the day the streets are fairly clean, but as the day goes on scavengers decend on the trash receptacles, remove all of the contents, then take the recyclable materials away, leaving the rest on the sidewalks and streets. I guess it is the case that desperate people will do what it takes to survive and the consequences will be damned.

Today’s walk took us to Recoleta and a tour of the cemetery. Along the way we encountered the Supreme Court building, where we were unceremoniously told we could not tour the building. This was somewhat surprising since we thought we were in the Teatro Colon, which ended up being across the street.

By the time we got to the theater there was a large crowd waiting for admission, so we decided to head on to the cemetery.

I’ve always been somewhat fascinated by cemeteries. At one time in my life I worked in the funeral industry and learned that dealing with human remains is a like taking out the trash. But the Recoleta Cemetery is a reminder that people tend to reverence the dead, spending considerable resources to fashion memorials to the departed. The memorials in the Recoleta cemetery were more than a little ostentatious displays of commitment to the memories of the loved one. More than a few had collapsed into ruin after years of neglect.

After the cemetery and lunch we went to the National Museum of Fine Arts, which was nearby. We saw an excellent collection, including medieval tapestries, statuary, and paintings. There was an exhibit on the artistic trajectory of the twentieth century. Although some of the twentieth century collection was interesting, I was really impressed by the decline of mastery of media and technique has been disguised by experimentalism. By the time we got to the post modernist, post war period, I was thoroughly disgusted by the abject nihilism that passes as art. But to each his own, I suppose.

I still don’t get how the same folks who despise the swastika celebrate the hammer and sickle.

Aside from a long walk home, punctuated by pastries and coffee, that was our day. We headed home for warmth and wine.

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