Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Valparaíso: Doors, Windows & More

I've taken hundreds of photos as I've wandered the streets of Valparaíso. As I've browsed through the photos, I've notice recurring themes -- doors, windows, signs, laundry, skies. Below are a few of my favorite photos from each of these categories.


Many businesses close for the afternoon siesta. Though siestas can start anytime after one o'clock and last as late as four o'clock in the afternoon, hours of operation vary drastically during this window of time. Accustomed to the 9-to-5 mentality common in the Unites Stated, the siesta hours sure do complicate shopping. I like the casual hours posted on the door of a jewelry workshop in Valpo. The sign reads: "Hours of Attention: From When I Open to When I Close." This is so Chilean -- in so many ways.

This door is surrounded by an elaborate border of capped columns. I like the contrast of the two columns; one is in decent shape, whereas the other is falling apart.

The simple colors and nature-themed painting on this door are soothing. The two-dimensional greenery in the mural is echoed by the three-dimensional greenery atop the doorway.

I like the big kitty on this doorstep. It makes me curious to know who lives on the other side of the door. I can easily imagine a tough-looking man walking through the door. He sports blue hair, big tattoos, a nose ring, a dirty wifebeater, stoned-washed jeans, and a heavy pair of leather motorcycle boots. In his hand is a delicate, diamond-studded pink carrying case for his prize-winning Siamese.

This is an elegant doorway. It makes me think of the kiss a couple shares at the end of a first date.

I had passed this door many times and had only seen the eyes. It wasn't until I looked at the photo of this door that I noticed the three overlapping faces.

I can't point my finger on what exactly I like about the photo below. I can say, though, that the door begs me to turn its knob.


The plants pouring out of this open window offer color and life to an otherwise bland wall.

And I like these windowsill planters.


Financial motivation for pleasantries are always appreciated. Prices posted outside a cafe in Cerro Alegre: "An espresso: $1500. An espresso, please: $1200. Good morning, an espresso, please: $900."

This next sign is well written...obviously by one who carries heavy relationship baggage.

The sign below reads: "Prohibited: Playing with balls in this place." When I first read this sign, I let out an audible chuckle as my mind instantly jumped to the gutter.

What a clever way to encourage the proper disposal of cigarette butts! I'm tempted to pick up chain-smoking so that I can turn the scales in favor of The Beatles.


I love images of laundry hanging out on lines to dry. I love how the clothes tell a story -- who lives there, how they dress, what kind of "delicates" they wear, how compulsive the laundry-hanger is in arranging the clothes on the lines.

Plus, I love how the laundry adds color to an otherwise colorless home.

For this house, it's the day to clean socks and undies...

...and for this house, it's shirt-cleaning day.


Oh, and how I love the skies! I love how they set the mood for the day. A blue sky shouts "happy" for this sculpture on Avenida Argentina... well as for this church a few blocks away.

And an ominous sky makes this hilltop mansion seem haunted.

The sky complements the chaotic web of lines that connect the electric poles throughout the town.

An opening in this sky offers a sliver of hope to a statue who stands forever still with his arms open and his palms upturned.

The silhouette of this funky-haired palm tree against the whimsical clouds brings a tone of reggae music to my ears.

Thank you for perusing my favorite photos of doors, windows, signs, laundry, and skies!



  1. Wow! Really enjoyed this post - some great images. Gracias! I also had the thought that the "Keith Richards factor" may have played a role in the Stones edging out the Beatles in the butt poll.

    1. Thanks, Ronaldo. Ha--everyone is free to deposit their butt wherever they would like. :)

  2. But remember the Siamese cat is a bad ass and tough as nails! Love this montage, again you find the things that show the real city. I love the fact that politeness reduces the cost, and, if I ever get there I will be careful where I play!

    The first door is kinda like our blogs, we will post when we post! :) Love this one lady

  3. True, true -- the Siamese is kinda a badass. And, yes, we will post when we post. I love that!

    As always, I really appreciate your comments, Tony. Muchas gracias for reading along. :)

  4. Oh Sarah how you bring the city to life. I love all of your images, especially the t-shoe planters. What a great idea. The external smell probably makes the plants grow :-) Thanks so much for keeping us up to date and entertained.Phyllis

    1. Ha! What a great point -- fertilization by osmosis!

  5. I often wish old buildings could tell their story. You photos of Valparaíso makes me wonder what they would say about their original builders and all the people who passed through those colorful doors. Such a fascinating place. Thanks for sharing :) Oh, love the tennis shoe planters!

    1. Wouldn't that be cool if buildings could tell stories. I often want to ask the walls who they've seen and what conversations they've heard. :) Thanks for reading, Delinda. :)


I would love to hear your comments on this post!