Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Bogotá's Little Mysteries

Where is he going? Where did he come from?
The Stairs to Nowhere: Climb these stairs behind an apartment complex near the od Bavaria Brewery and you'll hit a brick wall. It appears to me that once upon a time the apartments had rear entrances here. But out fear of crime or to save money, they bricked up the entrances. 

But the stairs remain.

Is those really the BBVA announcements? 'No More Trash Contracts in the BBVA' 'Imminent Strike in the BBVA'
 Why do Banks Have Signs Denouncing Themselves in Their Own Windows? My best guess is that some judge in a labor dispute ruled that unions deserved equal rights to their bank employers to state their position in the bank's windows.

I wonder whether the unions get to post on the banks' websites, as well.

Is that a Mexican virgin looking down on us?

What's a Virgin Mary who Appeared in Mexico Doing on a Bogotá Hilltop? La Virgin de Guadalupe appeared to a Mexican peasant near Mexico City in 1531. She's often called by some the Patroness of the Americas.

She's in Bogotá because in 1948 a Conference of Guadalupistas was held in Bogotá and the 15-meter statue built in her honor on the Cerro de Guadalupe's peak, at 3,3000 meters above sea level.  

But where do I buy my ticket?
Why does Bogotá, which has no Subway System, have a Subway Entrance? The structures resembling subway entrances on Jimenez between Ave. Septima and Ave. Octava, in La Candelaria are actually entrances to the basement of a building demolished in the early 1900s to widen Jimenez Ave. Colombia  paid for the widening and other public works with the money paid to it by the United States for having chopped off Panama and made it into an independent nation in order to dig the Panama Canal. ?Fair trade?

What are Those Strange Concrete Mounds in Many of La Candelaria's Nooks and Crannies? I'm told they were put there to prevent people from filling those corners with garbage. I guess they've helped, excpect that residents instead put their trash on the streetcorners.

Where Have So Many of Bogotá's Sewer, and Other Kinds of, Lids Disappeared To? They've been stolen by scavengers, who sell the metal to scrap dealers. Why don't the authorities do sting operations on the scrap dealers?

This lid-less cavity makes a handy trash bin. 

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours


rasta said...

Surely the BBVA thing is related to the "imminent" strike of BBVA employees. The contracts are referring to their labor contracts.

Miguel said...

Yes, I'm sure that's it. What gets me is why the angry unions can put their posters in the banks' own windows.


Ann Kroon said...

super observations! I passed the subway entrance-look alike last week and was very intrigued, now I know what it is :) must go and see the stairs that lead to no-where too.

Carlito said...

Yes, those stairs once were an entrance to those buildings but at night is a dangerous zone so they were closed. The stairs are quite expensive to remove so they were left.

Banks have strikes all the time. For some reason their unions don't understand that new technologies have rendered several banking jobs obsolete. As far as I've seen, when unions go on strike they put those kind of announcements (not only in banks, go to Ecopetrol for instance)

Regarding Guadalupe Hill, it had already a hermitage back in 1656 consacrated to Guadalupe Virgin, which have a huge "fan base" in Colombia. The constructions over the hill have been destroyed several times by earthquakes.

And those mounds are designed with one purpose: to avoid that people urinate on the corner (the idea behind is that the liquid will fall on the feet of the perpetrator)

Miguel said...

Hi Carlito,

Really good point about the public urination. Maybe the mounds are for both reasons. I've also seen people toss some chemical into corners. When someone pees there, it produces a caustic gas.
, ,
My point about those signs is how strange it is that the unions have the right to post their signs denouncing the banks in the windows of those very banks. I've never seen that anywhere else.
Best, Mike