Mompox

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When my friend and I traveled to Mompox in 2010, we knew it was unlikely that it would be an easy trip. Santa Cruz de Mompox (or Mompós) is a town in the north of Colombia, nestled between the Magdalena river and the Pozelo swamp. It was founded as an important colonial bridge to transport wealth between the port of Cartagena and the South American interior, but since Colombia’s independence Mompox has relaxed into the sleepy and remote town that my friend and I were lucky enough to visit. The Liberator, Simon Bolivar, said of Mompox, “If to Caracas I owe my life, to Mompox I owe my glory” (It was in Mompox that he recruited many of the soldiers who he led to liberate Nueva Granada). Conversely, novelist Gabriel García Márquez said “Mompox doesn’t exist. Sometime we dream about it, but it doesn’t exist.”

So does Mompox exist? Indeed it does. It took us a few bus rides and a ferry to get there. We found beautifully preserved colonial buildings, quiet riverside restaurants and friendly filigree artisans constructing the jewelry the town in now famous for. On our way out of town, my friend and I decided to brave the land route we had heard about. Mompox did not have a bridge until 2015, but they were preparing for construction during our visit with a bridge of dirt. Unfortunately, the frequent flooding of the region made the bridge crumble under trucks and cars, and the day we were leaving a bulldozer tumbled into the water and a transport truck threatened to do the same. Our taxi wouldn’t cross, so we walked across and met a taxi on the other side. Later on, our bus was stopped by the fires of a protest and we had to walk ahead a little farther, but that’s a story for another day.

Photo Challenge: Favorite Place

I love many places. But my favorite place is Martha’s Vineyard. I am rejuvenated there.

I like to be there at any time of year. In the winter there are few people and it is extraordinarily quiet.

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The sunrise at Vineyard Haven

 

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On the way back to the mainland

 

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No dryer– just sun and wind.
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Christmas yard decorations

 

via Photo Challenge: Favorite Place

Photo Challenge: Tour Guide in NYC

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The quintessential NYC water tower, full moon above and the stormy day below.

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Most cities have their cliche’ed images, but the view of the home-towner shows us something intimate that we might miss otherwise.

My hometown of New York is pretty well photographed. Still, I’ve dug a little rut of routine and I love watching the city from here, me and the city changing together. Despite it’s undeniable urban grit, New York City is constantly interacting with the elements. That is when I find the city at its most beautiful.

 

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A sidewalk view of the storm day. I’m always looking up but it’s worth looking down occasionally!

NYC is famous for its theaters, and they are in full swing during these inhospitable winter months. My favorite is the MET opera, but the American Ballet isn’t too shabby.

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The theatre at the American Ballet.
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The winding staircase at the MET

 

It’s a remarkable city, for it’s frantic urban features, but also for the calm spaces that I find at every turn. There are many wonderful parks, but, predictably, my favorite is Central Park. I can’t wait for those magnolias to bloom again!

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via Photo Challenge: Tour Guide