Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Museo de Arte Costaricense (or something like that)

It was a beautiful sunny day in San Jose, so we walked to the National Art Museum of Costa Rican Art - about a 3 mile walk, but just down one street (which goes from a driving street to a pedestrian only street then back to a driving street).  Anyway, the Museum is in this lovely old building, and was featuring the work of an artist from Guanacaste, the northwestern province.  Turned out he's actually from Las Cañas, where we stayed - and he designed part of the church we loved that was all mosaic.  How do we know?  We actually met him at the museum, he came over and chatted with us for a while!!!!  Very interesting man, who spent time as a journalist, then decided to study art - so he went to Barcelona for 11 years!  Which, of course, made sense, since Richard and I both thought the mosaic church in Las Cañas showed influences of Antoino Gaudi, and we had talked about that at the time.

Anyway - the artist is named Otto Apuy, and he's of both Chinese and Costa Rican descent - so he's been exploring his heritage in his art, as well as exploring both political and environmental themes.  It was very interesting, and we both enjoyed talking to him.  I have to add, he said he had noticed us in the museum, because the two of us were looking and talking about each painting, and he just noticed that we both seemed intent on each piece.  Which was kind of gratifying.

We found this church along the way back to town, to the Central Mercado (central market) - we browsed around for a while.  Nothing too exciting.  I did, however, end up trying to walk around a woman just as her husband took her photo, so that I ended up in the photo too - I didn't notice the whole camera and posing thing until I was right there in the photo - so of course I apologized, but the man said I would now be famous, he's going to post it on Facebook - so we laughed about that.

Then it was time for some people watching from upstairs in our favorite little cafe - the streets look so different on a nice sunny day, without all the wet pavement and umbrellas.  People were actually sitting around and enjoying the sun!

One of the very strange things that is one of those cultural things - when sitting in a restaurant or cafe or a store, there often is someone who is sweeping the floor.  Even mopping the floor.  Not at the end of the day, or the end of their shift - it just seems as if there are constantly people cleaning the floor.  Now, I can certainly understand wanting to keep the place neat and clean, and that with foot traffic in and out the floor gets dirty.  Okay, fine.  But then the very North American part of me keeps thinking, hey, I'm eating, I really don't need you sweeping and getting dust in the air and then it will settle on my food or in my drink or whatever.  As I said, one of those strange little cultural differences I've noticed.

Even the pigeons and parrots were enjoying the nice weather!

I noticed this man walking around - no idea who he is, or who he thinks he is.  He definitely seems to think of himself as a prophet, though, someone Biblical I'm guessing.  So I took a few photos, and this one just seems to sum up his persona, or at least what we thought of his dress and actions.

We also went to the little artisans market and looked at crafty things - as we entered the area, a young man was printing business cards, and a few papers blew in the breeze.  He tried holding onto what he had, so I walked forward a few steps and picked up what had blown away.  He came over and said, "Oh, you are so kind, I should give you a big kiss!"  I laughed and told him I didn't think my husband would be too happy with that, LOL!  It was just a funny day of people.

As we walked back to our B&B, we noticed this urban art on an electric relay station (or something) - not sure what the cat painting means, but it was kind of cool.

This is for my dad, who likes meal reports - we went to a nice Italian place for dinner (L'Ancora, The Anchor) - I had a wonderful salad of fresh tuna and cannellini beans over green salad and tomatoes, with panna cotta for dessert; Richard had risotto with wild mushrooms, and chocolate gelato.  Plus lovely Italian bread with chive butter.  A wonderful meal! 

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