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Gates and Doors and Other Beautiful Things That Get in the Way...or Not.

I have always loved taking pictures of gates, doors, walls, fences, archways and entrances. I love to imagine what is on the other side and living here in Barranquilla gives me ample opportunity to wonder.

I think that anyone here who can afford it, has a gate on their front door - and usually around their house. 

Because it is the city and the code may not be "up to code" as far as US standards - many gates and walls are shared between neighbors. 

Our house for instance...

As you can see from the picture (hopefully) the walls of the houses on either side of us are mere inches apart. Our front gate is the only one that belongs to our house...the other two are shared with the neighbors - and belong to them.

The wall at the back of our property - which is behind the pot that Sophia and Grumpy were planting flowers in last week - is about ten feet tall and has glass stuck (with cement) into the top of it. The wall goes around the perimeter of  what I call the lanai and gives us lots of privacy - which I love - and protection. BTW - The only dirt we have in our yard, front or back, is in the planter which goes around part of the wall out back.

Here's a partial view of the wall on the side of the house - which, really, is me showing off my lovey doveys. I know...it looks like Grumpy is the one who's always playing with Sophia - but remember...I'm the picture taker. I did paint the flowers on the wall way back in May/June but have since aborted my attempt to paint all of the walls because as you can see - the mold and mildew grew on them somethin fierce during rainy season. Now that it's stopped raining - which we actually miss - we need to clean and repaint the walls - so it seems that art projects on them may not be the best idea. Anywho...that's why I'm not showing you the whole wall. They're a mess right now. But a beautiful mess. :)

This is the gate on our front door. Jerry thinks it's funny to stand behind the bars and act like he's a prisoner. In some ways...it's too true to be funny. 

Here Elvis sits on the front porch guarding the house for us. He's one of Jerry's creations. Isn't he great!!! Jerry put him on wheels so he can take him for a walk and when he isn't walking...he's chained to the fence for safe-keeping. The camera is pointed downhill - down the street - and you can see the myriad gates from the neighbors houses.

I think you can see our neighbors wall to the right side of the picture above - even if it is a little dark. Sophia was picking flowers.

In the picture above you can see the view across the street looking downhill - in daylight. The fruit vendor is one of our favorites. I've even petted this burro a couple times now. :)

These (below) are the women - mother and daughter - that sell fresh, hot bollo every evening. Bollo is a dough roll made with flour that the Colombian people love to eat for breakfast. You can get it made from a variety of flour, with cheese, or sweet. It's not one of my favorite things, but I'm coming to like it more and more. I know you've seen this wall in another picture, but the ladies are totally worth looking at.

This is a picture of Hillary and Pedro's building with it's accompanying gate. Their porter is sitting outside on the bench - just below their bedroom window on the second floor.

Actually...they have two porters. Both as nice as people can possibly be - and very protective of Sophia as well as all the residents in the building.

Here's a house for sale that we saw around the corner from where we now live...

I took the picture above in hopes that I could see the phone number which is on the for sale sign posted to the wall. We're actually thinking about the possibility of buying a house here. I really like the gate and wall on this one.

The rest of the pictures are those I've taken around and about town, except for the next one...which was taken last Wednesday when we FINALLY got to the beach in Puerto Colombia!!!

My next post will show you a little about the awesome, beautiful Caribbean coastline near where we live.

These are downtown and so indicative of most buildings - which have businesses on the bottom floor and residences above.

Yep...that's barbed wire.

Don't ask me why, but I love seeing laundry hanging across the gates and fences...a usual occurance around here...

The next photos are from mostly residential areas...

So many of the gates and walls are SO beautiful. They always inspire me to get back home so I can make art. One of these days, you'll be seeing these patterns in my work...

Remember now, that most of my pictures are taken in the most affluent parts of Barranquilla. I'm working on my collection of photos from the poorer areas - a couple of which are included in this posting - and will put them online as I can.

I have No idea what these people were waiting for...but we often see ques of folks in line at various and sundry locations. I'm as interested in taking pictures of the people as I am the gates...if not more so.

The walls are works of art themselves. I know that these could be called eyesores...but they fascinate me none-the-less and I think they're beautiful...

I wonder what it would take to begin a campaign in the city to create beautiful art - graffiti - on all of the walls...like they do in Bogota?!?

Jerry and I have been exploring the city - by foot - more and more and it gives me great opportunities to stop and take pictures so I'll leave you with a few more images...but by no means all of them. (I just don't have time to search for and load any more today).

Create Your Life,



  1. I really miss Colombia. I am so happy that you are enjoying it so much. You know bollo is a coastal thing. I have never tried it. Maybe you should find out who you can contact and start the art graffiti program. I have thought about it too. I think you could make the city beautiful :)

  2. Love all these photos!!! Such different architectural details than we have in SW Florida. And YES!!! please take beach/coastline photos!! I can't ever get enough of seeing the ocean no matter where it is.

    Washing on lines or draped over fences, etc., is a favorite of mine too - one place I lived, a family dried all their clothes on the hedges around their house!! Shirts and dishtowels dried with round humps in the middle, while blue-jeans legs dangled down to the sidewalk - there must have been a tall person in that household!!!
    Keep snapping! (Not like 'Elvis' the gator but with your camera ;-D )

  3. Hey Wooni! We are totally loving Colombia! I thought bollo was a South American thing. I ate arrepas yesterday that were indicative of the Wayuu region in the Sierra Nevada. I had no idea that they were made SO differently in different regions. Really delicious!!!

  4. Hi arts4all!
    Thanks for your enthusiastic, encouraging comments!
    We loved the beach so much that we have decided to go every Thursday. I can't WAIT to get back there!
    We've seen clothing hung over bushes and trees too. :) Our neighbors use the walls between the houses for their jeans and heavy things. Anything lighter would get hooked and torn on the glass shards!

  5. You know...at first I thought it was totally crazy that you moved to Columbia. Now I think it's the coolest ever. I'm glad you love it there and the pictures are great. Keep posting :)

  6. Hey Gloria!
    Thanks for writing! This blog really is mostly about letting my family and friends know what we're up to without having to write umpteen emails and it's a great way to share some of my 30,000 pictures.
    We've thought ourselves, at times, that we were crazy for moving here, but the longer we stay the more we feel at home.
    Give my love to Charlie and all...

  7. Why are there bars on every place?

  8. Hi KarenMC!
    Thanks for reading and asking. I meant to address this in the posting and didn't.
    Unfortunately...there are many, many below-the-level of poor people in Colombia...so they steal in order to eat. At least, that's my excuse for them. Nothing like that has happened to me or my family but I hear stories all the time. Just the other day a lady told me someone held a knife to her daughter in Bogota - for her blackberry. Crime isn't as prevalent in Barranquilla as other parts of the country...but we still live behind bars - for protection.
    Sad but true.


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