I was last here almost exactly six years ago. It was a month long stay in Chile that included a trip up north to La Serena, Pisco Elqui, and Copiapo, and a couple of weeks staying in a boutique aparthotel in Barrio Lastarria.
This time, we’re here for three months, staying in Providencia and working at a university downtown. Already, I can tell you that it’s great to be back in South America, especially as it’s summer here and the dollar is hitting highs against the Chilean peso. Also, it doesn’t hurt that the city is more vibrant and lively than the last time we were here, with some serious evidence of progress, and a decent economy.
Although, the appearance of a Dunkin Donuts and a Popeye’s Chicken just down the block is depressing, the transformation of Lastarria into the hippest spot in town is cool, especially the conversion of a formerly vacant courtyard into a super-trendy plaza, with good restaurants and affluent-looking people, is gratifying.
Now, if the smog would only dissipate…