Almost everyone recognizes a great city for its iconic constructions. The Eiffel Tower, the Champs Elysees, the Golden Gate, the Holy Family, the Statue of Liberty, the Louvre, the Bastille, the Empire State, the Capitol, the Obelisk … However, there are cities whose emblematic buildings are not always say the best of them, or are more or less generic, such as colonial mansions, Doric presidential palaces, republican government houses, and baroque churches that make up the basic Latin American package. That is why, for those who know how to travel on the cities, large or small, grace is not only to get what is promised. The old flaneur of the Paris of Haussmann was delighted with the detail hidden in the windows of the antiquarians. He loved to lose himself in the deserted streets, to add his solitude to the solitudes of the crowd, indifferent to the grandiose icons. If we brought to Bogota a walker or traveller of such that court, we would have a person astonished with the unpredictable architecture, with the mixture of colors, smells and sounds that involved the city. And I do not refer so much to that chaotic landscape caused by the indolence and the bad administration, but to that discontinuous anatomy, apparently defective, plagued by unexpected syncopations, like a good jazz by Charlie Parker or Dizzy Gillespie, which characterizes certain areas of Bogotá. We could talk about some streets of La Cabrera and the Old Country, Polo Club or Chapinero. However, the sum of different architectural styles that make the old Bogota is a little more towards the center, in the locality of Teusaquillo. There the Victorian and tudor style are combined with modern architecture to create a kind of timeless story. Although many houses have been converted into medical offices, banks or restaurants. It is still possible to perceive the muted echoes, the memory worthily reconstructed or preserved of the old times, when the architects in charge were Karl Brunner and Le Corbusier. The ancient dwellings of wealthy people who descended from the historic center after the failed attempt of the Bogotazo regain another life today. They give a certain play of electric light and tree shade to the new tale of a bohemian who rides a bicycle and drinks tea. The gatherings are no longer of politicians and entrepreneurs but of artists and musicians.
Series 1948 Bed and Breakfast, located between 34th Street and 28th Avenue, is part of this. Among bars, restaurants, bookstores and theaters, stands out as an example of that timeless spirit, that identity that has been woven with threads of memory and present throughout the area. English cream, sandalo wood and palosanto. The living room and the dining room of the house keep intact the parquet floor and the cedar veneer. From the inner courtyard, veneered with red and white cement slabs, the view is an oil painting that puts Mexican sarapes under the tudor arches. Furniture does not stick to historical obsession either. It is a pleasure to read Bukowski on his great-grandfather’s sofa, to review the tour of the Historic Center in the ears of the German nonagenarian, or to listen to Radiohead on the ipad over the chest of the sixties acquired in a auction of vintage furniture. What type of urban walker prefers a place like this? Well, I was already suggesting it. That contemporary flaneur, capable of astonishment by the detail, assiduous hunter of magical moments, inhabitant of the interstices.
Although in the Teusaquillo of the forty Cadillac Fleetwood and Chevrolet belair were obligatory vehicles now are the bicycles. There is nothing better than a bicycle if what we like is the slow, contemplative look. At low speed they perceive the cracks that the landscape opens so that the old airs are filtered. Between the cornices and the sky the infinity is evident, and the gaze is allowed as an intuition, an imprecise reverie. From a bicycle activates memory and its traps, the adventure of getting lost in the labyrinth of houses and gardens. The houses that surround the Parque Brasil, shaded with greenish fronds, lend themselves to the imagination: after the reflection of the sky in the windows, a blackness encrusted with ghosts abysts … Nothing like getting lost in the memory, in those images with no time running in The honduras of the neighborhood.
For this type of guests, adventurers of the eye and contemplation, ” Serie 1948 is also Rueda Bogota: Active, cultural and ecological tourism by bicycle”.
According to the design consultant Copenhagenize Design Company Bogota is one of the best places to use the bicycle. That is why Rueda Bogota has designed three routes whose main objective is to provide the traveler with an experience that mixes historical data with the living experience of the city. It is not the compulsive photographer who counts the minutes to not miss the next tour, but the adventurer who seeks organic contact with the environment and his daily life. It is the traveler who experiences on his own flesh, who joins the locals to share their essence, their cultural identity.
The three routes are designed to meet the expectations of all travellers, that there are athletes, lovers of the arts, or intellectuals in search of historical data.
By: Enrique Rodríguez Araújo