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Archive for January, 2010

Heredia, Alajuela

Here are a few blurry snapshots taken with the cheap, obsolete phone:

Alajuela Volcanic Sidewalk

Alajuela Volcanic Sidewalk

Many of the sidewalks in the old parts of the cities here are made with nicely finished slices of lava from the surrounding volcanoes.

Old Jail, downtown Alajuela

Old Jail, downtown Alajuela

At the end of a warm day, the sun was setting at the end of the street, blinding my phone. Same sidewalk as above. The old jail seems to be made of thick iron, with stern cross-shaped gun slits on the corner turrets.

Parking lot of my work in Heredia
Parking lot of my work in Heredia
Blurry shot from the bus?

From the bus

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Pitahaya

I’d seen this odd looking fruit in the grocery store a few times and was intrigued. It looked like a cross between a pineapple and an entire branch of bananas. Ileana said she’d tried it once and it wasn’t good, but eventually, we asked the produce guy and he said it was good. The ones on display that evening looked nice and ripe, and the grocer confirmed it.

Pitahaya fruit

Pitahaya fruit

We took it home and cut it in half. Inside was translucent with a bunch of little seeds, like black sesame seeds but more crunchy and less oily.

Pitahaya inside

Pitahaya inside

We scooped it out with a spoon and ate it. It was really good, sweet like a berry or a kiwi, but with much less acidity.

Then, today, Boing Boing had an article about something really similar:
http://www.boingboing.net/2010/01/29/taste-test-dragon-fr.html

Their review wasn’t so great, said the flavor was bland, but you know how difficult it is to get really good fruit. You have be in the right season at the right time.

We have just arrived in cantaloupe season here now. Finally!

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Yellow sky, pink clouds

Yellow sky, pink clouds - Heredia, Costa Rica

A reader commented that this is an awesome photo, and I guess it is, for a dinky 640×480 phone picture. What was really awesome was being at the hair salon near Palacio de Deportes waiting for Ily’s six hour hair appointment to end, and seeing this amazing light out in the street. I bolted out the door and the whole street was filled with radiant pink-orange luminescence as the sun went down over Alajuela to the west. In the east was this perfect wash of glowing pastel yellow. I’d never seen anything like it in my whole life.

The best place to see the sky is a block from our apartment at Parque Embarazada, Pregnant Park (not its “official” name, just what everyone calls it). Ily says it used to be very romantic, with lots of trees and little private spaces, hence the name. Lots of girls used to get pregnant there, or so goes the story. Then the city cut down the trees and it’s not so romantic anymore. But still, there are kids kissing on the benches. There is a good view to the south and west. We sat and watched lightning flash over the mountains above Escazú for awhile not too long ago.

Parque Embarazada, Heredia, Costa Rica

Parque Embarazada, Heredia, Costa Rica

Parque Embarazada, Heredia, Costa Rica

Parque Embarazada, Heredia, Costa Rica

Parque Embarazada, Heredia, Costa Rica

Parque Embarazada, Heredia, Costa Rica

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