Valparaíso

I have to confess that I have an odd obsession with Valparaíso. In my humble opinion, it is the most beautiful city in the world. Many people, especially Chileans, would dispute this claim. After all, it is an objectively filthy place, and often very unsafe, especially if you ignorantly wander into the further stretches of town, brandishing an expensive camera as I did. But what it lacks in terms of safety, hygiene, and comfort, it makes up for with the most pungent and unabashed character you can imagine.

 

Valparaíso is built upon a network of steep hills that cascade into the Pacific, and due to a booming economy and population in the early 1900's as Chile's main port city, residents slowly began to build out of the valleys and onto more and more precarious perches on the high-rise hills. The result: a city built on the principle of chaotic improvisation without any comprehension or appreciation of straight lines. Streets curve into mind bending Mobius loops, rickety ascensors croak loudly as they crawl up into the sunlight, and buildings lurch off of streets and into cavernous valleys like a sunken shipwrecks on the edge of a precipice. And every, literally every, possible square foot is covered in graffiti. However, calling it graffiti does not do this art justice.

 

Anyway, I am done ranting, but please do not expect these photos to do Valparaíso any justice. It is a place that deserves attention yet will never demand it, and you'll have to discover it yourself to understand.

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