Sunday, July 6, 2008

El Subte

I went downtown and took the subway (el subte) for the first time today.  The system is pretty new, the trains come every 5-10 minutes, and it's only 30 cents per ride.  When you ride the subway, oftentimes someone will walk down the aisle dropping whatever they're selling (paper, pens, toys, candy) into everyone's lap and either collect money or the item on the way back.  You'll see it everywhere too - people wander through busy streets trying to sell things to people stuck in traffic, and the other day in a fairly upscale cafe downtown within 15 minutes a blind man came to our table trying to sell candy and a kid who looked to be about 4 was crawling around the restaurant asking patrons for spare change.  

Today we went to Palermo, a neighborhood that people call Hollywood or SoHo.  It's known for its shopping, cafés, and bars.  I love that there aren't many chains restaurants and cafés down here - every place has its own flair and its own sense of style.  The restaurant we went to had a really great atmosphere - it was three stories tall with huge wooden doors that almost reached all the way up to the loft on the third floor and all of the furniture was really modern.  It was raining today for the first time since I've been here, and I'm excited to go back to Palermo on a day with better weather.

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