Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Colors of Granada


Spanish colonialists first settled on the northern shore of Lake Nicaragua in 1524. Over the last 500 years, the town of Granada has changed little, with many of the area's early buildings still defining the skyline. Despite catering to a new economy, Chaco-wearing tourists with zip-off cargo pants and Teva bucket hats, some buildings are still made of adobe, and horse drawn carriages still carry food and produce around the rough streets. A few weeks back, I visited Granada not as an early colonialist or missionary but as a sunburned and gluttonous gringo fresh off a week of surfing.

Windows boarded up during the heat of the day.

Lacking apparent rhyme or reason, each house has its own color combination and the sidewalks change like in the Billie Jean music video. As I walked around the streets of Granada, the juxtaposition between humble materials and construction and cheerful colors caught my eye like drunk hippies at a music festival.

Brick, dirt, adobe, cement, rock, wood, and some turquoise paint.

Sidewalk meeting the wall of a house.

Out of necessity and abiding to no apparent codes, power lines and regulators dotted the walls like a single scar on an old, weathered face, marking each individual homestead.

An old Nicaraguan woman talking with her neighbors.

One eye open.

Hardwood, handmade doors.

Without looking cartoonish or belonging in a soon to be bankrupt suburb of Las Vegas, the vibrant colors made me smile. It looked like a group of mischievous boys had bashed a wall here and there with a sledge hammer and painted a square patch on a white wall just to prove they could. It didn't feel contrived or thought-out because it wasn't, that's why it's beautiful.

Here are some more links,
Granada (Picasa),
Nicaragua (ART),
Doors (ART).

15 comments:

Skip said...

Great post! Good collection of colors.

Foster Huntington said...

thanks for the kind words skip. the colors were amazing. think Miami vice minus the coke and white suits,
foster

brohammas said...

See, the thing about gaudy and missmatched colors as a community theme, is that it only works if everyone is on board. Try the checkerboard sidewalk with a patchwork house next door to someone's stucco and brick with manicured columns and it doesnt have quite the same affect.
Viva la color.
Great pics once again. Even better M. Jackson reff.

Wrecked Stellar said...

Gorgeous photos. The colors really do tell a story.

Foster Huntington said...

Brohammas,
The thing is that there were bright houses next to standard stucco. it all worked well for some reason. it felt authentic. thanks for the kind words,
foster

Foster Huntington said...

Wrecked Stellar,
thanks for the kind words. the place was beautiful,
foster

Patty said...

Beautiful pictures, I would love to go to Granada someday

Foster Huntington said...

patty,
give it a whirl, you wont regret it.
foster

Megan said...

I am crazy about the collection of doors in this post! The range of colors and materials is stunning.

Foster Huntington said...

Megan,
thanks for the kind words. The doors were a
amazing. I always find myself saying that I wish I took more pictures. There were a lot more doors to be had,
foster

Anonymous said...

Great posts on Nicaragua, I was just there and these photos make me want to go back.

Foster Huntington said...

thats all i could ever ask for in a comment, hope you get the chance to head back,
foster

HomeCollection. said...

i love this serie of photographs!

Foster Huntington said...

Homecollection,
thanks for your nice words. your blog isnt to shabby either..
foster

viagra online said...

Great post, I'm a professional photographer, and you know what? I really liked what you did, specially with this shots, I'll have been doing the same work in my own website, by the way, if you prefer it, you can come and leave some comments too. 23jj