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Friday, February 08, 2008

Costa Rica: I Don't Like San Jose

I really don’t like San Jose. The neighborhood we were in was OK, but it’s a grubby little city with lots of concrete buildings and very little character. Except for some of the graffiti, which is always interesting and often good.

There are a few old buildings where the exteriors, at least, have been preserved, but mostly it’s just poorly maintained crumbling concrete squares. Out in the suburbs where the expats and those with money live, I’m sure it is very different. Gated communities, Denny’s, and well cared for buildings may well be the norm. But that isn’t what you see in the center.

One exception is the Teatro Nacional, or National Theater, which has been beautifully restored, and even has an old-fashioned coffee shop.

The city does seem to be in a bit better shape than the last time I was there, with fewer missing manhole covers and what seems like a livelier atmosphere.

I was quite happy to leave.

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