A blog with pictures and memories from life in Lisbon. Um blogue de recordações de Milan Perveze...

Friday, October 01, 2004

Av. dos EUA, Lisbon, Sept. 2004. Those ugly buildings were once the pride of 1950's Lisbon, and they are located in of its nicest avenues - the United States of America Av. I suppose 50 years ago living in something like that was quite "chic" and fancy. Some have been restored recently. In a country where most people live in apartments, my parents street (just behind those buildings) has nice houses with gardens and swimming pools, and has become one of the top places to live in the capital.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Here's an example of a beautiful 19th century building in the Alm. Reis, recently restored, just in front of my office. Although it looks imponent, it only has a few offices and, below, an old grocery store.

A Lisbon tram, in the Av. Almirante Reis. That 1970s Volkswagen Golf completely ruined the picture... That tram is probably more than a hundred years old, but is still used in our daily lives (not just a tourist attraction). They are slow, badly parked cars keep stopping them, but they are also quite a unique experience - specially if you've never seen anything like it before.

Av. Almirante Reis, Lisbon, Sept. 2004. The Almirante Reis is one of Lisbon busiest and oldest avenues. It's strange mix of 19th century's grand buildings with some horrid architecture from the 1950s and 70s. It's also the place where I work. Recently, it became very ethnic (which is unusual for Portugal), with a lot of Asian shops and african commerce opening.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

The view from J.'s balcony... A group of old apartment blocks, and then some huge trees. Right behind the trees is the river, and although Lisbon is far, we can see the Monsanto Park, a small forest on a hilly area of Lisbon.

A view to the balcony, in J. house. It's a warm September afternoon, and the apartment, on the 3rd floor of a late 50's building, is in a town in the south bank of the river Tagus. It is strangely quiet outside, as if everybody had left the street and went somewhere else...

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Decaying building, Av. da República. Several late 19th century buildings in Lisbon's main avenues are finally being restored, after decades of decay. Some buildings, like this one, were in such poor state deliberately, as the owners waited for the price of property in the capital to rise even more. The local authorities are now forcing the owners to restore them, helping financially in some cases.

Oporto, Dec. 2003. It seems to be a magnificent building, although I'm sure it's not the townhall. It is definitely related to the local authorities. Lisbon people can be so egocentric and ignorant about the rest of the country sometimes...

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Another picture, from a garden near the docklands in Lisbon, Dec. 2003. Surprisingly, this area of town was abandoned during decades, until the 1990s. We had turned our backs to the river and its gardens, which mainly served as cargo areas. Everything changed when we began preparing for the Expo 98, which made wonders for Lisbon's architecture and quality of life. And we've finally discovered the Tagus river and its shores, which have seen a massive increase in the number of restaurants an cafes.

A garden, near the river Tagus. Dec. 2003 Black and white photography does have a way to capture reality and make it timeless. But I do wonder if I'm being sucessful at all with these little experiments. I look at this picture and although the setting was great, can't really say if I've done my homework well.

One of my first macro pictures. The camera was cheap (an Aiptek 3200, less than 100 dollars), but is so much fun! I have a Sepia mode, B/W mode, Solarize... and it is so small! I just took this picture a few hours ago in my mothers garden. After a rainy August, this end of September has been unusually hot in Lisbon.

This is the Avenida da Igreja, in Alvalade, near my home. I often come here for coffee. We drink coffee a lot in Portugal, a short expresso after each meal. This is a quiet part of Lisbon, with a very distinctive 1940/50s look. We're lucky to live here, as the quality of life is very good and we're still in the centre of the capital This picture was taken in August 2004.

Vigo, Galiza, North of Spain, Dec. 2003. This is the only picture I could take with my digital camera from Vigo, a galician city one hour away from Oporto. The galicians are closer to the Portuguese in language and culture, although they were absorved by Spain centuries ago. 500 kms away from Lisbon, it looked like the north of Europe with its darker colours and colder temperature. We've only stayed there one night. The food is great, people are nice - and more like Spaniards to us, as they couldn't understand us when we spoke in Portuguese. We're planning to go back soon.

The Dona Maria bridge, Oporto, Dec. 2003. One of the great pieces of work by Gustavo Eiffel is the double hinged arch that sustains the single lane railway plate through pillars to reinforce the whole of the bridge. The construction works began on 5 January 1876 and were concluded the following year on 31 November. The solemn inauguration ceremony took place on 4 November 1877 by the king D. Luís and the queen D. Maria Pia, after whom the bridge was named. This bridge was used for 114 years, until 1991, when the Ponte S. João (S. João Bridge) became active. We were standing in a busy leasure area, with nice restaurants and cafes near the bridge.

In December 2003, me and J. went for a short holliday to the northern capital of Portugal, Oporto. I hadn't been there in 15 years (I was 19 then and didn't have a car, so went by train). It doesnt have Lisbon's amazing light, the buildings are all darker, the roads narrower, and the people are different. Maybe not as cosmopolitan, but nicer in their own way. I found it quite a romatic town.

This is a small cafe, entirely made of wood, in the CDS beach, Caparica. You can see my old house just behind it. We sold it in 1988 and it has remained strangely empty since then.

Costa da Caparica, near Lisbon. Nov. 2003

Costa da Caparica again, Nov. 2003. The sea was wild in this day, but this didn't stop two fishermen, which can be barely seen near the horizon.

I often go back to the coast near Lisbon, to a small town called Caparica. I spent there many happy years in my childhood, and although the city has changed, the rocky artificial beaches in front of it haven't. I remember the fog in the winter days and the rain, and wonder if I could ever live away from the sea... This picture was taken in November 2003.


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