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Lisboa portugal quarantine 2020

Views of Confinement XX

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Little details at the building’s bottom

 

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Lisboa portugal quarantine 2020

Views of Confinement XIX

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Back on the inner patio. Elephant pipes are looking at you. Each neighbor invested in different windows.

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Lisboa lisbon portugal quarantine 2020

Views of Confinement XVIII

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In the backyard jungle, an orange tree defies the avocado tree. Each one claims the title for the densest canopy. The metal stairs could be a scaffold for observing wild life or the structure holding a Saturn V rocket ship. It is a modest presque eiffelean gem that had to be fully painted twice since we live here. Serves the apartments, holding banal up and downs of service, indifferent to its own elegance.

 

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Lisboa portugal quarantine 2020

Confinement XVII

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Looking back again to the jungle. A moping mope meditates while a tentative sprout avocado tree is not making it in a vase. Inside, an amazonian plant observes the scene relying on the relative safety of confinement.

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Lisboa portugal quarantine 2020

Confinement XVI

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A loquat trees forest in the ghost retirement home backyard. Tons will fall on the ground away from these eager palates.

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Lisboa portugal quarantine 2020

Confinement XV

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To the back to see our great friend, the avocado tree. A sea of gradients of green sheltering our living room window and producing avocados twice a year. A nice neighbor self promoted to gardening harvester brings up some now and then. A surge of morning toasts and home made guacamole then occur. Every time I see rain in the back I toast to the health our vegetal friend and to the upcoming green grenades delight.

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Lisboa portugal quarantine 2020

Views of Confinement XIV

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Looking inside again. Looking to the corridor that under that window is almost like a bridge between two areas of the apartment, I’m starting to feel extremely lucky and in love with what I call home. I feel lucky, and, of course, worried about people, like many of my students, much more tightly confined to smaller places. But, no matter the size, safe inside is safer and probably the safest, regardless of size.

I remember, a few years ago, in New York, I was staying in an hotel, and my room had no window… It was placed deep in the guts of a large building near St. Mark’s.  One night I went for supper at a friend’s place in Brooklyn and, in the way back, got lost at 1 AM commuting subway lines. I had to phone home to Susana to help me through Google maps. I walked for a while inside early December frigid lower East Side. When I finally entered my blind room I felt that “home-at-last” feeling. The familiar damp air was a balmy welcome, the four walls looked like my oldest friends. My safe haven is the safest haven.

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lisbon portugal quarantine 2020

Views of Confinement XIII

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The apartment looks at itself… And the upstairs neighbors did the laundry

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Lisboa portugal quarantine 2020

Views of Confinement XII

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The palace South of our building was donated long time a go to a religious order for the purpose of being a nursing home. Since 2002, at least, a great part of the palace was not used. In the other end, in the main front garden, a modern building was built and that is where a women-only nursing home is operating. Recently, the whole building went through a extensive and complete renovation in order to triple the nursing home’s capacity, starting to accommodate men and even couples. And it stayed like that for a year or so, empty, waiting to be equipped and furbished… And now, like the white building in the front, stands as an empty green and crème carcass. A haunted monument to nursing homes and their sad leading role in this crisis.

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Lisboa portugal quarantine 2020

Views of Confinement XI

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Our building was designed to match another similar building to the South. However, it is contiguous to a much older palace with a relatively large backyard. Therefore, sun bathes our South patio and lateral façade blissfully in the winter, quite relentlessly in the summer.  Strangely, here, our modest laundry ropes are seldom used. Downstairs’ neighbors protect themselves from sun and feline intrusions.