Art is 1 Reason for San Jose Visits

I decided early in my visiting of Costa Rica to not live in the big capital city of San Jose because I wanted a more tranquil retirement life than most big cities can provide in their, busy, hectic, crowded, expensive and sometimes dangerous ways.

My first choice was always to live in the woods away from everything, but that would require an expensive 4WD car which I early decided I would do without plus in many cases it is actually more expensive, plus generally no where near the needed shopping and medical care a retiree needs.

Thus the “happy medium” or compromise location of the “Central Valley” of Costa Rica within easy bus or other transportation to the best shopping and medical facilities in the country (like most retirees to CR), yet still a somewhat easy trip to escape into the national parks and forests of Costa Rica which has worked well for me. And nature in the far corners of Costa Rica continues to be my focus.   🙂

BUT . . . sometimes there are fun reasons to visit the big city and especially an old, historic and artsy Latin-American city like San Jose (see my Trip Galleries below). Christopher Howard also explains it well in one of his latest blog posts:

Why Expat Retirees Shouldn’t Ignore Costa Rica’s Capital

And in that article you can see why I love the many parks in the city, plus the architecture, a tour I made of just the old colonial churches, the arts, the many museums, art in general and as shown here, as an example, some of the many public art sculptures in San Jose:

 

See my photo gallery San Jose     and/or

My SAN JOSE TRIP GALLERIES: 

San Jose Tented Production of the Cirque du Soleil

¡Pura Vida!

2018 Costa Rica Open Dance Fest

The Atenas Expats Men’s Club had another trip Saturday and I participated, the first time in several months. A bus load of us traveled to San Jose for a lunch stop at El Rodeo and then the afternoon at a portion of the two-day International 2018 Costa Rica Open Dance Fest, an annual event and contest (like “Dancing With the Stars”) that attracts contestants from most of the Latin American countries and the United States. We saw just a small portion or about 3 hours worth.

This time I’m asking you to go to my photo gallery on the event:

2018 Costa Rica Open Dance Fest

It was colorful and high energy with all ages of dancers. Go browse a few photos of children, teens or adults! You’ll be glad you did!   🙂

 

Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.        – Martha Graham

 

2018 Costa Rica Open Dance Fest

Above for more of my photos or

below for Facebook Videos:

https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=2018%20costa%20rica%20open%20dance%20fest

And MORE VIDEOS on the Dance Fest official Facebook Page: 

https://www.facebook.com/cropendancefest/

¡Pura Vida!

 

Surgery Scheduled for Monday Evening

Monday 30 July. Yep! That does seem different, evening instead of morning, but that is the way it is (and maybe when an operating room was available at the small private hospital). And the doctor said the sooner we do it, the less damage will be done to the tendon and the sooner I will be without pain. And instead of using the main Hospital Metropolitano in downtown San Jose we are going to one of their 4 suburban campuses, the only one with an operating room. It is in the Lindora barrio of Santa Ana which is on “my side” (west) of San Jose just off our “freeway,” Ruta 27, and about 30 minutes closer than the downtown hospital campus, especially during rush hour, thus easier and quicker for both me and my driver whom I’ve already scheduled.

I am to be there at 5PM, with the surgery scheduled for 7PM to 8PM with one hour in the Recovery Room and return home soon after 9PM. That should be a good way to get sleepy for bedtime!  Ja, ja, ja, (español for ha, ha, ha)   🙂 though the anesthesia is only local.

He says my activities can be normal in a week to 10 days though I will have 5 weeks of physical therapy (2X a week), the hardest part one U.S. friend said. But I did cancel or postpone my August trip to Sarapiqui, which I now have rescheduled for next May. Before then I will be a new man who will try harder to not fall off the bed or on the rough sidewalks of Alajuela! It’s just that time of life!   🙂   No cane yet and hopefully not soon! But maybe needed someday?

“Getting old is not for sissies.”     ~Bette Davis

¡Pura Vida!

Little Theater in San Jose

Frank Z had better photos than me, so I’m leading with his!
I know! I’m always talking! And usually on the front row!
Frank capture part of the group very well.
There is another smaller wing of seating.
Little Theater, San Jose

For more photos, see my Little Theater photo gallery.
The play this time was actually 4 monologues titled “True Reflections” written by British Playwright Alan Bennett and acted by 4 professional actresses from England living here. They covered 4 serious subjects about aging with both seriousness and that subtle British humor. Very well done as they dealt with alzheimer’s, death of spouse, change in living situation, and a sort of an affair. 
This was my 3rd time to see one of the Little Theater plays and all have been exceptionally well done or very professional. It is one of the regular “trips” for our Atenas expat’s group. 
Retired in Costa Rica
¡Pura Vida!

Back Home Buses

Orosi Scouts in Cartago (through a dirty bus window)
These five teens are Scouts from Orosi who rode the bus with me to Cartago, for an event I imagine.
Girls and boys are all in the same Scout program here, wearing bright blue shirts & navy pants + scout neckerchiefs.
But note the two girls and one of boys have on jackets because it was in the 60’s farenheit this morning.
And yeah, that is very cold here! And they got off the bus earlier than me is why the bus window shot.
Cartago, Costa Rica

“Coca Cola” Bus Station in San Jose
It is on the site of an old Coca Cola bottling plant and thus the name.
I waited only about 10 minutes for this bus to load and no wait in Cartago!
But the bus from Cartago went to the Lumaca Station and I took a taxi to here
which was another 10 minutes!  Note the row of pay phones, a disappearing sight, even here.
San Jose, Costa Rica
Most working people in Costa Rica travel by bus rather than by car (only rich people have cars) and thus it is a good way to get to know people and culture here, not to mention the language! I used my rough Spanish a lot this week since not too many in Orosi cater to English-only North Americans. 
It has been a good week and both bus trips were good and fairly easy. My biggest learning experience on this trip was that I will try to avoid B&B’s in the future. First because I prefer to have a “built-in” restaurant and/or close to good restaurants. Second, she had 3 big dogs and 2 cats and thus almost no birds and the animals hovered a lot when I was out of my cabin, wanting my attention. Plus she did not mop the bathroom the whole 4 nights I was there and provided only one hand towel and the one knife in the kitchen was not sharp enough to cut the peeling on all the fruit she provided for my breakfasts. Not my favorite lodging in Costa Rica, but the birding and local tours were great and I have a lot of photos! The Orosi area is a beautiful and great place to explore AND bird!
¡Pura Vida!

Pattern of the Crowded

Pattern of the Crowded
Flying out of San Jose Airport in December I snapped this shot of a very crowded neighborhood.
Should I have titled it “Pattern of Poverty?” The roofs don’t say except that they are very close together.
San Jose, Costa Rica 
Photos like this remind me that the world is packed with people and not all live beautiful or happy lives, even in Pura Vida Costa Rica. Though I think poor people do better here than in maybe most other places. The First Baptist Nashville group coming here on mission trip to Hogar de Vida will be serving beautiful children who were removed from their parents because of severe abuse or other problems, maybe from a neighborhood like this one. 
See my photo gallery on San Jose  which includes the prettier sites. 

Hotel Don Carlos, San Jose

A boutique hotel in an old house featuring the owner’s grand art collection:

Front Entrance to
 Hotel Don Carlos
 San Jose, Costa Rica 

Tile Paintings of Farm Life on outside walls
 Hotel Don Carlos 
 San Jose, Costa Rica 

A tile painting depicting farm life on outside walls
 Hotel Don Carlos 
 San Jose, Costa Rica 

 Hotel Don Carlos 
 San Jose, Costa Rica 

 Hotel Don Carlos 
 San Jose, Costa Rica 

 Hotel Don Carlos 
 San Jose, Costa Rica 

 Hotel Don Carlos 
 San Jose, Costa Rica 

 Hotel Don Carlos 
 San Jose, Costa Rica 

 Hotel Don Carlos 
 San Jose, Costa Rica 

 Hotel Don Carlos 
 San Jose, Costa Rica 

 Hotel Don Carlos 
 San Jose, Costa Rica 

Don Quixote Tiles Next Door
 Hotel Don Carlos 
 San Jose, Costa Rica 

Private House Next Door to
 Hotel Don Carlos 
 San Jose, Costa Rica 

Trip Gallery:  2017 Nov 14 – San Jose Tour

Or my San Jose Gallery  with photos from several trips to the capital.

And a separate gallery for Costa Rica Churchesmost in San Jose

AND A FUN EXTRA:
10 Great Reasons for Living Abroad an article on internations.org

LO SIENTO
I did not intend to post 3 articles on one day! But here they are and now I’m finished with all my posts on two trips, Villa Blanca and San Jose. Back to the boring daily stuff!  🙂

National Park in San Jose

Yes, it is a city park called “National Park” partly because of the Battle of Rivas statue, I guess.

Statue honoring women who fought in Battle of Rivas, Nicaragua
 which kept American William Walker from making us a slave state.
 National Park
Downtown San Jose, Costa Rica

Tour guide Michael Miller explaining the statue.
National Park
Downtown San Jose, Costa Rica

National Park
Downtown San Jose, Costa Rica

National Park
Downtown San Jose, Costa Rica

Great-tailed Grackle male 
 National Park
Downtown San Jose, Costa Rica

Zoom on statue on a cloudy day.
National Park
Downtown San Jose, Costa Rica
Trip Gallery:  2017 Nov 14 – San Jose Tour

Or my San Jose Gallery  with photos from several trips to the capital.

And a separate gallery for Costa Rica Churchesmost in San Jose

San Jose’s Anne Frank and Historic Buildings

It would take a huge gallery to show all the statues and old historic building – here’s a sample:

Anne Frank
Downtown San Jose, Costa Rica

And if you think it is unusual to find a statue of Anne Frank in Costa Rica next to a Catholic Cathedral, in another park of downtown, maybe 8-10 blocks away, in front of a Catholic Church and near the entrance to Chinatown, is a life-size statue of John Lennon sitting on a park bench beside whom you can sit and have your photo made.  🙂

Historic Building 
Downtown San Jose, Costa Rica

“The Yellow House” 
 A government building where foreign representatives are met.
President Obama met with CR president here.
 Downtown San Jose, Costa Rica

The Mexican Embassy (through a moving bus window)
So much more inviting than the razor-wired concrete bunker for USA.
 Downtown San Jose, Costa Rica

A bunch of old expats listening to a San Jose Guide.
Downtown San Jose, Costa Rica

Our Tour Bus for the Day 
Downtown San Jose, Costa Rica

Graffiti Wall like many
Downtown San Jose, Costa Rica

The old historic building our guide lived in
Downtown San Jose, Costa Rica

Trip Gallery:  2017 Nov 14 – San Jose Tour

Or my San Jose Gallery  with photos from several trips to the capital.

And a separate gallery for Costa Rica Churches, most in San Jose

Metropolitan Cathedral in San Jose

Our first stop on an Atenas Expats tour of San Jose today was
The Metropolitan Cathedral of San Jose
My favorite art work there is this statue of the Pope’s visit
 to San Jose in 1983 by a Costa Rican sculpture. 

We visited two more places which I will share over the next two days along with finishing up my report on Villa Blanca. Though I have done my own tour of San Jose earlier, this was different and led by the author of the book on San Jose for visitors, so always something new. 

Or my San Jose Gallery  with photos from several trips to the capital.

And a separate gallery for Costa Rica Churchesmost in San Jose