Sure enough, they finally uncovered the park sign last night at 7 pm in the rain without me! But I heard the fireworks go off right at 7 and knew that was the reason. They love to celebrate anything with fireworks here! 🙂
This morning on my way to my one breakfast out a week I detoured by the park for these 3 shots on my cellphone. I know the sun lights up at night and suspect the letters might, but won’t know until I go by there at night. I was not expecting the “little murals” on the letters since other parks in Costa Rica with their town name spelled out like this use solid colors like Alajuela’s red and Heredia’s also red. Thus Atenas is definitely unique in this way! 🙂
I may describe the murals in more detail later, but in brief, the A: has our National Boyero Monument (Oxcart statue), T: the main Catholic church on the south side of Central Park, E: with three of several historic buildings, N: what appears to be lifestyle images, A: the historic and famous railroad bridge over Rio Grande and S: is their nod to the farmers with sugarcane, coffee and oxen.
There is a fairly new art shop in town called Tienda Galería Pachacuti Arte across from Central Park next to Banco Nacional that is operated by two artisans, a Tico friend who makes jewelry from local stones and a new artist from Peru who is principally a painter though does other art forms too. He named the shop after Pachacuti, leader of an Inca tribe thought to have built Machu Picchu in his honor in Peru. Their art shop is upstairs in this building and has a lot of beautiful work. Its a shame there are almost no tourists here now because of the pandemic. They asked me to present some of my photography for them to sell, but so far I am resisting any involvement in retail sales. 🙂
The mural of a black panther means that evidently this form of the cougar or puma (just black in color) evidently exists in Peru (not that I know of in Costa Rica, but possible). They are rarely seen in Florida of the U.S.
Another bit of ethnic color in central Atenas, Costa Rica. Pura vida!
Earlier I showed a photo of one side that was being painted as a mural, but had no idea it would become like this and it appears to be nearly finished. Click an image to see it larger and/or start a manual slide show:
Atenas is a small rural town where people expect to park on the street, but as it has grown and gained a lot of rich foreigners with multiple cars, parking lots are becoming necessary, though people everywhere are slow to adapt. This colorful place to park should help those not wanting to change and pay to park. It is colorful like our beautiful little town. See also the “old town” in the video below in the right column, titled “Atenas: Best Weather in the World.” A cool place to live!
This street I cross almost every day in Atenas ended at one street and across the vacant lots you could see it continued on the other side of that block. I wondered why they didn’t just continue the street or connect the two ends. Then one day more than a year ago they started.
First they graded the land on either side of the creek running down the middle of the block. Then they brought in a bunch of huge concrete culverts, placing two rows of them down the stream. Then covered those with gravel and dirt and more on top of everything until they finally black-topped a street where there was none. I figured they were finished.
No, they then added sidewalks on both sides of the street which is unheard of in Atenas. Still not enough! They built these beautiful stone walls above where the culverts were placed to make it look like a bridge. Finally (I think), they added ornaments, a 150th Anniversary Logo and a Municipal Council sign on the stone walls and someone else painted a mural on the wall protecting a house with a little sign saying “The Monkey Space.” I looked it up and found their Facebook Page as a gathering place for young adults wanting to volunteer in the community. Totally cool and another wonderful little spot in Atenas! What a cool town I live in!
Photos of New Street & Bridge
Click images below to enlarge or start a manual slideshow:
This vacant lot looks like it is being made into a parking lot and if so, parkers will have the colorful mural on one side of where they park. We don’t have a lot of parking lots in Atenas with the old-fashion expectation of parking on the street, but as we grow and more people get cars, parking lots are becoming a necessity. I’m repeating the image here since the use in the large header crops too much off the ends of my panorama shot, plus with photos inside the article you can click to see fullscreen:
And the meaning of the mural? I don’t try to interpret art. I just like that it is bright and colorful – representative of the spirit of Atenas! 🙂
They are replacing all the old graffiti murals that were on this sidewalk wall. This is first one completed. The whole wall was painted black first, then tags (below), now this over one of the tags, a turquoise scribble. Atenas, Costa Rica
For a year or more this is what was in the above spot:
Last year in the same location.
Then early in January these “tags” were painted with the bright turquoise at far right being where the current cartoon mice reside. I hope the other tags are overpainted too. I like the mice!
Unfortunately we have Polluted Riversin the “Green” country of Costa Rica too. Click the link for an online English newspaper article prodding the government to do more. Sad for me that this is about the Tarcoles River, the closest birding river for me and of course dangerous for the birds. The Tarcoles has tributaries coming from the big city of San Jose which is one of the problems. Be sure to see the video in the article showing all the plastic bottle caps and other junk found in the stomach of a fish. Shocking!
I watched teenagers painting on it one day and a week later it was done! Parque deportivo (Sports Park) Atenas, Costa Rica
I think it is an amazing work of art! Thanks to the youth of Atenas! And a little closer! Both are cell phone photos, as most of my photos from walks in town. Atenas, Costa Rica
I assume that maybe art classes in one of the two public high schools is doing all of these quality murals around town. This particular park is a hangout for kids of all ages, so very appropriate here!
I am not sure, but maybe the Archangel San Rafael, Patron Saint of Atenas & maybe they added the fish, a pitcher of oil, and the two geese. Need research!
He looks out over the Atenas Central Market Courtyard. An enclosed circle of indoor shops or vendors surrounds the courtyard. Straight ahead behind the big tree and two rows of vendors is the bus station. The last row of vendors are all places to eat on bar stools. Most called sodas where you can eat a meal for $2.
In the alley/back street to the back entrance of the public clinic of Atenas is this graffiti + the next photos
To the right of the above 3-pix panorama is this painting.
And around the corner on the cross alley seen when you walk out the door.
There is a lot of this kind of graffiti or “public art” in Atenas. I don’t know the origin or if someone is helping to keep kids out of trouble, or art class projects, “professional artists,” or what? But it is interesting for a small rural town and does add a lot of color to the community. If you go to the front door of the clinic you might not see these, but this door is more convenient for most of us walkers which is most of the patients!
I personally like “Public Art” for all cities and towns even when the style or images are not appealing to me. It seems prudent to me for a community to have a local committee or Art Commission as my former hometown of Nashville had to manage it, the locations, and even the nature of the art. I do not know if Atenas has such a group.