For a northerner, December really doesn’t feel like Christmas time in Santiago while wearing sundresses and sandals. I need copious amounts of snow. The way I can tell around here is ferias and festivals showcasing arts, crafts and handmade gifts absolutely everywhere. You’ll just be walking down the street and temporary outdoor shelters pop up right in front of your eyes in every neighborhood. It’s also time for Hecho en Casa, or Homemade when artists create works throughout the city made for the outdoors. They host events that people can participate in, too. We happened upon a painter in a crane cradle painting away the side of a building with quite a crowd watching him work. The two paintings are of Ekekos, which are miniature people saddled with items that represent abundance – car, kids, house, friends, food and fun. It’s an Andean tradition. They make great house-warming gifts. These are outside of the Bellas Artes subway station if you want to see them in person. They are masked, which I presume has a political significance. Voices silenced?
We also stumbled upon a Comic Festival with live music in the central plaza of Barrio Brasil, a plaza where there is always a ton of stuff at the sidewalk sale. I was quite impressed with the dozens of comics publishers there.
There was also the Arte Accesible concert / sale at Bar El Clinic – if you’re a Spanish speaker and familiar with Chilean politics, you have to go there and read the walls. They’re hilarious, especially the Piñericosas. Soon there will be the first Mr. Leather Chile. Ha! I remember one day in Chicago at Roscoe’s trying to get brunch during IML weekend [International Male Leather] in Boystown, and the butch bear of a host at the door with the voice of a diva says, “I’ve just had THOUSANDS of gays descend upon me! It’s going to be quite a wait.” He then let forth a shriek. I shouldn’t laugh at how flustered he was, but it was so dramatic and he took it so personally that I’ll never forget it. He made my day.