jueves, 15 de enero de 2015

Cali, "La sucursal de cielo"

Santiago de Cali is also known as heaven's branch (to be more technical it's more or less heaven's main subsidiary office). As I type this, I realize that it makes no sense in English, but in Spanish this beautiful nickname has been part of many artistic manifestations including the lyrics of a very catchy and popular song called "Cali Pachanguero", which has been embedded into the DNA of many generations (including my own) as the insignia song of our lovely city. 

Cali adopted me as a bastard child when I was very young. I was born in Santa Fé de Bogotá (Colombia's capital) and lived there for a few years before my family and I moved to the world's Salsa Capital, city where I spent most of my life before heading to New York City-and Philly-fifteen years ago. Am I a "Caleña"? A New Yorker? A "Rola"? All of the above? I like to define myself as a Bogota born "Caleña" living an on and off very passionate love affair with the Capital of the world. My dad's family was from a small town call Pereira and my mom's family is from Ibagué. My accent when I speak either English or Spanish as you can imagine is quite particular.

I met some of my closest friends in Cali. I can spend countless hours telling you wonderful stories about Claudia, Mónica Perea, Felipe, Angela, Ana, Jose Pablo, Maria Isabel, Paola, Camilo, Andrea, Ricardo, Friend (a.k.a. Jenny), CoCo, and a whole bunch of beautiful people that have made my life a rich experience and whom somehow defined who I am today. Every year I try to come back to Cali even for a couple of days just to spend priceless moments with this very special group of humans. Every time I see them is as if time hasn't passed by. I still get the same happy feeling similar to the first day I tried avocado and key lime ice cream: pure bliss ;)

So Cali, Thank you one more time for the craziness, the madness, the love, the friendship, the scorching hot weather that only makes the experience more intense, the lovely breeze, the delicious aguardiente, Río Pance, the mangoes, the beautiful people, Delirio, the lighting show, the helpful staff at this very cool place, and above all thank you for adopting me as one of your own, to me you will always and forever be my sucursal del cielo. 

All pictures by Guachafita Productions (a.k.a. secret male collaborator #2)
Location: Paseo del Río Light Show.
Beautiful vintage dress coming straight from my aunt's closet.