Chile From Within

New York, New York consumes, but reveals. Not a surprise.

Posted in chile by tomasdinges on February 24, 2008

Should I be writing this right now? Probably not. It’s an annoying and irrelevant question regardless.

Last night I hung out with Natalia of meat department and ping-pong paddle and Bolivia fame. Now, on her right elbow, there is a new tattoo. It was black, gray and white, a chamber nautilus, the old invertebrate, extinct. From the center of the spiral came a dried dandelion, the kind that you blow, blow everywhere, the seeds were drawn with black and then white, its kind of magical and it’s a friendship tattoo that her friend Jen was to get on her wedding day but she felt sick, so she hasn’t gotten it yet. It is the only tattoo on all the ones on her body that she drew up.

Jen and Ray are also tattooed, and they are Straight Edge, a group of people and a lifestyle that i had forgotten about, but easily remembered because i stupidly remind others that I went to the same high school (Wilson HS) as Ian Mackaye, of Minor Threat and Fugazi fame. When you are Straight Edge you don’t drink alcohol and do eat vegan, amongst other things. I was struck by the bubbled world I’ve been in at school.

Ledes in this long post include:

King Cog cycles’ in the heart of h’ster Brooklyn is selling the last retail lugged bike manufacturer in Chile, Sparton.

Gringos are leaving Chile! Or at least the one’s who got to the south in riding the wave of land purchases a la Douglas Tompkins.

I can’t tell if what my friend Cristian Donoso is doing with his insane kayak trip sponsored by Rolex Enterprise Awards called Transpatagonia is making the world bigger or smaller.

-Art world in Chile opens up. Cristian Campos the cultural attache and Mariano Rivera, the ambassador of Chile to the US, wants to fund projects for art by Chileans in the US. I suspect that Chile is flush with cash and Bachelet wants to fund culture.

In news, Sparton bicycle frames in NY? What, that’s strange. In track bike crazy New York City, where everything is mined and exploited to economic purity, King Cog cycles’ in the heart of h’ster Brooklyn is selling the last retail lugged bike manufacturer in Chile, Sparton.

From the center of Santiago one rides south on Departamental, or Santa Rosa, through the outer rings of the city, dense urban, less dense residential, población, remnants of rural, or what used to be gigantic fundos, and then to Paradero 17, or whatever it is. They can paint however you want, and come in two different price levels. I know that one is straight-gauge tubing aka not butted, like a steel pipe. Talk to Single Speed Steve in Chile or the folks at Arriba e la Chancha for help.

Well now they are NYC at King Cog. How they got there? Shipped by boat or air. What is the connection to Chile, I don’t know.

How the brand holds up to the US will be interesting to see. But it is quite bizarre that these frames are getting shipped here and sold for $300 per frame. I think shipping costs a lot.

If you got through that part, speaking with gringos who have left the south of Chile…Gringos are leaving Chile! Or at least the one’s who got to the south in riding the wave of land purchases a la Douglas Tompkins. “All of sudden there were all these things I was trying to leave behind in the states,” he said. He had been there for like ten years. “Real estate disputes and prepotencia.” Worst of all, it was fights with other gringos in Chile. Im paraphrasing. He’s gone¡! AND HE LOVED IT THERE! Driven out by drivel with USA DNA!

Also, while I know there is an unofficial biography of Tompkins by Andres Azocar, the official biography is rumored to be in the works. But, keep in mind that rumors and Tompkins go hand in hand, partly because of the disastrous and pig-headed communications strategy that marked his early years buying, developing and then giving away property in Chile. He actualy pulled the, “Would you look a gift horse in the mouth?” line to an important Chilean environmentalist, when his style was questioned.

An Italian factory safety government officer who has made yearly pilgrimages to the mountains of Chile during his vacation told me that he looked into buying his own little bit of paradise in the south, past the Carretera Austral, near Tierra del Fuego, Punta Arenas…and even there…land has been claimed for speculation.

The world shrinks, or at least the world that is seemingly accessible to our Western minds, temperate rainforests, strong running rivers and white people, as we speak. Wait…strong running rivers..(sorry, shhhh…no longer, open vein of latin america (E.Galeano) if Colbun/Endesa get their way) Rio Baker y Pascua are going to be dammed!!!Growth baby, Oh Yeah! 6%, yeah! Thousands of miles of electricity cables, oh yeah! Nuclear power? boo…why not. How is it? no oil, no nuclear..how about hydropower? Julia Roberts who was recently in the south with her husband and new child, i bet you is jumping on this important bandwagon.

I can’t tell if what my friend Cristian Donoso is doing with his insane kayak trip sponsored by Rolex Enterprise Awards called Transpatagonia is making the world bigger or smaller. I do know that his photos are incredible and that ExplorersWeb, the online source and forum for expeditions and exploration? around the world dedicated an article to him.

But the Art world in Chile opens up. Cristian Campos the cultural attache and Mariano Rivera, the ambassador of Chile to the US, wants to fund projects for art by Chileans in the US. I suspect that Chile is flush with cash and Bachelet wants to fund culture. High in a UN building perched over the East River they asked for my RUT and my family names. The Ambassador, navy blue blazer with brass buttons, like an Ambassador should wear I imagine, was friendly, knew some folks, I wondered what his social, political, politics credentials were. I know nothing, but he did know who Marcelo Montecinos was, which meant a lot to me.

The embassy got folks together, the darlings of Chile New York, and most everybody knew each other, it seemed. I was an allegado. Sebastian Errazuriz, surreal design, Amalia Cordova, indigenous art curator for the Smithsonian, Carolina Larrain, film theory, a woman, a cultural curator/organizer whose foto I took while I was obsessed over capturing Nicanor Parra as he left La Moneda art gallery after his BIG exhibition, she organized it and is now in NY with lots of projects, a TV star with a designer t-shirt, a new digital video camera, and first name of Diego, who arrived late with Michael (who bought the website ArtChile.com instead of bringing wine or flowers) and the musician (kindergarten teacher, philosophy student) also known as Nutria.

And lastly, Antonio Skarmeta had a party with important people after speaking at Columbia and probably other places…and Columbia hosted an all day event, which I couldn’t go to called.

“What can the United States Learn from Chile’s Reforms?”

Which reforms I ask?

3 Responses

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  1. Chileno said, on February 26, 2008 at 12:01 am

    Transpatagonia. Hm. Hasn’t the “trans-” prefix become like the “-gate” suffix by now? Well, it should. I would not risk my life on a trans- anything that involved water.

    I would kill for the transcript of Skarmeta’s talk. He’s such a deliciously goddamn hypocrite.

    He must love his country, willing to subject it to national experimentation (pensions, vouchers) and deliver the decapitated mess on a silver platter to his gringo darlings. What a hateful bag of putrefied douche-water.

  2. Jorge Espina said, on September 22, 2008 at 5:01 pm

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    Jorge

  3. Rachel Eiple said, on February 3, 2010 at 4:06 am

    Superb blog. You have got a new devotee. Please keep up the superb writings and I look forward to more of your entertaining posts.


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