ometepe nicaragua, an island in lake nicaragua, constant eruption

wife 3, christine lugo baca on the main drag of ometepe, no traffic jams here. all the buildings a different color, how wonderful. who has it right? architects think too much?

with all my concerns about the world and personal plight, life is manageable in nicaragua. what ever will be will be. i am not living in a monument, but a culture of fun and color.
we went to a disco to celebrate valentines’ night in a large shed building with speakers the size of mac truck front grills. after leaving, the music persisted to the hotel room. the whole town being blasted. sat back sixty feet to escape the ear drum rupture. had a huge dance floor to ourselves. i hate programed exercise, but dancing is ok to build up a sweat. i being the tallest, oldest, foreign living object around.

you are old, when you glance at the hotel register, realizing you are twice, three, or four times older than everybody that has stayed there for years. my wife 53 being the next oldest. $15 per night includes bathroom , towels, fan, soap , and tile floor. the elderly do not travel like i . they have enough money to have the expensive food and lodgings. sad, because there is so much to experience on the cheap. nicaragua is not the gringo destination point that i knew in 1987, the register dominated by holland, germany, finland, belgium, spain, argentina, venezuela, canada. i was the only gringo . what does that say?

on the ferry i met a beautiful young russian couple, her father claiming to be an engineer from nicaragua that studied in russia. they were like most educated smart kids, full of life and eager to explore nicaragua for the first time in a late model car. they assured me russia was fine, no crime threat, putin ok etc.

we were on the top side of the ferry, with an unobstructed view in every direction. few people wanting fresh air and sun. what i enjoy is not for the masses. they were down below in confined quarters.

there was this handsome young guy with a lot of black hair all over his body. he had a tent and small back pack , that was impressive. he was traveling with a girl with arty tattoos on her back, he being from Venezuela and spoke english. an architect that had worked in new york for a couple of years for a large firm. got tired of serving the corporate client, but claimed to love new york. he does wood working things now , and was on his way to costa rica to do a large wood floor. just hanging out, my guess he came from money. i showed him my nica and oregon built projects. he seemed impressed, but did not go down on his knees like the russians.

although we have a van that is up and running, the cost of gasoline is prohibitive. a deterrent , the van sits at home. travel by moto ( a three wheel scooter taxi that gets us from the house to the main hwy of the region a mile and a half away. then , taxis, vans,, populous busses . after one gets over the shock of being crammed in the mix of all ranges of humans with meger funds, composed of school kids, babies, dirty people, clean people, happy people, sad people, old people, it is an invigorating travel compared to the comfortable cleansed purified means that i am use to in the states. walking, the mode, at destination.

recently we ended up in the car of a rich drunk lady. i saw it coming and warned my wife , but it did not register with her until the car ran off the right edge of the road at least fifteen times. straddling the center line of the right lanes was normal . at one point my wife asking if i wanted to get out and take a bus ? home safe, but it will not happen again on my watch.

notice the roots, how they grip the ground what is fascinating is that the structure sets up a redundant pattern that creates a break down in scale. sheer mass is ignored, the fine lines create interest.
repeating of the same part at different sizes , directions and spacing becomes a total composition.

santa domingo beach with a crane, 200 feet out, still 2 feet deep.

has a bit of a pop at the top , ometepe nicaragua


a natural spring with a few world tourist

wood grain has always been a passion with me. not the perfectly matched bookend type, but the free form grain cut at weird angles. there is this craziness for exact grains that i find restricting and flawed reasoning. these planks 2 feet wide and 4 feet long drying in the sun.
my wife has a passion to paint any wood. i think it relates to being susceptible to stain, and changing colors. whatever the reason, anything i build in wood gets painted or covered with paper mache.
i saw these slabs of wood drying by the side of the road, and asked if they were for sale, but the answer was no, being destined to end up in some small wood object. what i see are site plans for cities in the patterns.

putting emphasis on rarity does not make something go up value in my book. the look is what counts.

granada nicaragua, palaces on the plaza, notice the covered walkways and expansive verandas. somebody knew about sun and breezes. how about the roof terraces.

granada restored on parade, sneakers reveal another culture. a spanish colonial city , a disney land where the world can wear their shorts and sneakers, and nobody tells them they need a jacket or tie to dine. the entertainers savvy that their livelihood depends on doing all this weird costume stuff. where as at one time it had significant cultural meaning, now dollars signs. not oppressive, but lacking in substance.

the devil seduced for the buck, in front of colonial hotel dnrio. a beautiful courtyard space  inside.


dnrio court yard, typical of layouts in granada. the homes shutting the street scene out with central courts creating drafts of cooling air. a controlled view with sky above. there is the intrigue of a glimpse from the large front doors beaconing one in.

the lion and princess making music

when will i ever smile? sitting at o’shea’s irish pub with christian in granada, watching the world go by. patrick, the owner, claiming the irish are taking a breather from killing each other. a mix of cultures escaping the reality of the world.

shake it

met mic jagger’s ex wife bianca jagger, she was eloquent, but distant. must get a lot of unwanted attention, she staying at the dnrio hotel, in background, in granada. from jet setter to world activist. there is a connection.
she had no idea she was in the presence of a world class architectural activist. maybe next time.

toughing it out with glen,


    • wayne,

      thanks for the comment, yes i am on vacation from trying to rattle the cages in the usa to find employment. the slower life style lets the anger defuse. next blog on my mentor at cranbrook “glen paulsen” who passed away recently, that alternative does not appeal to me. taking a breather from the important biomorphic biosphere blogs that will be discovered in the future digs from the rubble.

      went to a lagoon in the crater of a volcano yesterday. no gringos, the fish melting off the bones. tough dancing to impromptu marimba band on dirt floor and repeated dunks into the fresh water lake. the bus ride back had no equal in my life.
      the people kept getting on and jamming together, no relief to biceps hanging on.

      keep close,

      staying young glen

  1. All that ample vision of the world (and not knowing too much of it yet) is what I was missing and that I got somewhat of it now that I have been living int United States for twelve years. I like your comments on every picture dear Glen, you are simple and direct in your descriptions, no need of detailed explanations, no adorns or decorations like you’d like to do on your designs. I like that you like my beloved country, aren’t you thinking of it as a retirement country? I guess you should, everything is cheap over there, except for the gasoline like you certainly state here.
    I have a dream project, THE NATURIST CHILDREN HOSPITAL OF NICARAGUA. I’ve been trying to contact donors for this project including Mr. Bill Gates, no success so far. I’ll keep trying, you never know.

    • armando,

      one of my helpers in 1986 in nicaragua doing the new plaza and extension for the continental hotel. you sound lonely for nicaragua. my advice is to come back with a bit of money and start building here.

      the natural hospital for the children should be pitched from nicaragua, not from the states. how can not one support that?

      the usa is a trap for the goodies.


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