La Ciudad Abierta
This past January I took a course in glass-working. When I mentioned to one of my professors, Hank Adams, that I was headed to Chile, he instantly recommended an odd book to me. The Road that is Not a Road and the Open City details the process and ideology that went into an enormous project by students at La Pontifica Universidad Católica in Valparaiso. When asked, few people could tell me anything beyond the fact that they had heard that something to this description existed, somewhere. Several weeks ago, while travelling toward Maitencillo, I spotted what I instantly knew had to be "La Ciudad Abierta," sandwiched between the highway and the Pacific.
Finally, last week, I got on the same bus and was greeted with a curious glance when I asked to be dropped off along the highway. The gate to what I thought was an entrance was locked so I trekked across the dunes so as to enter from the beach, hoping to appear more as some lost passerby than a full frontal trespasser. An odd beach, only fishermen and trucks, each person going about their day alone and without interaction.
Along the coast runs a surreal railroad, with all the ties covered by the shifting dunes. The thing still functions though, as I learned when a train carrying copper passed several hours later.
After another short scramble over the following dune, there it was, The Open City. Filled with so many unique projects, it is one of those places that becomes entirely new from every slight change in perspective. Because of this, I'll have to continue the story of this outing in several other posts.

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