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People are finally catching on to the barrio that This Is Cartagena calls home.
Here are 25 reasons why Jet-Set-Mani, Cartagena is too cool for school.
1 – Baseball and salsa by the 17th century walls. The Avenida El Pedregal turns into Shea Stadium every Sunday.
2 – Café Havana. It looks like it’s been there forever but it’s only five years old. This place turned Getsemani from no-go to must-go in a very short time. You would struggle to find anywhere quite like it in Colombia or Cuba for that matter.
3 – Soy Getsemanisense by Lucho Perez. Does any barrio have a cooler anthem? I don’t think so!
4 – Drunks that crash out in front of the church.
5 – Graffiti on walls that have been there for 200 hundred years. Give it up for Pedro Romero Vive Aqui.
6 – The ingenious Christmas decorations of Callejon Angosto. Simple ideas are the best but which genius came up with the idea of using plastic bags to such brilliant effect?
7 – Calle de la Tripita y Media – all streets should be named after intestines or flip-flops – Calle de la Chancletas.
8 – The World Domino Championships in Callejon Ancho. There are guys that have been playing dominos and Ludo for 15 years non-stop. Guinness Book of Records where the hell are you?
9 – Proper street parties with proper noisy sound systems right in front of the police station. Forget about calling the police at four in the morning they won’t hear you, they’ll be at the party.
10 – Drinking cold beer and playing chess on Plaza de la Santisima Trinidad. If only every plaza in Colombia felt like it was an extension of everybody’s front room.
11 – Every food not only has its own flavour it has its own sound and it gets brought to your door fresh every day.
12 – DJ Hotdog on Plaza de la Santisima Trinidad. Where else can you get hotdogs to go with mustard, ketchup and a dose of banging techno?
13 – They cut your hair in the sunshine with salsa at full-tilt in the background.
14 – Guys like Ricardo that live without owning a shirt.
15 – Salvador from the Donde Mañe’s local shop who refuses to sell visiting friends Cerveza Aguila because he knows I only drink Club Colombia.
16 – El Colegio del Cuerpo. Alvaro Restrepo’s amazing dance group is based in Getsemani. Where else would it be?
17 – The New York Times says so…
18 – Don’t mess with someone from Getsemani. You’ll have the whole barrio come after you.
19 – There are days when half the barrio wears the same t-shirt, emblazoned with the words “Orgullosamente Getsemanisense” (Proud to be Getsemanisense).
20 – Dario, the man with the bikes on Callejon Ancho. He’s single-handedly made cycling the most fashionable way to get around town.
21 – Juaco on Calle Lomba. He rents out washing machines by the hour. He delivers them on his bike.
22 – Every other house sells ice so you never have to go far when you run out.
23 – If it’s good enough for Barack Obama and Hugo Chavez then it’s good enough for us.
24 – Every house in the barrio is worth ‘Mil Millones’ (about US$600,000 and probably around 150 million times more than most people originally paid for it) and still nobody wants to sell.
25 – Where else in Colombia do the ‘rich’ live so close to the ‘poor’ or for that matter do the ‘poor’ consider themselves so rich? Nowhere!