The stark contrast of these images haunted me during my entire stay at the Sheratan Hotel in Rio de Janeiro. I took these photos from opposite sides of the hotel property, no more than 50 yards apart. If you were in a corner room in the hotel, the view from the window to your left would be the beach; your view from the window on the right would be of the houses.
I thought of several things to say in this post and found it rather difficult to select any particular direction. I could speak about the beauty of the ocean and the wonderful time spent on my balcony listening to the waves. I also had some rather sanctimonious comments about poverty that were very close to spewing from my keyboard. All were true…it was just difficult to decide…
Ultimately, what kept returning to my mind was the pink house in the middle of the top photo. There in the middle of the squalor of urban poverty and hopelessness was a brilliantly pink house! It was totally, obnoxiously PINK! And it was AWESOME!
I can only speculate on the motives of the owner. What I see is a home that refuses to blend into the hillside. While the circumstances this family negotiates each day are doubtlessly no different than that of their neighbors, the obstinate decision to stand out, to bring color to the neighborhood was simply amazing to me. Another distinguishing architectural feature is the back porch and the patio on the second level. Both of these areas opened toward the gorgeous view of the Atlantic ocean and the breaking surf I enjoyed only as a tourist.