M asked me if La Paz is more like Abidjan or Buenos Aires. Having never been to either, here was my response:
I’d guess Abidjan. Though maybe the part I was in today was more like Buenos Aires. I went to a party on the rich suburban side of town where people have houses and yards and it was really really nice to be somewhere that didn't feel entirely urban. Rodolfo says wealth in La Paz is directly the inverse of altitude. The rich people live in the lowest part of the city. The higher you get, the poorer people are. I remember riding back from Valle de la Luna in 2009 and coming back into town through that part. It seemed really nice and warmer and I especially remember seeing a big sign for Universidad Loyola, which obviously reminded me of home. So the taxi took me down down down. First past el Prado, and past the park with the ferris wheel, through Miraflores, around and around and down down down. I realized where we were going and got a little excited. We continued past the Loyola sign and headed back uphill. All the way to calle 29.
When I got out of the taxi, I called Andres and he waved to me from the door. We passed through the big iron gate and there was a beautiful manicured garden. We passed one very nice house and entered a back house I suppose you could call it. It seemed to be a space reserved just for parties and entertaining. There was an indoor porch type area. A large dining room with several tables, a stage and a kitchen. There were also stairs to what appeared to be a small room above the kitchen, but the rest of the building had an atrium type ceiling. This was definitely not even something you’d find in SoHocachi!
But the majority of the city has a lot of informal markets. A lot of street vendors. Lots of noisy busses with people hanging out of them and yelling. Lots of sketchy looking taxis. You occasionally get a good whiff of urine.
The streets are paved with cobblestone. And there are a decent amount of plazas with grass and trees. Its easy enough to find some small green space if you’re craving some.
His response: hm. Sounds like a fusion of the two.