EL CENTRO and the GRINGO LOOK

It has a bite 24 hours per day.  The bite after 7 PM can become the worst day in your life.  The bite during the day is the excitement of the center city.  It's action all the time.  

I found this article about El Centro, Medellin, and of course I asked myself if there are places like this in Paris...YES, New York...YES,  the BAY AREA, absolutely...places that hummmmm and shout but where you feel the edge of poverty, desperation, criminality and at the same time coolness and hope and a willingness to please.

http://colombiareports.co/welcome-to-my-home-downtown-medellin/

Many gringos don't venture into El Centro, but it has easy access by Metro and it has some of the oldest neighborhoods in the city with architecture on a grand old scale to match.  It is the banking center and has most of the traditional International style office buildings.  You also see most police per unit area there.

I'll try to find the reference, but someone offers tours of El Centro with the catch phrase, "Americans - get out of El Poblado."

In El Centro you will find the Museo de Antioquia and the Metropolitan Cathedral at Parque Bolivar.  These are two musts for turistas.  Also at the edge of El Centro is the Alpujarra district including el Parque de Las Luces and the Train Museum. Also musts.

TRYING TO BLEND IN  - Give it a shot....

AS an average and non-Hispanic American it is almost impossible to look like a Colombian.  If I can spot Americans and I'm sure I have a 95% accuracy rate, then the "element" can too and you become, if you are extremely unlucky, a mark.  I HAVE HAD NO INCIDENTS IN EL CENTRO or any other part of  town. Just lucky I guess, or somewhat still NYC street smart.  Of course I have not gone into the barrios way up the hills (Comuna 13) which are notorious for their youth drug gangs (like some neighborhoods in Berkeley f'rinstance).

Gringo check...  The * items are me.

May be... blond and blue, blond and green, fair, suntanned *, sunburned.

May be wearing cargo pants, or shorts, and flip flops or cool sneakers without socks, beachwear, Hawaiian shirts.

May have a beard.

*May have a part in his hair.

*Will be taking a lot of fotos.

*Will be overweight.

Will have a wearable wallet or small bag.

*May have his wallet in his back pocket.

May be loud and obviously having a lot of tourist fun.

Will have a designer bag, fancy sunglasses.

*Will frequent souvenir shops.

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