This week Cartagena, Colombia, is getting the “walk-in-the-shoes-of-”blank” treatment from the NYT, with a look at the city through the eyes (and hands) of Gabriel García Márquez, perhaps Colombia’s most famous artistic export (outside of Shakira). Though they note the author never really lived there for much of his life (his family moved there after his own short stint there), he now winters there and is sometimes seen sipping a cocktail at the nearby Sofitel hotel, or dining at La Vitrola, a cuban-themed restaurant specializing in Batista-era ambiance.
So how much did the man make the city, or was it the other way around? “It is a city so pregnant with the near magical that, when Mr. Márquez took a visiting Spaniard on a tour one day that included a Creole lunch and a stroll through the old city, it lowered his opinion of Mr. Márquez’s talents. The Spaniard told Mr. Márquez, as he would later record in an essay, ‘You’re just a notary without imagination.’”
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