Three photographs of Santiago de Chile by night from a hotel rooftop.
I’ve seen lots of night-time cities and when I pulled these up on the computer I assumed they’d be throw-aways. But they looked different from any other city lights I’ve shot at and I kept going back to them, finding Santiago oddly graceful for reasons I can’t express well; I may blow a few up on big pieces of paper to post on a wall for a while. They’re not exactly true-to-life, I cranked the color saturation a little and the exposure quite a bit, but I think I was making the city look the way it really does only more so.
I said “Santiago de Chile” because I notice the Chileans do too, quite a bit; for example, the airport code is SCL. I asked why and they said it was to distinguish it from Santiago de Cuba.
Did I say it was from on top of a hotel? Not just any hotel, but the W. My relationship with the W hotels is complex; they are actually pretty comfy, but the self-conscious hipness makes me want to puke. They have magazines in the rooms I stay in exclusively featuring people I’ve never heard of. We ate at the Santiago franchise’s Peruvian/Japanese fusion restaurant and it did well with both ceviche and hamachi nigiri, and that’s a good thing. But the lobby was so extravagantly with-it that I felt inadequate while doing email on their free WiFi.
Anyhow, we came back to the hotel after relaxing and enjoying at Tiramisú and noticed that there was a rooftop bar. So we went up there and resolutely ignored the über-hip crowd as they ignored our Googley T-shirts and backpacks and electronics-laden vests and (in my case) battered fedora.
But I have to say, Santiago looks pretty good at night.