Learning Uruguay

Every day brings ????

The block

Posted by urufish on June 1, 2007

We made our decision to buy an apartment in Pocitos after a party at one of our Uruguayan friends.  Several Uruguayans had recently come back from an apartment buying trip and convinced us that this was the time. 

We went to the web to see if we could find something that we liked on line.  We found several sites that were pretty good.  Many had pictures of the properties and the address.  From that we knew where they were located, but you could never see what was around you.  For example, was there a garbage dump across the street?  Was your next door neighbour’s house falling apart?  I got interested in producing a ‘block’ gallery.  Photographs of what was next door, across the street, up the street and down the street from you. 

Last week, one of our visitors asked if they could see more of our house and what kind of area we lived in.  This will be my first, feeble attempt at that.  I expect to fail, most miserably, but it will at least be a starting point.  If I can get it right, I’d like to start doing photo galleries of the blocks that surround us, spreading outwards for 4 blocks, to the beach.  I’d also like to list all the shops and attrations in those blocks.   My idea is to create a virtual block.  Someone visiting this site (or perhaps a real site for this purpose) can actually ‘stroll’ down the street and see everything that a person living there sees.  It sounds a little ambitious to me, but I’d like to give it a try.  So here goes the toe in the water, so to speak.


Above..  Our house is on the southwest corner of Scoseria y Tomas Diago.  You can locate it on a map by going to this web address and typing in ‘Dr. Jose Scoseria’ and ‘Tomas Diago’.  Our house sits on the southwest corner of the intersection.  This picture is facing the northwest.  To the right of the house, in the background is an apartment building.  The first floor is dedicated to the Costa Azul restaurant.  We know everyone who works there and they know us.  We can order by yelling from our bedroom window or from the upstairs terrace or we can just walk across.  It’s great for tose times when you dont feel like cooking.  There are apartment buildings on both sides of this one.  There are a lot of apartment buildings in Pocitos. 


 To the west (left) of the building across the street is another building, the ‘Itasol’.  This is a narrow building.  One apartment per floor.  Very nice apartments.  When we started living here, our dog would escape from the garage almost daily.  The portero from that building would always catch him and bring him back for us. 


This is a shot of the northeast corner.  We dont know the people in the green house across the street.  We think they are apartments, one on each floor.   The house was painted green this past summer.  The municipality fined the owner because they didn’t apply for a permit in advance, nor did they file for a BPS (construction taxes) application.  The owner figured it would be so fast, no one would notice.  But a few of the municipal people eat at the restaurant.  That’s how we got caught on the 3rd day of construction.  We applied for a permit and started before it was granted, figuring it would be OK.  It wasn’t.  To the left, up that side of the street are a number of shops that include a school, a hairdresser, a real estate office, a play centre, etc.  To the right up the street are mostly houses.  One block to the right is Blvd Espana.  One of the main streets in Pocitos.  Totally commercial on the first floor.  Our bank is there, 2 blocks from the house.  Very handy.  So is my barber 🙂


This is the southeast corner.  For those of you into home electronics, you know who this is.  B&O is one of the worlds premier stereo component manufacturers.  Very high end, great speakers.  Many of these home entertainment manufacturers have purchased old houses in Pocitos and fixed them up.  Sony is right around the corner.  To the right of B&O is another apartment building. 


To the right of the apartment building is a cute, little pre-school (above) .  The traffic on this little street gets wicked with all the moms coming to pickup/dropoff their children.  The white building to the right of it a home furnishings store.  It’s a small, boutique type store.  Wonderful merchandise. 


This is a shot taken from the top of our house, looking to the southwest.  Notice that my neighbour to the west of me is haning their clothes to dry on their rear terrace.  This is a very common practice here.  We would do it too, it we had easy access to our roof.  Notice that the neighbour to the west of them has a pool in their backyard.  And that’s pretty much all they could fit into that back yard 🙂  This is a very typical view of the back of properties in Pocitos.  Lots of white walls, water tanks, some rust.  Lots and lots of apartment buildings, with usually one or two under construction. 


This is a shot looking due south from just down the street from our house.  Those 2 blocks (we’re 3 blocks from the beach), are solid apartment buildings on both sides.  The green container sitting just past the corner on the right is the garbage repository for the block.  On every corner, there are usually 3 or four of these.  People bring their garbage to these.  The municipality comes by once or twice a day and empties them.  The tree at the very end of the street centre is a palm tree.  It’s on the beach.   You cant see it but that’s the ocean/river blending into the sky.  It’s a stunning site on a sunny day. 


This is a shot of the next corner to the south of us, west side.  It’s an ice crean shop… La Cigale.  It’s considered the best (or at least tied for the best) icecream shops in Pocitos.  In the summer, you cant move late Friday and Saturday nights in front of this place.  Around 17:30, even in late fall, 4 or 5 home delivery motorcycles show up and start a 5-6 hour non-stop delivery service.  Pocitans love to order icecream at all hours of the night, every night.  The window with the phone number in it (left) is a separate shop from the one on the right, dedicated solely to home delivery.  That’s a home delivery moto sitting in front of the store. 


Just to the west of LaCigale is an incredible restaurant/bar, the 23.  We’ve eaten there a few times around 9pm.  We’re the only ones in the place.  It’s got a great parilla.  It’s real busy outside in warmer weather.  Inside, it’s always jumping..  The action starts around 11pm and goes to around 3am.  Next to the 23 is a new, low rise building going up. 


Across from the 23 we have the rest of the block on the south side.  Of course, there’s another building under construction there too.  It’s funny to see the small houses, (commercial properties now) sandwiched between the two apartment buildings.  The apartment we rented (see previous post) is in the building on the left.  That way we can walk back and forth in a couple of minutes.  In Pocitos, you should never be more than 4 blocks from anything. 


8 Responses to “The block”

  1. Enzo said

    I love the idea of the block view, with stores and such. It is a very timely post, Google just announced their “Streets View”. See the demo here:

    MVD needs this “Street View”. The Van/Car used to gather this data is cool as well. http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/office-voyeurism/the-google-maps-street-view-camera-264972.php

    Thanks for the post, it is great to see your neighborhood and all the tree lined streets. I can’t believe how tall the tree is next to that green house/apartment building, wow. Having Bang & Olufsen as neighbors is cool as well.

  2. urufish said

    I’m not doing much this year. Wonder if google would like someone to do Montevideo for them?

  3. Harry said

    “This will be my first, feeble attempt at that.”
    No so feeble. Very nicely done. You should approach Google.
    And congratulations on getting that house. I’ve gone by it for many years and thought it was one of the nicest buildings in Pocitos.

  4. Brazzie said

    Nice work. It would be cool to get involved in the visual mapping of Montevideo.

    By the way, is graffiti a problem there? That virgin pink wall is super tempting.

  5. urufish said

    Well hello (Harry) neighbour..
    When we decided we needed to move from the apto, my wife drove every street between 21 y Espana, from the rambla to Ellauri. She came back and told me this was the one she wanted. Her knockout requirement is that the master bedroom be on the first floor. She hates steps. As you know, this was a restaurant/school for the past few years. She figured we could convert one of the dining rooms into a bedroom. When we saw the original plans, guess what. That’s where the original owner of 1926 had her bedroom. We liked her original plan so much (she was definitely a lady ahead of her time), we changed the house back to the way it was.

  6. urufish said

    That wall has been graffiti’d twice. Both times before we painted the house. Since then, nothing. I reckon it’s just a matter of time before someone does something to it. Precautions: the paint is supposed to be made so you can remove graffiti.. dont know how easy that is but we’ll find out. Also, we keep 2 extra cans in the basement, just in case.
    Most graffiti here seems to show up on homes that aren’t kept up. We intend to paint the wall every year, (budget permitting :). I hope that even the vandals like to have a nice neighbourhood.

  7. Margarita said

    The Bang & Olufsen house used to be my great aunt and uncle’s house. My mother grew up there (her parents lived in a ranch and so she went to the city for schooling), and they sold it when I was about 6 or so…
    Uruguay is so small, that the B&O guys at some point rented a house from my mother, I believe it was their first shop in Punta del Este…

  8. urufish said

    B&O is directly in front of the house. I see it every time I walk out the door, water the lawn, or open the cortinas in the morning. They’ve done a good job with it. The exterior is in very good condition and they keep it very clean.
    My neighbour to the south of me just put in a new sidewalk in front of his house. We now have this little enclave of houses with new facades and sidewalks. Unfortunately, that doesn’t deter the dogs…

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