Day 2 – Santo Domingo

Today I learned that cock fighting is nationally televised in the DR. The previous night I witnessed the true joys of the bodega.

 

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Just like it’s New York cousin, the bodega sells all the general wares. But at night, people pull lawn chairs into the street and sit around a TV; drinking, and dancing, while the owner blasts merengue. Why go to a bar when you can drink, smoke, laugh, eat, and dance at the store?
Over the course of my day I pretty much saw what I came to see. Oldest fort in the Americas? Check. First Jesuit church in the Americas? Yup. First Dominican Convent in the…. well, you get it.
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The Dominican convent in Santo Domingo. The friars arrived in 1510 and started it’s construction.

Already my assumptions about architectural history are being challenged by the bludgeoning force of evidence. It’s hard to say before I’m finished, but a number of the details I had assigned as capital “M” Mexican are right here in Santo Domingo. I still feel confident that most buildings in Mexico weren’t built out of coral, but otherwise I’m going to have to wait until I see it for myself. At least I have the consolation that being wrong is still learning.
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Oldest Fortification in the Americas

Unless I get hypnotized by the Cathedral or the convent again tomorrow – which could easily happen – I’m thinking I might go make a sandcastle or two.
Hasta manana!
Tomas
P.S. I saw a very strange image carved into the dome of a side chapel. To me it looks like Euclid dressed up for a role in Wagner’s Die Walkure, but I’m sure that I’m wrong. I’ve attached the image, I’d love to know what I’m looking at.
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