The View from 30,000 Feet

A couple of quick thoughts from row 11D somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean on a return flight from Puerto Rico. For the past six days I have done very little news consuming; choosing instead to consume a few Pina Coladas pool and ocean-side while taking a much-needed and long overdue vacation.

I must say it was refreshing to open up a newspaper, in this case the San Juan Star, and read nothing whatsoever about our mayor and his latest legal tribulations—until Page 9 and the “National & World News” section. It became less special, however, after seeing, the phrases “trove of raunchy text messages” and “Hip-Hop Mayor” back-to-back in the four paragraph piece.

I was also struck, on taxi rides to and from the airport and Old San Juan, by how Hispanic culture, art and architecture all come together throughout the area to communicate tradition and individualism and, where commerce is concerned, to set products and services apart from competitors.

With regard to the latter, there exists a unique form of “outdoor advertising” albeit without the billboard. Indeed, establishments (both residential and commercial) are hard to ignore when painted in their incredible palettes of color—eye-catching shades of pink, green, orange, yellow and blue.  They are one part art and one part marketing tool.  For me, they were an inspiration and a sight for sore (now refreshed) eyes on an island unencumbered by zoning restrictions and geographic sameness.