Wednesday, February 18, 2015

I call it “El Bistro”

After 8 years of apartment living we decided it was time to do something different. What we did was build a second floor condo. Like many buildings in Chiclayo the first floor structure is long and narrow, and it basically dictated the design we built to…also long and narrow. The shape and size is less than we would have liked, but after decorating and furnishing it we’re happy and comfortable with the finished product.

Our only problem was what to do with that little space next to the office area shaped like an isosceles right triangle. It was too small for any practical use. We talked about closing it off for storage use but it’s a bright, cheery corner with a window overlooking an intersection. It seemed a shame not to be able to enjoy that space somehow.

I was looking at that corner for the umpteeneth time one morning when the light bulb went on. Why not turn it into a bistro of sorts? There was enough room for a shelf/bar and three bar stools. Maribel was initially less than enthused about the idea (I seem to remember words like 'crackpot idea' being tossed about) but her son Brian saw the possibilities immediately, saying he knew where we could buy “the perfect bar stools.” I was skeptical, thinking we’d have to go to Lima for what I envisioned but he was right.

El Bistro has become our favorite location in the house. In the early morning it serves as a breakfast nook until the morning sun becomes too bright. In the afternoon we often eat lunch there. There is always something to see…it’s a busy intersection with constant vehicle and people traffic. There are street vendors throughout the day offering their products. A portion of the airport is in view. We can see the planes taxiing on the runways, and watch them take off over the buildings.  The air force has some Russian MiG 29s stationed there and when they take off the sound rattles the windows but we enjoy watching them.

My favorite time in El Bistro is at night. There are candle sconces on each side of the window and when lit they create a pleasing, almost sensual ambiance. Add some soft background music and a piña colada or glass of wine with cheese and crackers and the time passes very pleasantly. Night time in El Bistro is also a good for pondering questions like..."Where would I be tonight and what would I be doing if I hadn't turned left on 3rd street that day 50 years ago?"

We’re not quite done with El Bistro yet. I have this image of beaded curtains hanging from the ceiling as sort of a door that I can’t get out of my mind. Brian says he’s located “the perfect curtains” made by artisans in the town of Catacaos…about 5 hours by bus and combi from Chiclayo. He insists that I should go to look at them. He was right about the bar stools, so maybe he's found the curtains too. 

There’s space for a small wine rack on the wall behind the clock that is definitely on my to-do list. I’m having trouble selling to both Maribel and Brian the idea of “El Bistro” spelled out in big pink neon lights hanging on that wall opposite the window. But perhaps that is a bit much.

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