A few days ago I would have said there are very few flowers here in Santo Domingo - and a person needs to see green and bursts of color. After two months of looking at pot-holed roads full of beat up taxis and buses from the 1980's, it was an absolute requirement for me to find blossoms.
(This must be a Sunday afternoon - the streets are rarely this empty!)
I'd be exaggerating (only slightly) to say there is no color other than gray where I live. The University (UASD) has a beautifully landscaped lawn in front of one (and only one) building near the entrance. Unfortunately, two campus "parks" have every concrete bench and curb filled with resting bodies, and the 160,000 students who attend classes at this campus have worn down what at one time might have been grass to bare dirt.
South of the campus there is one home behind a gated wall that has an overhang of a tree full of purple flowers. Maybe that’s where all the flowers are - behind bars.
Before arriving in the Dominican Republic I had imagined renting a cute house, planting a nice garden I didn't have to even water because it's an island (humid, rainy season - you know), and trees full of purple blossoms drooping down to shade me as I read a book on my patio. Waving to friendly neighbors, some of whom drop by for a chat, and offer me a freshly squeezed jugo natural of orange juice, or pineapple juice.
All fantasy, my dear readers. I chose Santo Domingo! A city packed with 3 million people who don’t walk anywhere, it seems like there are three million cars as well, and no emissions testing. To expect my dream home here (including an amazingly low rent as a part of that dream) is like expecting my fantasy home to be plopped down on the margins of Arizona State University, and it's not happening.
Add to that severe drought. Huge city parks, not irrigated like those in Scottsdale, because it really is supposed to rain here, are covered in dried long grass-like stuff. And in the desert of Phoenix, it's been raining like crazy for weeks!
Scottsdale Arizona after rain - in landscaped areas and in the "wild" - where you thought only gravel existed! (Thank you Rhona for the Arizona photos!)
So what can a girl do? Ah, this is a metropolitan city after all! So I went to the Jardin Botanico Nacional (National Botanical Garden). Trees and lily pads and orchids - all that a photographer could ask for. And good for the soul!
(I'll have to let you know when I've uploaded some Botanical Garden photos - be patient!)
Heather J. Kirk, Photographer, Author, Graphic Designer
Find her art at: HeatherJKirk.com