Stuff: Tourists, Elevators, Rooftop deck GinTonics, Serving a 13-year-old booze!
Okay, Lisbon is spectacularly beautiful. The architecture, at least in the sort of downtown area is untouched and original. Tiled walls (on the outside!), wrought iron balconies, cobblestone streets, mosaic sidewalks, all glorious. But there’s something different. Lisbon, and all of Portugal in fact, used to be pretty poor. Very poor. And while it’s dramatically better than 30-40 years ago, the infrastructure and growth is still maybe 10-15 years behind where Barcelona is.
Here in Barcelona we have every piece of curb intact and safely melding with the sidewalk. In Lisbon there are gaps and holes.
Barcelona – most electrical has been undergrounded. Lisbon – jumble of wires all over.
Barcelona – tons of graffiti, but it’s good graffiti. Anything subpar gets painted over. They’ve got very good graffiti game here. Lisbon – bad sloppy graffiti, most of it haphazard tagging.
Barcelona – streets perfectly clean, teams out there constantly. Lisbon – garbage frequently seen, and tons of dog shit.
But the most striking thing is that every single building in Barcelona, at least in the core 7 neighborhoods, has been restored or renovated. They may be a little dated in the interior, but they’ve pretty much all been renovated. Lisbon is full of abandoned cinder-blocked up buildings. Even in the hottest core neighborhoods, you’ll see an entire building all shut up. Frequently.
Melinda and I were talking. If you wanted to do a long-game real estate play, it would be worth buying a few buildings in core Lisbon and waiting it out! Who’s in?!