Friday, March 7, 2008

Ecuadorian Traces in the Capital

I step down to breakfast at the Tabard Inn, a wonderfully eclectic and insider-feeling stay a few blocks from Dupont Circle in Washington. This is the place people in town hear about but rarely go to, because it’s off the beaten path by D.C. standards.

Chatty patrons, all leaning in to hear each other and articulate their points, fill the crowded tables. Lots of hand gestures. Some laptops flopped open.

I choose a corner table, and my seat faces a beautiful painting on the wall in front of me. It’s a South American village scene beneath a looming and smoking volcano. It’s Ecuadorian; a Tigua painting done by the indigenous artists there.

I bought three small Tiqua paintings at a market across the street from the hotel where we stayed in Quito, and I'm delighted to see something so familiar.

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