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Visiting history

By: Maria Fernanda Caballero Mejía

January, 2017.

Photo by degusta.com.co

There are public places on El Poblado with more than 50 years, giving happiness and memories to its visitors. Spaces filled with the colony’s stories, its owners keep working for keeping them alive.

Laura Montoya Carvajal and Ricardo Madrid, journalists for a local newspaper, walked El Poblado streets hunting for history, visited legendary streets, spaces converted into new businesses that are still open so they won’t be forgotten once their tradition is recognized. It was a relevant research, thanks to its important value of our area, I’ll try to sum it up as good as I can.

The El Social bar is near the La Presidenta creek on the Provenza neighborhood, first it used to be a milk warehouse, then it was a vegetable store, in 1969, it transformed into a mixed store which is still remembered by being purchased by a group of friends who turned it into a bar; keeping its original design. It’s a nightlife place right now, has the same owner and it’s a meeting place thanks to its recognition.

The next place deserves to be transcribed as the journalists featured it on their research: “It’s 1947 and the construction workers just sat on the table asking for a double aguardiente to finish their work day. Two men scream to Mr. Salinas letting him know Niágara Cinco Puertas is the best place to drink aguardiente and celebrate life. But death arrived and finished Mr. Salinas, Niágara went from refreshment stand to neighborhood store, Julián Estrada and Lucho Mesa became its owners on 1985. Construction workers kept screaming for the double aguardiente”. Although narcs and prostitution killed the construction workers, Niágara Cinco Puertas still open with no drastic changes; hence you´ll feel staring at one of the constructions of back in that time when you visit.

The Ballet Folclórico de Antioquia´s headquarters on the calle 9 is the Teatro Cinemateca El Subterráneo building, this place changed Medellin’s film culture according to several film makers (like Víctor Gaviria), independent films were shown there and a Super 8 local film festival was made there, one of the first ones in the city. Was founded by “Pacholo” (Francisco Espinal) and Jorge Farberoff back in 1975. The theater had several locations before being where is at, was below the Teatro Suraméricana back in 1981, then below Bomboná on the Teatro Porfirio Barba Jacob, its antepenultimate stop was at mid 90´s, near Envigado’s park, finally hitting the 14th colony, El Poblado.

Calle 9 went from being a place for middle class homes to one of the most valuable places of the city, they had marranadas on December, used to play on a big tree on the end of the street and on the 70’s, it was known as “La Calle del Frito” because there were several stores selling fried food. Hardly anyone from back in the day live there anymore, refusing to leave and fighting against the increasing life cost.

Parque de la bailarina Isabel Cristina Restrepo Cárdenas was known as “Parque Astorga” until 2008, in fact some people keep calling it that; but its named was changed hence the ballerina’s murder committed there. The name was changed on July 16th 2009 with the intention of converting it into a place of culture and reconciliation, and so no one forgets the city’s violence back in that day when Isabel Cristina was enjoying herself while dancing with some friends.

El Poblado plays an important place on Medellin’s history. Violent memory traces are still present, other places tell sweet stories, some sad; causing different feelings among inhabitants and tourists. Some of them are:

Space building, Mónaco building, Parque Comercial El Tesoro, Parque Lleras, Cola del Zorro, Río Sur, Montecasino, Calle de 93, and others.

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