Comin' to Santiago

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Vicki and Greg Lansen
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Re: Comin' to Santiago

Post by Vicki and Greg Lansen » Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:48 pm

I will probably get beat up for this post, but....

We spent one month in Santiago before heading south. We rented a fully-furnished apartment in the Santa Rosa area (???? not far from Cerro Santa Lucia). It was $700 US, all included. Now, I am not a city gal, but I enjoyed it immensely. Gave us time to get things we needed, get acclimated, wander around and learn about Santiago. I would head out at the crack of dawn, head to the Plaza del Armas and have coffee (real) in an outdoor cafe across from the incredible Correos de Chile building. Watch the characters going by, check out the street artists, each day trying a new Chileno epicurean delight. Learned that an Italiano is not an Italian sub, but a hot dog buried in things the color of the Italian flag. Delighted in churascos, schops, and coca tea. Cerro Santa Lucia is lovely and interesting. Close by the artisan mercados. Went to museums, spent a fortune on postcards which I sent to undeserving, unappreciative people back home. Bought wierd vegetables, fruits and unidentifiable stuff at the mercado which I cooked and served to my long-suffering husband.

In general, Santiago is interesting and I enjoyed my time there. I wouldn't want to live there, but would have missed out on a good time getting my equilibrium before venturing out.

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La_Tini
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Re: Comin' to Santiago

Post by La_Tini » Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:33 pm

In general, Santiago is interesting and I enjoyed my time there. I wouldn't want to live there, but would have missed out on a good time getting my equilibrium before venturing out.
And it´s even pretty great to live here! I feel quite the opposite, I´m not sure how interesting it might be as a tourist destination (although all people which came to visit me absolutely loved it), but it´s a fantastic place to live. Really relaxed for such a big city (especially in February when many Chileans are on holiday), nice green areas as the mentioned Santa Lucía or San Cristóbal (I think it´s pretty amazing to have a hill in the middle of a big metropolis where you can bike or have great outside barbecues for free and if you go there on weekdays, you can be almost alone there and totally forget that you´re in such a big city), great climate (for my standards about half a year of summer), amazing mountains as high as over 5000 meters pretty close to the city. Nearby wineries, good starting point for trips to the beach... I´d say just give it a try!

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nwdiver
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Re: Comin' to Santiago

Post by nwdiver » Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:26 pm

La_Tini wrote:
In general, Santiago is interesting and I enjoyed my time there. I wouldn't want to live there, but would have missed out on a good time getting my equilibrium before venturing out.
And it´s even pretty great to live here! I feel quite the opposite, I´m not sure how interesting it might be as a tourist destination (although all people which came to visit me absolutely loved it), but it´s a fantastic place to live. Really relaxed for such a big city (especially in February when many Chileans are on holiday), nice green areas as the mentioned Santa Lucía or San Cristóbal (I think it´s pretty amazing to have a hill in the middle of a big metropolis where you can bike or have great outside barbecues for free and if you go there on weekdays, you can be almost alone there and totally forget that you´re in such a big city), great climate (for my standards about half a year of summer), amazing mountains as high as over 5000 meters pretty close to the city. Nearby wineries, good starting point for trips to the beach... I´d say just give it a try!

I’m with you I moved from Los Dominicos to an apartment on Parque Forestal because I was tired of maintaining a house and garden, I have always disliked the suburbs all over the world, you are in the city or the country, not your little piece of the country in the city. I love Santiago in the summer (well I’m only ever here in the summer) in January and February when I’m not on the coast or in the south there is constantly something to do, music, plays, concerts and festivals. Yes there are downsides but also more and more good coffee ;)
It's all about the wine.

Donnybrook
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Re: Comin' to Santiago

Post by Donnybrook » Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:42 pm

nwdiver wrote:
La_Tini wrote:
In general, Santiago is interesting and I enjoyed my time there. I wouldn't want to live there, but would have missed out on a good time getting my equilibrium before venturing out.
And it´s even pretty great to live here! I feel quite the opposite, I´m not sure how interesting it might be as a tourist destination (although all people which came to visit me absolutely loved it), but it´s a fantastic place to live. Really relaxed for such a big city (especially in February when many Chileans are on holiday), nice green areas as the mentioned Santa Lucía or San Cristóbal (I think it´s pretty amazing to have a hill in the middle of a big metropolis where you can bike or have great outside barbecues for free and if you go there on weekdays, you can be almost alone there and totally forget that you´re in such a big city), great climate (for my standards about half a year of summer), amazing mountains as high as over 5000 meters pretty close to the city. Nearby wineries, good starting point for trips to the beach... I´d say just give it a try!

I’m with you I moved from Los Dominicos to an apartment on Parque Forestal because I was tired of maintaining a house and garden, I have always disliked the suburbs all over the world, you are in the city or the country, not your little piece of the country in the city. I love Santiago in the summer (well I’m only ever here in the summer) in January and February when I’m not on the coast or in the south there is constantly something to do, music, plays, concerts and festivals. Yes there are downsides but also more and more good coffee ;)
I also live in Santiago and love it. I live in Los Dominicos (where nwdriver left!). I lived for 5 years in Viña del Mar and disliked the small town atmosphere in winter and the tourist chaos in summer. I guess I am a big city girl at heart, but on weekends we can get right out of the city and into the country in 1.5 to 2 hours drive. Or we can go into town for a wander around and to check out museums, have a coffee. At our age, the better health care in Santiago is a big plus. Bad traffic is a downside, but many places much smaller in Chile have worse traffic and, according to a study earlier this year, ten places in Chile have worse air quality.

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greg~judy
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Re: fleeing Santiago...

Post by greg~judy » Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:15 pm

patagoniax wrote: The only human corpse -- parts of a skeleton, actually -- that Px ever found lying alongside the road in Chile was.... just outside Arica. Yes, Px knows Arica well enough. Likewise the usual claims of very little crime from the rose-coloured glasses crowd.

For those who just joined the show, a quick review from the local news, a reminder that the XV region where Arica is located is recognised for high crime rate:
now, now p~x...
some ancient skeletal remains, seen outside the city, how many years ago?
(wasn't that ride you did back in the early 70's)
well, impressionable youth aside - that does not a high crime-rate make?
and cherry-picking a single news item merely to support a confirmation bias...
again that does not a crime-wave make?

as the old saying goes...
"if i agreed with you, we'd both be wrong"

ok, ok, actually there is a seemingly vibrant narco-laundering-tomato-market...
yes, bolivian drug money gets recycled into tasty tomatoes up valle azapa
quite cheap, very fresh, very tasty...!
the only "crime" we witness is when the price at the feria goes over 80 peso/kg.
(btw - what do you pay for tomatoes in p. arenas?)

but really p~x...
we also read the local rag (la estrella)
sure, we see infrequent sensationalistic crime reporting - news is news?
but boots on the ground, in barrios y el centro, daytime and evenings...
you will see friendly faces all around, no thieves~rapists~addicts lurking about...
but mere personal~subjective~anecdotal reports may not convince skeptics?

so, you obviously forgot to search an old post from tombrad...
...the most respected study on crime in Chile is the so called "Encuesta de Victimizacion" made by Adimark and Fundacion Paz Ciudadana, which is based in representative samples all over the country instead of mere dennounces in the police the crime in cities from more to less (July 2009) are:

City % victimizacion
Concepcion 44
Puerto Montt 41.1
Gran Santiago 38.7
Curico 37.9
Valparaiso 37.1
Antofagasta 35.4
Iquique 34.7
Temuco 33.4
Copiapo 33.1
Rancagua 31.8
Valdivia 30.5
Viña del Mar 29.3
Talca 28.8
Arica 28.1
La Serena 27.4
Osorno 25.4
Punta Arenas 14.3

Arica used to be the 2nd safer after Punta Arenas, in this survey (July 2009) falled to 4th, still is one of the safest, les than 30% victimizacion is considered quite safe.
so... to reel this back in - to the current thread ---
both p~x's and g~j's advices for the OP to flee RM remain valid...
and if~when OP does flee...?
punta arenas y arica remain excellent choices to "experience" (safely) other parts of chile
“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.
― Daniel J. Boorstin

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