Updated: Oct 23, 2021
A beautiful building lit up at night on the Avenida da Liberdade (Photo by Sona Schmidt-Harris)
It is clear we are in the center of Lisbon. Last weekend was one of the busiest I have seen anywhere including New York City.
I witnessed three demonstrations and the most motorcycles I have seen in one place, all on the Avenida da Liberdade.
One of demonstrations was highly organized with at least 100 people walking single file. It was against human sex trafficking and very humbling.
The other two demonstrations were smaller, but nosier. Each demonstration was led by police and ended with police. I can’t quite imagine that in the United States.
Later, as I was sitting at a pasteleria (coffee shop) on the Avenida da Liberdade, drinking the local “green” wine (it is a bit like champagne), a procession of motorcycles went by—the likes I have never seen before. Even the locals were surprised by it. I didn’t get the feeling that they were protesting anything, but just having a bit of fun.
On the next day, Sunday, there was a race. The runners just kept coming and coming. I think like the rest of the world, Portugal is trying to emerge from the crippling pandemic.
It is alive and wonderful.
I see a sign every day with the Soviet Union insignia on it translated roughly, “The future of the party.” I’m pretty sure that a flag or banner like that in the United States would get you investigated by the FBI so it’s fun to see a high tolerance level here
I have already made a couple of nice acquaintances at a local pasteleria They help me with my Portuguese, and I believe that I entertain them.
I am reminded how hard people have to work, and it is not easy watching those in the pasteleria and restaurants. I know I am fortunate now to not have to work so hard. Having worked some 60-hour weeks in Manhattan, my hat is off to all workers. I think that they feel it and appreciate it.
It's hard to explain or even see in a photograph just beautiful the avenue is. Not only does it have tile sidewalks, the trees form a canopy over the street where the cars are give you the sense of protection and beauty in the busiest part of the city.
There are two or three Banana Cafes on the sidewalk not far from our hotel. Schpilker is allowed there, and Deke enjoys getting out with her.
Deke and Schpilker at the Banana Cafe in Lisbon
Here’s to livelier and better times for all of us. And may we all gain liberdade within our hearts and communities