Monday, October 8, 2012

Four Blocks

Tahoe doesn’t make you wait until you get to a famous landmark. In the morning you look out of the window and get caught by the picture of giant acorns on the ground. The leaves around them alternate between light green and brown. Some trees were already wearing red globes at the end of their branches, showing their punctuality to the autumn.

Then I start to walk down the street.  I like to look back because the hostel is at the foot of a hill with a hairstyle of high pines. The triangular shadows from the other side of the road make the town look like part of the woods.

The narrow roads and the odd distance among houses add to the impression of spontaneity and wilderness. Trees and buildings live together, sharing space and light. Colorful flowers are planted at the front side of the windows, and only bees dare to touch them. I thank any trace of beauty that depends on the cooperation of the neighborhood because that tells me not just “here is a pot of flowers” but “here is a group of people that respect a pot of flowers”.

Even the local tattoo artist decorates its shop with colorful petals. It’s funny to see a corpulent guy with a dragon in his chest standing among sunflowers.

One of these flowered businesses is a mini golf. A proud sign claims it was founded in 1957. The small ticket box was closed with a sign reading: “Thank You. See you next summer”. Sounds like a healthy business model: make money, but not too much. It has a fence at the level of your hip, but nobody jumps in to mess with the toys. The place will be respected as it is for three seasons. 

Next down the block is a Dog Bakery. The concept was new for me. It’s a store that sells things that dogs like to chew. It’s an authentically old wood house, not a new one designed to look rustic. The windows are open and their doors have big pine shape holes. Inside you can treat your pet with bones of diverse materials. Americans have always been criticized for their love to pets, but I have a word in their defense: dogs are more than animals, they are affection conductors. Love comes easily in and out of them, while for people there are a lot of doors to be open and a bunch of protocols to be followed before the first hug. 

The next business I ran into was the Brockway Theater, a wood made cinema. There’s no parking lot or lobby with pinball games, just the screening room and some popcorn for sale up front. I got in to see “Hope Springs”, and the movie was shown just for me since I was the only one in the room. By the way, Tommy Lee Jones makes his better performance ever. Meryl Streep is also excellent, but she can’t surpass herself.

After the movie, you can enjoy one of the most authentic hamburgers you will ever taste. You will see the flames from across the street. These burgers are so good that you will need a written pardon from your coronary system.

All those experiences take nothing more than four blocks.

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