Elegant Quito Home of Maria Augusta Urrutia

August 31, 2012

I tell the taxi driver I’m looking for a splendid residence in downtown Quito, and he drives me into the historical center and to the home of Maria Augusta Urrutia. From outside, the house, though two tall stories, looks rather small and narrow, cramped by contiguous buildings, but upon entering I see a courtyard and…

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The Tourista Strikes in Quito

August 24, 2012

I don’t know which foods polluted, or at least agitated, my digestive tract, but I believe this misfortune began at one of Quito’s most beautiful hotels, a place graced with superb artwork and guarded by suave young men in suits. Downstairs, at a Thursday breakfast buffet before an early-morning conference about internet business opportunities, I…

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Pico y Placa in Quito

August 17, 2012

“I can’t drive tomorrow,” said an independent taxi driver in Quito, Ecuador. “Why not?” I asked. “Pico y placa.” “What’s that?” “Traffic control.” “Traffic’s pretty bad.” “Without pico y placa, it would be much worse.” “What’s the program?” “One day a week most people can’t drive. Public taxi drivers are an exception. It’s based on…

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Winton, Not Winston, in Quito

August 16, 2012

A travel newsletter I subscribed to occasionally offered stories by a guy named Winton Churchill. Oh, a wise guy, I concluded. Despite groaning about his humor, and perhaps his stability, I did conclude Churchill knew plenty about computers. He’d worked for Apple, knew Steve Jobs, toiled for other Silicon Valley concerns, some of which flamed…

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