Published on May 14th, 2011 | by Mark Chesnut
La Macarena: Touring Art Galleries and Restaurants in Bogota’s Bohemian Heart
Decades ago, the hilly neighborhood called La Macarena was one of Bogota’s most upscale places to live. It later become less than desirable, but in recent years has been reborn as one of the city’s hottest up-and-coming magnets for lovers of art and cuisine.
I spent a couple enjoyable afternoons in La Macarena during my recent visit to Bogota, wandering the shady, peaceful streets and peeking into the growing number of art galleries. Here are a few top choices for browsing and dining in La Macarena.
|Alonso Garcés is the oldest art gallery in Bogota’s La Macarena district.|
Alonso Garcés Galería, Carrera 5 #26-92, La Macarena. Tel. +57-1-337-5827. The largest and oldest of the galleries in La Macarena, Alonso Garcés opened in 1977 in an abandoned church. The current exhibit features the a video work by Colombian artist Clemencia Echeverri. www.alonsogarcesgaleria.com
|Galería Mü is billed as Bogota’s first gallery dedicated solely to photography.|
Mü, Carrera 4A #26-29, L. 202, Casona de San Miguel, Tel. +57-1-282-0496. Opened in February 2011 and billed as the city’s first gallery to focus solely on photography, Mü is owned by a U.S. expat and his Colombian wife. An interesting variety of work fills the walls here, and through June 11, the gallery is hosting the work of six emerging photographers during FotoFest 300. www.galeriamu.com
Mundo, Carrera 5 #26A-19, Torres del Parque, La Macarena. Tel. +57-1-232-2408. This art gallery, which has its own magazine, is also participating in the FotoFest 300 photography exhibition through June 11. www.galeria-mundo.com
Valenzuela Klenner Galería, Carrera 5 #26-28. Tel. +57-1-243-7752. This multilevel venue has contemporary exhibits that tend toward political and social statements. Recent exhibitions include Unlikely Savages, which features the work of seven artists who “question the continuity of the savage paradigm in relation to Latin America and the ideologies of dominion and violence that support it.” http://vkgaleria.com/
Kolectivo, Carrera 4A #26-30, La Macarena. This small shop mostly stocks women’s clothes, but also has items like messenger bags, wallets and cell phone cases, all made from recycled newpapers and magazines. If you’re looking for a bag whimsically decorated with an image of the award-winning Trans Milenio public bus system, you’ve found the right place.
Soluciones, Carrera 5 #26-31, Torres del Parque, La Macarena. Tel. +57-1-243-7613. It may look like a convenience store from the outside, but don’t be fooled. Inside — in addition to grocery items — you’ll find creative and artsy gift ideas, including art books and Mexican Day of the Dead items, tea bags named after “heroes and villains” from history and hot-pink busts of national historical figures including Santander and Bolivar. http://almacensoluciones.com/
|La Gloria is one of the hard-to-miss restaurants in Bogota’s La Macarena district, thanks to its hot-pink facade.|
La Gloria, Calle 26A #4-38, La Macarena. Tel. +57-1-479-3704. Belgian and French flavors influence the cuisine at this restaurant, which is hard to miss thanks to its bright pink façade.