Welcome to the Miragaia district of Porto, Portugal!
At this time last year, I was making the walk daily from mid-town Porto down to the Congress Centre in this neighbourhood. I must have snapped 50 photos of these row houses along the way. They intrigued me for the variety of doors, windows, railings, ceramic exteriors… and for the unique signature of each apartment’s owner from laundry, flowers to a gentleman out stretching on his balcony in his underwear. He’s not included in this new 5″ x 7″ ink and watercolour, but I bet you can now picture him out there going through his routine!
This past weekend, I was exhibiting this new painting, and I had a visitor talk to me about this neighbourhood on the Douro River. He was born and raised there. He talked of how the lower level of these buildings used to routinely get flooded out by the river, so people always lived on the upper levels, until a barrier wall/road was built (where the painting’s viewer would be standing). I told him that I had learned this district was one of Porto’s liveliest, and he confirmed that it definitely lives up to its local reputation as being the last district to go to sleep on New Year’s Eve, or on any holiday for that matter.
I love how much humanity is evident in this scene of Porto’s most vibrant neighbourhood!
(Original available at local art shows or contact me directly for purchasing information.)