It was like a hidden treasure hunt looking for unique, street art, and 3D visuals that lined the Downtown core of Curacao. In no other place, did I see sunflowers shoot out from the wall, parrots look so lifelike they could almost sit on my shoulder, or #Pundawings that made me “look” angelic.
The island of Curacao was a colourful feast for the eyes. The city centre of Punda was at the heart of it. With artistic expressions of street graffiti that took on a vibe of Caribbean authenticity, Punda became alive with hidden treasures one searched for without a map. I was getting lost in a maze of turns and narrow streets with wall art as my guide.
The locals would refer to the wallart as a reference point for street directions and shout out, “Did you walk past the parrots?,” “Did you see the boy angel with wings?” “If you walked passed the Dushi Flamingo’s, you’ve gone to far!”
During the day, Punda was an artistic expression of the local culture that met the ocean with an equally tantalizing display: a floating market from Venezuela. The full-sized, fresh and mouth-watering fruit was beyond comparison. The size of the watermelon was beyond measure.
Aside: “Dushi” means sweet; Like Dolce in Italian. Everything in Curacao is ultra dushi – not to be confused with the Canadian or American slang version of the word. It really is used to describe “the good things in life” and locals refer to themselves as being “super dushi!”
The streets of Punda were sweet.
Sweet with a love for life not normally seen elsewhere, and it was in the form of eternal artistic expression on the walls of buildings and walkways that formed a tranquil tapestry of birth marks which uniquely marked the streets of Punda with pride.
The walk through the downtown core was priceless. With a camera in hand, I scooped up a collection of visuals that will never do the actually artistic pieces justice. While meeting local shop owners like #dhanarts, I learnt that the artwork found in the city streets was utilized as a tool to encourage tourists to walk around the entire city centre. Her artwork is displayed outside her shop in the form of a statue of a 3D black cat which showcases the colourful UNESCO houses on his back – a symbol of Curacao.
It was an honour to witness the work of locals such as Nena Sanchez, who, surrounded by the beautiful bright colours of Curacao painted as well as sculpted it’s beauty; and “The Three Little Birds” located in Jojo Correa public square by local Maduro and Curiel Bank (“MCB”). If you listen closely, you can almost hear their Caribbean song.
I highly recommend a walk-through Punda, not solely for the Queen Emma floating bridge, which in itself is a wonder, but to navigate the streets of Punda and find these artistic pieces to experience a purely Punda vibe.