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"Endless lockdown strolls through my neighbourhood serve as a backdrop for an artificial daily routine in times of confinement. I leave my building, dispose of my garbage bag and climb inviting white church stairs, sparkling in the sun, up to the portal. I turn right and blink back at the black and white cat in her usual window spot behind the gardenia, pass the crazy fluffy beige dog in the corner house who excitedly barks at anyone who dares to pay him attention. A little further, I have a look at the Tagus: sometimes, it’s a dull grey water blanket, surreally wet like pavement in the rain. Today it’s unbelievably bright green, reflecting clouds and the other, now unreachable side of the river. I hear my own footsteps on the wet cobblestones, a slow repetition of the sound of squeaky sneakers. Construction work continues everywhere in the narrow, steep streets where locals and tourists should roam and chatter. Instead, some birds sing in a leafless tree across the street. More and more buildings are for rent or sale. Real estate agency panels are growing like mushrooms on people’s balconies. The friendly old lady leans out of her first floor window and greets me on my way to the bakery. I climb a little more and suddenly have a splendid view over Alfama. Bread in hand, I feel a strange rush of accomplishment and have to slow down, reminding myself to make this walk last as long as possible. Through my face mask, I breathe in the humid afternoon air and stare into the distance as if I could plan a trip to somewhere far away. On my way back, I meet two young bearded men who are drawing on the façade of a somewhat sad grey building - a canvas of palace ceiling-like dimensions. Their art opens a window into a future or past in which this abandoned looking building is actively used with heating, electricity, plants and furniture. Can you spot the solar panel?"

- Sophia


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For more information on the project behind this place, visit: lisboaenova.org/sao-vicente-ca-fora/