Getting To Work

by elizabeth | March 9th, 2010

Quito is a city of many moments. We wake up in an apartment that has running water and electricity and internet access, but many are not nearly as lucky. Here’s what our ride to “El Brass” looks like….

We leave the homestead, our modern pantsuited hostess greeting her traditionally-dressed grandmother.


Jesse Gate

We hail a cab, which costs about $2.50, and never has seatbelts, and head out into the smoggy morning, competing with trucks and cars and people and dogs and motorcycles for space on the avenue. Men, women, and children compete to sell the rush hour drivers newspapers, cell phone accessories, and many other trinkets.


Dressed Up

Restaurants are nestled between auto part stores, and women sell fresh juice from carts shielded from the Ecuadorian sun by faded umbrellas.

Inca Jugo

Power lines lean every which way. This morning I saw a utility worker leaning his ladder up against a mesh of wires, apparently planning to use them to steady his climb.


We pass signs we find funny (though I’m sure our “Espanol to the Gringo” sounds pretty funny to them!).

Blah Blah Sign

Pollos Steven

And every day I wonder if the giraffe rug will be out for show:


We twist and climb, driving past buses and up towards satellite-topped mountains.

Diesel Blue

Up Naciones Unidas

And finally we arrive, about 25 minutes later, at “El Brass,” buzzing at the locked door to be let al dentro. Here’s the view from the roof…

View from Roof of El Brass

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elizabeth! is a vocalist, trombonist, and songwriter working in NYC and Los Angeles. Originally from Vermont, she studied neuroscience at Harvard before moving to NYC to play, tour, and record with jazz musicians, indie rockers, pop stars and more. Her new album of original jazzy pop tunes was just released on Canopy Jazz!

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