The CoatCheck Tales

stories about stuff, but mostly fashion

Of trees and other come-back stories…


It has been five years since I’ve visited Santiago (Chile), the city where I studied and lived for a few years and birth place of my mother’s.

It was more like an acquired taste than love at first sight. I’ve vacationed there since I was a little kid, but living there as an adult was something completely different.

Never mind the adaptation struggle. I made great friends and learned to love the city. The memories I left with when I moved to New York were of a bohemian, artistic, kind of sophisticated environment. I’d think of Bellas Artes area,  around the Bellas Artes Museum where I lived for some time. Electronic-tango tunes, emerging fashion designers boutiques and a cool-go-to-store The Clinic (a satirical news paper) that had many interesting books, stationary and of course the news paper old numbers.

I feel like I remember the winter the most: the short dark days and the freezing cold nights out in adventures, concert and parties with the girls and of course fashion school.

Awe… I loved that period of my life and I was so excited to come back and walk on my precious old steps.

There is a say in Bolivian Andean culture: you go to certain places to recover you Ajayu, you soul, and I was so exited to re live those moments.

So first day out, I have lunch with mom and head over the Bellas Artes area and I start looking for my old spots:

The Clinic store, not there anymore.

The cool coffee shops, not there anymore.

The designer stores, just found one open and a bunch of new vintage stores, crappy ones.

What happened?!

Well, it was a bummer, it turned out that most clothing, object and furniture designer stores had moved to a new area, Barrio Italia, somewhere I’ve never heard of nor been to before. I gave it a try, went around and It was ok but not the same.

Obviously, but unfortunately, every city changes, things change, but good old memories stay and good friendships prevail through time and that’s what matters. I’m happy that I was able to remember old times and have a good laugh with old peeps.

Because sometimes, when you move on and star your life over elsewhere, the memories you have, seem to have become just part of your imagination if you don’t have anyone to witness and attest that such things have indeed happened.

In a similar note.

One of those days, I was walking with my mom around her neighbourhood, very new to me, a little bit scary not to be able to recognise any street or have a reference point to guide myself to and from. She always told me to consider the Cordillera (Andean mountains) and the River (Mapocho River) but I was like:

Great!  I can’t see neither of them because of the buildings! How am I supposed to get to places?

And I used this map, as if there was no google maps, whats my problem?


It was so weird to be in a city that sheltered me for five years and I thought I knew so well, and now I had no clue on how to get to mom’s new apartment! In my defence, It’s a huge city and I wasn’t familiar with suburbs, kind of.

Anyway, I managed to commute around with very few where the fuck am I moments, although, when my friend dropped me off near home the first time, I asked her to please let me know which direction should I continue towards. Aaaargh!

So I’m walking around with my mom and she stops and says:

Look at that tree. 

I immediately ask her: what did you do?

And the story begins…


So I’m walking minding my own business. It’s an area surrounding the new subway line construction, there’s a lot of movement: machinery, dust and littler. And I see this little tree, very young, thin and slanted, kind of falling off. I get desperate and ask the construction guys if they have a stick and a string or something! Nobody seems to have anything nor care about a tree.

I hailed a cab home, spoke to the building’s manager and he gets me a broom stick and rope. I asked him to come with me and off we went back in a cab on our way to the rescue.

He is a strong man and starts hammering the stick into the ground and tie the biggest branch of the tree and helps me secure it well so won’t fall down.

A couple years later voilà. Baby tree is a toddler tree, alive, strong and growing.


Can I be more proud of my mother? She always comes up with amazing stories. She is my inspiration to be a better person.

Thanks for stopping by 🙂






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