Last Night in Lisbon

Yesterday evening, very likely my last in Lisbon until sometime next year, was spent ingesting pizza, red wine and a spectacular sunset from the balcony of a penthouse apartment overlooking the 25 de Abril Bridge and the Santuário de Cristo Rei monument with some of the splendid souls that I get to work with and one gorgeous Golden Retriever named Mopac who, sadly, I don’t.

I’m ready to head home, of that I’m certain, but lovely Lisbon sure as hell ain’t makin’ my impending departure an easy one.

Porch Coffee

After five draining but delightful days spent in Portugal’s capital city, we head back to the United States tomorrow morning.

Although there are a great many things that I’ve enjoyed about Lisbon, the thing I’ll miss most is what Laura and I have lovingly dubbed “porch coffee”. Both of our hotel rooms, stacked on top of one another a single floor apart, have balconies that open out toward Avenida da Liberdade, a main boulevard in the center of town. Every morning since our arrival we’ve alternated hosting the other for “porch coffee” on one of said balconies, a tradition consisting of tiny cups of Nespresso, whatever miniature pastries we can abduct from the stash in the lobby and sleepy small talk.

A thing I will not miss, however, is my balcony’s other use: dryer

Gone Public

The technology startup that has employed me for the past five years began trading shares on the New York Stock Exchange yesterday and each of our offices worldwide partied about it. Because I’m in Lisbon this week, the shindig I attended included cocktails and seafood served at a swanky beach club in Costa da Caparica, a Portuguese civil parish ten miles outside of the city. We—Laura, my four Lisbon-based colleagues and I—got ourselves loose and stayed that way deep into the night, dragging our drinks to the beach for the sunset and then again after dinner to dip our toes into the Atlantic Ocean beneath the light of a full moon.

The Sidewalk Tiles of Lisbon

All the sidewalks in Lisbon are tiled.

Like, all of them.

Some consist of black tiles, some of white, and some of the sidewalks, spread throughout the city seemingly scattershot, consist of black and white tiles, intricately organized in patterns ranging from somewhat simple to surprisingly sophisticated.

On my walks and runs this week I’ve made it something of a game to, first of all, not fall on my ass because said tiles are slick as the dickens from enduring more than 170 years of foot traffic, and second, to track down as many different designs as I could find.

So far I’ve found 13.

And fallen zero.