Backyards 1

Porto is a city of backyards.  Front gardens are very rare, and the network of streets is organized around large blocks of long and narrow plots completely enclosed by the surrounding streethouses. The only way to access a plot is usually through the house it belongs to. To the visitor the city appears as being made by brick and mortar only, whereas behind all this there is a lot of green. It took me a long time to discover, since this green is not only inaccessible to most, it is also mostly invisible, save for occasional and rare opportunities to peer through a hole.

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What these holes reveal may very greatly. Too often it’s an abandoned piece of land, overgrown with weeds, or one mistreated by human hands, concrete and  junk. But this Sunday afternoon backstreet hole revealed a well-tended vegetable garden. (The roof behind it less so…)

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