Walking in the Cuenca Historical District wears your standards down. This is an old part of Cuenca and you gradually become accustomed to deteriorated appearances. After a few weeks you don’t notice worn doorknobs, peeling paint, plaster coming off walls, windows with no curtains, roll down steel security doors with graffiti. You look instead at flower pots on balconies, colorful flags flying from hotel entries, mannikins in doorways wearing hip fashions. You accept old and un-maintained as old and charming. On a turn through town,sidewalk chalk paintings are beautiful in their delicacy, their colors almost camouflaging them against the brick sidewalks. ” Support art and culture, ” the words say. The chalk is going to vanish in a matter of days, walked on, washed down and swept away by women cleaning sidewalks in front of their shops. The drawings are light and little can withstand the sledgehammer of a modern city on the move. I am careful not to walk on the faces. They are cheerful, hopeful, and fresh. Supporting art and culture are  good goals, anywhere in the world, any time.  
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