I spent my birthday in Escolta surrounded by worn out spaces from a bygone era that whisper their stories through the chipped walls, fading paint, and the layers of dust that embrace forgotten belongings. The nicks and cracks alone can make even the most prosaic of men to wax nostalgic, but there is no room there for sentimentality. A decrepit shop window surprises you with an intriguing art installation, while the former site of a department store is now the home to a bustling community of artisans and creative entrepreneurs. The elegant architecture remains—albeit weathered and worn—but it is now charged with youthful, colorful, contemporary energy that makes you look forward to the future, that makes you excited to see what’s next for this place.
It was not a bad way to spend my birthday. It gently reminded me that everything old can be made new again, that change is constant but old things need not be discarded. It made me remember my favorite line from Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman: ‘Omnia Mutantur, Nihil Interit. ‘Everything changes, but nothing is truly lost.’ Not a bad day at all.