Collectors Edition

One of New York’s top designers, John McCormick is responsible for the interior design of St. Mazie, and his wife, Vanessa Shanks, is also a culinary entrepreneur. We invited this knowledgeable couple to explore one of the cities with the most personality in Chile, which perfectly combines the avant-garde with a modern sensibility.

Text: Roberto Schiattino y Marcelo Macellari  |  map: Manuel Córdova |  photos: Sebastián Utreras



Pasta & Dancing



Pasta e Vino has a second location – on the colorful Calle Papudo, seen in the photo above – and a well-deserved reputation, thanks to several years of culinary experience and a menu filled with delicious dishes. One of the most popular, the abalone and Parmesan raviolis, offers a taste of the restaurant’s harmonious mix of ingredients from the land and the sea (there are also fabulous vegetarian alternatives). With a terrific panoramic view and a lovely terrace – great for summer – this is the perfect place to start the night before heading out to a fashionable bar. Reservations required. Papudo 427, Cerro Concepción   _MG_6314


One of the true classics in this port city, Cinzano Bar continues to thrive, decade after decade since its founding in 1896. Located in the heart of downtown and at the foot of the party-friendly Subida Cumming, it’s one of those places where something is always happening. The waiters can’t resist a “gringa” like the charming Vanessa, and they invite her to dance. But as custom dictates, they first ask permission from her partner. At this truly authentic bar, locals and visitors come together to the sound of tango and traditional Chilean songs. Cash only. Plaza Aníbal Pinto 1182


Port City Culture


“We were touched that a place with so much history had been turned into a learning center for art and culture. Its walls contain emotionally powerful memories, and a cultural center seems like the perfect way to remind us that we shouldn’t forget the past, while also looking towards the future with a real sense of hope.” In this heartfelt observation, John and Vanessa refer to the park’s former incarnation as a prison. Alongside the contemporary aesthetic of concrete and glass, the center has preserved some of the original structure, with plaques commemorating victims of human rights abuses. Today, the cultural center features one of the largest and best-equipped theaters in Latin America, with areas dedicated to dance, music and circus performances. Calle Cárcel 471, Cerro Cárcel



You won’t find a single reproduction in the collection at the Palacio Baburizza, a fine arts museum and national monument. One of the four most important galleries in Chile, the Palacio Baburizza collection is valued at US$8 million and includes works from major Chilean artists like Juan Francisco González, Pedro Lira and Nemesio Antúnez alongside pieces by noted masters from other countries, such as Rugendas, Mochi, Choutsé and Boudin. In 1925, the Croatian impresario Pascual Baburizza commissioned this building, which fuses Art Deco, Art Nouveau and Modernism in a structure of more than 22,000 square feet, which also houses an auditorium, a gift shop and a café. Paseo Yugoslavo, Cerro Alegre   img_sebastiana


One of the three famous homes left by Chilean Nobel Prize-winner Pablo Neruda as part of his cultural and architectural legacy. An iconoclast and inveterate collector – of everything from silver spurs to maps to figureheads to skylights to shoes – Neruda’s former homes are now museums that offer an experience for all five senses, accented by tiny doors, narrow hallways and twisting stairways. “His collections are so rich you can clearly see that Neruda enjoyed a full and uninhibited life, something expressed in each room. As a designer, you could never put all these things together in such a conscious way; it’s the culmination of his life and travels, and the result is really consistent,” said McCormick at the end of the tour (he needed a gentle push out the door to leave this truly special place). Ferrari 692, Cerro Bellavista


Up, Down & Relax



A visit to Valparaíso isn’t complete without a ride aboard one of the city’s many acensores. Most of these cable-car elevators are made of wood, and they’re big part of the city’s architectural and idiosyncratic charm. Ascensor Concepción – also known as Ascensor Turri – is the oldest in the city, opened in 1883 to connect Calle Prat with Gervasoni, the classic walkway/lookout in the heart of Cerro Concepción. “We loved its rustic look and the simple yet effective engineering. The fact that it’s still in operation is a source of pride for Valparaíso,” remarked Vanessa and John.  


In recent years, Valparaíso’s cultural and culinary boom has spread to the hospitality industry, with several boutiques hotels flourishing and revitalizing entire neighborhoods. On Cerro Concepción you’ll find Casa Higueras. Restoring a fantastic old manor home, the owners gave this place a sense of personality by using quality materials and imbuing the hotel with a sense of elegance without sacrificing a natural feel. Casa Higueras is located “in an unexpected place,” our visitors said. “We loved how it hangs from the hill in many different levels and the exceptional view.” Higueras 133, Valparaíso


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