Well, thinking about it I suppose that's fair enough, because the history of the colonists to North America is largely European. I have friends in Canada, whom, I'm ashamed to say, think that I live in Africa.
This said, for those of you wondering what Ted and I have been on about, here are some more pictures of Quito's historical buildings.
To begin with, the Teatro Sucre and the Teatro Alban - one a very classical building, and the other a lovely Spanish Deco facade. The Sucre still has its original wooden stage magic from the late 1700s when it was built; it is considered the most prestigious theatre in Ecuador (although it's not the oldest - that prize goes to the Sucre in Loja, which dates from the 1600s). The Alban, on the other hand, is the premier venue for experimental theatre.
A few blocks up is the Teatro Bolivar, which is currently under restoration. It dates from the 1920s, and is notable for being the only theatre in the world to have been burned down by a Pizza Hut.
Now, walk on down the street....
Just a couple of blocks away from Plaza Teatro is the Plaza de Armas (or Plaza Central), which contains a monument to the fallen of the Battle of 10th August, which was the deciding moment in Ecuador's independence from Spain. Facing into this plaza are the Presidential Palace (where the president does not live; it has a bad history), the Cathedral, the old Law Courts (now an exclusive hotel with an excellent restaurant called Mea Culpa), and a current municipal building.
And eventually you'll wind up in Plaza San Francisco. The church, from the exterior, is nothing terribly special, however inside it's completely astounding. The Iglesia San Francisco, which dates from the early 1600s, is one of the best examples of Moorish influence on Spanish design. It was under restoration while I was there, so unfortunately I don't have photos of the full altar (which was shrouded for gilt renovation and cleaning) - this is a carved piece with more than 1 ton of gold applied.
The Moorish influence also carries on into some of the buildings in the historic center, with the most interesting and best-preserved examples dating from the 1920s to 1930s, where the architects merged the Moorish style with Art Deco influences.
And Ted, I totally forgot about the traditional Gothic church in Quito, because it's in the heart of the modern business district! The Santa Teresita is hidden among office towers on Vicente Ramon Roca and Amazonas, and it's kind of neat to be walking along thinking "hmm, this is all very Eero Saarinen in this area" and wham! There's this huge stone edifice with traditional grotesques and carving. The Moorish influence is still seen inside, though - the intricacy of the stone carving gets me every single time.