Monday, May 27, 2013

Gawking Anarchy

Like any holiday, Memorial Day highlights remembering the dead, along with the maimed, who served for national and international causes both just and unjust, something that should be done every day and every where. Thank you, servants of war who have paid the ultimate price and those who live on, paying the price in illness, dismemberment, mental anguish and memories of a sort most of us will never imagine.
Feeling much like the country mouse, and glad of it, our trip to San Juan, Santurce and that other place left me slightly footsore, really happy and full of new memories, almost while the events were happening. It was that good.

The March Against Monsanto wasn't starting until 2 and it was only just got off the 6:30 ferry o'clock in the morning, meaning we had hours to go. Hours to find the place where the March would begin (in front of the Department of Agriculture building, where else?) and orient ourselves a bit. The HUGE waiting crowds at the ferry in Fajardo were enough to disorient me; how long had those people been in line? Hordes, glossy with mugginess and waiting, laughing, glaring, bored, drunken, excited eyes watching us emerge from where they dearly wanted to be...good bye!

Getting the rental car went without a hitch; we were first in line, the reservation was where it should be and we were out of there in seven minutes. Incredible start, which was a sign. I just didn't pick up on it right away. World Car, I hardly knew ye. p.s. go for the Yaris! After all the running around like mad women driving we did, gas refill was only 15.00!

After finding the place, we saw no one, vacant sidewalks, plenty of parking, not a good thing pre-hoped for big event. Then a woman came down the sidewalk and we discovered we were all there for the march, the march that wasn't close to being born on that street yet. She and Peri got to talking and discovered they'd been neighbors 20 years ago in Old San Juan. 20 is a random number, let's just say it wasn't a few years ago, it was a LOT of years ago. She eventually went on her way and we decided to go have lunch. In the lovely way of times outside of time, a straight decision almost always follows a crooked path.

On the way to find lunch we came across some stunning street art. Pan told us later that there was an International Graffiti event in Santurce awhile back that was the reason for the creation of all of this mad art. Oh yes, we're in the city now, mami.

Somewhere in here Peri said, Forget this (me hanging out the window taking pictures), let's just stop and park. Go take pictures! Which I happily did.

So much visual assault of the best kind on my reeling eyes and brain, trying to process, wanting to go below the surface, and flailing... There was a lot I never captured at all, on overload, finally content to just look and know I could (whether I would or will, who knows?) come back another day and absorb. Peri was laughing as Mariel and I sort of roamed the streets, in the middle of them, treating this bizarre and wondrous space like a big outdoor museum. There really wasn't much traffic and it was all wonderfully gawkable.

It was still early and stomachs were growling. We headed over to the Plaza del Mercado to find some lunch. A bar had replaced an eatery but outside in the surrounding buildings one was open and serving (as the others were only slowly pulling back their awnings and gratings, tables stacked - which do you choose? the open one of course!).

Just look for the purple building with the giant avocado statuary out front and you're there.

If you are in the area - wonderful food, with gracious old world service. What more is there?

You can feel and see a lot of history in this place

Peri went back to the market to buy an avocado, implying the sacrilege of eating this stew (which has a classic name I, of course, don't remember) without avocado. A spoonful of rice, avocado on the spoon, the fragrant, thin broth of the stew. It's heaven dancing in your mouth.

Why don't I write this stuff down? This is another classic dish of a lightly breaded chicken, insanely seasoned without being overpowering.

Mariel had the bigger (though far from the biggest) version of what I got. I just liked the bowl.
Souls, spirits and bodies full, it was time to get to the march. But that will be for tomorrow.

However. Before my dear friend busts'a gut (please insert southern accent). This day was also Baby Jesus day. Something about patron saints, something old world Spanish, but I just saw a whole lotta Baby Jesus' in a box. Apparently, there are different groups who make a sort of shrine-ish place for this plethora of saint's days time of the year, with perhaps a smidgen of not quite Christ like competition going on between them. At the end, statues of the saints are given away. Pretend you are reading this tomorrow in the more proper order of how the day went. There will be more tomorrow, if I'm not struck dead tonight.

Help me out of the box!
Have a Memorial Day Monday. Do something meaningful.


  1. love me some baby jesus in a box! thanks, mj!

  2. My pleasure, a long lived one.

  3. by the way, i googled monsanto and read the wikipedia on mentioned their presence in puerto rico... well, guess what... they were founded in puerto rico and st thomas and the name monsanto was the last name of the wealthy father in law of the's no wonder they are so controversial....... their history was even tied to the manhatten project, the production of SST,AGENT ORANGE, ROUNDUP and other dangerous chemicals , seed production and genetic manipulation(GMO) in addition to other questionable aspects of corporate empire building, subsequent spinoffs of certain corporate divisions with the goal of avoiding legal responsibility on potential lawsuits and no doubt, tax avoidance...............we should be wary of them.................

    1. correction from my comment above... change SST to DDT.........

    2. According to Wikipedia: "Monsanto was founded in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1901, by John Francis Queeny, a 30‑year veteran of the pharmaceutical industry. He funded the start-up with his own money and capital from a soft drink distributor and gave the company his wife's maiden name. His father-in-law was Emmanuel Mendes de Monsanto, a wealthy financier of a sugar company active in Vieques, Puerto Rico, and based in St. Thomas in the Danish West Indies. The company's first product was the artificial sweetener saccharin, which was sold to the Coca-Cola Company."

      There are a lot of hidden, illegal practices going on in Puerto Rico Monsanto wise. This is from 2011 and getting worse:

      If I put out the list(s) of things contaminated by this company, beyond the list I put out the other day, including milk, it is enough to make a person decide to not eat, or join a self sustaining commune. Very depressing. Very much worth fighting. Very tiring.

  4. i also meant to say, GREAT PICTURES of the URBAN ART..!! and the food....!