Thursday, May 30, 2013

It's a Wrap

Just to remind you (and me): the whole reason for going to San Juan/Santurce was for the March Against Monsanto. We march. We protest, we sign petitions, we write letters, we make calls. But in the last couple of days, a situation has come up that will be incredibly important to the US in a number of aspects, one being its collected small voices against Monsanto, raising the level and the pitch of the conversation; Monsanto is the one who 'engineered' it, ironically enough. A situation that will effect our country economically, the state of Oregon specifically which can be read about here. And now, back to the fun parts!

Marching for anything works up a thirst and while some have to do with water from a canteen in a desert, we were incredibly fortunate to be able to mosey down the blue cobbled streets of Old San Juan and slip into an old bar there, wetting our whistles with beverages of choice.

Such a great bar!
Sitting across the street, at one of a few tables perched above the barrio / neighborhood of La Perla, we could watch the world of Old San Juan go by. Sometimes that world came to us as old friends of Peri's stopped to chat, including Serena; with her, we didn't have to explain what we were doing there.

Hi Serena!
This is a street full of made and broken dreams, a street full of windows that have watched warships and yachts and strollers and fighters. This day, it was a street of peace, great people watching, laughter. It was even the saint day of Baby Jesus. How peaceful can you get? Ok, maybe that's not such a good example.

How it looked when we got there (I was really trying for a photo of the rooster)

  I had it explained to me that each 'shrine' for lack of the proper word, would be adorned with hundreds, nay, thousands of flowers. Whatever saint was having his or her day would be displayed, along with lots and lots of mini statues, which would be given away at the end of the...the end of this. I'd never heard of this and it doesn't happen on Culebra, at least not in this grandiose fashion. This particular work would be in honor of the woman in the photograph, a much beloved member of the neighborhood passed on. I liked her face, strong, wry, strong.

For some reason, many Baby Jesus in a box struck me as...oddly poignant in a semi-hilarious way. 

By the time we were ready to leave a lot of work had been done. You could say we spent about 4 floral displays, 20 or so Baby Jesus' and 30 votives worth of time at the table. I could only imagine how gorgeous it would be when they finished, but we didn't get to see it all done. Maybe next year, now that I know about it. I would love to see the others too.

The building next to this one, no, no, the other side, the one that's torn down, the one that isn't there anymore; the one with the dolls hanging off of it. We the uninitiated, which meant me and Mariel, got to hear the story of Papa Perla, the man who, in his day, was sort of the father of La Perla, the one who fixed and settled and soothed things, the one who started the dolls hanging on the wall, by way of a convoluted exchange that ended up with him being given one doll. Soon, it became a 'thing', a doll for the wall. But times change, the abandoned building and its by then hundreds (yes hundreds) of dolls came down. Then someone started putting up these stickers of toys, representations of a gone by time. I like it, it feels so neighborhoody.

Does anyone ever get tired of these blue cobble stones?

Sunset came and it was time to head down the road for where we'd lay our happy smiling heads
The moon was full, the view was different and beautiful too

A coqui came inside and sang to us - the luck was good

This was one of the most interesting homes I've been in for a long time. Everywhere I looked my eyes were delighted.

There was even a wee fireplace!

Sunrise on the big island

I admit it. I lust after this kitchen. If it wasn't perfect, I'm not the one to ask why.

This is a piece rescued from the street after a well known artist's (Marta Perez) death. Anyone who knows two of my collector passions of sea glass and buttons (there is only one other one, I'm not the crazy hoarder lady, I promise) or just anyone who appreciats the offbeat whimsy of life would have fallen in love with this just as I did!

An outdoor wood oven. I want to bake bread here!
This house was on our way back to the ferry. Thank you, Mariel, for pointing it out. A story I'll most likely never hear, so I can just make up my own. I do. I have. I will.

The lines were long, the crowd was big. Really big. I was glad we already had our tickets and could sit in the local section. It was time to get home.

 Have a tender Thursday. Do something 'to thank'.


  1. great picture taking and topics covered..!! that house was cool, and the fireplace, the kitchen with some greenery to look out at while creating.... also the decorated piece of furniture was truly a work of an artist......and at one time contained his/her favorite clothes..! the shrine stuff is fascinating and i'm glad P.R. is hanging own to its native culture to some degree.......i suppose a baby jesus given to everyone synbolizes that the deceased is with jesus for eternity and each person has within them that spark of christlike divinity........ i don't use the christian model but agree on what i consider to be a universal spiritual law that whatever that higher power may be, everything is.......... key words, "may be"....some might say, that is where faith i like to say, no one above ground really knows, and that includes the pope........! nice sunrise shot too..!! reminds me of waking up in about 1983 at a lady friend's retired parents' home on tortola, with a view to the east out over the sir francis drake passage toward salt, cooper and norman island, with virgin gorda farther up to the was a beautiful, brand new perspective on a new day, for me, even though i had waken up most every day of my life with an amazing westerly view of st thomas , as the morning sun softly brought the cruz bay harbor to life.....a slight change can give such fresh perspective......! thanks for the memories..!

  2. I don't know what the symbolism is in giving away the small statues but I'm sure they are a treasured part of each recipient's household items. Regardless of my personal beliefs, the pomp and ceremony of many religions shows the best part of each, usually.

    I'm glad the photos bring good memories for you, they made very good ones for me!

  3. This has been a great March Against Monsanto/travel/great photos blog week. Enjoyed it very much. about Ponce? Isn't there a reason to go explore and write about, from what I've heard, its beauty and history. Just thinking. ;-)

    1. If I get to Ponce, you'll hear about Ponce!