Friday, June 27, 2008

Heladeria Palermo

One of the treats of the older parts of Jesús María is a visit to Heladería Palermo. In a city that abounds with quality icecreameries, Palermo is an institution, drawing people from all over Lima to its doors. And with good reason.

For over sixty years Palermo has been the place to get ice creams made from real fruit and milk. It offers old standbys, like rhum-raisin, strawberry, and Lúcuma all year round, and seasonal favorites, like mango and tuna (prickly pear), when they come available during the summer months.

When I was a kid my parents would take me there, and now, I'm taking my own kids, marking yet another generation in Palermo's long history.

Heladeria Palermo
1/2 block from Plaza San José,
opposite the church,
Jesús María

Jesús María

The city of Lima is divided into a number of districts, each with its own city hall, mayor, and budget. Of course, there is a mayor for the whole of the metropolitan area, but each district has some degree of independence within the system, and each is quite different from the others.

The district that we are part of is Jesús María. It is Bordered by the disctricts of Magdalena to the west, Lince to the south, Pueblo Libre to the north, and downtown Lima to the east. Jesús María is relatively young, having gained separate status as a district only in 1962. Until thenn it had been attached to the district of Lima, and large parts of the district was agricultural fields or olive groves within living memory.

The older and most characteristic parts of the district centers around the plaza next to the St. Joseph's church and the market, where life seems to move a bit slower than in more modern and upscale parts of the district.

Settling in

Well, we're still mostly running errands, but also managing to settle into daily life. Going to the supermarket,

or just the market,

fixing lunch,

or just hanging out, reading a good book.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Huaura: Cradle of Independence

Yesterday, Sunday, my uncle Willy and Elba, his partner, took us up the coast to the north, with the aim of visiting the 5,000 year-old ruins at Caral. Due to the poor condition of the access road we aborted that section of the trip, but we did enjoy a nice visit to the town of Huaura.

Huaura is known as the "Cradle of Independence" because it was there that Gen. José de San Martín first declared Peru's independence on 27 November, 1820, before a mixed-race crowd However, at the time, no proclamation was signed, and the Lima aristocracy arranged for another, "official", proclamation in Lima's main square, which took place eight months later, on 28 July, 1821, before an exclusively white and moneyed assemblage. This date is today celebrated as Independence Day, a national holiday, while the 27th of November is largely unrecognized. The citizens of Huaura, being proud of their city's role in housing and feeding the Independendist Army for eight months and as the site of the first declaration of independence, resent this. But, as our guide in the local museum pointed out, they follow their hearts in setting their priorities: "We celebrate for a week (in November) and march for a day (in July)."

Balcony, built in 1710, from which San Martín first declared Peru's independence

Courtyard and 298 year-old stairs to the Balcony of Independence and what was San Martíns study

Hipbone of a megatherium, a prehistoric giant ground sloth

Saturday, June 21, 2008

We're in Lima

We got in yesterday without incident, and promptly started settling into the apartment, making the beds, putting up the curtains, and doing a bit of grocery shopping.

This morning we went with Diego to buy a bed, a dresser, and a pair of mattresses. So, thus far, our time has been largely spent taking care of errands. Not much fun, but Hey! we're running errands in Lima!

Tomorrow my uncle Willy will be driving us up the coast a bit, northward, to visit the pre-inca ruins at Caral. Caral has recently been discovered to have been the earliest known urbanization in the Americas. I'm rather looking forward to that trip, and Willy -being an anthropologist and having been an archaeologist- is an ideal person to take it with.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

.. 1...

Well, we've got mere hours to go. We should be eating tomorrow's breakfast in San Salvador, and dinner in Lima.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

20 ... 19 ... 18 ...

The countdown starts. Before the end of the month I shall be back in Lima, this time with the kids, and will finally get some time to enjoy the apartment, simply living in it.

Even though there is still some furnishing to get done and some services to contract, the simple acts of waking up there, walking to the bodega for bread in the morning, fixing lunch ... to say that I'm looking forward to these would be vast understatement.