Picturesque morning

picturesque morning

Plaza Mayor in downtown La Paz is one of the places with the biggest number of changes. The Bolivian capital seems to always have projects there, from child to teen I remember the crowds and the books sellers, people always walking, waiting, and sometimes running. Now  it’s free of sellers and it’s bigger and quieter; with modern structures that harmonize very well with the old buildings. Actually I prefer it as a place to rest than Plaza Murillo that is the main civic plaza at the city.

The old river Chuquiyapu (called by Spaniards Choqueyapu) runs under the plaza. It seems that Spaniards in those centuries used the sources of water as sewers so they hide the rivers that in our way before colony instead had to be completely clean and the sewers cannot blend with the rivers in the cities, nor in other places. Actually water was considered a gift from our Apus (mountains)

So Plaza Mayor is a place open to the sky and with a secret river under your feet.

It’s cold, perhaps a hug…

it's cold perhaps a hug

An eternal Lord sees a storm coming for the thirty six thousand time. The Sun doesn’t let him alone.

It’s the Ponce’s stele in Tiwanaku. I used a Haida filter for a longer exposure; from the head to the left corner there is a mysterious line. I guess it’s the trajectory of a bird, but it’s just an hypothesis, I can’t remember what it could be.

Epic and sad song

epic and sad song

Summer rain seen from a hotel room in La Paz downtown. Bolivian rain.

For about two years I’m questioned for unknowns in a casual way about my marital status. Although I’m flattered that someone could think that I’m married sometimes it’s a bit weird to me. When I want to buy something usually they ask me if I’m going to need two; when I ask for a room in a hotel they also ask me if my wife is going to come. At beginning I used to say that I committed marriagecide twice but as it was at the same time then it was null so I’m back to the action. But now I’m bored so I just say “no.”

Among the cities I lived the worst was Arequipa. That is a western city, in the cultural sense of the word, but it’s related to the Europeans from sixteenth century, not the happy people of today so it’s something that didn’t happen with the foreigners I met. We, the natives, to them are libertine because our view of the sex as something natural or funny; also is the mandatory due to be Catholic, so contrary to our veneration of the nature and the big parties; and the worst I guess is the machismo practiced by girls even when they theoretically support the feminism, every feminine ancestor of my line has worked and leaded in the society, to me is a symbol of weakness a girl without dreams and it was sad to see that almost all my classmates at university ended as housewives with university degree.

Also being travelling constantly doesn’t help but in Lima I had a kind of girlfriend in an open relationship, but I couldn’t avoid to think that she saw her as a kind of sinner. I don’t understand that double standard that boys are needed to have every kind of experiences with girls that, in their own words, they wouldn’t take to their homes, but girls are needed to be virgins. But I think the worst is that despite they dislike the idea to be with a native, something natural I guess, is the hypocrisy. The smiles in them when they know that I’m architect.

I hate the idea of love as a business. For that I prefer to be single, there is no sense in to live a life angry one with the other.

Mélanie

a treasure in itself

a treasure in itself

Mélanie is an adorable person that more than limited to one country she’s citizen of the world. From dawns in Japan, middays in Florida, sunsets in the Pacific Ocean her experiences enrich me because they are seen across eyes that have read and seen with European humanist culture, and a kind heart. Besides she is a formidable translator, I love especially her versions of poems.

Her playground is, although I’m sure the occasional visitant of my diary already knows it ;-), here.

Always is nice to have a time in the day to play :-)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

rainbow at dusk

Mélanie asked for a rainbow, an aurora borealis and the pure heart of a congressman in a coffer. Sadly I just could get the rainbows, I live in the austral hemisphere and will try to travel at least once to Ultima Thule; even worse my dagger have search in the chests of several politicians without success (but I’m still searching), so I could not fulfill the requirements TTT_TTT (I’m joking about the hearts btw XP)

The first image is in the countryside of Bolivia near the capital of an old Empire; the second is in Juliaca city years before when I didn’t know how to use a camera, so the shake in it.

Curiosity

we want to be taller

 

I host my photographs and images in Smugmug, it has a function to access statistics and to my surprise this image (that I published before with La Paz second post) has several views o_O.

I’m not sure why. Of course, I am happy with my composition but it’s almost a snap shot. I just waited to the car to be in the right position (and the spirit level) with the hills and the iconic pool converging and click!. Nothing more, in home I cropped to accentuate the horizontal dominant lines. But it has much more views than the rest, is as somebody would be seeing this photo at least twice everyday and much more certain days. Well, I am happy that someone finds something worthy, although I find it a rather peculiar.

Growing up

I am the root into the earth here is the flower into the sky

 

When child the adults had long conversations. Children weren’t allowed in those meetings so we had to play or just simply go to another place.

Now, when adult, I have long conversations with family, clients or colleagues, they can last more than one hour, sometimes half a day.

Honestly: they are really boring lol. with family and colleagues most of time the issues are gossips about people I barely remember or care, and with clients it’s more the need to talk to someone about intimate details that has no much meaning to me, so I guess that to they I am a comfortable ear not partial to their antagonists. I miss the childhood silence. Sure, I know that posting is a way to be too loud.I try to post something shorter or something worthy.

Growing up is about win special things, but also it’s about lose some others, because that I always thought and think that seventeen is the perfect age.

La Paz, from midday to dusk (b)

 

 

La Paz

La Paz

 

I like to wait the moment. I see something or some action in the near future that I think deserves to be recorded, so I wait… I prepare my old Sony R1, gently I handle it like a medium format camera with a waist level viewfinder, the zoom is manual so quietly I graduate it to the exact point I want it. The moment is coming: there is nothing between me and the image I see in my mind.

Inhale. My hands take the weight of the camera anticipating the shot.

Exhale. In the last second I am ready, I take just one shot and nothing more.

mesmerizing clock

mesmerizing clock

organic lines

organic lines

generations

generations

 

antena

antena

happiness in La Paz

happiness in La Paz

toward a shining world

toward a shinning world

basilica san francisco

Basílica San Francisco

she's the centre

she’s the centre

green thoughts

green thoughts

under the lights of giants

under the lights of giants

the tower

the tower

man observing the tower tower observing the man

man observing the tower tower observing the man

read the light

in this book is the whole city

magic light

magic light

green lantern

green lantern

positive-negative

positive-negative

fiat lux

Fiat Lux

And that was all. I had to go so I went to home.

she's not coming

she’s not coming

quickly the sunset is ending

quickly the sunset is ending

where people say good bye.jpg

where people say good bye

Notes:

The name of the architects that I could find as the buildings authors are:

  •  Edificio Hansa (the taller building in the respective photos) by Arq. Juan Carlos Calderón (“Green thoughts”, “Under the light of giants”, “Man observing the Tower, Tower observing the Man”, “Read the light” and “Magic light”)
  • Pasarela Pérez Velasco by Arq. Diego Marquez Burgos and Arq. José Marquez Pereira (“Mesmerizing clock”, “Organic lines”, “Generations”, “Antena”, “Happiness in La Paz”, “Toward a shining world”)

La Paz, from midday to dusk (a)

the midday's calm

the midday’s calm

When I travel to La Paz from my hometown in Perú I use normal transport. I don’t use touristic services because they are expensive and usually the people, Peruvian or Bolivian, that has to work serving to tourists develop the bad habit to ask high prices for bad services. I take a little car at 4:00 am from Juliaca and I am in Puno more ore less at six o’clock, I spend 3.50 soles or 1.25 dollars; in Puno I take another little car to the Peruvian city of Desagüadero for ten soles or 3.5 dollars approximately, in the frontier and near 8:00 am I am crossing to the Bolivian city of Desagüadero. There I take a taxi to La Paz where I will be at midday Bolivian hour (they are one hour earlier) for 15 Bolivians pesos or 6 dollars. I pay for all that transport more or less ten dollars so it is to me very cheap. The frontier closes at night, eight pm if I’m not wrong and so I were that day in La Paz barely some hours. So this is one visit I did from midday to dusk.

PART I: EL ALTO (The High)

If you think in music I would say that El Alto is jazz mixed with native music, it is improvised, vital, and dynamic. This is a good place to buy products if one knows what to find, it is, like my city, a city of merchants. So the robbers are not tolerated and the people is always building and selling.

techamiento

techamiento

it's coming

it’s coming!

copacabana

Copacabana

In La Paz I can identify two cultures that influence the architecture: the native culture (quechua and aymara), and the German culture. The Tiahuanaco shapes blends with the German way to do buildings. The latter has a great presence in the south of the city and their influence go to El Alto. To me was amazing the first time I saw Bolivians with German blood and that explained a lot of the configuration of La Paz. And I love it, certainly the colonial Spanish component of the culture was separating the people quechua and aymara against the q’aras (Spanish people), but the German component of the culture (please, be aware I am talking about culture, not about races) hasn’t that motivation so one can see its impact in the city as a whole, it has an idea more unifying.

red labyrinth

red labyrinth

PART II: DESCENDING TO THE HEART

The highway go deep into the city, as a Dante we descend to the heart. I am not Christian so when I mention the Divine Comedy to me is not a book of torments but the exploration of a fantastic world. La Paz has parts that make me evoke to Qosqo (Cusco), Arequipa or Puno. The tourism is making the same as other places: the food every time seems no better but the opposite, so one needs to search more. I am sure that in the places less touristic the story is different. But even thus the city is very affordable.

blue paint red sky

blue paint, red sky

The taxis take you here, in the General Cemetery, and from here you can take cars to other places outside La Paz with very good prices.

Or you can go to the Buses Terminal of La Paz. This building was designed by Gustave Eiffel. And it is really pretty: It has a triangular shape but with an arched portal that gave it a human proportion, it has the dignity of an old gentleman. It was before the train station so the use now require modifications, it is not very compatible with the new functions. Fortunately La Paz has great architects that could resolve this design task, I think this building deserves it.

a new day begins

a new day begins

fulgor

Fulgor

motorbike

motorbike

coke coming

coke coming

La Paz bus terminal

La Paz Bus Terminal

With the centuries La Paz has accumulated a valuable heritage. With worthy contemporary architecture but sadly also with big mistakes as Lanza Market in front of the Basilica San Francisco. But in general the city is well treated and it looks more modern and comfortable. I remember when I was a child the protests against the governments were common and much of the energy went to those activities, today with the President Evo Morales those energies are leaded to constructive projects. I don’t know so much about politics or ideologies, in fact I dislike everything that has to be related to politics, so don’t take my commentary as an ideology though but a objective fact.

contemplative

Contemplative

cloud pepsi and bridge

cloud, pepsi and bridge

gentil equilibrio

gentil equilibrio

colors against uniformity

colors against uniformity

the city of white cars

city of white cars

PART III: THE SOUTH – CALACOTO

I understand that in Calacoto there are Bolivians from German ancestry. It is the lowest place, it is clearly ordered and organized. It has a more western aspect, and it is a proof that the culture in La Paz is dynamic in every aspect. I am sure that the rich native culture is also a reason to the dynamism of Calacoto.

we want to be taller

we want to be taller

La Paz's Little Miami

a little Miami in La Paz

horizontal lines

horizontal lines

ballivian avenue

Ballivian avenue

radiocubismo

radiocubism

let me tell you about the blue

let me tell you about the blue

torre sur

Torre Sur

the calm before the night

the calm before the night

e-don't

E (don’t)

a mystery behind

a mystery behind

fat threes

fat threes

Notes:

I wanted to cite the designer of every building but I couldn’t find all of them. But I have the following names:

  •  Alto Obrajes’s Olympic size swimming pool by Arq. Ricardo Pérez Alcalá (“we want to be taller”)
  • Hotel Camino Real Suites by Arq. Ramiro Muñoz Moyano (“Horizontal lines”)
  • Apart Hotel Casa Grande by Arq. Ramiro Muñoz Moyano (“A sun into my body” and “The calm before the night”)
  • Hotel Casa Grande suites La Paz II by Arq. Ramiro Muñoz Moyano (“E (don’t)”, “A mystery behind”, and “Fat trees”)

Seiko

seiko

I’ve just came back from Bolivia, I didn’t bring with me my laptop or my tablet, and I choose a cheap hostel without wifi so i couldn’t use my cellphone, I went yesterday to a public internet place… but I couldn’t upload my post, I’m sure there are a lot of places with good conection but my time was so short :(

I love this clock, it’s near San Francisco church in La Paz downtown.

It’s coming!

it's coming

 

Next week I’ll share some pics of half a day in La Paz. Although I myself am from Perú I consider that we, Peruvians and Bolivians, are older than both countries, so in certain way to be in La Paz is to be in home. Actually if the luck had been different perhaps my grandfather would be there and there had been no Peruvian family, but the actual aymara culture is thousand years previous to the countries that not even have two hundred years…