Monday, December 2, 2013

Photo Tour of Lima

I was looking through my email today when I came across a message from Adobe.  It was a special offer to purchase Lightroom 5 for $60 off.  I'd been thinking of getting a good photo editing program for a while, so I decided to go ahead and get it (I guess that makes me a victim of Cyber Monday).

Anyway, these are the first 5 photos that I edited with Adobe Lightroom 5.  It sure is a better program than Helicon Filter (that's what I'd been using before).

The above image is just a red wall with a municipality sticker on it.  I thought it was funny that somebody had mostly scraped the sticker off.

Here's an example of some pretty good street art, also in Barranco:

This one is kind of random.  It's just a rusted window like you see all over the place in Lima.  I can't tell whether the woman in blue in the middle is supposed to be the virgin Mary or not.  You'll see images like this all throughout Lima.
A couple of people walking in front of a construction site.
A woman with a clipboard, probably waiting around to exchange dollars for Soles or vice versa.  In the old days, you'd always see these people holding enormous wads of cash, but I don't see any money on her.
Ok, that's it for now.  I've got a couple article ideas and some things to announce but I think I'll save those for another day.  Hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving!

Make sure you read my books if you haven't yet.  "Beyond Birkie Fever" is my most popular work, click on the link and check out the reviews.  Also, I'm involved with this, got something featured here, and I've been wasting a lot of time lurking around here lately.  If you want a free book to review, write me at walterrhein at gmail dot com.  Oh, and read this too.

16 comments:

  1. Nice pictures. I especially like them because they give you a feel for what the real Lima is, far better than pictures of beautiful buildings around Miraflores which wouldn´t give a very realistic portayal of the Peru experienced by most people. How would you compare Lightroom with Picasa which is a foto editing program that´s for free. Is Lighthouse worth the extra expense?

    Finally, of course that picture of the woman in blue is thew virgin Mary, and just as you say, religious pictureslike that are all over Peru, even more so now that the Christmas season is almost here. Already, Christmas trees are starting to go up by the ovolos around Lima, along with a bunch of Nativity scenes in display cases. You´ll even find those religious artifacts in practically all governmental offices. Try to complain about that and people will think that you´re crazy. So if you don´t like all that religious stuff, it´s probably best to just keep your mouth shut.

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  2. Yes, it's definitely worth the expense because the picture quality is so much higher. I think Lightroom cost $90 with the $60 off special today. I had been considering buying it at $150 to be honest. I'll use it for the ads I put together for my business as well, so it's a good purchase...heck, I could probably claim it.

    Yes, there will be nativity stuff up all around, but I find Peruvians are more open to discussions about religion. For example, I often object to crucifixion images because they're so grotesque (it's a person being tortured after all). In the US, that conversation usually ends with the religious apologist storming off in a self-righteous huff. In Peru, people tend to say, "you know...you're right...it is pretty grotesque to have an image of a person bleeding and dying horribly in my living room." That being said...they don't take the image down, but it's still better than the violent reaction you get in the US.

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  3. You might be absoplutely correct on that. I´ve had many discussions about religion with very devout Catholics in Peru. I usually tell them my view that it´s all man made stuff and that praying to God or the saints won´t effect their lives. I´ve never heard any strong objections to my views, but they go on praying just the same. I´ve even joked with a Peruvian bishop about the absudities of his religion. I just smiled and gave me a silent blessing.

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  4. Sorry, I meant to say that the Bishop just smiled and gave me a blessing.

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  5. Dean Charles MarshallDecember 3, 2013 at 5:22 AM

    How are you Mr. Peru and Doctor Anonymous? As always Ben your superb photos capture the true "grit of unpretentious existence" and raw beauty of Peru in ways nobody else can. Dr. Anonymous you might appreciate the comment I left on yesterday's post, "Peruvians are Less Judgmental than Americans". When I look at these photos I can't help but feel that Lima and more and more American cities are looking amazingly alike, even the people seem to resemble each other. It's weird, as a native born American as I've gotten older I've grown closer to the Latin culture in general and much more detached from my Anglo brethren. Why? Because in my opinion Americans have lost their sense of identity and continue to pimp off a false sense of pride that's been articulated and molded through decades worth of well orchestrated propaganda. Simply, we believe our own bullshit as gospel. And from my limited experience with Peruvians I would have to say they do the same. When I look at these photos of Lima I contend you could see the exact same imagery of landscapes and people in Detroit, Chicago, Oakland or East LA. To me these photos depict the foreshadowing of a rather nuanced Zombie Apocalypse, where people, things and ideas begin breaking down gradually under the guise of normalcy. You know, where people seem to be going about their normal affairs within an un-flushed toilet of decaying infrastructure, litter, mindless decadence and wanton graffiti. As mankind continues to act like savages and cannibalize the planet with reckless abandon we'll reach the "tipping point" where our excesses will no longer be sustainable and usher in our extinction. Sadly, we're at the cusp of that abyss. Now that's just my opinion and I could be wrong, but regardless, have a nice day and love the one you're with. Paz!

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  6. Welcome back, Mr Dean, I missed your inciteful comments. Yes, Lima is increasingly becomming like US cities. You have a lot more and more francihse outlets like Starbucks, Burger King, McDonalds, Pizza Hut Chilis, KFC,and other popping up all over Lima.Added to that, you have a proliferation of USstyle supermarket outlets in Lima that are increasingly displacing the traditional food markets. As a result of the more reaily accessible junk food available to the public, the average Peruvian is getting fatter and fatter each year. Twenty years ago, you hardly ever saw a fat Peruvian in Lima. Now they are all over the city and Heart disease and diabetes re increasingly severe health problems among the population. Added to that, American consumer items are incresingly popular and all of those electronic gizmos and gadgets are readily available to the public. If you look at young Peuvians today, they seem to be as attached to their cell phones, I pads, and other electronic gear as kids from the USA. Also, Lima in the past hardly had any high rise buildings. Now, high rise apartment buildings are everywhere.

    Yes, Mr Dean, Lima is slowly becomming like any other large US city and its population inresingly internalize the vanorms and values imprted from the USA and other modern industrial societies. The provincial charm of Lima´s past is slowly dying and its population increasingly lis losing its soul to the mindless pursuit of consumer tash. One of the worst things about the changes that I´ve noted is that women seem increasingly treated as commodities dressed up like trampson Tv shows and enlessly parade themselves in bibinis and minidresses uo to their asses. That may be nice eye candy for the guys, but I think that Peruvian women deserve to see themselves more than as things to be leered at by the guys.

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  7. It's like a family reunion with you guys back in the mix! I miss the daily interaction, but as I said a while back, I just have too many projects going to keep up with a daily column (which is good for me). I hope everyone who reads this page (and that means you Dean and Dr. Anonymous) had nice Thanksgivings--in the past that was my favorite holiday since it was more about passing time with the family than commercialism, but with all the black Thursday BS that's not the case anymore.

    Getting back to religion, I had a funny conversation with my wife the other day. My wife is Catholic and spent a lot of time going to church and mass growing up with the typical devotion you find among Peruvians. Anyway, I said to her, "you know, most American Catholics believe the Bible was actually penned by God." My wife, despite her religious background just scoffed at this notion, "of course it wasn't," she said, "it was written by people...your country is messed up." I thought that was funny.

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  8. Congratulations on having an insighytful wife. My experience in Peru tells me that many Peruvians, perhaps more than most people maintain their religious traditions more as a matter of habit rather than conviction. I´ve had in depth discussions with many very devout Catholics in Peru who express severe doubts regarding the validity of many aspects of their religion such as the virgin birth, the resurrection, an afterlife, etc. Many who I´ve talked to really don´t believe in that stuff, even though they pretend to. I´ve also had disussions with a Peruvian Bishop that leads me to serious question how much of the teachings of the church that he really believs in.

    Thanks for the Thanksgiving Day wishes That´s one holiday that trumps them all, and I would like to especially thank all of my Peruvian fiends who were kind enough to celebrate this holiday with me this year in Lima.

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  9. Dean Charles MarshallDecember 4, 2013 at 4:55 AM

    Ben and Dr. Anonymous I wish you and your families a most Happy Holidays. Writing a column everyday can become a grind, especially when you're multi-tasking raising a family, running a business, writing novels, engaging in cross country skiing marathons and just maintaining your sanity 24/7. So I get where you're coming from. Just know I truly appreciate all the mentally stimulating exchanges you've generated on the Streets of Lima and allowing myself and others a forum to express ourselves. Peru and the United States are undergoing tremendous flux with the outcome uncertain. There's a serious lack of consensus within both countries, but an endless overflow of polarization. From my perspective systems are breaking down with such regularity that the masses are becoming intolerant, numbed or indifferent to the stark realities of globalization running amok. I try to stay optimistic, but too often end up kidding myself. One things for certain, we've all got to start having a serious discussion with our friends and families about the perilous state of affairs and what we can do individually and collectively to bring about paradigm shift for this planet before it's too late. It is said that leadership is simply setting a direction for others to follow. That talent is inherent with people like you, Dr. Anonymous and myself. We must be the "catalysts for change" that make the difference. Carry on!

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  10. Thanks for the kind words, Mr Dean. Let me, in turn, express my hope that your Thanksgiving Day was an enjoyable and fruitful one for you and your family. Mr Dean, I really wish that simple words coul change people´s opinions to initiate policies that can do some god. Here, in Peru, where I´m living right now, Simple words would be an exercize in futility. Here, as in most places, all that people seem to be interested in are their own immediate needs and those of their immediate family, having a good time, thinkinf about what to prepare for dinner, and hoping that someone who they don´t even know isn´t plotting to steal their possessions. Any sense of true civic spirit seems copletely alien to the political culture here. And the people here aren´t fools, and are perfectly aware that most government officials, including their representatives in Congress, are only interested in their own personal aggrandizement, and have no real interest for the common good. Just Today, el Comercio indicated the results of a poll that substantiated this fact. My own family here is no different. Although they are very affluent, they couldn´t give a shit abiut a stranger down the street and they consider it a major act of charity if they give some poor begger a solitary sole. If any real change that substantially changes the society will ever come about, it will only be through the force of arms. I say this with much sadness because the class that will pay the highest pricw for its selfishnessdown here will be the one that I belong to

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  11. Will be heading out to Cuzco this Friday for my third trip there. My last one was way back in 1980. I wonder how much that great city has changed since then. I hope that all of the beautiful colonial structues are still there and havenñt been replaced by modern apartmet buildings. I also hope to get a message there since I here that the massage business is flourishing there and provides work for many women who otherwise would be unemploye. I also plan to get some insight as to whether the massage business is a legitimate one or mainly a front for sleazy call girls. Have no interest in sleazy sluts since after walking around all day in downtown Lima Today, I need some genuine muscle relief, not a sexual experience.

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  12. Have a good time in Cusco! My main objection to the massage girls is that they're out soliciting clients in the streets...which is dangerous in my opinion even if they are running a legitimate business.

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  13. I like your photos, especially that street art. You don't get to see this kind of art in most streets you pass by.. and the only way we could thank these artists for making this world a better place is to spread the good vibes so people would know where to go. :)

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  14. So right you are Mis Rachael. Rregrettibly, Most of the street art in Lima, as in most other places, is trash, but every now and then, there are real gems that are worth preserving and sharing with the public. I´ve been fortunate to capture for posterity at least one such masterpiece, and I´ll gladly send it to Mr Peru to post on his blog if he finds it worthy enough whe i return friom my extended stay in Peru in March f next year.

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  15. Merry Christmas to the all of the Sreets of Lima readers. Christmas day began in Lima with a very long fusillade of fireworks lasting well past midnight, and Christmas day in Lima is seasonably warm with the sun shining brightly overhead. It will be interesting to see the crime reports to see if their was the usual rise in robberies during the Christmas season actually took place this year. I imagine that it did. The amazing number of ads that exist in Lima trying to persuade everyone to acquire the latest consumer items seems to have had its effect. Almost everyone seems to have, or at least lusts for the most advanced electronic gizmos available. Even Indian women in small pueblos surrounding Cuzco can be seen walking around talking on the latest cell phones. Given this fact, combined with the meager resources available to many Peruvians who desire to acquire such items, I hope that not to many have been the victims of robberiesthis seadon, though it wouldn't surprise me if this was the case.

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  16. Happy New Years to all of the Streets of Lima readers. I wish all of you the best and hope that the New Year is also a great one for Peru

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