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Saturday night at the SkyBar

Posted by Marco Antonio Mendoza Thursday, August 27, 2009 0 comments

So I was talking with my cousin (Vladimir) about a month ago about bars in Lima when he told me about this really chill bar in Miraflores thats not croweded with people (not many bars like that in Lima). 

The place is called the SkyBar (some of you living in Lima might actually know this place) and it is located on the 21st floor of the Thunderbird Hotel on Benavides Av. and Av. Larco.  There is also a sports bar called Salsas Bar & Grill, which claims to have the largest flat screen tv in all of Lima (if they broadcast American Football on that thing you can guarentee that I'll be there).  Here is some of their info:

Address: Ave. Benavides 415, Miraflores. Lima, Peru
Telephone number: (511) 617-9300
Fax number: (511) 617-9222
Reservations: (511) 616-3141

View Larger Map

So last week I went with Zdenka to the SkyBar to check it out.  Once the elevator doors open you are greeted to this amazing view of Miraflores (its almost a 360 degree view, almost).  The interior is warm and cozy and is very inviting. There is a dining area along with a moderate size bar.  I found the seating in the bar to be quite nice what with large plush leather seatings just begging to be sat on.  There was light instrumental music playing in the background to add to the class value. 

Overall the place is great for a romantic date since it really isn't that crowded at all, hell you can even have a conversation without having to yell to your person your with (a big plus).  The scene at the SkyBar is calm so I wouldn't recommend it for your casual friday night "lets get drunk, and have regrets the next day" spot.  The people there were mostly tourists in general which is alright I guess.  

I would have to say that the only negative point about the place is that their mixed drinks like the famous Long Island Iced Tea (which was prepared with way too much Coca Cola and had no sour mix at all), aren't worth the money.  Your best bet is to stick to wine, beer, or hard alcohol (solo).  With a gorgous view of the city (an Zdenka, of course), nice quite atmosphere, alcohol, minus tons of people, equals a great alternative to the weekly routine. 

Greetings From Asuncion, Paraguay

Posted by Marco Antonio Mendoza 0 comments

Well it's been about a month now since my Godfather ....(name has been removed to protect individual's identity) left Lima to go visit his family and friends in Paraguay.

He states that the weather in Asuncion is warm and sunny in comparison to Lima's cloudy winter weather.  He sent me a few pixs through email the other day and I figured that I would share them with you guys.  Here is one of what he calls one of Asuncion's taxis.

 He is going to keep sending me pictures of Paraguay and I will try to post as many of them as possible.

A Week in Photos

Posted by Marco Antonio Mendoza Wednesday, August 19, 2009 1 comments

Let me start off by saying what a week it has been. For those of you how frequent this blog regularly you have probably been wondering why I haven't posted in a while. All I can say at the moment is that I am involved in a project that is still under development and has consumed a lot of my free time lately. I will do my best to keep the blog posts and their wonderful photos coming so as not to deprive you guys.

Lets go into detail as to what some of these photos are about shall we. This first photo was taken last Monday at the factory in Chorrillos. Apparently the local potheads (fumones) have been busy with their little green thumbs planting marijuana seeds in our gardens in front of our factory entrance. This isn't the first time they have done this mind you. The last time marijuana was found in our garden it was brought to our attention by the police who happened to just be pulling over drivers outside our property when they noticed the popular green shrub growing happily in our gardens. Luckily we weren't charged with any crime and believe it or not the classic line of "I swear it's not mine" actually worked this time around. So there you have it my first encounter with marijuana (Probably not a big deal to a lot of you guys in Portland). Oddly enough after this shot was taken the leaf went missing and was never found again.

Two things that I love about living in Peru is the vast abundance and availability of fresh fruit and veggies. The other is the large number of local markets that can be found in just about every district in Lima. I have two markets located on both corners of the street I live on in Chorrillos. The picture below is of these delicious and addictive little mini bananas. I forget what they are called in the States but here 2 kilos (roughly 30 of these little guys) costs me about 2 soles.

Wednesday I was in San Juan de Lurigancho when I can across this construction site where there was this road sign which was depicting men at work but I noticed something quite funny about this photo. What is your interpretation of this sign? Let me know what you think.

Speaking of markets earlier here is a photo that depicts a typical transaction at a produce stand near my home. I just love all the different types of fresh fruit that they sell.

Peruvian beers in my opinion are fairly decent, they have their distinct flavors. While I am still a hardcore fan of beers manufactured in Oregon (the city of Portland has more micro-breweries than any other city in the world) the beers that are produced here are still better than the PBR, BUDD Light, or Hamms that I used to drink back in my college days "SIGH". I will have to dedicate an article to the different kinds of beers made in Peru.

This photo of a can of Cusqueña cost me about S/. 2.50 which is only 50 cents less than a 1 liter bottle of Cristal or Pilsen (what a rip off). I didn't buy this by the way, I tend to be a little more economic with my money when it comes to beer.

Aww, transportation in Lima. You can judge the pros and cons of the transportation methods of this city all day long. For some of us without cars and low budgets our options are limited, sure a taxi is probably a safer bet, Probably, however if you travel around the city frequently in a single day then a taxi just isn't within your budget. Then there is the collectivo, which is what I call a carpool taxi in which the driver charges every passanger 3 soles each and has a route that he drives. These are great at getting to were you need to if your in a hurry and short on cash. The only downside is their limited routes. Then there is the private buses and combi's. Honesty I try to avoid the combi's as much as possible since they have death trap written all over them and the drivers tend to not give a damn about the saftey of their passengers, instead they tend to race other rival companies in an attempt to collect more passangers.

I can't remember if this picture was taken in Pueblo Libre or in Breña. I just love primary colors especially when they are as saturated as these. Can you imagine someone painting their house these colores in a neighborhood community in the States, the block captains would go nuts.

This monday I was at home with Zdenka and Shayla when the power went out in my neighborhood around 6pm. We lit some candles and busted out the Rummikube and had ourselves a great time. It's amazing what people do when technology is taken away from them.

The last photo was taken yesterday in Chorrillos at a mechanic shop. I was there waiting for the Toyota to get fixed when this mechanic came walking by from having worked on a car and with his oil covered hands wipped them off on the brick wall. I thought the end result was rather cool and so I stood there with tiny camera in hand and snapped this photo.

Mariscos (seafood) in Breña - La Choza Nautica

Posted by Marco Antonio Mendoza Tuesday, August 11, 2009 0 comments

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to eat at the Choza Nautica in Breña. When I was 13 I remember eating there once with my family. The restaurant at the time had more of a heavier nautical-esc theme to it, now 10 years later the place has a whole new look to it. In an attempt to stay current with todays modern trends La Choza Nautica has remodeled the main floor of their principal restaurant (They have a second one just across the street that serves as an auxillary which I have not been inside). The tabletops are glass with metal chairs, the walls are painted red which add a little warmth to the cold feeling of their seating. The second floor remains fairly unchanged and still maintains it's original charm, which not surprisingly is where the majority tend to eat. La Choza also provides live musical entertainment on their main floor with excellent singers belting out today's hottest songs.

On to the FOOD

La Choza specializes in seafood and is where it really shines (they also serve criollo plates, but hey lets face it you didn't go to a seafood restaurant to eat beef did you?). They have a large list of wonderful dishes for one to choose, from the classic/cop-out Ceviche to Causa de Pulpa de Cangrejo (causa of crab meat).

I ate on a Saturday in the afternoon (which was rather full) with Zdenka and her friends. This gave me the best opportunity to sample several popular dishes. The wait time on a busy day was roughly around 25 minutes.

The plates that I sampled were the following: Arroz con Mariscos (seafood fried rice), Causa de Pulpa de Cangrejo, Tiradito, Chicharron de Calamar (fried Calamari), and Pulpo al Olivo (Octopus in Kalamata Olive Sauce). The dishes were great and the seafood were fresh and flavorful. The seafood is fresh and is prepared with care and skill that is visible in its final form. The calamari was fresh and well balanced with the breading giving it a light and cruchy flavor. The proportion size of the plates are the perfect amount to satisfy the palate and justify the investment.

The service was good and the overall experience was pleasant, definately a good spot to have lunch with the family or friends. I would not recommend it as a romantic date spot due to the multiple tv's playing sports or music, not to mention the loud music from the first floor. La Choza Nautica is a very social dining experience with great food.

One negative might be the price ($$) which ranges from S/. 15 a plate to S/. 35, which might make eating here a bit pricey for some.

Overall the food is well worth those few extra soles and I would definately recommend those who have not eaten there to try it out. Reservations can also be arranged in advance for those with large parties.


Av. Breña 204/211/213
located on the first block of the Av. Arica - to the back of Plaza Bolognesi

Photo taken from La Choza's website

For a look at their menu visit their website:

A Long Weekend

Posted by Marco Antonio Mendoza Monday, August 10, 2009 0 comments

August is here and winter isn't going away any time soon. I think what makes it worse for me is that when I arrived in Lima in February I had just left the harsh winter weather of Portland, Oregon. Initially the summer weather was a warm welcome from what I had previously experiencing, then came the fall season which rather quickly transitioned over to winter. I feel as if I am living this year in perpetual cold, cloudy, depressing weather.

Thank God that in just one more month spring will be here and hopefully I will see the sun again.

Now my weekend started off with both my father and girlfriend suffering from fevers which was kinda scary since I was concerned that I would catch it myself. In a quick attempt to combat the threat of a biological attack defense measures were put into effect. This of course required lots of chicken noodle soup to be mass manufactured. To my fortune by the next day both my father and Zdenka were felling better.

Friday was rather mundane in retrospect so I won't go further into detail about it and only mention that I happened to witness a rather amazing feat of acrobatic talent. I was in the car with my father waiting at a stop light when these two young boys came running out in front of the cars with a stool, tin can, wooden plank, and three torches. While the main performer set up his stage the other was providing a rather impressive distraction by showing off his freestyle skills. Once the main attraction was all set up the kid sprung into action and while balancing atop the tin can, juggled three light torches. It all happened so quick (about 3 min.) but was so cool and impressive, especially given their age that it was hard to not reward them.

These kinds of traffic attractions (trademark pending) are fairly common in Lima and often range from impressive and elaborate to pathetic and unenthusiastic. In exchange for such acts these performers hope to collect a few tips from their audience (drivers/passengers).

Saturday was fast paced with lots of work involved. During the day I accompanied Shayla (a friend of the family) to a butcher store in San Luis. I have been to many of these places before, they are fairly common in markets. Shayla was purchasing 26 Kilos of beef for her parrillada (similar to a BBQ) that her family was preparing for the community in Puente Piedra. Surprisingly 26 kilos is quite a bit of beef, which took about 20 minutes for the butcher to cut up. While waiting I came across a few pig heads and for some reason was intrigued enough to capture the above photo.

Saturday night I was watching tv at home when my father who had travelled to Ica earlier called. Apparently while refueling his 4x4 outside of Ica, the attendent instead of asking had filling the vehicle up with gasoline instead of petroleo (diesel). My father had been oblivious of this until he tried driving and noticed the smell of smoke was coming from his vehicle. I recieved the call at 10:30 and with the help of Oswaldo (plant manager) drove from Lima to Ica in 3 hours.

We arrived at roughly 3:00 and left Lima at roughly midnight. The drive there was unsupportable because at night the desert gets extremely cold. My legs were totally numb and frozen but that was nothing compared to the 4 hour wait that my father and his friend had to do on the side of the highway. We towed the car to the gas station where we held up for the night. I slept with my father in the truck which was so damn uncomfortable not to mention cold. I likely slept only 2 hours that night. The next day the car was fixed and we returned to Lima at around 3pm. That night while heading back from my girlfriends house I happened to be looking out the window when I noticed the lamp posts in Chorrillos and liked the way they looked so I took a picture of one in black and white to capture the simplicity of it's design.

Alcalde Castañeda chopping down trees in Chorrillos

Posted by Marco Antonio Mendoza Friday, August 7, 2009 0 comments

On the wee early morning hours the City of Lima under mayor Castañeda's command came tiptoeing into the district of Chorrillos to cut down some 80 trees, while the inhabitant's of the neighborhoods slept.

With the roar of multiple chainsaws the locals were awakened to the horrific scene of their beloved trees being cut down in what could be described as an execution by chopping (well, more like precision cutting). Many of the trees that were decapitated had coexisted within the community for 30 years according to many sources. Many citizens of the city are outraged at what has been carried out by the mayor of Lima. The grim deed was carried out on blocks 11 and 18 of la avenida Paseo de la República

View Larger Map

The project to cut down some 80 trees was put into effect in order to make way for the continuation and expansion of Lima's proposed Metropolitano transit lane that will allow city registered buses to travel from Chorrillos to downtown Lima. The Metropolitano is a proposed plan that aims at working around and alleviating Lima's traffic congestion. The mayor having anticipated the aftermath of his actions hastidly proposed to plant 3000 trees in the area to make up for deaths of the 80 trees currently converted into bark mulch and sawdust.

Here is a link to RPP news website where they have a video ,

Living in Chorrillos I happened to be in the neighborhood when I snapped these photos. At the time these were taken the city had sent out a request to the PNP to send riot cops to guard the on-going development from angry citizens.

Cerro San Cristobal

Posted by Marco Antonio Mendoza 0 comments

Located in the colonial district of Rímac in the Heart of Lima is the hill (cerro) San Cristobal. The Spanish had first placed a wooden cross atop of the hill in 1535 and in 1536 it was destroyed by the invading incan forces of Tawantinsuyu. A battle between roughly 25 thousand indiginous warriors and 500 Spanish soldiers ensued in Rímac valley. It was through the help of reinforcements that the Spanish were able to gain the advantage over their combatants thus causing their retreat from the battlefield. After the battle the famous Spainard Francisco Pizzaro inaugerated the second cross, naming it after the Saint Cristobal for the day in which the battle was won.

Cerro San Cristobal is situated 400 meters above sea level and provides visitors with a beautiful 360 degree view of the Lima (la cuidad de los reyes). On a clear day one can see as far as the shores of Chorrillos as well as the ships in Callao.

To reach the the top of the hill are private buses that currently charge S/. 5 per person, this covers the return as well. For those interested in heading up to San Cristobal I would recommend taking one of the many bus tour services that can found near the Palacio del Gobierno in the Plaza de Armas. I recently took the tour with my girlfriend and found it quite pleasant, not only did the service provide us with a way to reach the top from the city but it also provided patrons with a informational tour guide that discussed the history of the hill as well as the district of Rímac.

Once at the top the visitors can chose from various locations with which to view the city below. It is said that if it is your first time visiting the cross that the visitor is granted three wishes. For those of you who have been there before you are allowed one wish. The wishes are made at the shine that rests at the foot of the cross. There is even a museum that was built during Fujimori's presidency that is open Tuesday thru Sunday from 0900-2200. I would definately recommend heading up to the hill just before sunset so that the traveller has the opportunity to view the city as the sunsets, it is truely beautiful.

Recap of the following days

Posted by Marco Antonio Mendoza Thursday, August 6, 2009 0 comments

It has been another long week which has left me with little time to post on the net. Here are some of the daily photos from my Photo of The Day Project that I am currently working on. The above photo is of my aunt's bread pudding that I am such a fan of. She makes it using leftover pan frances (little french bread rolls that are so popular in the panaderias in Peru) that is soaked in water and then milk. This dessert is found all over the Lima and Peru and has a fairly light flavor that I prefer in my desserts. I know that it can be found in the US but the way its made in Peru is much better in my opinion.

Below is probably the worst photo of the day photo taken thus far. It's a closeup of french fries from Peru's famous pollo a la brasa dish. I was eating Tuesday night with the family when I realized that I had negelected to take my daily photo and in mad desparation I shot this photo with biggest disregard for autofocus or artistic creativity what so ever. Not even photoshop could save this photo.

This photo of clouds was taken from my bedroom window. I liked the way the clouds looked and the sunlight that refracted off of them. I am sure it could have been more color rich but there is this huge mountainous hill right behind our house that blocks the beautiful view of the ocean and the sunset.

On sunday I went with Zdenka on a walk through the Plaza de Armas and decided to take the tour of Cerro San Cristobal (a huge hill with a large cross on it). It had been years (the last time was when I was 11) since I had gone up to the top of the hill. At the top there is this large cross and these candles where people who have never been there before can make 3 wishes, if you have been there before you only get one. I made my wish and I hope it comes true.

I like this black and white photo of Jorge Chavez International Airport, it is definately a favorite of mine. Most of you who have been to Peru will recognize this familiar location. This was taken while I was waiting for a friend to depart for the States.

And last but no least is a photo taken at the Peruvian Air Force base in Callao. The Air Force has placed several war machines out on the front lawn for all the public to gawk over. This is an old russsian anti-air system.

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