A disgruntled librarian packs it up and leaves fabulous New York City behind,
going on random global adventures,
while simultaneously promoting literacy
and spreading the love of the written word.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

random things about peru: a row of one's own

in peru they seem to organize their business so that similar businesses are all on the same street.  sure they have this to some extent in new york city: the garment district, wall street, the canal street "crap district," that block on bowery that sells all the lighting fixtures, etc.  but i have never seen anything quite to the extent that i have seen it in peru.

we saw puppy row, which of course had been my favorite.  how can you not like walking around and seeing peddlers selling puppies?  there was also shoe shine row, home repair row, wooden home furnishings row, medical office supply row (then another block with stores selling only dentist chairs).  we have seen mattress row, with numerous mattresses and bed frames for sale.  christian relic row, where you can get all your fancy candles and statues of jesus.  cheap hole-in-the-wall eateries row,  etc, etc.  i guess it makes shopping easier, knowing that if you want to get the best price on frankincense all you have to do is look around on this one block.

but then.  oh then, dear blog readers, then we stumbled upon something very intriguing .... Cake Slice Row.  on ONE BLOCK in cusco there were easily 7 to 10 different bakeries, several of them next door to each other (as the blocks are not very long).  these bakeries not only sold seemingly identical cakes, but also offered the option to buy cake by the slice for take-away.  this is a brilliant concept. 

there were typically 5 or 6 varieties of "to-go" cakes, : apple, chocolate, vanilla, black forest, strawberry, some things we couldn't recognize, etc.  you point to a cake (typically a long "log shaped" cake for easy slicing) and for the equivalent of 50 cents, they sliced off a big hunk-o-cake for you and wrapped it in waxed paper for you to eat while strolling the city streets.  genius.

this is especially useful if you've had a rough day.  for instance, maybe you trekked all the way out of town in hopes of getting a yellow fever vaccination so that you will be allowed to cross the border into bolivia, and then you find out that the clinic you were looking for isn't there because your guidebook wasn't as updated as you thought.  these are the days when we need a slice of yellow cake with dulce de leche frosting for the long defeated walk back into town.  (and we did eventually get our vaccinations, so we will not be spreading the amarillo fiebre around)


  1. Or for days when you randomly run into the ONLY OTHER PEOPLE ON EARTH in attendance at the official wedding ceremony of Mr. & Mrs. Fleshwound, including the good minister.

    I adore the random goodness that is South America: friends running into friends, puppy row & slices of cake to go....

    Again, how they're not ruling the world is beyond me.

  2. yes, running into reverend goldberg really would have been fine cause for a slice o' cake ;)