Sunday, January 18, 2009

La Fiesta de la Calle San Sebastián

This afternoon I went to La Fiesta de la Calle San Sebastián. It was a festival on the Calle de San Sebastián (San Sebastián street) in Viejo San Juan (Old San Juan.) This is a festival that is held for a few days each year in January. There is music, dancing, and parades in the streets (not floats, but people with HUGE masks). There seems to be a daytime scene which focuses on music, artists, having fun with friends and family. The night scene as I hear is very much a party atmosphere. I went for about an hour, but there were so many people, and I had already used a lot of energy figuring out how to get there, that I decided to save some energy so that I could get back.

I took a train to the last stop on the line, and was told that there were buses to take people to the Fiesta because they didn't want cars there. This part was no problem. I knew how to get on the train, and I figured that I would see the bus when I arrived. This was easy. But once I was in Old San Juan, it turned out that you had to walk a while (to get to the destination, and it wasn't such a straight path.) So I finally got there. I connected with an artist who is the daughter of one of my colleagues at UMET. She has wonderful talent and I have some of her paintings because the university provides them as gifts to guest speakers ... so I am fortunate to have two of her paintings. I am standing with her in the picture. You will also see that there were TONS of people there. When I was trying to leave, I was just trying to get to the bus that would take me back to the train station. The station's name is Sagrado Corazon. So it seems like I kept asking the same questions over and over and over again. "¿Donde está la guagua hacia Sagrado Corazón?" ..."¿Es esto la guagua hacia Sagrado Corazón?" (Where is the bus toward Sagrado Corazon? Is this the bus toward Sagrado Corazon?) In Puerto Rico, the bus is called a "guagua" (pronounced "gwa-gwa") ... I started out asking about the "autobús" since that was in the dictionary, but then I remembered that it's different in PR.

Here are some pictures of all of the people, the band (La Banda 248 Guardia Nacional de Puerto Rico --- the band of the National Guard of Puerto Rico), artwork, and my train stop (Sagrado Corazon), which I was SO glad to finally see again. :)

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