Ephemerratic - 4/25 - Independent travel blog with stories, travel guides, photos, travel art, and local food
Just as ouzo has never tasted as good as it did is Greece, pisco sours have never tasted as good as they do in Peru. Chilly pisco sours kept the sweat at bay in Lima and exacerbated our altitude sickness in Cusco (totally worth it). The cocktail paired perfectly with simple yucca fries as well as high-falutin’ alpaca steaks.
(Thanks to Ashley of No Onion Extra Pickles for the inspiration for this post.)
I only shoot in color — black and white has never seemed an equal reflection of the exciting world I encounter in my travels. Spots of color, not swaths, draw me in. In sharing these photos, I also gave myself a bonus challenge: to choose photos no one has seen before, thus far unedited and utterly ephemeral on my computer (ok, I confess, that also helped narrow my choices).
These travel photos are now colorful moments no longer hidden. Click to embiggen…
Todd and I didn’t do much in Palermo, Sicily besides wander the streets. There were some churches and cannoli I suppose, but the projections of people’s lives into shared spaces were the draw for us. Due in part to heat, gossip, and fresh air, we often spied Palermo residents on balconies and fire escapes, sheltering from the sun, but not from their neighbors.
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Marinated, char-grilled skewers of cow heart schmeared with hot pepper sauce, bought from a smoke-shrouded street food vendor. If that vision of Peruvian anticuchos doesn’t get your lips smacking, you may not be ready for this.
Why would someone prone to cynicism travel to Portland, Oregon for a conference that bills itself for those trying to “live a remarkable life in a conventional world”? I registered World Domination Summit out of curiosity, but by the time I was on my way, I had begun to describe it as “hipster self-help.” Let’s just say fear and cynicism are good buddies.
This is not about me. Okay, it’s a little about me.
Since this is a travel blog, I won’t get into all the grand and granular ideas I have after World Domination Summit. While there, I wore my many hats — for Ephemerratic, LightBox Collaborative, and Green Gizmo. I met many other travel bloggers, writers, entrepreneurs, artists, and even an unconventional librarian. I got a kick in the cynicism and was informed and inspired, challenged and validated.
I was also surprised. Gobsmacked even.
In his closing remarks, World Domination Summit founder Chris Guillebeau revealed that an anonymous donor gave $100,000 to support the conference. Chris and the donor decided the best way to spend it was to give $100 to each of the 1,000 attendees, cash.
The instructions for this investment were simple:
Wow. It’s up to me.
So here’s my idea —
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After visiting Cusco, Peru and the rest of the Sacred Valley, I am now all too aware of the fragility of human beings. Specifically this human being.
I’m a sea-level creature — childhood through collegehood spent on the New York coast, and adulthood ever at eye-level with the Pacific Ocean. In the Sacred Valley I was ever aware of my blood and breath. We’re little more than slightly porous bags of fluids and innards, with some structural framework to keep us upright. Change our external environment to an extreme and things get ugly.
Though I’ve explored the aisles of markets all over the world, the meaty bits on display at the Mercado Central (Central Market) in Cusco, Peru challenge even my steady stomach.
Most of the town has been cleaned up for the tourists. That or all the frustrated creative types are too busy hawking the tacky paint-by-number-style “art” in Plaza de Armas to find time to spray a little color around.
I can’t resist a good bout of street photography. If it’s ever offered, I’ll be first in line for a computerized camera in my eye so I don’t miss a thing.
In Cusco, Peru, as we explored the Plaza de Armas and San Blas neighborhood, I shot from the hip to capture these photos of Peruvians at their most candid and spontaneous.
In the side streets and alleys, the city starts to display its personality, centuries in the making.
Back in a college class about early religion, I read The Cult of the Saints: Its Rise and Function in Latin Christianity by Peter Brown.
Stay with me here…