A plaza for people watching and conspiracy plotting

You don’t promenade in Arequipa, Peru’s Plaza de Armas. Not exactly. People wander about the main square, drifting from one group to another. They catch up with friends, kvetch about the cost of corn, plan vast conspiracies — it’s hard to tell exactly what they’re up to.

Shoelace vendor, Arequipa, Peru photo

No excuse for not tying one on

At every moment of the day and night, there are a lot of people in Arequipa’s main square. Folks take a seat with vendors to get things done that need getting done. Get your shoes shined, your letters typed, your sweet tooth sated.

Letter typing vendor, Arequipa, Peru photo

How people broke up before text messaging

Jello vendor, Arequipa, Peru photo

Mobile jello vendor

Newsstand corner, Arequipa, Peru photo

Newsstand corner

Well-composed newspaper, Arequipa, Peru photo

Now THAT’s how you design a front page

Arequipa’s Plaza de Armas may be the busiest spot in town, but it’s no fashion show, unless you’re hot for the latest trends in hand knit wool leg warmers and rakishly worn bowlers.

Gossiping women, Plaza de Armas, Arequipa, Peru photo

Gossiping women in the plaza

There’s a lot of bird feeding going on in the Plaza de Armas. The pigeons here are spoiled little shits.

Napping bird seed seller, Arequipa, Peru photo

Napping bird seed seller

Arequipa’s Plaza de Armas isn’t a destination. It’s a space. Where things happen. Or don’t. And that’s the point.

Or it isn’t.

Take a seat, sit back, and take it in. What else do you have to do? Plan a conspiracy or something?