Puerto Rico has had more than its share of trouble since hurricane Maria devastated the island last September. Just this week another power outage crippled the entire island. Even so this is the Caribbean Island that I have enjoyed visiting the most. Margaret and I are often on a cruise that calls on the port of San Juan. I love to ramble in the part of the city known as “Old San Juan”.
If you walk along the street of Norzagaray that sort of connects the two old forts and look down towards the Atlantic coast you will find a large cemetery, Santa Maria Magdelena de Pazzis. Stretching along the rocky coast and just east of the cemetery is a settlement composed of a few streets and an assortment of buildings know as La Perla. For years I had seen this neighborhood from the street above but had been advised by many to stay away. This area has been called a “shanty town”, a poor barrio, a socio-economically disadvantaged community and a slum. I was also told that there was nothing of interest there and that crime was rampant.
What is it about human nature when told that you can’t do something it makes it even more appealing? From the street above I could see street art on a few of the buildings so I decided to have a closer look. As I entered what appeared to be the main street I passed an old man. I asked him about the safety of my entering the neighborhood and he gave me an odd look saying that there was not much to see but to stay on the street and do not photograph any of the local people. I did mostly abide by his advice of not photographing people, but staying on the streets was a challenge that I could not adhere to so from time to time I carefully strayed. I spent about two hours poking around on a Thursday afternoon, April 2, 2015
I like to tell a story with 1-3 pictures. For my eye, La Perla was a wonderful section of Old San Juan so it will take ten pictures to really give one a sense of La Perla. I plan to go again but have made myself a promise. For the next visit I will hire a local to serve as guide, interpreter, and security, plus I will stay longer.

Main street in La Perla
Well maintained home
Door complete with chair, cat, and mop
Concrete table and stools with art on wall behind
Window and wall 
Street art on walls of roofless 

Panarama of La Perla, the cemetery and Fort El Morro  
Community swimming pool along the beach
View of the swimming pool from a distance including three swimmers     

Road and foot path in La Perla

Gordon Kilgore is a Free-Lance Photographer who travels the world turning the simple things  into  works of beauty. Gordon has decided to share some of his work with us on a weekly  basis  starting in January of 2016. 

I have elected to post his weekly work on this site for your enjoyment. To see more of his work go to www.gordonkilgore.com  Enjoy!!!

Deauville, France

With its race course, pretty harbor, international film festival, marinas, conference center, villas, Grand Casino and fine hotels Deauville, France is usually considered the most prestigious seaside resort in all of France. Since the 19th century, the town of Deauville has been a fashionable holiday resort for the international upper class. Each summer many movie stars spend time there.
A.      The Hotel Barri're Le Normandy Deauville is a grand 5 star hotel where a standard room will cost approximately $300 per night. It was built in 1912 and is located about a block from the beach. 
B.      Changing rooms along Deauville beach at 9:52 AM. Each room is named for a movie star. 
C.      Lounge chairs and umbrellas line Deauville Beach. The time is 9:52 AM, it is spring so the water and air temperature are still a bit cool for people to come to the beach.