Juan way or another / Calles de Juan

La versión en español está después de la versión en inglés.

TODAY IS A MUCH MORE relaxing day. We met Maria and her parents at Mesón Salvador. Maria was “in a mood.” I had to explain the expression: “She woke up on the wrong side of the bed.” We still thought she was adorable but Cristina felt the need to apologize for her behavior. They had a great day yesterday with friends about a half hour away. A very late return to town and a lot of excitement for Maria. By the time they left the restaurant, however, she was all smiles and chatting non-stop.

Today’s photos are from my walk around the neighborhood of Los Pacos, starting with what I thought was a very odd street name, Juan de la Cosa. A literal translation would be Juan of the Thing, which had my mind going in all sorts of directions. It turns out, however, that it’s the name of an actual person. From Wikipedia: “Juan de la Cosa was a Castilian navigator and cartographer known for designing the earliest European world map that incorporated the territories of the Americas that were discovered in the 15th century.” Learning that made me glad I didn’t continue walking up the hill after I discovered the next street name was Juan de Garay. I thought it was some kind of joke. Juan de Garay, it turns out, was a Spanish conquistador who died in 1583. Anyway, the next street continued the Juan theme: Calle Juan Martín el Empecinado. He was a military leader and guerrilla fighter who died in 1825. Two streets later, I would have been back on Calle Alcalá Galiano (of Wednesday’s fig trees), named for a politician and writer who died in 1822. I wonder how many of my local friends know who these people were.

I certainly never knew who all the streets in New York were named for. For example, Avenue A. Or B, C, and D, for that matter. And who was West 57th? And then there’s Joralemon Street (click here) in Brooklyn. Did anyone know Tumis Joralemon was the first person to own a brick house in Brooklyn?

Many thanks to David of Travel Penguin for the English title of today’s post.


HOY ES UN DÍA MUCHO MÁS relajante. Conocimos a María y sus padres en Mesón Salvador. María estaba “de mal humor.” Tuve que explicar la expresión: “Se despertó en el lado equivocado de la cama.” Seguíamos pensando que era adorable, pero Cristina sintió la necesidad de disculparse por su comportamiento. Ayer tuvieron un gran día con amigos a media hora de distancia. Un regreso muy tarde a la ciudad y mucha emoción para María. Para cuando salieron del restaurante, sin embargo, ella era todo sonrisas y charlaba sin parar.

Las fotos de hoy son de mi paseo por el barrio de Los Pacos, comenzando con lo que pensé que era un nombre de calle muy extraño, Juan de la Cosa. Yo pensaba, “¿De QUÉ cosa?” Sin embargo, resulta que es el nombre de una persona real. De Wikipedia: “Juan de la Cosa fue un navegante y cartógrafo castellano conocido por diseñar el primer mapa del mundo europeo que incorporó los territorios de las Américas que fueron descubiertos en el siglo XV.” Saber eso me alegró de no seguir subiendo la colina después de descubrir que el nombre de la siguiente calle era Juan de Garay. Pensé que era una especie de broma. Resulta que Juan de Garay fue un conquistador español que murió en 1583. De todos modos, sólo la siguiente calle continuó con el tema de Juan: la calle Juan Martín el Empecinado. Fue un líder militar y guerrillero que murió en 1825. Dos calles después, yo habría vuelto a la calle Alcalá Galiano (de las higuerones del miércoles), llamada así por un político y escritor que murió en 1822. Me pregunto cuántos de mis los amigos locales saben quiénes eran estas personas.

Desde luego, nunca supe de quién se llamaron todas las calles de Nueva York. Por ejemplo, Avenida A. O Avenida B, C, y D, para el caso. ¿Y quién era West 57th? Y luego está Joralemon Street (haz clic aquí) en Brooklyn. ¿Alguien sabía que Tumis Joralemon fue la primera persona en poseer una casa de ladrillos en Brooklyn?

Gracias a David de Travel Penguin por el título en inglés de hoy, que es un juego de palabras “One way or another” [De una manera o de otra] usando Juan en lugar de One.

• The name of the this house translates to The Salt Shaker.
• Me gusta el nombre de esta casa.
• On the street torn up for pipe laying. Classy for a pre-school.
• En la calle destrozada para el tendido de tuberías. Elegante para un centro de educación infantil.
• Across the street from the fig trees (from the early part of my walk).
• Al otro lado de la calle de los higuerones (desde la primera parte de mi caminata).
• About to leave Los Pacos.
• A punto de salir de Los Pacos.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

30 thoughts on “Juan way or another / Calles de Juan”

      1. David:
        Come to think of it, I’m changing the title. Thanks!

  1. Beautiful buildings, and so very clean! Today marks one week with no hot water. Clean would be so nice! Sorry, thought overflow 🙂

    1. Deedles:
      One week with no hot water? Awful. I’m so sorry. We’ve got plenty. Pop on over. Oh, that’s right, you don’t fly. Maybe there’s a bus.

  2. David is quick and clever. 🙂

    Quite a mix of architecture. The overpass area reminds me of the water runoff places around San Antonio–empty most of the time, but get a downpour and those areas become raging rivers.

    1. Mary:
      I’ve rarely seen raging rivers in these runoff channels. One year, rain and mud came down from the mountains and although the channels were filled (and clogged), the mud also flowed down the center of Los Pacos all the way to us on the beach. Roads were knee-deep in mud.

  3. I love all the neighborhoods. I wish there were more trees about on the street you showed pictures of ..looks almost baron. I think my favorite is the two story with the tan Mediterranean tile roof.

    1. Mistress Borghese:
      I hadn’t thought about how few trees there are. The pavement is very narrow (like the style of the ancient cities in Andalusia), so no room for plantings in most areas. Trees would make a huge difference.

  4. Maybe I’ll change my name to Janie The Thing. Whatever Thing I am can be left up to conjecture.


    1. Jim:
      I thought she was still adorable. Probably because she’s almost never in a bad mood, according to her parents.

  5. “Who was West 57th?” Get outta here! Haaaaaa!

    (P.S. A few nights ago, we were at a band job outside at a park, and one of the older gents who follows the band, was turning 84, so other friends of his had brought him some cake. Apparently, this guy is from New York. When his friend said something about, wow, how cool to be turning 84!, he replied, “Fuggettabouttit!” True story! (I immediately thought of you.)

    1. Judy C:
      My NY friends (ages ago) mostly didn’t speak like that (well, there was ONE) unless they were joking, which they did a lot. I have never known anyone who seriously used the term fuggedaboudit. I didn’t hang out with the right people. When we lived in Palm Springs, we met two women originally from NYC. One used every single stereotypical street phrase I had ever heard about. They were all natural parts of her conversation, dead serious. I had to work really hard to not laugh.

  6. The streets of the Juans! I actually HAVE wondered who Joralemon Street was named after — so thanks for clearing that up!

    1. Steve:
      It never dawned on me to look up Joralemon. My aunt worked on that street and I’m sure she didn’t know but she loved laughing at people mispronouncing it.

    1. Urspo:
      Simple is nice for a change, I’m sure, but it would get boring (except in homes).

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