Don Santiago Does It Again! Lunch in Alpujarra District of Medellin

Ah , Lunch with Beatriz in Medellin.  In what has become almost a ritual lunch for us, on the third floor of the Centro Commercial Gran Plaza at the Parque de las Luces, Don Santiago does his potato magic with the most delightful ajiacco this side of Candelaria in Bogota where it was invented.  Ah...Ajiacco, the three potato chicken soup brought to palate with the explosiveness of cilantro and cream and capers added, with rice to thicken and avocado to enhance and a green salad on the side, prepared by Don Santiago and his kitchen staff, is to die for at least once a week.

Parque de las Luces at night


Parque de las Luces

Plaza Mayor

Alpujarra Plaza

EPM Biblioteca

Waste Sculpture, Museo de Agua

 Hundreds of state and city office workers gather at the Gran Plaza each day for lunch.  Handsome young executives, richly dressed men and women, office staffs and workers come for lunch.  It is a parade of the young and beautiful in Medellin, a city overflowing with the young and beautiful.  And then Don Santiago comes out of his tienda to ask us if we like the soup.  Oh yes, we do.  After we are finished he gives Beatriz and me a fresh coffee, a hand shake and his deepest appreciation of our appreciation of his handiwork.  Lovely.


A stroll through the Parque de las Luces brings us to the shadow of the municipal building, ultra modern, ultra chic and ultra green, self-sufficient for energy and water...computerized systems of vital signs for a modern office building complex.  And there an old 2-4-2 locomotive of the Ferrocarril Antioquia reminds us that the Plaza used to  be the packing area around the terminus of the Eastern Railroad connecting Medellin to Santa Fe de Antioquia and points east.  It went through many changes after the railroad was supplanted by modern roads and trucks.  It was a rail yard, then a warehouse district and then a slum and the habitat of the gangs and homeless.  Finally the city cleared it out and it now houses restored and gentrified warehouse restaurants, the Gran Plaza Mall, a rail museum and the city office buildings as well as an underground of bright passage ways and shops, and overlooking all the splendid Biblioteca EPM tech library.  A short walk east takes us to the Alpujarra Metro station , and west to the Plaza Mayor Exposition Center, the Barefoot Park, the EPM building, the ultra computer driven
Entrance to Galleria Shopping, Alpujarra

In Gran Plaza

Alpujarra Metro

EPM Water Museum and the bustle of Carrera 30.   The area between the park and the metro is honeycombed with interior shopping passageways with hundreds of shops and restaurants and cafes.  This is the fringe of El Centro, the business district as well.

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