Gypsy 05 top // SHOP SIMILAR
Mango shorts // SHOP SIMILAR
Vintage Salvatore Ferragamo sandals // SHOP SIMILAR
One of my favorite places we checked out in San Juan was the Plaza del Mercado (La Placita) in the Santurce neighborhood. I think I love it the most because it's where the locals come out to party, and you really get a sense of what Puerto Rican culture is all about! The plaza is marked by a colorful central marketplace that is open during the day and filled with fresh, local produce, including an endless amount of plantains ready to be fried up into something delicious and authentically Puerto Rican. By nighttime, and especially on Thursdays through Sundays, the restaurants and bars surrounding the marketplace really come to life and the streets turns boisterous. Puerto Rican music coming from one side, hip hop blasting from another, and everything mixes together into one amazing dance party. Grandparents, babies, teenagers, hipsters . . . everyone gathers together and does their thing. Rum is flowing and apparently the best mojito in San Juan is made right outside the marketplace. I tried one, and I actually do think it was one of the best ones I've ever had. Refreshing and not too sweet. People watching is the best here. I really wished I brought my camera out the night we visited, but I left it at the hotel, or else I'd have more to show from our night out in Santurce (but I have some phone photos to show you guys). But you get the idea. The older generations were couples-dancing in a bar right next door to one where the young were flirting with each other in tank tops and backwards hats. It all brought a smile to my face. Totally affordable, but if you want something fancier they have that, too! Loud . . . all the reason to dance in the streets under the lights. And friendly! I found the locals in Puerto Rico to be some of the most genial in all my travels so far. And of course they are, with the weather and the food, what is there to complain about?
Make sure to try out drinks and traditional Cuban food at ASERE! The upstairs is made up in a gorgeous speak-easy style with green velvet chairs and a sexy ambiance. It totally brings back to life Cuba in the 1950's, a place and time I am absolutely obsessed with! The patio on the second floor overlooks the plaza, as well, which just adds to the atmosphere.
By the way, we shot these nature shots in the park behind the Museum of Art of Puerto Rico. Full of bamboo and green all around, it was a nice little break from the city that day.