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March 11, 1994 - Image 67

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-03-11

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Of course, those vantage
points can also be enjoyed from
ground level. Getting out of the
tram near Calle Cristo, one of
the main streets, I walked up to
Las Palomas Park. There, at
the outer edge of the park, vis-
itors were enjoying the
panoramic view as well as the
sight of the many pigeons that
are the main inhabitants here.
In fact, the park is named in
their honor.
As camera buffs snapped
photos of pigeons nibbling
breadcrumbs or resting in the
holes in a bordering wall, oth-
ers simply listened to the sooth-
ing sound of pigeons cooing.
From Palomas Park it was
just a short walk to the Pablo
Casals Museum in Plaza San
Jose. Founded in 1977, it is ded-
icated to the cello virtuoso who
was a Puerto Rican native. A
small but carefully detailed mu-
seum, it feature photos, posters,
and other memorabilia; and, on
the second floor, a music room
is stocked with videotapes —
played on request — of the an-
nual Casals Festival concerts.
Next stop was another cul-
tural site. The Casadel Libro
(House of the Book) is a muse-
um and library of rare books
and printmaking. Housed in an
18th century Spanish colonial
building, it was founded by Dr.
Elmer Adler, a professor at
Princeton University.
Dr. Adler, who was Jewish,
was an eminent book collector,
and he left a generous bequest
which launched the Casa del Li-
bro. Its displays include a col-
lection of rare old texts, some of
them dating to pre-16th centu-
ry.
Besides a museum devoted
to Pablo Casals and another for
rare books, Old San Juan has
many other cultural and his-
toric attractions, including El
Morro, the massive and multi-
level fortress which towers 140
feet above the Atlantic Ocean;
Casa Blanca, a museum of fam-
ily life in the 16th and 17th cen-
turies; and La Fortaleza, official

The shops
carry a range
of wares.

residence of the governor of
Puerto Rico and the oldest ex-
ecutive mansion in the Western
Hemisphere which is still in
use.
Having visited these sites on
earlier visits, I was ready for
one of the prime activities in
Old San Juan: strolling and
stopping on its colorful main
streets. This is one of the

OLD SAN JUAN page 68

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