Guntur Halimun Jakarta photo update

Pictured, are houses with characters located on the border between South and Central Jakarta in the Guntur/Pasar Manggis residential area. Dig the greens. They come with the territory. Buy the cheapest paint and you’re guaranteed a funky color.

According to a neighbor, if it hadn’t been for cris-mon (the 1998 Asian economic crisis), the Guntur area would be just a footnote to Kuningan. The pace of change in Jakarta is dizzying.   He said that some of the first houses in Menteng (the part near Taman Suropati which is newer than the part closer to Monas) were actually over here in “New Menteng” — and they were the ones built for the builders of the other (old?) Menteng over by Taman Suropati.

What were the streets in this area called in Dutch times. That’s an important question for anyone doing Jakarta history work and I got a special request for a reader which I’m following up on. “What were the names of Jakarta streets when it was Batavia?” No easy answer, Mr Bart would be a good guy to ask. He sent me a text from Japan but said I could catch him at Bartele Gallery (in Kemang) in a week or so.

He’s the guy who wrote Bugils, Eastern Promise and several other expat bars. I don’t think he grew up in Indonesia. But he knows his way very well (pictured  below at one of the houses where Obama lived (O. said his favorite was Meester Cornelius (now we’d call it Jatinegara). That’s one or two train stations down from Manggarai (not the one in E. Indonesia) where the Sharehouse is supposedly located.

Barele Santema and lieutenant at Obama's old white house

The streets were the same as now — named after mountains he said. Pasar Manggis has obviously been around along time. The street (a narrow one for sure) to the east of the pasar is an older one. And then going past Pasar Manggis and coming out — for example — where they sell all the toilets near Pasar Raya Manggarai. That’s and older part of town. Keyword is Westerslokkan (Saluran Minangkabau). But the original bridge, he says, was at the intersection of Guntur and Sultan Agung (where it is now).

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