Wednesday, December 31, 2008

local haunts and faces, and feets

Hi folks; Dave here for the first time. I've been letting Jamye have all the writing fun, till now. Days have been great, just enough time to do some sculpture, some random sightseeing, play, eat, drink - is there more that I'm omitting? Oh, yeah, there's just plain not enough time to get to the gym - darn. the photo adjoining this is one of our neighborhood good places. Italian descended,Milan, pop and one of three sons and brother in law that run the place. Later evenings are all old farts, I fit right in, arguing politics and football. It's Dec. 31st, midday, I just dialed up the reg. gd. for holiday bowl stuff, go ducks, although I was hoping for a serious stomping, a wins agood thing. One of the apartments we are considering when we move in June is the fifteenth floor of a twenty five floor building hanging over the end of the polo grounds. All I want for Christmas is really good binocs. It's way to modern for Jamye's taste, mine too, actually, but polo form one's balcony! Got to consider it. There are another dozen similarly nice spots within a few blocks, but I kind of miss the seedier ones in our older, .lower class zone of San Telmo, Boca. Those of you who have had to hang out with me at all understand. Still deciding on New Years party, probably giant potluck at our good friends hostel on the edge of San Telmo, Monserrat. Nothing like a dozen languages, and dozens of traditional libations to make one forget English. moving on

This is a small bandstand in a small, about four blocks, park in our neighborhood. Sat. and Sun. late after noons, tango for the neighborhood! Sorry the phot doesn't pick up the amazing [handmade] shoes, but in the park on the weekend, tennies are just peachie. This neighborhood is too civilized, gentrified, alittle snobby, a little rich for our normal milieu, but we are digging it mightily while we're here. By the by, the local football club, River, or ClubAtletico de River Plate, has the really rugged nickname throughout the rest of the league of "Los Milionares" you can handle the translation. They should be called the Lions since they were 0 and 18 this just ended season. However our previous neighborhood team, Boca Juniors, Won the title after a round robin playoff - since three teams were deadlocked at the end of regular play. Big week for soccer fans, and bars with big screens filled early. - moving on

Ipromise, I'll get some closer looks at some of the se great shoes. AND if Jamye gets her way, as if that's ever been in question, I'll be taking dance classes soon, but I'll really look great in hand made shoes, probably red and silver, don't you think? again, onward

ok jazz fans, allow me to introduce Fats Fernandez, an Argentine jazz legend, and pretty well known in the states. He's the trumpeter of note on probably 100 albums stateside with most of the greats. He's pushing 70, both in girth an years' so when he performs live, it's tribute like. Just he and an awesome keyboard, who's name eludes me at the moment, but I promise to throw it in later. all his big hits and stuff that displays his incredible virtuosity, local jazz afficianados refer to him as the first Wynton Marsalis, and I see why. This particular venue "JazzClub" by name is really small, maybe 60 seats, very expensive, and a limited, unbelievably ezquisite menu, perfect service,etc. etc. that we'll be there again, no doubt. and onward - -

sublets come with maids, they're hiredannually, so if you move in, there she is, Ludmilla of Hungary, every Tues. from 10 till 2, after which she goes to the mother of the lady from whom we sublet. So we try to get really clean before she comes, of course. Just like everyone with amaid does, I'm sure. and on

our really good friend, Daniel, the owner of Hostel Sol, and part owner of two other hostels with two other friends, a100% energy fellow that we first met 4 years back. His place " the sun", is why I'm making "The moon", to put alittle yin on his yang. He was studying rock guitar and switched to jazz for about 6 years till he inherited the bulding where he decided to try hostel keeping. apparently succesfully enough to to partner into a couple more. We've become quite good buds with his wife, and future soccer star son abd future cheerleader daughter. If you visiy, you,ll most certainly meet him. I'm looking forward to tour guiding, or pub crawl hosting, or what have you. nuff fo now, Smith

Monday, December 22, 2008

here and there, ect.

This photo was taken under the awning of Dave's favorite 24 hour dollar burger joint, looking accross the street at one of my favorite big murals.... the burger stand has 6 kinds of sauce, beer and soccer on TV.

I have been making this portable puppet theatre out of one of our suitcases, this and that. I now have the address of the closest free public hospital, and i hope to make some visits with the theatre.

Garbage collection happens on a daily basis... freelancers go through and collect the recyclables before the city trucks come. This guy has collected cardboard only.

This painting in our living room has really grown on me. it is full of zest/energy/joy.

The final game of the Argentine cup Polo match was tooth and nail from the start. Dolphina was the team expected to win (they have won the last 4 years) but we wanted the underdog team to win and sat in their section... and they won! in sudden death overtime! here the crowd swarms out of the grandstands to cheer the winning team.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Friday night out in the city....

'Tango teacher Rolando and his new dance partner Natalie invite us to go on the 39 bus to a grand old building with a Dance Hall on the second floor.....

Here's beautiful Natalie ......

Towards the end of the night, a second generation famous tango dancer and his wife were introduced (I loved her shoes).

Thursday, December 11, 2008

around and about.....

Down Town Florida street is closed to traffic and open to shopping. What I like best are the street preformers/puppet masters/and "living statues."

This dog walker has more than the average load...

One of my favorite houses in the neighborhood.
Dave working in his outdoor studio....

Saturday, December 6, 2008

our neighborhood...

Dave found this little place under the train station where we watched a soccer match with some local old guys... note the nice tile mosaic to the left .

Side streets around our place have a mixture of businesses, fancy one family homes, huge apartment buildings.. a few guys sleeping in doorways, and put together houses down by the train tracks... its a place of contrasts...

Madonna had a concert at the huge soccer stadium here in Belgrano this week. This is a photo of the crowd leaving the stadium a block from our house... it went on for about a hour.

up on our roof.....

Here's our upstairs computer/bedroom with another bath, and then the best part... two terraces....
Note the "parilla" barbeque

Here on the upper deck on the left is an actual pool about 3 feet deep for cooling off...
We have now explored most of the surrounding streets... the best find is a "china town" about 5 blocks away with great markets and food.

Monday, December 1, 2008

First evening in our new house....

First pic is a view from our front balcony off our bedroom (second pic... the "headboard" is a pair of antique wooden doors),.......................

Pic from the dining room with a view into the living room/guest room...........Livingroom/guest room (note futon sofa )

Dave cooking me our first meal............
(Next blog.... the upstairs and the rooftop terrace!!!!)

A Perfect Day

Not all days are idyllic down here... we have spent lots of time walking the wrong direction, finally finding our destination to find it is closed, putting tape on blisters, and miscommunication with the language and each other... but this last Sunday was perfect!.... a grand midday meal in a Japanese restaurant we finally found on a side street down a business hallway, a great afternoon at the polo grounds, and to top it off...a big outdoor comedy troupe performance that we were able to understand more than half of!

My plans to take lots of classes has been put on the back burner due to Universities being closed for "summer" break through December and the
relatively high cost of private Spanish classes. So instead, we have bought workbooks and a fancy dictionary and will see if we can learn on our own... (that is the big question... are we capable of self discipline down here with so many amazing distractions?) Every day, Dave picks up more and more phrases (he has found some great "old guy" cantinas where he watches soccer and practices). I find myself falling back on my pigeon Spanish learned in Mexico. I have learned to Tango pretty damn well though! I have had about 10 lessons now at the hostel from great patient teacher Rolando... I close my eyes as we zoom across the dining room floor and picture myself 6 inches taller, in a red rhinestone dress with 4 inch tango shoes.....

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

walking, walking, take a break......walking, wal...

our balcony view at night,

Checked out a fine arts cultural center/museum for classes, but the school was closed for summer break. At least the cafe in the center of the school was open...("chopp" means the house draft beer, about 1.75 $ for 1 and 2.75$ for two).

In the tradition of graffiti artists, I defaced a wall in our room and then told the owner. It felt good to take a left brain break from exploring, walking, walking, figuring out bus, maps, subway, and lots of trying to decipher WORDS in Spanish.

Friday, November 14, 2008

First Ten Days In Buenos Aries

After 24 hours in transit, we stumbled out of the Buenos Aires airport, feeling like northern bears coming out of hibernation, sniffing all the richer smells, squinting in the sun... sirens, horns, shouting street sellers. We are back at Hostel Sol, with friend/owner Daniel, who lets us stay in one of the "big rooms" of this 125 year old building. Tango teacher Rolando is still in residence and helps us with dancing..and spanish to again tackle the visa problem. Its humid and in the 90's, so we slowly adjust to "two days in one," with siesta inbetween in the heat of the day. Obama wins and taxi drivers, waiters, people on the street, spot us as americans and cheer him on. Last night we went to the weekly "Drinking Liberally" group...expats with diverse backgrounds, stories and excellent conversation skills....then on to a new dinner club, owned by two expat brothers from Montreal Canada. Arty and elegant food, great live jazz, very fancy desert... all for around $45.

Buenos Aries via Los Angeles via Mapleton OR

We did it! We sold our house on the river in Oregon to the adventurous Ragsdales, complete with furniture, canoe, and a down comforter, smashed all our art supplies and detective paperbacks into 6 suitcases and flew to Los Angeles to get our visas. We had the wrong stamps on our "papers" and even had some wrong "papers," so we faxed and UPSed "Papers" from Missouri to Washington State, and still had the wrong stamps etc. But we did have a great time visiting with sister Judy and husband Phil... amazing meals, buildings, goofy improv, a grand musical, "Wicked," and lots ofofart..... heres a totem to sports made up of golf bags........

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

off to argentina

November 2 we leave the US for Argentina.