Sunday, August 30, 2009

August in Buenos Aires

It's the last month of winter here... most days we have had temps in the 60's and 70's, but this last week its been an unusual 80 most days, with flower buds starting to pop out.










Avenida de Mayo is a big downtown wide boluvard with some amazing architecture....







One of my favorite places down town is Central Cultural Recoleta...that's where Dave is working on a stone carving and I have enrolled in a painting workshop. The place is huge and has ongoing exhibitions and shows, besides the classes. These sketches of Obama and Castro by Buenos Aires political cartoonist Pablo Temes caught my eye.....




















One of the interior patios at the culture center has a great little cafe...the top photo of this series is also another view from this patio




















But my food shot for this week is not from a fancy downtown eatery, but the daily special sign at a small joint near the train station Belgrano. Typical winter fare offered around town is "lentejas" (a rich lentel soup), "locro" (a corn and tripe stew), or mondongo (my dictionary says "innards"). I haven't tried Mondongo yet (wasnt that the name of a character in Blazing Saddles?) but lentejas is grand...















The World Tango Festival....


For the last two weeks of August, Buenos Aires hosted the world tango festival... with workshops, films, competitions and preformances every day, and all for FREE!

I went to two events... the San Martin Dance Company preforming to Vivaldi's Four Seasons, and Piazola's Four Seaons in Buenos Aires ...








and the semifinal competion of Salon Tango...Couples from all over the world.... and some remote providences in Argentina... with everything from glitter and fancy lifts, to stately mature chunky couples displaying understated grace and connection...

























And here is a movie of my favorite couple from Mexico...
video
(I know.... you are asking,"why did she turn the camera sideways?," and the answer is that the birdbrain part of me forgot that you, the viewer could not easily turn your computer on its side to get the dancers' whole bodies as they moved towards me!)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Our new neighborhood.......



video
video

Our new digs, and what we've been up to....

our new hallway and living room....












two bedrooms

and the kitchen... note the bright yellow thing on the wall... its a typical gas flash hot water heater... no more running out of hot water cause the tank is used up....






our view out the living room window....we traded lots of view at our old place for a very central location





half a block away is a small french restaurant where i had this poached lemon filled with a sabayon custard, and lemon sorbet on the side...





If you haven't seen one of the new Walt Disney three D movies yet, you are missing a treat...Forget that they are corny cartoons.. not only are the loaner glasses very cool, but the effects are much more startling than i remember from the late '50's versions. We have seen two now, and i am ready for more!

And, in closing, a quote from The Ground Beneath Her Feet, by my favorite living writer, Salman Rushdie:
"For a long while I have believed that in every generation there are a few souls, call them lucky or cursed, who are simply born not belonging, who come into the world semi-detached, if you like, without strong affiliation to family or location or nation or race; that there may even be millions, billions of such souls, as many non-belongers as belongers, perhaps; that, in sum, the phenomenon may be as "natural"a manifestation of human nature as its opposite, but one that has been mostly frustrated, throughout human history, by lack of opportunity. And not only by that; for those who value stability, who fear transience,uncertainty, change, have erected a powerful system of stigma and taboos against rootlessness, that disruptive, anti-social force, so that we mostly conform, we pretend to be motivated by loyalties and solidarities we do not really feel, we hide our secret identities beneath the false skins of those identifies which bear the belongers' seal of approval. But the truth leaks out...in our myths, our arts, our songs, we celebrate the non-belongers, the different ones, the outlaws, the freaks. What we forbid ourselves we pay good money to watch, in a playhouse or movie theatre, or to read about between the secret covers of a book....The tramp, the assassin, the rebel, the thief, the mutant, the outcast, the delinquent,...if we did not recognize in them our least-fulled needs, we would not invent them over and over again, in every place, in every language, in every time."





Monday, August 17, 2009

The conundrum of "stuff"....









My "Argentine eyes" noticed that many of the people we visited on this trip back to the US of A had some "issues" about all their accumulated stuff ("we want to move, but first we have to figure out what to do with all this stuff!;" "I couldn't find the tent in all the stuff in the garage, so I had to buy a new one;" etc.)...including me... (what to do with a full storage unit in the US)? So friend Dana and I had a yard sale, and got rid of maybe a 4th? of my crap,... and i gave in and paid for another year of storage!








When we came down to Argentina, we only brought with us three suitcases each...and by the time we left for this vacation, we had to store 13 extra boxes of stuff.. Most of my past accumulated crap came from yard sales...yard sales are, for many Americans, a favorite weekend past time (not to mention the other Americans who hang out in shopping malls for weekend fun). Not so in Argentina...and the concept of having to rent a storage unit for one's extra stuff seems strange indeed (I only found 2 listed in the phone book, in a city of 13+ million). Now governments and not just the advertising industries are encouraging us to fight the global financial mess by getting out there and consuming more?...