Saturday, September 26, 2009

first prize, great jazz, good food with friends...a good week!

Dave and friend Fredrik from Sweden went to a fancy golf course (complete with three polo fields, lawn bowling, grass tennis courts, cricket field, large elaborate english style club house built in the 1830's) and played in a fund raising tournament for a local hospital... and they won first place! champagne and a trophy with a clock in it!


We found a great little restaurant at Plaza Dorrego near our house that has no cover music every night of the week... and good music too... and unlike most clubs with music starting at 10pm, music at Del Arbol starts at 7pm....






Mike and Alicia took us to Parilla Rincon near Parque Lazama ... the paella was amazing









A new find was restaurant Prosciutto on Venezula street in Montserrat... three floors, great home made pasta.... and one of my favorite deserts: flaming rum apple egg pancake


But one still cant beat the chorizos cooked on the street... this guy is cooking up a bunch in front of the Blues Club in Bocca neighborhood, getting ready for the big Bocca soccer crowds...










here is a fan waiting for his sausage....















last,but not least of all this week... our new dream apartment building, on the corner of Defensa and Indepencia....







Sunday, September 20, 2009

workshops galore....

ok, you probably can't tell that what i am holding in front of me is a monkey puppet... but you had to have been there! Three doors down from our apartment, an art gallery holds workshops in the evenings, and "puppetry" turned out to be first a long dialog by the teacher regarding "getting in touch with your inner child," then walking around the room loosening up, then finally making a form out of newspaper and tape to "bond" with. Being a "child of the 60's," I felt I didn't need any more loosening up, and had hoped for a more left brain technical workshop dealing with making intricate marionettes...but hey, it was great fun. I am also taking a life drawing class here, and the teacher has fulfilled my desire to "tighten up" by helping me get more accurate with drawing. He is from Georgia (the Soviet Union, Georgia), down here getting a Masters in Art, and has that technical background I never got while throwing paint around in my university days... we have been working on the same portrait drawing for two sessions now, quite a change from 15 minute poses like I was used to.



At Central Cultural Recoletta, Dave and his sculptor friend talked me into taking a stone carving workshop due to the class needing one more student. I started out with a stone that was about two feet high, but after spending two hours making a 1/2 inch curve, I switched to a stone I can hold in the palm of my hand. One of the best parts of this class is where it is held, out here on the patio overlooking the city.









Here is Gabriel the teacher with the one other student besides me and Dave.










Just a little arty shot of two beautiful young girls yaking away while sitting on the step of this restaurant.



This type of little cafe is all over the business sections of town, where folks can run in for a quick snack. In the glass case are stacks of "miga" sandwiches: bread, ham, and cheese all sliced super thin and multi layered. They are what I imagine fancy english tea sandwiches look like, and you get a big plate of them for less than a buck.
















Sunday, September 13, 2009

Out on the Streets......

After we have fed our new pets (8 to 10 doves) on the windowsill... its out on the streets!





About 5 streets away from our apartment the old shipping canal of Puerto Madero has been all spiffed up with high rise apartments and a huge park... the big container ships now go up river a bit to unload or pick up....












San Telmo and Boca next door are the oldest barrios in BA, around the port where the city started. Most of development with high rises and skyscraping office buildings then moved on to "down town," bypassing many of San Telmo's beautiful old 2 or 3 story buildings....






























Most weeks there's at least 2 or 3 protests, marches or strikes, all pretty peaceful to my knowledge..... I took this pic out of a taxi window at night. The driver said it was a protest by university students, but he didn't know the issues involved...












This week the dock workers marched, subway workers shut down the subways for two hours, doctors at one state hospital marched due to the government not paying them since June, fisherman blocked a bridge demanding a subsidy due to some bans on fishing, and farmers have had an ongoing protest for several months.... After the 60's, folks in the USA seem to have opted out of demonstrating as a means to bring about change.... perhaps because many ended in violence? I don't know, and I don't know how successful the ones down here are in reaching their goals...


Meanwhile, I followed another big tradition down here and spent many hours at a local cafe... the woman on the right was raised in South Africa and just got here after several years of working in Saudi Arabia ("never again will I live in an Islamic country!"). The woman on the left was raised in Ireland and just got here after loosing her employment in Paris.... both are hoping to find some kind of work here, take a break for a while from the high achievment track....








And this week's food picture is not of fried onion rings, but squid rings, sprinkled with garlic... the small plate at the top was a freebee appetizer of squid marinated in lemon and oil .



















It's been a full week, but before bed, a movie!


video

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Mafalda, Real Estate, Art and Eats

I had been seeing this cartoon character around town... on tee shirts, posters, like "hello, kitty" in Japan, and I didn't think much about it....then this statue appeared last Sunday in the square half a block from our apartment, and people (many with tears in their eyes) started gathering for a ceremony to honor her creator, Joaquin Salvador Larado. Mafalda is her name, and her comic strip has been described as "Doonesbury meets Peanuts in Buenos Aires." The series ran from the 60's to the 80's, during military dictatorships, repressive times... and for many, Mafalda's questionings struck a personal chord. The ten books of her strips have been translated into 20 languages..so I bought one in Spanish and have been stumbling through it... what a great way to get better with the language..




Larado is the grey haired man on the right...


An Argentine friend let me tag along as he checked out an old hotel building he is considering buying that is a block away from our place... right now there is a business on the first floor and 14+ apartments on the second and third floors, two huge interior courtyards, and a huge roof top patio... some of the 20 foot ceilings have plaster relief decorations, marble stairs..beautiful old tile floors, all for $150,000!.... His dream is to remodel into 11 apartments, adding half lofts in each for bedrooms... but to do that he will have to install plumbing, wiring, fix all the cracked marble and tile floors, etc. etc. and ECT., plus somehow get the current tenants out (not an easy feat down here).
The view out to the terrace and down into one of the interior courtyards....



view from the court yard up to the third floor...





Second floor mezzanine looking out into interior courtyard...

















After yet another trip down to the port area Immigration office for another stamp for another three month wait on our permanent visas, we saw this sailing ship that is part of the Argentine Navy. She goes around the world each year with graduate sailors.




this is the part I liked best.






This week's food shot is our new favorite neighborhood hangout... most of our neighborhood joints are pretty fancy, but I spied this place next to a car park down the alley... back in the patio, there's a BIG outdoor grill and great daily specials.....










But they can't beat the french restaurant on our corner for onion soup and fancy deserts... this is a piece of apple pie...but not so simple... and I think the apple slices were poached separately in liquor based syrup? , then placed on a shortbread crust...
Bon Appetit!