Tuesday, October 31, 2006

My mime

Tuesday 31 October 2006

Ryan went as a mime to the local ex-pat Halloween party tonight. He did a great job, although seeing a mime with a beard was a little wierd.

Monday, October 30, 2006

An Argentine heart

Monday 30 October 2006

Like so many other cities, Buenos Aires decided they needed some kind of big exhibition of identical shapes all painted differently by local artists, displayed around the city. Here, they chose hearts, and gave a big whoop-dee-do for a local heart healthy foundation.

This hearts says, I believe, "A good porteño heart," (Porteño means from Buenos Aires) and is painted in the local fileteado style. I can't be entirely sure, however, because I can't find the word "cuore" in my dictionary. But they like to make up words down here - some days the langauge they speak only vaguely resembles Spanish.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Church in Uruguay

Sunday 29 October 2006

I didn't want to think that Uruguay was nothing but large amounts of cholesterol, so I figured I'd put up one more picture of it. Colonia, the city we visited, was quiet and quaint, full of buildings left over from Spanish colonization (like this church) and fresh air. It was a wonderful escape from the noise and dirt of Buenos Aires.

And, by the way, I am really sorry for my recent laziness. I always take a picture for the day, I just don't always get around to publishing it. Much as I'd like to blame this on a certain computer-hogging boyfriend, I'm afraid it also has something to do with my new teaching job, trying to study Spanish, and well, my own negligence.


Saturday 28 October 2006

Ryan and I went to Uruguay today (it's right across the river) to renew our visas. While there, we just had to try chivitos, a customary Uruguayan dish. Basically, what we were served is this: grilled beef, which is then covered in bacon, smothered in cheese, topped with ham, and finally a fried egg. This was served on top of a dish of some kind of potato salad, french fries, and lettuce and tomatoes (to make it healthy). It was DELICIOUS.


Friday 27 October 2006

Another cooking class today, yum! We made empanadas, one of the most common Argentine dishes that exists. Basically, it is meat or vegetables, but usually meat, wrapped in dough and baked. You can get them all over town, and they are often eaten as a snack between meals. I love empanadas, and have to be careful not to make myself sick of them by eating them too often!

You know, I've made enough dumplings by now that you'd think that the slightly larger empanada would be a piece of cake, but all of mine turned how horrible and messy. They barely held together in the oven. I promise to improve, however, before making them for any of you!


Thursday 26 October 2006

Sadly, this is my last week of Spanish classes before I set my nose firmly against the grindstone and begin teaching. So, here is a picture of Carolina, my Spanish teacher, who is a wonderful funny bright intelligent and bubbly girl. (and not that blurry in real life)

Purple tree

Wednesday 25 October 2006

A blooming tree in Plaza Congreso. I'm really enjoying spring here.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Snakes on a door

Tuesday 24 October 2006

This is the door-handle on a house down the street from me. Perhaps the Malfoys live in my neighborhood . . .

Monday, October 23, 2006


Monday 22 October 2006

This is a typical local little parrilla, or grill, offering meat, meat, or meat, for very low prices.


Sunday 21 October 2006

Many Argentine folk dances use hankerchiefs, the women spinning them in the air, the men using them to try and capture the women.

This picture was taken at the wedding of our friends Sandra and Alan. Both of them play in folk music bands, so fittingly, their wedding celebration was basically a great big concert. They played, along with dozens of other traditional bands, while the people danced and ate great quantities of meat. Two children's dance troups performed, wowing us with their footwork. (Look for Ryan's photos of the kids, soon to come on his site!)

It was an excellent day, and we left tired and happy.


Saturday 20 October 2006

Another experiment in self-photography -- with not the best results. However, I got my hair cut today, and rather liked it.

El Cholo

Friday 20 October 2006

This post is very specifically for one Mr. (Dr.) Stephen Field. It turns out that "cholo" means mestizo or mixed-blood in Spanish. Who knew?

Fuera Bush

Thursday 19 October 2006

There is a lot of political graffitti in BsAs, here is one particularly creative example. The bottom basically says "We don't want Bush stepping on Argentina."

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Wednesday 18 October 2006

On Lavalle St.


Tuesday 17 October 2006

This is a rather nice example of fileteado, a painting style unique to Argentina, on Defensa St. It can be seen on all kinds of storefronts and signs and advertisments. I think it was started by bus drivers early in the century, who would paint designs and witty (sometimes dirty) sayings on the backs of their buses, for decoration. And from that, we have the now quintessential Argentine style.

Parque Lemaza

Monday 16 October 2006

Some kids in Lemaza Park, in the neighborhood of San Telmo, Buenos Aires.

Oh yes, and today is a holiday here, everyone is off for Columbus Day. Argentines are still very very proud of their European roots, and often celebrate their founding fathers and explorers. (Including the ones who went galavanting all over the country for the sole purpose of killing the natives. There is almost no native population left in this country, because they did such a good job with their genocides.) In fact, in this very park is a statue of Pedro de Mendoza, who landed here in 1536 and was promtly eaten by the locals.

To Mom

Sunday 15 October 2006

Today is Mother's Day here in Buenos Aires, so I decided to do something for my mom, and put up a picture of myself, so that she can see that I am indeed alive. (Despite the lateness of this post.) It's not the best shot, but it was taken from the top of the Palacio Barolo, a building that used to be the tallest in Buenos Aires. Behind me is the capital building of Argentina (look familiar? It was modeled after the US capital building) and Congreso Square, near which I attend Spanish classes.

Hi Mom, I love you!

New Addition

Saturday 14 October 2006

The old and new of Buenos Aires.

Friday, October 13, 2006


Friday 13 October 2006

Another knitting project done, albeit a very small and easy one: Ryan's scarf. (Just in time for summer . . .) Now to work on the much much bigger one I have going.


Thursday 12 October 2006

It was a gorgeous day today, so Ryan and I decided to take advantage of our unemployed status and go to Tigre, a popular weekend getaway spot for porteños. It is a green little town on the delta of the Rio Paraná. We hear it's insane on Saturdays, but was quiet during the week, just a sleepy little town full of short houses with colorful gardens.

Teatro Colon

Wednesday 11 October 2006

Pink Portugeus marble banister, Main Hall, Teatro Colon. (I wish I had a better picture to show you, but we were only allowed to take photos in this one hall.)

Ryan and I took a tour of this historic opera house today. It is considered one of the top auditoriums in the world, acoustically, and also one of the most beautiful on the continent. We got a glimpse of a rehearsal of the upcoming opera, saw their shoe and costume workshops, and I got into trouble for wandering off to say hello to a friend of mine who works in set construction! It was quite the tour, and reminded of how much I miss the theater.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Tuesday 10 October 2006

I don't know why this is sideways. I've tried fixing it, it keeps coming up sideways. Oh well.

But we found this in our supermarket today.

Monday, October 09, 2006

No Smoking

Monday 9 October 2006

About a week ago Buenos Aires passed a law prohibiting smoking in public buildings. Signs like this have been popping up since then, to the dismay of porteños everywhere. If you thought laws like this were difficult to enforce in North America, imagine them in a country where nearly every young person smokes, and there are very few social taboos against cigarettes. Needless to say, this law has not been well recieved.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Feria de San Telmo

Sunday 8 October 2006

I wandered around the main Sunday fair downtown today, which sells mostly jewelry and antiques, and is full of tourists. And performance artists, of course. This was "guy being blown by strong wind." Very creative.

Noche de los Museos

Saturday 7 October 2006

Tonight was Museum Night, when almost all of the museums in the city are open and free between seven at night and 2 in the morning. There are concerts and performances and activities all night long. Here are some traditional dancers on the main street.

Friday, October 06, 2006


Friday 6 October 2006

All of the elevators here are old-fashioned, with two sets of doors you have to pull open and closed yourself. Very romantic. This particular one is even more bueatiful than normal.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

God's eye

Thursday 5 October 2006

Ryan and I toured the Palacio Barolo today, a very famous old building here in Buenos Aires. Quite a quirky one, too, as the Italian architect designed the entire building to represent Dante's Divine Comedy. The three basements and ground floor are hell, complete with bronze fire-flowers and dragons snarling at you from above. The next fourteen floors are purgatory, and the eight floors after that, heaven. The entire building is 100 meters tall, for the 100 songs of the book, with 22 offices for the 22 verses in each. Every color used, every measurement, even the shapes of the tiles are all symbolic in some way. And Latin inscriptions from the text are engraved on the walls and ceilings.

The real kicker, though, is that in a little glass box above all of this, sits God, in the form of a giant lighthouse lamp. They've only lit it a few times, and never do so anymore, but it sits up there, looking over the city.

They wanted to bury Dante's ashes here, under a large statue of him that went missing and turned up in various unexpected places. I guess that the building was not impressive enough, however, and the ashes remain in Italy.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

La Boca

Wednesday 3 October 2006

I visited the neighborhood called La Boca today, a shady part of town out of the reach of the subway system. Most of it is working-class and residential, inhabited by crazed fans of the Boca Juniors, the local futbol team, and disected by the repulsive and stinking Riachuelo river. But there is one small area of it called "Caminito," which is safe and, well, touristy. The single most visited street in Bs As, in fact.

This neighborhood was originally settled by poor Italian immigrants who worked at the local shipyards. They took home leftover boat paint, and did up their houses in outrageous colors. I think most of the walls painted this way now are redone for the tourists, though.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Yea Ryan!!

Tuesday 2 October 2006

So, today's picture is really a picture of a picture, but I wanted to show off my boyfriend a little. This is the notice that Ryan won first prize in the photo contest of a Buenos Aires English newspaper, judged by professional photographers! I'm so proud of him.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Spring is sprung

Monday 2 October 2006

It is a wonderful balmy rainy day here in Buenos Aires today. Spring has indeed sprung.


Sunday 1 October 2006

Today Ryan and I went to the Feria de Mataderos, a very large fair outside the city. There are thousands of stalls selling all kinds of handmade crafts: lots of leather products, knitted and woven clothing, silver, mates, and carved wooden things. Lots of art and lots of local food. There are also gauchos (Argentine cowboys) on horses performing tricks and showing off, people singing and playing instruments, both on and off the stage, tango and traditional dance classes, and you can even ride a llama. I've heard that there is a livestock market around somwhere, too, but we didn't see it.

Big tree

Saturday 30 September 2006

In one of my Spanish textbooks I read an article about a Ukranian refugee living in Buenos Aires. She had been living here for twenty years or so, and mostly felt like a part of the community. One thing she mentioned, however, as a constant reminder that she was a foreigner, was the fact that she didn't know the names of the trees, or the birds.

And it's true - this is something I found while I was living in Taiwan, and, to a lesser extent, here as well. I would love to know what kind of tree this is, what to call it. There are trees this big, of various species, in many of the major plazas. They are like magical trees, giant fairy-tale trees. Look closely at the people sitting below it to get a better idea of just how big this tree really is.