Saturday, March 31, 2007


Saturday 31 March 2007

Ryan's photography skills are coming in handy once again! This weekend, he was invited to an estancia, or ranch, way out on the pampas, to take some promotional pictures for their websites and brochures. (Set up through a friend of ours who was working for them, briefly.) So, he got a free weekend at a luxurious country house, and I got to tag along as his "assistant." (I carried the camera bag, handed him lenses, unfolded the tripod, generally acted as the "camera caddie," and occasionally gave my opinion on shots or angles.)It was a beautiful ranch about five hours south of the city, called La Margarita (the daisy) staffed by some excellent people and serving wonderful home-cooked food. (All the milk was fresh from their cows! It was heavenly.) More to come!

Friday, March 30, 2007


Friday 30 March 2007

Even the sidewalks can be beautiful here.

Thursday, March 29, 2007


Thursday 29 March 2007

The home of a plumber in the Boedo neighborhood, advertising his services. It's quite common to see these ads up on people's homes, advertising lessons or services.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

No hay monedas

Wednesday 28 March 2007

A very serious issue today - the Buenos Aires coin shortage. Signs like this (No Coins, Cooperate) are up everywhere, begging customers to pay with change. Every cashier asks for change before doing any transaction. People give you dirty looks at the sight of paper money, and some places will even refuse to sell to you if you don't have coins for them. There simply aren't enough coins to go around.

I'm not sure if this stems from, or is simply exacerbated by the fact that all city buses, the major form of transportation here, run solely on coins. But I know that it's enough to drive you crazy. I myself have taken to hoarding coins and almost never paying with exact change.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Tuesday 27 March 2007

I saw this clearly out-of-service bus on my way to class today, and stopped to take a few pictures of it. When I was done, I noticed that the front door of the house next to me had opened, and an old man was observing me. He was grinning madly, and I couldn't tell if he was happy that someone had noticed the bus, or thought I was crazy and was laughing at me. Ah well, I liked the bus. That's Argentina's flag hand-painted onto the top there.

P.S. Happy Birthday, Dad and Uncle Chris!

Monday, March 26, 2007


Monday 26 March 2007

I have an x-ray camera, you know.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Recoleta 3

Sunday 25 March 2007

Okay, so I took this a few days ago, before a class I have right across the street from Recoleta cemetery. (The giant "city of death" in the middle of the city, where Argentina's rich and famous are buried rather ostentatiously.) But as I didn't do anything today besides laundry and grocery shopping and lesson planning and cooking, I thought I'd treat you to a little something nice for Sunday.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

The Cocker

Saturday 24 March 2007

Ryan's photography skills are coming in handy once again! A few months back he won a photography contest in a local paper, and just today we were able to claim his prize - a night at a local bed and breakfast called The Cocker. It was amazing, comfortable, bright, cozy, and quite luxurious. If I knew someone rich coming to town, I would definitely recommend this place. And the two British guys who own it are fabulous and friendly and made our stay really comfortable. This is a picture of our personal breakfast nook.

Friday, March 23, 2007


Friday 23 March 2007

I chose the artistic picture out of a bunch I took in the same spot today, but I am sad to report that this reflection was found in the gutter. This water, teal and milky, is what was flowing down the street, along the sidewalk. You see this strange liquid in the gutter (comes in all different colors!) far too often for my taste. I have been living in big dirty cities for far too long, and the end is no where in sight. Ah well, being human, we live and we adapt. Perhaps this is our downfall as well as our saving grace, perhaps if we didn't adapt so easily to litter and smog and turquoise creamy runoff, we wouldn't put up with it.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

No Parking

Thursday 22 March 2007

In my neighborhood.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Happy Day

Wednesday 21 March 2007

I hope you're having a wonderful day, no matter how the cookie crumbles.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Quilters' paradise

Tuesday 20 March 2007

I think I've mentioned before that I work in the garment district a little ways out of the city. An interesting thing happens every evening as I am heading home. All the stores put their clippings out onto the curbs (I think to be picked up by the garbage man?) making giant piles of cloth on all the corners. All different colors and textures and kinds of cloth, everything from jeans to silk to flannel to cotton in every shade of the rainbow.

Sometimes you see people sifting through them, although I'm not sure what for. They don't have any monetary value, or the whole pile would be gone if five minutes. I know I've taken a few pieces here and there to use for patches on bags and clothes, so maybe that's what they're doing too. But I like to imagine that they are quilters.

Monday, March 19, 2007


Monday 19 March 2007

So, I was sitting in the park today between classes, looking through books and lesson plans, when this guy comes up and asks me if I'm a student. I tell him what I do here, and he tells me that he is professional calligrapher, the oldest one in Argentina. He goes on to lament that I can't see the Argentina of his youth, as nothing works right anymore and kids these days get into all kinds of trouble. Also, everyone has bad handwriting nowadays. These facts seemed to be somehow related.

But he was really sweet and friendly and was interested in hearing where I was from (a rarity in itself here). It's always nice to meet someone new.

Funny though, he insisted on giving me his contact information, in case I needed anything while I'm here, and wrote it in my planner. I looked at it later, and couldn't read his name, because it was so fancily done!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Pampas

Sunday 18 March 2007

So, this is the pampas, the prairies of Argentina. Ryan felt right at home out here, and was loving the skies and the wide open spaces.

I have to say, I do like the prairie skies, but there is still something about not having trees around that puts me on edge. I think I may have figured it out. If you were walking or lost or looking for something on the prairies, and couldn't see anything, you'd know there was nothing for a very very very long time. Whereas if you were lost in a forest, there could be something around every turn.

I don't know, maybe this is it, maybe not, but I like trees.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

San Clemente del Tuyú

Saturday 17 March 2007

Ryan and I decided we needed a break from the noisiest city in South America, and so we headed out to the coast for a weekend of fresh air. We chose San Clemente, a town of about 10,000 people right on the beach, a few hours from BsAs.

We stayed in a campground right on the edge of town, butting up against the wide open pampas (see tomorrow's post for picture). Funny, the campground was actually closed, so I had to use some Spanish-sweet-talking skills to convince the caretaker to let us stay there (and some Spanish-palm-greasing skills, as well.) The campground had a resident pony, blind in one eye, wandering around.

The weekend was some sitting on the beach, some sipping beer while playing cards, some tasting local alfajores (cookies), lots of picture-taking, and plenty of quiet. It was nice.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Self Portrait 4

Friday 16 March 2007

In the San Telmo neighborhood.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Orange Juice

Thursday 15 March 2007

Oranges are pretty cheap here (see Saturday's post about government subsidies for things Argentines don't eat: fruits veggies) so we like to buy them in large amounts and make our own orange juice. This electric juicer was the nicest thing that came in the apartment!

P.S. Happy Birthday, Jenny!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Pi Day

Wednesday 14 March 2007

So, Ryan found all kinds of sites on the internet detailing all kinds of nerdy celebrations going on today. It is March 14, or 3.14, Pi day. And the math geeks shall have their parties!

I actually had my eye out for pie all day today, but didn't see any. So, I had to make do with a circle picture. This is actually one of the many trash recepticals on the sides of the streets, for people to put their household garbage in on a daily basis instead of keeping it in their house.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Martes Trece

Tuesday 13 March 2007

In Spanish-speaking countries, Argentina included, Friday the Thirteenth is not unlucky the in slightest. As it turns out, Tuesday the Thirteenth is. So, today was the scary bad-luck day here in Buenos Aires. (As it was last month, as well, but I forgot to write about it then.)

I took this picture today because it is of a rather unusual good-luck talisman, and I figured a superstition would be fitting today. This is my student Maggie, at the cafe where we have class. Around her wrist is a US Marine Corps tie, given to her by a group called, for unclear reasons, the "Ghostbusters." Evidently, this trick was tried by some unemployed guy who soon afterward got a job and made millions of dollars. Now, there is a little group of women in this apartment building who believe that US Marine Corps ties worn around the wrist will bring economic prosperity.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Big Tree 6

Monday 12 March 2007

A big tree I saw, with a hole right through the trunk. (And a rather annoying piece of grass in front of it that I really should have noticed earlier!)

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Door and Doll

Sunday 11 March 2007

Door in the Floresta neighborhood.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Vegetable Shopping

Saturday 10 March 2007

Ryan and I went shopping today for two dinners we are planning to prepare for friends tonight and tomorrow night. We bought four ears of corn, three cucumbers, celery, a potato, two avocados, four onions, a head of garlic, some parsley, four green peppers and one red one, one kilo of tomatoes, one kilo of oranges, one kilo of apples, a half kilo of plums, a banana, and a pear. All of this food cost seven dollars US.

The government subsidizes fruit and vegetables rather heavily. Since I cook mostly vegetarian food, I benefit greatly from this. (A good thing, considering my paycheck!)

Friday, March 09, 2007

San Jorge

Friday 9 March 2007

This is San Jorge, the cheap little parilla, or grill, where Ryan and I eat most Friday nights. You can see the soccer game on, and the other regular couple behind Ryan who also come most Friday nights. The light is odd in there, so I think I need to keep trying.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Window grate 2

Thursday 8 March 2007

Unfortunately, window grates are necessary for security here. Fortunately, they make the best of the situation, and put up very beautiful ornate works of art that just happen to be made of metal and protect the home.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Wooden Escalator

Wednesday 7 March 2007

In a few of the subte stations here, they still have old wooden escalators. It's kinda neat.

EDIT: I know, I put elevator in the first post of this. Some English teacher I am!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Amazing sky

Tuesday 6 March 2007

The sky was amazing today. Each cloud had the sun behind it, white and shining and so fake.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Once store

Monday 5 March 2007

A very common store window here in our neighborhood, Once. It is quite normal for a store around here to display absolutely everything it has for sale in a very crowded display, with prices. Inside, there is nothing but a counter, where you ask for what you would like. (Or, for the occasions when you don't know the Spanish word for a particular thing, ask them to come outside with you so you can point.)

Sunday, March 04, 2007


Sunday 4 March 2007

This is Paula, the friend with whom we went to the reserve yesterday. I figured that she deserved a picture, as we get together with her about every other weekend to practice our Spanish. (And for her to practice her English - she's our language partner.) She is wonderful and marvelous and has been so nice to us, lending us books and patiently explaining gramamatical concepts and giving all kinds of advice. Thank you, Paula!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Pampas Grass

Saturday 3 March 2007

Today Ryan and I went for a picnic with our friend Paula at the Ecological Reserve, a swampy bit of ground just outside the city. (I guess it was originally created for a football stadium that was never built.) It was so lovely to get out of the city, to breath clean air blowing off the river, to see a little green. This is some of the quintessential Argentine pampas grass that is all over the prairies here. (Which is what BA would be if it weren't BA!)

The only glitch in the whole day is the fact that we both got terribly sunburnt. We were sitting right next to the water, and a very stiff breeze was coming off the water - I was freezing. We were sitting in the sun to keep warm, but it was so cold we didn't even think about sunscreen. Foolish.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Snail on a Tree

Friday 2 March 2007

Actually, it's been pretty rainy all week this week. The snails and the fannoramas of the city have been loving it.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Rainy Day

Thursday 1 March 2007

These are our clothes, sopping wet. This morning was a rare free morning for both Ryan and I, so we decided to take a long-awaited tour of the senate. It was raining pretty hard, but we went down anyway, under my big happy green umbrella. As we got closer to the capital building, however, we found that all the streets surrounding it were blocked off, we couldn't get near it. We saw signs and heard drums, clearly a demonstration going on. Went to check it out, turns out the president was speaking! But not yet, and while we waited the rain got stronger and stronger and stronger. Eventually we were soaked, even under the umbrella. It was tropical monsoon kind of rain, you can't see ten feet in front of you rain, I couldn't believe it. We didn't wait for the president, as there were no signs of him venturing into the rain. By the time we got home, wading through rivers on the side of the street, every inch of us was wet through.

I thought it was a ton of fun, but Ryan wasn't happy.