Saturday, June 30, 2007

Jardín de Cactus

Saturday 30 June 2007

This is my friend Carolina, reading her poetry. I couldn't understand a lot of it, because 1. it was in poetic Spanish, and 2. that guy playing the violin made it super-hard to hear anything. But it was a cool little night with music and photography and poetry at a gallery downtown.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Graffiti 6

Friday 29 June 2007

Some nice graffiti at a cultural center/school.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


Thursday 28 June 2007

This is my student Maxi. He started out as a big pain - spoiled, difficult, speaking disorder, probably ADD, who knows what else. But after a few months of rigid discipline and lots of reward games, he ended up being one of my favorite students. One of the few people in whom I saw progress, which is always nice for a teacher. Unfortunately, today was my last class with him - one of the few students I will miss.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Fashionable Ladies

Wednesday 27 June 2007

I may have mentioned that I often have classes up in the garment district of Flores. Pretty much every shop is a clothing shop around there, so I walk past dozens, if not hundreds, of display windows on my way to class. Lately, this is what I've been walking past. This is the newest style to hit Buenos Aires. Some have neon pink, some neon purple, some neon blue, but they all have one thing in common: yellow tights. One pair, at the very least, in every window. Usually more. But one thing I can say for sure about winter fashion in Argentina: Yellow tights for everyone!!!!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Self Portrait 5

Tuesday 26 June 2007

These are the buzzer buttons to people's apartment. Doorbells, I guess. And me. It's getting pretty cold down here.

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Tooth . . . Mouse?

Monday 25 June 2007

This is the Ratón Perez, who is the Argentine equivalent of the tooth fairy. He is a mouse that creeps into children's rooms at night and replaces the teeth under their pillows with money. I asked my Spanish teacher Emiliano what happens if the house has mouse traps, but he was a little vague on that point.

This is a poster of a kids' movie made about the Ratón Perez (which, by the way, just means the Mouse Perez, which is a surname. I will try to find out where this comes from.)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Mourning Gardel

Sunday 24 June 2007

I think I've mentioned this before, but the Argentine people have a rather morbid tradition of celebrating the deathdays of their heroes instead of their birthdays.

Today is the 72nd deathday of Carlos Gardel, the most famous tango singer ever. Ryan and I headed up to Chacarita cemetery, where he is buried, to see if anything was going on, and we were not disappointed. Dozens of people were gathered around, talking and taking turns singing tango songs. We met a singer named Paloma Valdez and a professional tango dancer. They were very excited to meet foreigners interested in Gardel, and took us over to meet the world's foremost expert on "Carlitos" (as the porteños affectionately call Carlos Gardel.) He has written more books on the singer than anyone else in the world! We stayed around chatting with these people and listening to stories about Gardel for a little while, then eventually gave into the cold and went home.

Oh, but one thing that they always do is leave lighted cigarettes in Gardel's statue's hand, so that he can join in the party. This is a picture of the guy who would climb up and replace the smoke every time it burnt down.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Health food

Saturday 23 June 2007

In this picture, Ryan is enjoying the healthiest McDonald's hamburger that exists in the world. Mickey-D's uses 100% pure beef in Argentina, after the locals complained about the "meat" that they serve everywhere else in the world. After all, when you've got the best beef in the world, why on earth would you eat at McDonalds? So, now it's all cow.

Furthermore, this particular restaurant near our house is located in a very orthodox Jewish neighborhood. So, the beef they serve is not only all beef, but is also kosher! How's that for a special burger!

And to tell you the truth, it was a heck of a lot better than I remember McDonalds hamburgers being back home. Maybe it's psychological or because I haven't had one in so long, but this was actually pretty good! Still not as good as home-made burgers, of course, but not bad.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Graffiti 5

Friday 22 June 2007

Check out this awesome graffiti! I took a different route to class today, and stumbled upon this little gem.

The reason I took a different route to class today is that I had an interview with a publishing company where a friend of mine works. It went well, and they want to hire me on full-time for a couple of months to do some proofreading and translating! I am so excited by this! First of all, I will get some useful translating experience, which is something to think about in the future. But also, thankfully, I will not have to spend 12 hours a day running around the city anymore!

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Thursday 21 June 2007

You see a lot more old, rusty, beat-up, and repaired cars on the road here than we did in Taiwan. (Feels more like home this way.)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Sidewalks of Buenos Aires

Wednesday 20 June 2007

I got caught in the rain today, which wasn't very nice halfway through a long day running around the city, and in the freezing cold.

But, it has given me an opportunity to comment on a particularly porteño problem - the sidewalks here are terrible. They are in worse shape than Detroit's roads, if that gives you an idea of how very very bad they are. Broken and uneven and dangerous, with holes and gaps and sections of just plain dirt and loose tiles.

This is just such a loose tile, and this is why they drive me crazy. So, you'll be walking down the street, on a section of sidewalk that looks fine. Step on a tile that looks even with all the others, exactly the same. And whoosh! your foot and pant-leg will suddenly be covered with muddy water! It was a tile with a dip under one side, tricky-dicky! This is bad on rainy days, but even worse on days after rainy days, when you're not expecting it.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Ads ad nauseum

Tuesday 19 June 2007

The newest advertising gimmick here in BsAs. People holding giant signs walk out in front of cars stopped at red lights, making them look at their ad. You'll notice a fair amount of advertising already on the street behind them, as well.

Some days I just get sick of all the ads.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Fruit for sale

Monday 18 June 2007

A fruit stand near a student's house. Looks a little crooked to me.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Window, or Many Lines, or Blue, or Untitled

Sunday 17 June 2007

This picture actually was taken today. I was feeling a bit better, so Ryan and I decided to finally visit MALBA, el Museo de Arte Latino de Buenos Aires, something that's been on our list for a long time now. (This picture is from the lobby.)

It was a nice museum, not too big, not too small, mostly pretty modern, and there were two exhibits I could play with. (Hands-on art is my favorite.)

One thing we noticed, however, was that many of the works had more than one title. In fact, some had three or four titles! I don't know if this is a South-American thing, or if these were just particularly indecisive artists, but it struck me as very odd. In fact, there were a couple of paintings that had one or two titles, and then were also titled "Untitled." I don't know how that works.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Palo Borracho

Saturday 16 June 2007

These are the spikes that cover the trunks and branches of many of the city's numerous "Palo Borracho" (drunken stick) trees. (The English name is "Floss Silk Tree.") They're pretty nasty, aren't they? But the flowers, delicate pinks and whites and yellows, resemble orchids. It's a really lovely tree.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Bum Bum

Friday 15 June 2007

He he, I saw this store in Palermo and thought it was funny.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Thursday 14 June 2007

I am not feeling the best today- I either ate something that really disagreed with me, or caught a stomach virus somewhere along the line. I didn't really take any pictures today, because I spent all available time in bed (and the bathroom), so this is an archive photo I've been saving for just such an occasion. I'm going to magically and pyschically look into the future and guess the next couple of days might hold more of the same.

Either way, nice grafitti, huh? Colibri means hummingbird.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

K City

Wednesday 13 June 2007

The president of Argentina, Nestor Kirchner, is sometimes nicknamed "penguin," due to his rather prominent nose. Someone decided to take this one step further and made him into "The Penguin." The speech bubble says "Eliminating Telerman means that Filmus will win." (Those are two of the candidates for chief of government.

My personal favorite, however, is the fact that this little flier was put out by the Agrupación de Admiradores De Batman, The Batman Admirers group. He he!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Tuesday 12 June 2007

The sky was so weird tonight. A kind of yellow-pink that didn't fade with the sunset. The sulfur lights on the fog, perhaps. Weather's been strange lately, lots of fog.

This is the cathedral in Plaza de Mayo, and some building behind it.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Tree 7

Monday 11 June 2007

Man, I'm so tired of people canceling, people being late, people being unreliable.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Old man Mataderos

Sunday 10 June 2007

We were back at the Mataderos market today, to pick up some gifts for people back home. It was the 21st anniversary, so it was pretty crowded.

This guy is always there, always, all dressed up in gaucho gear. He was looking awfully patriotic today, and I couldn't resist asking him for a picture.

Saturday, June 09, 2007


Saturday 9 June 2007

Ryan at the local cheapie pizza place - Ugi's. All they have is pizza, either tomato sauce and cheese or cheese and onions, $6.80 for a large. (A little over 2 bucks)

Sounds cheap, but the thing is, it was $4.80 when we first got here. A two peso increase in six months! Man, the government says that there isn't any inflation, but that's a 40% increase!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Los Simpsons

Friday 8 June 2007

The Simpsons are huge down here. Posters on every newstand. You can even get Homer as various different characters, including Che Guevara (a natural combination.)

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Under where?

Thursday 7 June 2007

For being a "Catholic" country, there sure is a lot of naked woman on the streets down here. This is one particularly busty street in the Flores neighborhood (nine semi-naked ladies!) but sights like this are common. I was especially impressed by the bench with underwear in the foreground there, that's a new one.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Election aftermath

Wednesday 6 June 2007

Well, the election is over, time for the posters to come down. Bit by bit.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Plaza San Martín

Tuesday 5 June 2007

Monday, June 04, 2007


Monday 4 June 2007

What better way to advertise your butcher shop?

According to the sign, however, you can't ride her.

Sunday, June 03, 2007


Sunday 3 June 2007

Today was city elections here in Buenos Aires! We've had weeks of posters and campaigning and half the newspaper taken up with election news (when describing a candidate, they were always sure to mention which soccer team he supports) and were quite glad to see the day actually arrive. Here are people looking up their voting info at a polling location.

There has also been all kinds of union activity and strikes and trouble in the city because all the workers with grievances (of which there are an awful lot in Buenos Aires) have been trying to get the politicians to use their cause as a campaign tool. And of course, the candidates have been biting, promising to solve all these salary and benefit issues. Hm.

The thing is - the results are coming in now, and it looks like the main guy isn't going to have quite 50%, so we could be in for three more weeks of campaigning before the run-off. Ugh!

An interesting note about election day here - you can't buy any booze. The grocery stores stopping selling it at 8 pm yesterday, had the wine aisles covered with plastic, and no restaurant was serving. Last night the bars closed their doors at midnight. (Strangely, if you were inside by then they would continue to serve you, you just couldn't get in after 12.)

Saturday, June 02, 2007


Saturday 2 June 2007

This is locro, probably the most traditional Argentine dish that exists. It is basically a stew with several different kinds of meat, some beans, and maybe a few (very optional) veggies for decoration. This particular bowl wasn't great, but it's usually a wonderful warm filling mix of coziness in a dish.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Pocket treasures

Friday 1 June 2007

Ryan recently discovered the blog of some artist here in Buenos Aires who has been taking a picture of the contents of his pockets every day for the past three years. I can't imagine it would be interesting every single day, but decided that it was kind-of a neat idea.

So, here is what was in my pockets (both pant and coat) today: my cell phone, Burt's Bees lip gloss, a little bag with change for the bus, a wrapper from the anis candy I really like, a hair band and bobby pin, keys, one of the cookies that they give you at the cafe with your coffee, and a lot of old bus tickets (fair is 80 centavos.)

So, there you go, whatever you might want to imagine it says about me!