Friday, August 31, 2007

Window Washer 3

Friday 31 August 2007

Okay, he wasn't actually washing the window, he was scraping paint off it (I guess the painters for our building are not so neat) but I walked into the kitchen and thought it was a neat picture.

Thursday, August 30, 2007


Thursday 30 August 2007

The dessert from my final Syrian cooking class. Mamul - it was delicious. I was sad to see the class end, but will be glad to start practicing some of my new recipes!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Wednesday 29 August 2007

I just thought the set-up of this pic was nice, with the white, blue, and yellow.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Window at Work

Tuesday 28 August 2007

Just some window.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Glacial Escalator

Monday 27 August 2007

This is an ad by the Tourism Board for the Perrito Moreno Glacier in Patagonia. I thought it was neat, and it always makes the trip down this escalator (which is in the subway station) a little special. (Ice cool, one might say.)

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Sunday 26 August 2007

This is very expensive Venezuelan chocolate. They are both flavored high-quality dark chocolate (mango on the right, some kind of flower on the left) covered with white chocolate. One of my co-workers is Venezuelan, and he recently informed me that Venezuelan chocolate is supposed to be some of the best in the world. Switzerland, Belgian, Germany, they all get their chocolate from Venezuela. So, on his recommendation, we sought some out. (Well, it didn't really take much recommending.) These are from a very fancy little shop, extremely expensive but worth it, in Belgrano. We got six - these two, raspberry, pepper, chili pepper (which was my absolute favorite - the spiciness seemed to open your tongue up to the flavor of the chocolate, making it more intense) and coffee.

If you live in Buenos Aires, you should check it out - Kakao, Federico Lacroze 1660.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

World Tango Championship

Saturday 25 August 2007

We stood in line for two and a half hours this morning to get free tickets, and for another two hours this evening to get good seats, but it was worth it - Ryan and I attended the fifth annual World Tango Championship!

It was amazing - the very best tango dancers in the whole word dancing right in front of us. (And for being free, our seats were pretty good!) There were 17 couples dancing - 10 from Argentina, 2 from Columbia, 1 from Chile, 2 from Japan, and 1 from Russia. The dancing was "tango escenario," which is show tango, the "flying tango" as the German girl we met in line put it. The really showy fancy, flip the girl around kind of tango. Very fun. We were just so impressed by some of the incredible moves and the unbelievable fast footwork.

The couple that won was Argentine, and I guess they were really young and new and had learned to dance from their parents.

What really surprised me about the whole thing, though, was the audience. This was not a quiet, serious, dark and tango-ish crowd. There were airhorns and drums, chilean and columbian flags, and lots and lots of shouting and whistling. Not quite what I expected from a meloncholy dance. But Ryan and I were both really impressed - we were so happy to see the winners so happy.

Friday, August 24, 2007


Friday 24 August 2007

Ryan and I had a very very special dinner tonight. The Armenian community is pretty big here in Buenos Aires, and have set up a neat little Friday night tradition. Every week, all the mothers and grandmothers gather at the cultural center to cook dinner for hundreds and hundreds of people. There is an amazing variety of delicious home-cooked Armenian food, and all proceeds go toward funding their children's trips back to the homeland.

The food was amazing - we had hummus and stuffed eggplant and red pepper puré and meatballs and spinach pie and fresh yogurt and the desserts! Oh my goodness, heavenly little clumps of syrup and nuts and cinnamon and filo dough, it was unbelievable. Dinner lasted a few hours, and we walked, er, rolled out of there quite happy.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Big Heads

Thursday 23 August 2007

Very unique heads in this style can be seen all over the San Telmo neighborhood of Buenos Aires. I don't know who paints them, although I'd like to, because they are always a nice little splash of color and art.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Wednesday 22 August 2007

This is the foosball table at work. Despite the fact that we are waaaaaaaaaay behind on this project, it sees a lot of use. Every day the men gather out there to play long championships, cheering each other on so loudly you would think we were at a real fútbol game.

I don't know whether it is just this office, if this an Argentine phenomenon, or if it is common to all offices, but since coming to work here I have been struck by how little work actually gets done. Long cigarette breaks are taken in the kitchen, people sip mate and chat, the guys play foosball, and the girls turn on music and sing along. Not everyone slacks off - some people here are very hard workers. But overall, I look around and don't see many of them.

The main problem with this is that we English translators cannot do our job until the Spanish team does theirs. So, if they get behind, we unwillingly get behind, too. And when the deadlines loom, it is on us that the pressure falls. Ah well, that's life, I suppose.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Te extraño

Tuesday 21 August 2007

I went wandering a bit after work today - now that I work an office job, I don't get to see as much of the city every day. So, I went for a walk and found this little fence by the train tracks. The Spanish says "te extraño," which means "I miss you."

After I have left Buenos Aires, when I think back and remember it, I will always think of trains and tracks.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Mercado del Progreso

Monday 20 August 2007

This is a great big indoor market next door to the publishing company where I work. The prices are a little higher than normal, but the produce is always really nice. And I like seeing an actual market again, instead of indivual stores or supermarkets. The outside is all very art-deco and sleek.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Subte grafitti

Sunday 19 October 2007

In the last month or two, grafitti has been popping up on the subte trains. I had not seen it before, but now it's fairly common on the A line. Maybe they started storing the trains outside or something.

It reminded me of a trainyard I stumbled through at dawn in Germany. All the trains were retired, and absolutely covered in gorgeous grafitti. I didn't have my camera with me, and have regretted it ever since.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Alley of Lost Dreams

Saturday 18 August 2007

Ryan and I saw this sign on our wanderings today. It says "The Alleyway of Lost Dreams." Quite dramatic. Although really, it was a dirty little alley behind a gas station, so not completely inappropriate.

Friday, August 17, 2007


Friday 17 August 2007

A bowl of watches. Seen in an antique store in San Telmo.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Chef Abdala

Thursday 16 August 2007

So, another Syrian/Lebannese cooking class today. Here is our rich and famous chef - Chef Abdala. He is making empanadas (I forget the name in Arabic, something that sounded like fataya) in four different flavors - meat, lemony meat, vegetable, and cheese. I think the meat was my favorite - it had essence of pomegranate in it, which was amazing. We actually got to try wrapping up these empanadas today, as well one of the delicate little deserts, so I was very excited to get to actually do something!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I live on . . .

Wednesday 15 August 2007

I was actually waiting until November 15 to put this up, but since it turns out I won't be here on that day (yea!) I decided to put it up today. Yes, that is the name of the street. Which street do you live on, sir? Why, on November 15, 1889 Street. What a name, huh?

There is another one that always makes me giggle here, which is "33 Orientales." When I first saw it, I thought to myself "33 Asian people? What?" That is the literal translation, but really it is a reference to the founding fathers of Uruguay, who are known as Orientales for having founded the República Oriental de Uruguay.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

May you never know . . .

Tuesday 14 August 2007

I liked this little bit of graffiti, and it fit nicely with Sunday's post. It says: May you never know whether you are right or left handed. (Because you only use your feet, to play futbol, that is.)

Monday, August 13, 2007

Help Wanted

Monday 13 August 2007

A common sign here in Buenos Aires - help wanted, but with restrictions. This one says that the store is looking for salespeople between the ages of 18 and 21. Actually, this store is pretty liberal - they usually request girls.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


Sunday 12 August 2007

Well, I can finally say that I have lived in Buenos Aires - I have now been to a soccer game. After months and months of wanting to go (and not really knowing how to buy tickets or figure out the schedules and all) we finally shelled out the dough for a tourist futbol outing. And man, oh man, was it ever an experience.

First of all, the game we were scheduled to go to was suspended due to violence, because of the shooting of a hooligan last week. (It was the second soccer-related death recently, so I guess they weren't taking any chances.) But our guide found a different game, and off we went.

We were searched twice on our way in - I had to go through a separate woman's entrance - and walk past all the police in full riot gear. We sat in the "popular section," which is basically the cheap, rowdy seats. It actually wasn't too rowdy, no fights or drunks or anything, but there was an awful lot of swearing! I learned a lot of colorful Spanish today, that's for sure! People were shouting mostly at Boca's (the other team) fans, and mostly phrases somehow incorporating the word "puta." (I won't translate that.) Fathers were teaching their children the best ways to insult the players.

The most surprising thing, however, was the racism. Many of the insults compared the Boca fans to Bolivians, Paraguayans, or Peruvians. In fact, to yell out "You guys are Bolivians!" was a curse in and of itself. Now, it is pretty clear here that the lighter your skin the better, and European roots are a matter of national pride - but still, I was amazed at how blatantly they threw around racial slurs.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Mary on the Bus

Saturday 11 August 2007

This is a sticker of the Virgin Mary on the rear window of a bus. You see this pretty commonly here, with a prayer for safe travel. Argentines don't go to church much, but they still have a certain Catholic streak to them.

Friday, August 10, 2007


Friday 10 August 2007

A candid scene at the subway station. This little girl was quite energetic, wanting to climb the stairs, jump down onto the tracks, crawl under the benches, put just about everything into her mouth, and her mom was not too happy about any of this. When this guy started playing for her, though, she stopped dead to stare at him, open-mouthed. She was absolutely enthralled, and just stood there staring at him for the whole song. It was absolutely adorable!

Thursday, August 09, 2007


Thursday 9 August 2007

Unfortunately, I did not help to make this delicious Syrian dessert at all. But I did witness its creation, which is the extent of my participation in the new Syrian/Lebanese cooking class I'm taking. It's with this really famous chef, and I'm learning 30 recipes, so it will certainly be educational, but I'm a little disappointed that we don't get our hands dirty. Ah well, the food was still delicious! So, once again, the invitation is open - I'd love to cook for you all! (and clearly I'll need to practice these recipes, since I don't get a chance to do it in class!)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


Wednesday 8 August 2007

These shoeshiners are a common sight here in Buenos Aires. In the business districts, you can see them on almost every corner. As I think I've mentioned before, Argentine's are very creative when it comes to putting food on the table, and no option goes unexploited. People wear shoes, so someone is there to shine your shoes.

This guy was really friendly, and his customer was curious about what I was doing in Argentina - it's always nice to ask for a picture and end up having a conversation.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Tuesday 7 August 2007

I really like taking pictures of fruit.

Monday, August 06, 2007

5 de Oro

Monday 6 August 2007

Yesterday, Ryan and I took our last visa run over to Colonia, Uruguay. (Yes, I know, I'm a day behind. It's because I posted that blue-eyed horse picture yesterday to satisfy people's curiosity.) I saw this sign in the yard of a house, and I thought it was neat. 5 de Oro means the five of gold, or of coins, and is a card in the Spanish deck. It's like having a sign in your yard that says "5 of spades."

Sunday, August 05, 2007

La Rural 2

Sunday 5 August 2007

Okay, I've had a few people ask about the blue-eyed horses, so here you go. It's not the best picture, because I had to crop it, but I managed to get them standing still, at least! I don't know how common this is, but I had never seen a blue-eyed horse before, and was a little unnerved by it. I suppose now I know how the little old ladies in Taiwan felt at seeing us foreigners' blue eyes! (I had one young student confess to me that her mother thought my eyes were "ghost eyes.")

Saturday, August 04, 2007

La Rural

Saturday 4 August 2007

Went to La Rural today, which is kind-of like a giant state fair in the middle of a fashionable Buenos Aires neighborhood. We saw: animals of all kinds, judging of animals, showing of animals, lots of provincial tourism ads, food stands selling sausage and cheese and sausage, huge farm equipment, blue-eyed horses (that was freaky), and lots of jars full of chichillas (live ones.) Quite the show.

Friday, August 03, 2007

I scream!!!

Friday 3 August 2007

So, every Friday Ryan and I have our little night out. We go to a restaurant, and then I get ice cream. The ice cream here in Buenos Aires is WONDERFUL. It is heavenly. Made with cream and all kinds of real stuff (which is why I only eat it once a week) it is my special weekend treat. This is the ice cream place near our apartment. It is not one of the fancy expensive places you can find in Palermo, but I go there every week and the guys are real nice and the ice cream is WONDERFUL.

My one complaint? (Besides the fact that it is waaay too fatty to eat every day, which I would if I could) is that ice cream parlors here keep it in those silver containers, which means you can't look at the ice cream when you are picking it out. But on the up side, you can ask for samples of flavors before you try!

Thursday, August 02, 2007


Thursday 2 August 2007

Simple picture today. But doesn't that room look cozy?

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Pretty lights

Wednesday 1 August 2007

I walked past this store today, and it just looked like a magical fairy land.