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Sunday, 03 June 2012

A fabulous fortnight in Buenos Aires

Saturday night in Buenos Aires, what should Indiana June get busy doing?
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Moonlight yoga: at Espacio Azai for a nurturing class with creative live music designed for the event.

Suggested By: Meghan in Buenos Aires
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Miami Horror: Squat house party with the Australian indietronica band.

Suggested By: Kunal in Buenos Aires
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Arty dinner party: With a mix of Argentinians and International folks where the main course is painting

Suggested By: Ruth in Buenos Aires
      147 Votes VIEW POLL COMMENTS


Sitting on the balcony of my Buenos Aires apartment I am reflecting on the past fortnight and embracing the last bit of hug left in the waning winter sun. These little quiet moments have become really important to me in such a frantic ruleless city. To avoid sensory overload I space out the vibrations and ticklishly new sensations.

With Indiana June I felt like I was skim-reading the world, now I am reveling in all the itsy bitsy details.

I stare a little too long at the dog walkers, the street sweepers and the old men marking time and territory, stooped on their front steps.


I go to a cafe each morning before cycling to work through the hub-bub-fuzz of Buenos Aires. The tradition here is to dip a medialuna (imagine if a french croissant had a sweeter little sister) in a big mug of cafe con leche and play the drip game, trying not to wear the delicious mess on its way to your mouth.

Everything is new here. Every custom, every smell, even the light is different. I take a moment to breathe in the aroma of a meal before stabbing the unsuspecting milanesa with my fork. 

Deep breath in.

Deep breath out.

Hello Argentina and all the delicious cows within it.

On May 25 we celebrated the same day in 1810, when Argentina's first independent government was created.  This national holiday is celebrated every year and festivities are often accompanied by a large bowl of locro. No one could really explain to me why, other than it is a dish that originated from Argentina and is essentially a stew made with whatever is lying around. Chick peas, corn, chorizo, bacon... mmm.

Locro   Menu

But onto the non-meat related Argentinian experiences of the last fortnight...

Tango lessons at la Catedral:

I went to a Tango lesson on Tuesday night at a down and dirty place called La Catedral and drunk red wine, ate delicious empanadas and scooted around the dancefloor. It was like being a kid at the bumper cars with all the beginners only able to move in one direction despite the collisions. There is a giant paper mache heart that hangs like a morbid chandelier over the dancefloor and lots of random art everywhere.

You can see in this pic:

At midnight they rolled out a grand piano and a full tango band took to the floor with piano accordians and a 30 year old man who had the incredible deep voice of a 60 year old. Sadly I had to call it a night at 2 because I had a client pitch at 10am... this work and life thing is hard to keep in balance!



Fortnightly Fernet Friday painting party:

We have started a fortnightly party tradition at our new Palermo apartment called Fernet Friday. It's a sickly medicine tasting liquer that is incredibly popular in Argentina. Normally drunk with ice and Coca Cola we have made it compulsory to hold a paint brush while you're drinking it. It has resulted in some great paintings of fernet bottles on our apartment walls and the next one is this Friday so if you're in the neighbourhood come join us!



Tango wine tasting in San Telmo:

I attended a wine tasting in San Telmo on Friday night where between each wine, the shop owner belted out a tango solo. Despite the whole thing being in Spanish I learned that Mendoza where all the famous Malbec wines are produced is perfect grape-growing territory. Apparently they get more sunshine than europe which makes the grape skin thicker and bolder in taste. Their secret is to flood the earth with water so that the roots go deeper, accessing more minerals from the ground below. (Plus I learned they all taste pretty darn good!)



Cycle trip around Reservas Ecologica:

Between downtown Buenos Aires and the water is the Reservas Ecologica. With the wild natural reserve set against a highrise skyline it felt almost apocolyptic. If humans were wiped out, I am pretty sure this is what BA would look like in 30 years.  My housemate Max and I bumped through the tracks past people picnicking on the waters edge. It was such a lovely relief to get a nature fix so close to the city. Deep breath in, deep breath out, I love the salty smell of the sea.



La Boca:

After the Reservas Ecologica we crossed the tracks to Boca, where life changed instantly, hanging wires, abandoned buildings, people in the street zombie-like, broken footpaths, dog bombs, rubbish, police on every corner, looking for the colourful houses I'd seen on postcards. We stopped 3 times to ask for directions, and when we arrived we needn't have bothered, it was like Joseph and his technicolour coat had wrapped himself up in the ramshackled buildings. Meat everywhere, whether it is cooked on an asado or flaunting itself hanging off a tango partner. It was tourist overload, like Argentinian Disneyland for adults.



Moonlight yoga with Buena Onda: My voted activity this week

Buena Onda translates as Good Vibes and there were oodles of them at this special late night yoga, vegetarian feast fest. We did 90 min of yoga in a relaxing studio accompanied by musicians who played rhythms to accompany our movements. Then we went downstairs and shared a 4 course vegetarian dinner and interesting, inspired conversation. Not a bad way to spend a chilled Saturday night in BA. 



New job as a digital storyteller at Conrad Caine:

I am growing so fast in my job that sometimes it hurts but it is great to feel my brain being stretched in new directions. 3 different time zones with staff in Germany, Brazil and Argentina and an office sooo digital that we don't even have a photocopier it has been a steep but exhilerating learning curve. To quote Einstein, there are times I feel like a goldfish trying to climb a tree!

Now I am off to cycle with thousands of people for Critical Mass around the city streets as the sun sets over gorgeous Buenos Aires.


 Is it just me or does this bridge look suspiciously similar to the new one in Dublin, Ireland?



If you're a Buenos Aires fan you might also get a buzz out of: 

Latest Poll Results
New York: What will Indiana June do in the big apple?
21% Track down and visit Oliver Jeffers:
Renowned Children's storybook writer & illustrator
11% Walk the High Line:
A linear park built on a 1.45-mile section of the elevated NY Central Railroad 
11% Be a NYC detective for a day: 
Part game, theatre and tour to discover some of NYC's most off-the-beaten path spots
13% Explore the City Hall Subway Station: 
Abandoned & hidden from the public for 60 years
12% Flying trapeze class:
Hone her circus skills learning how to fly on a trapeze 
30% NZ Flag + Statue of Liberty:
Bodypaint the NZ flag on her body and go up the Statue of Liberty
2% Go to Queens and find a 'Nanny' sound-alike:
Video someone with the nanny accent saying "noo Zealand, i love that place"
Voting closed | 204 VOTES
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