Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Argentina. Mis Buenos Aires Queridos...

(Eva Duarte de Peron)

If I would peel off, like an onion, all the layers of politics, social turmoil, economic chaos and a few morons that tried to govern this country, if I would peel off all those layers I would find this image. As a fabulously ensembled lady told me in La Casa de la Cultura; "Argentina has been through a lot, unfortunately, pero a pulmon nunca nos ha faltado el arte y la cultura, la clase y la elegancia." (..."but through thick and thin, art and culture, class and elegance, we've never lacked.")

And that is why I'm covering my trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina in my blog. Because beauty comes in different ways, shapes and form, and porteños and their city Buenos Aires have lots of beauty to share. I also learned at an early stage in my career that the successful people in my field, the ones that get to the top, THE fashion & beauty editors, THE hairdressers, THE makeup artists, THE art directors, THE graphic designers, THE fashion designers, THE photographers... the ones that make an impact, the ones that dictate a change, they all have a common denominator; they are all a walking encyclopedia of art and history.

And now I'm going to jump quickly to this...So to you Robert E. Bryan I dedicate this entry in COMA. Thank you for being a teacher in your own particular ways, thank you for sharing your knowledge, thank you for beautifying the world with your style and good taste!
What Mr. Bryan? You never thought you had an audience?

La Eva

!Ay Eva, ay Eva! What a story and what a woman! Overall I like her I have to say. Imagine in the 40's ? First, a WOMAN, then an actress, an illegitimate child in a super conservative and super catholic environment (the worse, estaba j*dia)... !por Dior! Tenia las de perder. But the woman found three pairs of c*jones (I think more) and went on with the life SHE wanted. Alright, she died of cancer at 33 years of age, but I think she lived a full one! And that's my way of living!

If you have a chance watch "Ni Santa, Ni Demonio. Eva Peron" a film by Juan Carlos Desanzo. I really liked it.
Raw language, like I imagine conchuda people like Eva spoke. Rent it!

(Museum Eva Peron, Buenos Aires, Argentina.)

The museum of Eva Peron is presided by Evita's grandniece Cristina Álvarez Rodríguez. You must visit this place if you are in Buenos Aires. Some of Evita's dresses and accesories are on display. I was impressed by how tiny she was, definitely runway model size. There is also a pair of Parisian shoes I gagged over. The hats?! Visit, visit, you won't regret it.

The Doggies y La Caca

You know how fanatic I am about dogs! So the doggies in Argentina could never escape my images! Yes, I saw stray dogs, but not one in bad shape; the neighbors seem to take care of them. But, one thing, when you are walking in Buenos Aires, watch out for all the poo-poo on the sidewalk. Dog owners really need to understand que la mierda apesta y resbala and that they are the ones that need to pick up the caca, PLEASE!

Bar Seddon

(A sculpture from grandma Seddon. It's permanently displayed at Bar Seddon)

For all of you that don't know me, I have to tell you that when I travel I feel most comfortable, well, first, in very clean accommodations, and of dirty ones I have a few stories to tell you. Right Giorgio Ammirabile? (Lol. If you ever see us together ask us, you'll laugh.) But besides that, I adore places with essence, with stories, with well, history, even if its a bar.

(Martin Seddon of Bar Seddon and Karlo)

In San Telmo, a -hood near La Boca and after Microcentro I found this quaint bar called Bar Seddon. I guess my angels of travel are always with me and I randomly find these places. Bar Seddon is filled with art and antiques, but the air is fresh and definitely does not smell like a mausoleum. It also happens that when I walked in this gentleman called Martin greeted me. Well well well, Martin is the owner of the bar, well not really but really. Martin is the grandson of the owners/founders and pretty much runs it. So we ordered Champagne and while chatting I learned that most of the things inside the bar are antiques or pieces of art his grandmother have sculpted over the years. Great ambiance, great munchies, and great and sweet borracheras (drunkness).

Restaurante El Obrero

(Restaurant-Parrillada El Obrero in La Boca, Buenos Aires)

When you travel, do you try to find places that accelerate the dilution of your persona within the culture of the country you are visiting?

On that note,let me tell you a brief story. For a FEW hours (thank God!) I visited Puerto Madero, one of the most "hip and happening", $, areas, so they say, in Buenos Aires. It pretty much reminded me of the Financial District here in New York, the area facing the Hudson. Strolling down Puerto Madero you will be amazed by the FABULOUS and "five star" restaurants like Hooters, TGI Friday's and the like. Noooaht at all my way of experiencing porteños. Come on, I flew 12 freaking hours (thank God flat!) to see HOOTERS! NO way! Puerto Madero was a big dissapointment, pero... in my search for authenticity I found a gem called El Obrero.

El Obrero is NOT in Puerto Madero, its in La Boca, near Caminito. Don't try to get here in the evening, unless you are into kinky robbery scenes. Instead go for daylight and you will see no vampires. El Obrero is in the midst of streets que no dicen nada and of crumbling walls, but then, all of a sudden, you open door number 64 of Caffarena street and you enter El Obrero, a MUST if you visit BA. Yes, you'll find tourists here mixed with lots of locals, obreros, (plomeros for Glorimarta ) and power suits as well. But at least they are enjoying what you are enjoying too, cultura, historia and good, authentic porteño food!

(My last supper in BA and the best! @ El Obrero)

(El Obrero keeps San Cayetano at the bar, so he can keep an eye on the calles where the restaurant is, La Boca.)

El Norte

Bar-Restaurante 'El Norte' on the border of Recoleta and Tribunales -hood.
Arroz con pollo: $4.50 US

Owner of El Norte Don Rogelio, a Spaniard, with a diaria la señora Doña Marta. This is like a club I swear. He greets and meets all the locals that have been coming here for 38 years.

El Manto

Well, you know, after awhile the traveler needs to take a break from the regional food. So if your uric acid levels start hitting the roof, try El Manto, an Armenian restaurant pa' ssshhhuparse los dedos (finger licking).

Caminito in La Boca

(La Boca buildings, although some of them in really bad condition, show a beauty that cannot be taken away even in the midst of chaos.)

(Caminito, in La Boca.)

Caminito is in La Boca where Benito Quinquela Martín ancla sus pinturas (find his inspiration for his paintings). The buildings start brightening with jewel matizes as the cohabitants of this area retrieve remnants of paint from the ships that docked in La Boca in order to paint their houses. This area is also filled with artesanos almost every day. But if you want an overload of artesanias visit Caminito on Saturday or Sunday.

(A Quinquela at the Casa de la Cultura, Buenos Aires.)

Quinquela paintings depict the Buenos Aires, specifically La Boca, of the turn of the century until the 1970's. Quinquela is considered by The Institute of Pinacotecografía of the Museum of the Louvre a genius of la pintura. Quinquela does not fit into any painting style like surrealism, etc., hence he is regarded as THE one and only quinquelista. His style? Quinquelismo.

(La Boca painted by Quinquela.)


(Subway adv. from the Gobierno de la Cuidad)

Buenos Aires is filled with art everywhere. Poesia, paintings, fabulous arquitecture, style, beautiful women and men... so everywhere you go you are faced with a poem or the like. Even the text in the boxes of cereal and milk are poetic. I swear!

Of course the subway seats in Argentina had to be made of velour, of course. But then I thought, not too hygienic really. I kept thinking of the chinches (bed bug) invasion in New York City. They would have a feast on those benches. !Ya me empezo a picar! (I feel itchy already!).

Cultura, La Casa...

Casa de la Cultura at the El Diario La Prensa building. Salon de Oro, where they offer free concerts to the citizens of Buenos Aires EVERY SUNDAY! Don't miss it!

Here the orquestra of Orlando Trujillo with tango singer Virginia Veronica and a surprise quest Carlos Buono Quintero. Superb show! FREE!

Salon Dorado de la Casa de la Cultura.

Dead People

La Recoleta Cemetery

The cemeteries in BA are a display of art and history I would NOT have missed EVAh. You must if you visit BA. You also have to visit Chacarita (another cemetery).

La Recoleta Cemetery

The mausoleum of Rufina Cambacérès... you really don't want to know her story... la leyenda dice that she was buried alive... accidentally. oops!

Chacarita Cemetery

Not much I can say about Carlos Gardel here, I would have to write a book. But one interesting annecdote is that he was considred lento (slow) in school. Not too bright. Oh well!

Chacarita Cemetery

Alfonsina Storni... what a life. Another woman abrecaminos with a tragic ending. She also left a legacy behind her.

Te vas Alfonsina Con tu soledad
¿Qué poemas nuevos fuíste a buscar?
Una voz antigüa De viento y de sal
Te requiebra el alma Y la está llevando
Y te vas hacia allá Como en sueños
Dormida, Alfonsina Vestida de mar...

La Recoleta Cemetery

...and last but not least, Eva Duarte de Peron's mausoleum. The only one that has flowers 365/24/7.
* "In government, one actress is enough" - Eva Peron.

En fin, my visit to Buenos Aires, Argentina was unique. It took me a few days to get over the "traveler's syndrome" of comparing cities and places. You can't do that with Argentina. It's unique, it's special. You'll also find out, that even though its in the south,
you wont find THAT southern comfort inmediately, you have to be the iniciator, then they'll open up and you'll find a wonderful world... all the way down in the south.

1 comment:

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