19 July 2008

Avenida Santa Fe, Veggie Curry and Dirty Roma

The past few days we've spent walking to Avenida Santa Fe, strolling around and looking at shops, playing treasure map with our Citibank, and walking around in a daze at Coto where I managed to find everything I didn't need and nothing I was looking for. So far, Palermo is really fucking cute. Reminds me of Rome, Paris and Soho: dirty and beautiful at the same time. Charming one instant, bizarre, scenic and intense, the next.

The Subte was fun. I know this is going to sound strange but I have a thing for subways. Not a sexual thing really, just a profound love for riding the subway that equals my love of walking, and movement in general. It's the speed of urbanity, sure, but it's also the pleasure you get in people watching and in acceleration.

We finally located Esquina de las flores, the healthfood place in Recoleta. But of course, it was closed. On our way, we passed bread crumbs on steps, the most depressing hospital I've ever seen in a developed country, and lots of pizzerias, chocolate shops, empanada stores and boutiques.

Last night we to Bio and ate yummie vegetarian food. I think $ARS 90 is way too much for a meal in Argentina unless it comes with a hot stone massage afterwards. Especially when you tabulate servicio de mesa for 8 pesos, which is a load of crap. But I decided to let that slide just once. Or maybe I was too tired to protest.

And here are some pictures to keep things real:

The saddest hospital in town
Strolling down Avenida Córdoba
Che, gatito
I don't know what interests me more: the fact that there's bread on the stairs, or the fact that someone left it there. Maybe it's for the cat. . .
El aire arriba
First Subte ride on the D line
When you get sick of Avenida Santa Fe, just walk backwards
There's something about merry-go-rounds and sunlight
Freight Train
Who's this handsome beatnik, anyway?
Entrance of Bio
Point of view: mineral water
Tabletops in Bio
Curry Seitan and Risotto with Goat Cheese. Holla!
Perfect Place Name
Avenida Santa Fe
Tin Woman
I've never heard of Alto Palermo before. Shit, where have I been?
Sometimes I get goosebumps just walking through Buenos Aires
Paris or Buenos Aires? ¿Importa?


youheard said...

Hey. I'm moving to Buenos Aires in September and have been reading your blog for the past month or so.

Like you, I've opened a Citibank account and was wondering what fees are attributed to withdrawing money from BA atms?

Good luck with getting settled and I look forward to reading more about your first couple weeks.

Mark, New York City

Robert Evans said...

Prices are on the rise and I doubt they'll stabilize over the next 18 months. I hope I'm wrong but it pays to plan for the worse.

I'm enjoying reading about your adventure and wish you the best.

Welcome to Buenos Aires.

miss tango said...

Dude, you have no idea what the saddest hospital in town looks like.

JACKSON BLISS @ 水と魂 said...

Hi Mark,

I'm flattered you've been reading my blog all this time. It's nice to know who some of my readers are. In answer to your question: I'm not an expert on this by any means, but I'll tell you what my impression is, and what others have told me. Citibank won't charge you for using one of their ATM's, but they will charge you this lame foreign currency fee that's around 2-3% of your transaction. So if you withdraw $1,000, say for rent, they're gonna take a bite out of your ass at the rate of $20-$30, which is outrageous, if you think about it. The problem is that the other banks aren't that much better. HSBC charges 2% too. And many banks will also charge you just for using your debit as a credit card in another country. Frankly, it's bullshit. My advice to you is: come with as much cash as you're comfortable bringing, and then keep your bank account for all the money you don't want to carry with you. Or for emergencies. If I hear any updates, I'll let you know. And good luck with your September move. You're gonna love it here.

JACKSON BLISS @ 水と魂 said...

Miss Tango,

Why do I feel like you're always putting your claws in me? You're not still mad at me about the moonlight sonata comment are you?

Alas, I know you're being direct so I'll take it like a tough guy. But, I would like to say that I've seen worse hospitals in my life, but most of them were in African villages, and I didn't have to use them, and technically, they were just huts where someone had painted the word "hospital" on the straw bale roof with a shaky paintbrush. So I know it can get much worse, but when Erika and I walked past this hospital, it looked depressing. That's the truth. And, more to the point Mrs. Tango, it was hyperbole. I'm a writer: I get to use figures of speech when I feel like it. And so do you. I don't literally mean it's the saddest hospital in town because I'd have to first go and visit each and every hospital before I could make that statement. But since when you are such a literalist, my feisty Canadian friend?

Anyway, let's just make up, okay? I've never even met you but I feel like we just had a nasty divorce. Someday I'll buy you a medialuna as my olive branch. And you better eat it!

JACKSON BLISS @ 水と魂 said...

Hi Rob,

Thanks for checking out my blog. I just checked out all four of yours and I especially like the two chicas going to a Silicon Valley party to pick up nerdy engineer types. Sounds vaguely familiar. Anyway, you may be right about the rise of prices. My g/f and I are going to try and find a way to make it work. I hope you're doing well.

miss tango said...

?¿ok¿! lol.I have actually had to stay in a public hospital with my daughter for a week, and it looked even dodgier than the one you posted...it was kind of icky, actually really not nice at all. But the care is really fantastic. So I was actually speaking from personal experience. So if you do need to go to the public hospital, don´t worry you are in excellent hands, just close your eyes and bring your own toilet paper!
You can still buy me a medialuna though :)

JACKSON BLISS @ 水と魂 said...

Agreed Miss Tango. I'll buy you a medialuna, right after my first hospital visit. Or right after my milonga. Agreed? Now, take your claws out my side please. I need my lungs.