28 July 2008

Puerto Madero, Congreso + Palermo

These past two days have been an elegant fusion of the wonderful, the random and the typical. Too abstract for your tastes? I don't blame you. But it's true. Here, let me give you an example:

One thing I love about Buenos Aires is that even if you went to bed at 4 in the morning the night before for no discernible reason (no partying or drug abuse, no hitting the afterhours clubs), you can totally redeem your day by getting dressed, walking to Avenida Santa Fe, and having a nice cortado. Because we're not big espresso drinkers, this means té commún and cookies. But fuck, I'll take it. I think this tradition is brilliant, sort of like High Tea in South America.
If it looks like Erika is in a daze, that's because she is. But we had time to kill. The truth is, it took me a half an hour for us to get the check after I asked for it. But that's fine. Like I care? Any culture that slows everything down I will embrace and love for eternity.
It might not look like much, but it's the tradition that's really won me over. Erika would agree too if she weren't in such a daze.
After our cortado, and a quick run to Coto where our list of three things quickly morphed into a list of thirty, we returned to our apartment and then I made one of my favorite pizzas, which included:
rosemary olives
sautéed mushrooms, onions and garlic
yellow peppers
lots of olive oil
sautéed vegan salchicha
A bunch of random plastic toys I found on the street corner while we were walking Zoe around the neighborhood. One question: is that a red propeller?
This is a picture I took last night on Avenida Corrientes as we walked all the way from Congreso to Palermo. Now, why the hell did we walk 3 miles at 11 o'clock at night, when prostitutes were starting to come out of the woodwork? One word: PARO (pá•ro) 1. The Spanish word for strike. 2. A collective, class-based protest organized around a central theme, cause, or idea, or united against a common purpose (e.g. privatization, the Helvetica font, Hillary Clinton's hairstyle). 3. Synonym for HUGE PAIN IN MY FUCKING ASS. There was a night strike involving all the colectivos and also the subte, so we had no choice except walk or dish out plata to a tachero. We decided to walk. And I ended up buying a collection of Borges stories in Castellano. Score!
Words cannot adequately explain how much I loved this.
This sums up so much about Porteña culture. Where to begin?
1. We've got sos
2. And voseo
3. The model looks tana, or gringa
4. And the translation says it all: You're prettier when you forget the wrinkles. I guess all the plastic surgeons here agree.
Now you know Argentines love their meat when there's a museum of Ham. Okay, actually it's a restaurant. But you get the point. Word on the street is that there are Picasso replicas etched in dried piece of pancetta.
Some graffiti we saw in Congreso after our delicious vegetarian meal at Bodhi
I love the subte, especially when it's running.
Kinda trippy. But I think Erika took this picture when she was still in a daze from sipping té commún for our cortado. Even though that happened today.
Walking around Puerto Madero
A walk through the reserva
For a second I thought: where the fuck am I? But then I saw the Argentine flag and everything was okay.
Fading door
When I asked Damian (Inez's boyfriend) what this was, he said it was a fregado. A pain in the ass, something annoying. When I asked him why it was here, he said it was for tourists. And then it all made sense.
On the boardwalk of Puerto Madero
La puente de la mujer, otherwise known as the great Dorsal Fin
Supposedly the most expensive real estate in all of Buenos Aires (the privilege of water, I guess), I have to say that Puerto Madero sort of scared me. It had something to do with the stagnant feeling you get around a bunch of new buildings that have no history or bloodshed or heartbreak. It also had something to do with the fact that nearby there was a goddamn Hooters, a TGIF and a McDonald's, which is enough to make me run away screaming. Ditto with the frenchies I saw there.


Lover of Nature said...

Are you vegan or vegetarian? I am vegetarian myself and my biggest concern about visiting BA since it's a meat loving country. Are there any good places for vegetarians to eat at?

miss tango said...

Yes,it looks like anywhere on the planet that has been gentrified. Lots of the buildings are old though, when they were abandoned and crumbly, it was a hang out to do naughty things like drink, drugs etc...now you have to pay thousands per square metre for the same privilege!

JACKSON BLISS @ 水と魂 said...

Dear Lover of Nature,

You're in luck. In Chicago, Erika and I were near-vegans but here in BsAs we're vegetarians and to be honest, once you know where to go, it's actually very easy. There are over 15 vegetarian restaurants, a few large health food stores, and tons of smaller ones all throughout Palermo. I was definitely worried about living here as a vegetarian after our terrible diet in Peru, but it's been really easy here actually.

A good place to start researching LoN is here at: http://www.happycow.net/south_america/argentina/buenos_aires/index.html

If that link doesn't work, Happy Cow has a Argentina section listing most of the veggie restaurants, but not all. Start there. And feel free to ask more questions if you've got them.

One last thing, there are not only gourmet veggie restaurants, and at least one raw restaurant, but there are a bunch of Vegetarian Chinese Buffets here too, and some of them are really good.

JACKSON BLISS @ 水と魂 said...

Hi Miss Tango.

A hang-out to do naughty things? Miss Tango, sometimes I feel like you're a reformed dominatrix who does a really good "Bad Mom" impersonation. But I certainly appreciate the irony you point out though, and it's true how gentrification so often means bland. I'll take an old building with some cracks in the wall any day over some of the prefab monstrosities with antispetic smelling carpet. You feel me?

Anonymous said...

It's a fragata, not a fregado! I.e. a frigate, a warship....

JACKSON BLISS @ 水と魂 said...

Dear Anónimo,

You're right of course, but the irony is that the fragata really is fregada! And though I clearly misheard Damian (or he was making up a poem out loud for me), this mistake helped me learned a new vocabulary word, which is so cool. But thanks for the info.