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Showing posts from April, 2008

Mendoza: Argentina´s Second City....Or, Buenos Aires Lite

This week I'm in Mendoza, which is about a 14 hour bus ride west of Buenos Aires, or 1050 km. It's a great small city, population 100,000, and probably the second most visited place in Argentina after Buenos Aires. It's mostly known for being in the middle of wine country, but it's a great city in it's own right; clean, flat, manageable, and with a thriving night life.

The 14 hour busride sounds torturous, yes, but it's not as bad as it seems. The busses here, at least the company I took, give you a couple sandwiches and cookies when you board in BA. Not to mention a coffee machine that dispenses good coffee, and water, throughout the trip, for free. And they have these things that fold under your legs so you can stretch out. Not at all like the Greyhound-death I've experienced on many a trip from New York City to Pittsburgh. No, here they do it right. I was actually able to fall asleep for about six hours of the journey.

The trip took me across the belly of …

What It’s Like to be a Foreigner in Buenos Aires...Notes From a Confused Gringo

What It’s Like to be a Foreigner in Buenos Aires...Notes From a Confused Gringo

Today in front of the Congreso Nacional I saw a father, mother, and their two-year-old kid on a motorcycle together. The father was driving, the mother was on the back, and the niño was in the middle, holding on to his father’s torso. None of them were wearing helmets, in fact there was a helmet tied to the front handlebars. The strange thing is, after just one week in Buenos Aires, this scene barely even surprised me...

In Buenos Aires parents seem to take their children everywhere. The other day I saw a man walking down Avenida Santa Fe, one of the busiest streets in BA (think Madison Ave.), holding the hand of a baby who was barely able to walk. She was just sort of stumbling along in her diaper, as babies do, to calls of “vamos, vamos” from her father. Just a regular little porteña trying to make her way to the next café or restaurant or party, or whatever. At the San Lorenzo soccer game last week, in a …

Pictures From Buenos Aires

Here are some photos from around the city, hope you enjoy them...




Apologies for the strange layout...
I haven't mastered Google's photo layout tool, and my internet connection only works for about 2 minutes at a time, so I had to get the photos up.

The one over there with the rotunda is the Congreso Nacional, the Argentine Congress building. It is about fifty yards from my apartment. The Washington Monument-looking thing is the Obelisco, it's in the middle of the city's main avenue, and is perhaps the single most identifiable landmark of BsAs.



Buenos Aires Week One: The Smoke Lifts...

I arrived in Buenos Aires to find that a strange haze of smoke had enveloped the city. This was not the light haze of smog and/or pollution I'd seen firsthand and read about prior to this trip. No, this was something more. This was the smell of a massive amount of burning vegetable matter, like the leaf fires we used to have in autumn in Pennsylvania. Except it felt as though someone had made a massive leaf fire in the middle of the city.

As it turns out, the truth was not far from what I'd imagined. Farmers in the Paraná River delta region, northwest of the city, had been setting fire to their fields in order to clear land for new crops and to graze livestock. This, apparently, is an annual event. However, this year is the first time the smoke ever actually made its way into the city of Buenos Aires, and it did so for about two weeks.

The newspapers ran stories, every day, with titles like ¨And the Smoke Continues.¨ People were walking around with hankies over their faces. The …

Trapiche, Malbec, 2007

Trapiche
Mendoza, AR
Malbec
2007

I'm determined to photograph and catalogue every wine that I drink here...or at least the ones I drink at home. To hell with museums and culture...my loyal readers (all two of you) can just go on line and Google whatever you want to see from Buenos Aires. I'm giving you the REAL scoop, on the ground, as I see it...

There is nothing special about this Malbec. It's young, a 2007, and we're still just more than a quarter into 2008. I can't even give you any complex description because, in truth, there's not a lot going on here. Trapiche is widely known in Argentina (actually won an award from the International Wine & Spirit Competition in 2006). Suffice it to say, they know what they're doing. Although, this wine would've been better drunk in 2009 or thereabouts.

But, at $10 peso (about $3.50, you can't go wrong). It's as good or better as any random bottle of Malbec I've paid U.S.$10+ for in the U.S. So, I submit…