They have a saying in Argentina -They have a scar on their hearts that never heals. I know this feeling too. This painting is very large and I sat and looked at it for a long time. Each face is a painting on its own. The sign in the back says bread and work. I have never known real hunger, but I see it on these faces. This is a very famous Argentine painter.
There are two-horse racing tracks in Buenos Aires. The first one is the San Isidro. This is a very old track and was featured in the movie with Carmen Miranda in the 1940 movie called Way Down Argentine Way. The second track is the Hipodromo Palermo and is much more modern and close to the city. To me the most exciting part of the horse racing is when everyone runs outside toward the finish line and starts yelling for their horses. I have no idea what they are saying but I feel their excitement and passion. I just love the passion that exudes from the people at the track.
We watched the jockeys come off the track and watch the reruns of the race. Sometimes you would see a big fat owner grilling his jockey about why he lost.
YOU HAVE TO LOVE MEAT-The food is amazing for carnivores. Huge slabs of meat for lunch and dinner. There is something very special about their beef and how they grill it. They also grill chicken that is so tasty. They really do not have many vegetables at all.
Not many people speak English. We have traveled to many countries and usually the young will speak English. Not here and they really do not even try. It is up to you to try to communicate. We got into one taxi and he turned and started driving. So Mark says “can I tell you where we want to go.” He says “ no comprende” and keeps driving. So we get out our google translator and give him the address. At first I was mad and then Mark says they are like robots and machines and just keep driving. He is right. Argentine’s work many jobs just to survive.
The Tango started in Buenos Aires! You walk down the famous Florida street and you will see young and old Tango dancers with their little boom boxes. They dance for tips. What is interesting is the way the men ask the women to dance at the tango clubs. If a man wants to dance with a women he goes to the middle of the dance floor and catches her eye and cocks his head. If she wants to dance with him she will meet him in the middle of the dance floor. If she does not she simple looks away. This seems so much kinder on the man so he is not rejected in front of other women.
A beautiful lakeside city surrounded by the Andes mountains. This lake is 40 miles long and the most beautiful blue you have ever seen! It is the gateway to the Patagonia Lake District. Supposedly one of the top 7 views in the world is at Campanario Hill. You take a chairlift high above the trees and see snow-covered mountains that mirror in the blue blue lake. Breath taking.
Cool little shops and musicians that play under the arches for great acoustics.
I spent probably an hour watching a Guitar player and an interpretative dancer. I heard the music and went looking for it. Then I stayed to watch her dance. As usual most musicians are poor. The dancers shoes were so worn out. She was as thin as a rail but what expressive dancing. One dance made me cry because the story she told was that she was in love with someone who beat her and then she finally walks away. A little audience member joins her and she loans her a little skirt.
Some of my favorite places in Buenos Aires
SIAMO NEL FORNO PIZZA PLACE- THE BEST PIZZA IN THE WORLD- NO LIE!
You watch them make it right in the dining room in this brick oven. McDonald’s, Starbucks and American chain Pizza places moved into Buenos Aires many years ago. McDonald’s and Starbucks stayed but every American pizza place closed and left . You taste one Argentine pizza and you could never go back to America pizza. If I were rich I would fly down here just to get that pizza again. It was that good!
Sunday Flea Market that goes on for 50 blocks!
Don Julios chicken and mashed potatoes
Bocca –A very colorful area in Buenos Aires. Many beautiful murals and brightly colored homes. This is a mural of the famous White scarfed grandmothers in Argentina. They protest every Thursday looking for their missing children and grandchildren . She has one huge muscle on her arm to show how angry they are over the government not giving them answers about what happened to the kids.
Recolita graveyard- Well worth seeing how people with way too much money buried their dead. Ostentatiously vulgar but beautiful. Eva Peron is buried here and people will line up to see her grave but it is not that impressive. What is impressive is how long it took to get her body buried there. Some one stole her body and kept it on their dining room table for many years!
The cemetery is free but wear sunscreen as all that marble reflects the sun on your skin. I loved the girl with the dog the most. If you rub its nose it will bring you good luck.
GAUCHO GIL SHRINES– a cool folklore about a handsome young man who died a long time ago. There are shrines all over Argentina on the roads to him. The tackier the better. You are supposed to pour him a beer on one of these shrines so he will get you safely to your destination.
NOTORIOUS -FOR LIVE MUSIC– it is in the back of a record shop but it is a nice intimate little club for live music. We went there twice in one week. We saw Ismail the son of the Buenos vista social club founder. Make reservations as they only have about 34 tables.
DOG WALKERS – They tend to have 7-10 dogs all around the same height.
Argentine people do not put their money in the bank. They have learned over the years that their money can be devalued overnight. An example was when the exchange rate was 1 peso to one US Dollar. All of the sudden it dropped in one day to 1 peso to .25 cents US. Little children do not have piggy banks. They learn to either go spend it that day or exchange it for US dollars. Just recently the Argentine peso dropped by 20% overnight.
This was my cheat sheet for February. Unfortunately I made this spreadsheet up a month ahead of time and it was outdated by the time we got there.