Saturday, March 14, 2009

Blog Number 12 - Avenida Cordoba Architecture and San Telmo

March 7 – 8

Saturday…we walk towards the artists supply store. On the way, we cross Avenida Santa Fe, which is one of the boundaries between the Recoleta neighborhood we live in and Barrio Norte. Wanting to take a different route than the usual, we head to Avenida Cordoba. On our left is a huge building which as been recently cleaned...the former Palacia Sarmienta, which we think is now the ministry of Culture and Education (though we're not really sure).

We try to capture the beauty of some of the old (often juxtaposed against the new) architecture.

Aquas Argentina is the city's water company. The building is one of the most ornate we've seen in Buenos Aires.

Diagonally across the street is an extreme example of the city's giant institutional of the teaching hospitals,

We have lunch at La Querencia, order the day’s special, a fabulous berry-glazed pork dish, and a desert that gives me a 1960’s Carvel “Fudgie the Whale” ice cream cake flashback (anyone remember Tom Carvel and his TV commercials?). On our way home, it begins to rain and, yes, we get soaked again.

In the evening, we meet Julie and Bob at Oviedo, an excellent seafood restaurant, for a 4 hour dinner (9p-1a) and take a leisurely walk home. One of many really nice things about Buenos Aires is that, with very few exceptions, we always feel safe walking, no matter what time of night.

Sunday…we’re finally at a point where we think we’ve figured out (kind of) how to read the bus schedule, so we (successfully) take the bus to San Telmo, BA’s oldest neighborhood. The buildings are low, the streets are cobbled, and references to the tango are everywhere.

Every Sunday, in and around the Plaza Dorrego, local artists display paintings and crafts and street performers entertain.

The El Afronte Orchestra starts playing at 12:30, immediately after the mass at San Pedro Gonzalez Telmo Church ends.

There are live tango shows,

and the crowd loves Osvaldo Montes (in his mid-80’s) and Anibal Arias.

Watch and listen to their fabulous sound:

Before we head back, we relax at an outdoor café so we can have a coffee while David studies the bus schedule.

On our way to the bus stop, as David takes photos of some of the more ornate buildings…

we hear voices behind us. Turning around, we see 2 neighborhood women we’ve never seen before (Maria and Sylvia) and they are agreeing (in Spanish, of course) that the buildings he has chosen to photograph are indeed beautiful.

We spend the next 20+ minutes talking with them, though neither speaks a word of English. They want to know where we’re from (always the 1st question), how long we’ll be in Buenos Aires, do we like the city, how old we are, how long we’ve been married. Maria wants us to guess her age (83), tells us how she loved her husband, how he’s dead now and no one can ever replace him, how long she’s lived in the neighborhood…I could keep going but you probably get the idea!

She proceeds to sing for us, wants our phone # so she can have us for dinner (at least we think that’s what she says) and, to reinforce her invite takes out a kitchen knife from inside her apron packet! Sylvia, meanwhile, is translating, in abbreviated Spanish, what Maria has just said. It’s hysterical, and very endearing.

Another typical day for us!!


    Plenty here to bring you back to a sugar high.

  2. You guys remind me of Seinfeld episodes.....while just doing everyday stuff you end up having little having fun.....