Sunday, February 7, 2010

Life Begins with Coffee

Whatever else happens, the day always begins with con leche (with milk) for me and a cafe doble (double black) for David. It's very civilized...reading the BA Herald (the only English newspaper), chatting with the waitress, people-watching. We always go to the same cafes in the morning -- Josephina's on Sundays, Melody every other day -- and that's where we discuss the rest of the day - what to do, where to go, what to eat.

Lately, a lot of that discussion has been determined by the weather. After 7 days of heat and humidity, we're into our 7th day of almost continuous rain...some of it torrential. We bought ourselves 2 umbrellas and I got a pair of rubber-soled havaianas sandals to slosh around in. When it's just too wet out, we've been a record rate. David is addicted to his Nook, and I've finished 6 of the 7 paperbacks I brought with me. Luckily, we recently discovered a local bookstore with lots of English-language books (a rarity). While I canvassed the shelves, David had a lengthy conversation (mostly in Spanish) on local politics with the store owner.

When we're not reading, it seems food and friends continue to dominate our agenda. Whether it's an elegant buffet of appetizers and desserts at the Palacio Duchau Park Hyatt hotel with friends Jim, Claudia, and Tony...

or a casual lunch at a neighborhood restaurant with Kevin, Rick, Kirk, Jim and Elida...

the afternoons fly by.

Desserts often come with the meal so, in order to at least “maintain,” we reinstated our gym memberships from last year and started working out with Yamil, our trainer (also from last year).

We also walk a lot more here than when we're home. The Chabuca Granda Boulevard that leads to the Pilar Church is just 3 blocks from our apartment and, with it's cafes and open spaces, it's a perfect destination in the early evening.

For a change of scenery, last Sunday we took the bus to Barrio Chino (Buenos Aires' version of China Town) with our friend Gaby. It's compact (only 4 blocks square)...good for people-watching and buying snacks.

David is never without his Spanish/English dictionary, which he shares freely when the conversation stops for lack of the correct words.

I, on the other hand, mostly listen. I understand a bit less of what's being said...enough to get by. and that has gone a long way as I recently went to the National Theater to see a performance of Verdi's opera "Simon Boccanegra", starring Placido Domingo, simulcast live from the Met – with Spanish subtitles.

That's about it for now.... time to eat!


  1. Thanks for that great post. I listened to Simon Bocanegra too! It was great! I love all the photos! Keep 'em coming.
    Brian and Nelson

  2. Your talk about food is killing me! Stacie and I are on WW have lost 9.3 pounds so far, but superbowl sunday killed me. Back to the diet today...Keep those pics coming...beautiful as usual...oh..the "Nook," is that a comfortable space where David reads, or is it something else?

  3. So it seems you are reading a lot. The Buenos Aires Herald is, in fact, the only English newspaper as you say, but is pretty good and helps to keep you posted about what is going on in the city. It is dmirable that your husband can have a political talk all of it in Spanish. I could never do that.
    With regard to the fact that you are killing time by eating, I must say empanadas are my favourites! They are so tasty, I hope you have tried them.
    Last year I travlled to Argentina with my husband and we rented a Furnished apartment in Buenos Aires ; we thought about the idea of staying at a hotel, however then we realised that an apartment would be much more practical. Anyway, it was located in the neighborhood of Belgrano (very classy by the way) near China Town. It is only four block as you say, but nice and full of restaurants. I liked it!