Sunday, March 14, 2010

Expect the Unexpected

Life is easy, except when it's not. And some things are made just a little more difficult when the task must be done almost exclusively in Spanish.

Take, for instance, the purchase and activation of a new quad band GSM  international phone. David, with some help from friends, spent hours figuring out how to add minutes, change the ring, retrieve messages, with all the items in Spanish.  After all that, he finally figured out how to change the menu from Spanish to English! And he's passed this information on to Julie, who's had similar frustrations. Here we are, with Bob, celebrating “phone victory” at one of the outdoor cafes we've started going to now that the weather is perfect!

When it comes to the unexpected, we've had a bit of good luck. Last week, for example, Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner (CFK) kicked off this year's Congress with a very lengthy speech. We happened to be leaving a cafe on one of the busier streets soon after she finished speaking and there, with perfect timing, was a procession of soldiers on horseback, which David was able to capture on camera.

A few days later, we walked by the Palais de Glace. Just a few blocks from our apartment, we frequently pass by, but this time decided to go inside. We thought Palais de Glace meant museum of glass but, actually, it means “ice palace” or, for those in the know, “ice skating rink,” which is what it was when it opened in 1910. A grand circular structure, it became a tango salon at some point and now, in its most recent iteration, houses rotating (and very eclectic) art collections.

like Shadow Box Marionettes...

Tie Haute Couture....

Wood Blocks and etchings, like this “Van Gogh Visiting Van Gogh”...

And, oh look, there's David with a friend!

We've continued to celebrate the fabulous weather by eating outdoors every chance we get. And, yet again, we've joined Julie and Bob for lunch. Along with Jim, we walked down Avenida San Martin, past not-so-understated courtyards...

some with surprises,

(look – it's Winged Victory, on vacation from the Louvre!), on the way to restaurante El Claustro Santa Catalina. The first thing you see is the church of Santa Maria...

and to the left is an unassuming wall and doorway. But once through, we're in a courtyard restaurant that was once the grounds of the church's convent.

After an amazing meal,

we walk to the Centro Cultural Borges, a gallery that's part of the Galerias Pacifico, a shopping mall located in one of the city's many, many turn-of-the-century buildings, of course!

We're there to see a photo exhibit by National Geographic photojournalist Steve McCurry that spans 25+ years of his may recognize his 1985 cover photo “Afghan Girl”...

The exhibit doesn't disappoint. Nor does the store window that I look forward to seeing every year. If you've followed our blog since it started, you'll recognize these 3 ladies.

Our apartment is around the corner from this store and, for some reason, every year I feel compelled to photograph them. They never change their pose...only their gowns.

And, after David has his daily Spanglish conversation with Leo, our building's afternoon doorman.  Leo's trying to learn English and David practices Spanish (which Leo enthusiastically corrects).

we start cooking for guests Gaby and Pablo, who come over for dinner.

Yes – we actually prepared a meal. And ate at home. Wow – a big deal (for us)!

More to come soon.