Archive for February, 2011

carmina burana

February 28, 2011

we were gonna go see a ballet interpretation of carmina burana last night but we didn’t get there in time so we layed in the grass and talked and it was warm and there were stars in the dark violet skies. i went to the parque rosedal the other day with an argentine and we rowed in a boat in the lake and it reminded me of central park! irish pubs are really popular here. so my dad introduced me to JR the graffiti artist, isnt that funny?

if you haven’t already heard of the vivian  maier extraordinariness you need to : there are too many pics of hers i wanna post.lattona



February 25, 2011

plaid and forest: a big part of our generation. taxi drivers here in ba are really fun. they are curious and friendly and love talking and pointing out notable architecture we pass, practicing english, asking about my spanish accent. they are just nice people. when they drop you off at your apartment they wait outside to make sure you get int alright, and then they drive off saluting you a ‘goodnight’ with a honk-honk. mentioning to them that in nyc a cabbie will probably 98% of the time reply in a cold and straight-forward-uninterested tone to any questions asked, and essentially ignore you throughout the drive, they look at me in disbelief: “pero porque!?” truth be told, im not quite sure porque, senor, no se. anyways, im so down for kelly rae burns :  both her animals and portraits are awesome another new discovery is lucas foglia: he photographs and interviews “people who left cities and suburbs to live off the grid. Motivated by environmental concerns, religious beliefs, or predictions of economic collapse, [they] build their homes from local materials, obtain their water from nearby springs, and hunt, gather, or grow their own food.”. hunger gatherers. how crazy coollast night was fun because i needed to let loose after an exhausting interview in vicente lopez for ‘red de comunidades rurales,’ so we went to listen to live music. we went to a jazz club and then these local guys insisted they take us to an irish pub. they blasted “with a little help from my friends” as we drove by the obelisk and yelled the lyrics, windows down. at the bar we pretended to swing dance and sing along to the 50s tunes the band was playing and some argentine originals. non-imposing conversations with very talkative men and socializing and laughing a lot.

i love city life

February 23, 2011


and argentine music to play by a fire.albano garcia. did you know that cosmetic surgery is covered in the pubic healthcare system in argentina? it is free. also, buenos aires has the highest rates world wide of eating disorders amongst women. also, it is the city with the most psychologists per capita. correlation! got some of my pics developed!:  best friends, they said. you know how i feel about napes, stray hairs


February 23, 2011
my creative writing in spanish class is 3 students and its brilliant because we all fit in a cab and thus can people watch in cafes. (diego perrota, saw him on the streets)
reading chris columbus’ diaries.
-going through an intense calle 13 phase also with some nick drake peppered in there which doesn’t make sense.
-tango music is full of male competition, aggressiveness, violence, pride and occasional objectifying or celebrating of women. essentially, tango is modern day hip hop.
-i went to an argentine house party and it was stellar-magnificent. it was pouring rain but we danced anyways and we were sweaty and drippy and so happy. drinking quilmes and fernett and learning BA slang in a neighborhood that reminded me of nyc’s east village but less trendy and with more families. maybe more like an ignored part of brooklyn: working class, short brick buildings, cobblestones, graffiti murals, and families. carnival is coming up and there were people dancing, flailing in the streets in purple, yellow costume. girls who have nicknames like ‘la china’ and ‘coti’  introduced themselves and i love it so much. i realized, once again that pregaming is a universal trend: passing around a drink by a flagpole in a dark park is the scene for counterculture youth worldwide. the boys at the party had the euro-mullet going on, the girls with partly-shaved or fully-shaved heads, single dreadlocks dangling, bells or beads weaved into their hair. bohemian socialites. it was great and when i got home at 6ish, eating a banana with peanut butter, i couldnt help but contemplate how connected i feel.
(emilio renart. ink and white pencil)
-yesterday night me and sadye, sam, and rhoen had an amazing monday night. we went to ‘bomba del tiempo,’ a live-music event in a hipster/slightly sketch part of BA. it was a huge outdoor drum-circle-concert which happens every monday night. it is inundated with hippies and raucous early-20-something-year-olds dancing to about 20 internationally recognized drummers improvising for 2 hours while everyone dances and thrashes about and bounces and lets the drums and latin beats vibrate through us. it was incredible and exhausting.


February 19, 2011

alessandra sanguinetti.martin parr.  went to san telmo last night and drank a quilmes 40 yesterday with jonathan and then we saw a documentary about a woman’s 100th birthday. also, malba museum satiated my appetite for latin-american surrealism and frida kahlo and cool light installments and modern photography. (more martin parrA) the best writers are both dreamers and skeptics. and recognize “the diversity of human types. through each one, one can create an entire world” (roberto arlt). he also said it’s important to see ” the extraordinary encounters of the street. the things that are seen. the words that are heard. the tragedies we witness.”  that’s why i write. because there are universes on every street corner.

86 degrees

February 16, 2011

and i like it that way. being here i don’t feel self conscious and i feel like it’s home because spanish is my maternal language.chrisian flascher.emma hardy. hoping to go to uruguay in two weeks.sofia okonnen. so cool!

lucky strike

February 13, 2011

we went to an estancia, essentially a ranch on rural land, about 2 hours from the city. my favorite part was the miles of field and shady trees, wandering cows, dirt roads and horses. the chorizo was really good, bbq is great. we layed out on the grass and watched folkloric dance too. so relaxing! the nature and farmland is a universally charming place; in upstate new york, in a village neighboring oxford, and in buenos aires province.

also went to my first ‘boliche.’ which is a club-bar-discoteque. so, so so, so so, fun. it was blast dancing with so many argentines! especially because i got to request some reggaeton and beats vibrated through our bodies. nightlife here is friendly and social, it is not pretentious, vulgar. nobody is condescending. everyone wants to meet people, drink, dance, have a good time and i appreciate that. i appreciate authenticity and puting your guard down and being able to go up to a stranger and introduce yourself and that being okay.

(brendan garbee. does awesome stuff w/ pen and watercolor)

also explored more of la recoleta: the feria and market, live reggae cumbia music, basking in a park, and even some skaters here and there. the mercado was full of beautiful artisan jewelry, leatherworks, gorgeous.  the recoleta cemetery was breathtaking. the level of grandeur and tremendous wealth, the scale and size of the mausoleums is just spectacular. cracked stone, polished granite, marble, spires and angels. stained glass, vines, sprouting weeds. it’s a village paradise for those gone. the type of village community where everyone knows everyone and there’s friendly gossip at the cornerstore; like that, but for the afterlife. that’s what it feels like.( i love hiroshige)

un cortado

February 10, 2011

-cortado is the best coffee you will ever have. strong, bitter coffee tinted caramel by a dash of milk. me encanta

-ya estoy empezando a usar el “vos”. vos sos!

-at a cafe on charcas this spectacled older (like, old) man handed me his phone number and said hed’ love to take me out to dinner. i smiled and kept on reading cortazar and then he walked away. i’ll keep julio’s number as a keepsake, but that is all.
-saw la boca neighborhood and it was strange, but cool ofcourse. the touristy, popular, recognizable section of boca is about 4 square blocks of brilliantly painted geometric shacks (reds, turquoise, violets) where the italian immigrants had first settled. in this couple block radius there are tango dancers and mate-sellers catering to tourists. however, straying from the main two streets you see it’s essentially surrounded by slums, dogs chewing tufts of fur off their legs, and boys playing futbol in the streets, shirtless and maybe homeless and toothless. it seemed that so much is invested in a couple square blocks, perhaps relying on tourist naivety or appreciation (depending on if you are a half-empty/half-full glass person) , and of course the beauty of the colorful buildings and vibrant history to keep this area in shape, while neglecting a lot around it. this is just an interpretation. i thought it was a warm and colorful and celebratory place, but just found it curious how the surrounding area seemed so diminished, unpreserved.(richie diesterheft, flickr)

-guys lock eyes here, and wink.
-“palo borracho” is the name of the trees seen everywhere, with pink flowers. translates into “drunk stick”. also, gorgeous jackarandas are everywhere!
-banks close when they run out of cash. no more $ in the atms? well then sorry! no money for you today!
-i’m being haunted by a goliath mayfly mosquitos at night.
-there are so many curiosities for me and i love it.  the people are so warm and charming. there are so many things i want to see, people i want to meet..i feel an intense urgency, but in a good way. the empanadas are sensational. i can’t begin to describe.thiebaud, because the desserts here are stellar


February 7, 2011

finally, in buenos aires. had been waiting for this since late october and here i am! two 7ish hour plane rides (thankyou, stranger who offered me tylenol pm) and arguing with customs and immigration control (coincidentally take absolutely no notice and utterly rude until i yelled at them in spanish) no doubt will put a damper on arriving in a totally different country. but a good night’s rest and freshly-made bread generously spread with goops of freshly-made jam is an upper.

first of all, it’s been incredible how quickly i’ve reverted to speaking only spanish. hearing spanish all around is no doubt a drastic change but it feels very natural; in fact, as i write this i’m having trouble thinking straight in english. and my spanish accent, which i assumed would entertain humor and jokey imitations has actually seemed to charm the natives. “ahhh, che, pero vos de donde sos?!!” they say beaming, but i don’t really know how to answer where i’m from (ny/england/california/spain?) so i just say that my mum’s spanish and they think it’s a hoot, in a good way. and found out ‘platano’ means black banana (to cook with), when i asked for a ‘platano’ and he gave  a black floppy one. so i told the fruit guy to give me a better platano and he gave me an even moldier one.

buenos aires is bustling. i love it. construction and scooters purring and loud conversation all around. my home (my host-mother’s apartment), and the nyu center, is in la recoleta. la recoleta is old and sycamore-tree-lined and reminds me a bit of paris with it’s large bay windows and white shutters, floral railings and flower pots. also a bit like madrid and italy with it’s traffic. however, you don’t forget you are in south america; there are fruit stands and ‘confiteria/panaderias’ (bakeries with ‘medialunas’ and flaky treats and yummy pastries stuffed with more juicy goodies) on every corner.

driving from the airport to buenos aires i recoiled as we drove by what looked to me like the projects, but with more weeds growing out of them, graffiti scribbled, and cardboard keeping it all up. this isn’t new york.

quick observations:
-they really like their chicken and their meat. haven’t seen anyone eating any vegetables and have failed to find any in my host-house.
-i can’t find any streetsigns. they seem to be painted below windows or advertised in a plaque that is off-brown to blend in with the off-tan walls.
-the older women are beautiful. did you know buenos aires is one of the most popular destinations to get plastic surgery? because it costs 1/3rd of what most operations will cost in the states. soooo that explains the leather-tanned older woman with their blond hair and perky assets.
-“fat-free” milk doesn’t exist here. it probably shouldn’t anyways.
-ate my first ‘alfajores’ just now. two crispy digestive cookies with dulce de leche in the middle, and some coconut and white chocolate on the outside. heaven.


February 4, 2011

i tried it for the first time today. rosie made it with special peanut butter.(kishin shinoyama). read this article this morning in the ny times and it reminded me of why i love nyc, and the ny times: shimuzo