Last full day and we had nowhere to go and no one to see until later, when we go to Fulgor. So Viv wanted to check out Esquina Carlos Gardel, it has a reputation for being expensive, but we like to check these things out for ourselves. Of course when we got there the doors were shut and there was no information on prices or when the box office was open. This was no more or less than we have come to expect.
We walked through Gardel, they have done some nice work here. It would be a nice place to stop and have a coffee, but of course, there is garbage everywhere and dog shit spread over the pavements.
We walked around the Abasto, I have no interest in what is inside, even though the malls are the only clean places here, and went to check out a Cafe. That was closed as well, so we were in a sort of quandary.
I said “lets go over to Palermo as it is Sunday” so we set off down Gallo. Now we never walk this way so the hotel we saw surprised us. I had quite forgotten about the Monaco Gran Prix this weekend and we could see it on their TV, well the last lap anyway. What happened to Ferrari again?
Hotel 11 Octobre, looked very clean and comfortable, so I thought I would go in and investigate. The door was locked but the guy let me in. “quanto cuesta un habitacion doble?” I asked.”Privot” he said. I looked at him puzzled, “Privot, privot” he said again. He was trying to tell me something in spanglish, but whatever it was he did not want me to recommend this place to friends. I left and we carried on walking.
We got to Soler y Vidt and I got confused. Just when you think you know your way around something throws you. We did a circuit of one block before I realised we were back tracking and I had to consult the map. We were on our old stomping ground, yet the work they had done on the streets meant I recognised nothing. Still, once we crossed Gascon I knew where I was again.
We walked to Palermo Vieja and found a cafe called WTF. When I explained to Viv she said “WTF we can stop here for a coffee”. We asked for coffee and media lunas and the girl disappeared round the back. She returned five minutes later “No hay media lunas” so we asked for the menu. There was something on there Tostadas mermelada jugo y cafe. Sounded OK to me so we ordered two.
She brought a plate with little dishes on, two types of Jam and some garlic cheese spread. The other plate had some flame dried bread on it, you would hardly describe it as toast. I think it had a passing acquaintance with a grill from across a crowded room. Viv was not happy, so I tried for some butter. “Tiene manteca?” I tried. The look was what I will now call Porteña blank. I tried again “Manteca?” She babbled something at great speed then left.
She returned with another dish with rock hard frozen butter. After another five minutes she returned babbling something, and with two media lunas. They must have found some in the back.
The coffee was pleasant but, where was the juice? The girl came and tried to reclaim the plates, even though we had not finished, so I asked her about the juice, “Jugo?” she said and vanished again.
After another interminable wait she brought us two small glasses of orange. Well we had wasted some considerable time and at least we were sitting in the sun. It was time to take Viv to Isadora to buy some earings. I can’t complain, they are not expensive. It is a good job she does not like fur.
We wandered back at last buying some last-minute provisions, while trying all the time to hang on to my change.
It was the twenty year anniversary of Fulgor and they were having a cake. So for once they crawled out of the woodwork to be there. It was almost like the old days, but I can remember when there was not an empty table and if you came after nine you would not get in. Even with the good crowd we had, the tables by the window were empty.
We had two demos, no acrobatics just good tango. The second younger couple did a bit of high kicking and big boleos but it was still good stuff.
There was much kissing and when will we see you agains when we left, but somehow it was not as poignant as last year.
On our way home, I saw a plastic bottle with the bottom cut off attached upside down to a tree. I was intrigued so I went to have a look. Above it was a note in spanish that I will paraphrase for you “Have you lost you bag for dog shit? If so there are some here. Thank you for keeping our barrio clean”. From these small acts great things happen. I would like to praise the person who did this and hope that others will follow the example.
Let’s try and change the name from Dog Shit City back to Buenos Aires.