Where Buenos Aires Excels

There is an awful lot wrong with this place , but when they do something right they excel in a way like no other place. We were back to the school again as Viv wanted to go to the yoga and we could tie it in with a bit of asado on the roof. Not a bad way to spend the afternoon. Afterwards we walked down Callao and bought some silicon ice trays. Then it was back for a rest and some pastries before the nights activities. We usually wash before we go out, it was not happening tonight, no water. We saw Sebastian on the street and asked him. He said something about, water bajo pero no ariba, I said “la bomba” and he said yes. I was worried, when the pump failed during the build, it took three days to repair. Expect yellow teeth and muchos cologne in the next few days. During the autumn months they have a series of free concerts here and tonight we go to one at Parque Centanario with the Orquesta Teatro Colon. Let me start with the venue; In the midst of the park they have built a huge amphitheatre. It is all but invisible from almost any angle except directly above. The whole thing is cast from concrete and there is seating  for 2,000 people. Each person has an individual plastic seat, moulded to body shape but without a back and separated by a decent gap. The stage area is entirely covered, but the roof is grassed over, so that it cannot be seen from anywhere but the seating area. When we arrived we saw Janis in the queue, she had been there for half an hour. We had to carry on right around the Natural Science Museum to find the end of the queue. Not yet having seen the venue we thought that we would never get a seat. As the queue moved forward we realised that it was still growing, we could see now passed the next block where the line continued. Once through the gate we rushed to find a seat. Before realising that there was as yet more than enough room and we could still get a reasonable spot. Then we saw Janis waving manically at us, she had saved us two seats next to her. Looking around we had filled only about one third of the auditorium. More people poured in, and yet as  it reached capacity, we noticed that there was another upper level still filling.

You can see the upper level, the line above the standing mans head.

You can see the upper level, the line above the standing mans head.

When the lights came on the whole scene was magical.  Then the orchestra came in and made it complete. They performed for about an hour and a quarter, doing their versions of dance music from around the world. I was not too sure about their Scottish dance music, but then I suppose, it must be hard to orchestrate Andy Stewart. I cannot here show how great the sound was, but I can show you the Orchestra. RIMG1433 RIMG1439 And here is the Program:


  • Escocia: Camille Saint Saens, “Idylle Ecossaise” (de la Opera Hernry VIII).
  • República Checa: Antonin Dvorak, “Danzas Eslavas” Op. 72 No 2 Y Op. 46 No1.
  • Estados Unidos: Leroy Anderson, “El Reloj Sincopado”.
  • Cuba: Arturo Márquez, “Danzón No2”.
  • Rusia: Piotr. I Chaikowsky, “Polonesa y Vals de Eugenio Onieguin”.
  • Brasil: César Guerra-Peixe-Clovis Pereira, “Mourao”.
  • España: Pascual Marquina Narro, “Paso doble España Cañi”.
  • Argentina: Mariano Mores, “El firulete” – Astor Piazzolla, “Decarissimo”. ( areglos de José Carli)

I’m afraid the Cuba one is wrong, the conductor announced that Arturo Marquez, was his amigo and was not from Cuba, but from Mexico. So this is where Buenos Aires excels, culture. A top class orchestra in the park, in a massive auditorium, and best of all it’s free. We left Janis on Corrientes, after giving her advice on the buses (bet you never thought that that would happen did you?). To be fair this is my end of town not hers. I am not sure if we thanked her for the information about the concert, but I know she reads this  so I will thank her here.  Then we carried on to our dinner reservation. It is Friday after all. 1839, was a bit of a disappointment. It looked great from outside and the prices reflected this, but all they had was empanadas, pizzas and pasta. We were hoping for something a bit more and the service, although not bad, was not exceptional, for the price. At home you would probably say it was cheap, but we tend to compare with the local pricing. That said the pizza was good, but this is just everyday food here, we look for something different here on Fridays. At least when we got back Sebastian had got the water running again. Lets hear it for Sebastian and clean teeth.


1 Comment

Filed under Argentina

One response to “Where Buenos Aires Excels

  1. jantango

    I finally figured out that Teatro Colon has two orchestras — one is the permanent “estable” orchestra and the other is the Philharmonic (playing all Beethoven symphonies this season for those who buy tickets). The next free concert is Saturday in La Usina del Arte; Liszt and Strauss are on the program. I managed to find the complete Teatro Colon 2015 season program with the free concerts (which aren’t published on the website) and all are noted on my calendar for the year, including the free Philharmonic concerts.

    You must see La Usina, the former coal power plant. The conversion to a state-of-the-art concert venue is a masterpiece. The main auditorium has perfect acoustics.

    You and Viv can take the 168 and as it turns onto Alsina, stick your heads out the window of the bus so I’ll see you and then get on. We take it to La Boca. I know you’ll be impressed with the building and want to take a tour.

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