Tag Archives: Palermo

Pants, at a penny a peso

Wouldn’t you know it? The one day we could lie in bed all day I was up at six thirty. Sunday is supposed to be a rest day so after some toast and coffee, it is time to work.

First I have some more sealing to do around the bath. This takes no time at all, then I must wait for Viv to clean around the dining area, before I can paint.  I had grabbed some newspapers out of the recycling bin, but as always, they were not enough. I removed the seat bases and then painted the chairs. Again this did not take long and it had almost no effect on the tin of paint. It was as I expected, but I could not get a smaller tin, so it will just have to be stored away for again, or until it goes off.

Only Vivs fan to repair now and I am free for the day. We then set off for Palermo, but Viv had the munchies so we had to go via Augustus on Medrano. Viv was insistant it would be cheaper than Palermo for a Coffee here. She is right, of course, but at a penny to a peso, it is academic. Still we had the promo again two media lunas and a sticky custard filled factura each. It was too much for us so Viv squirreled away two of the medialunas for later consumption.

Wandering around Palermo Viv found some pants she liked. As I said at a penny to a peso, these are charity shop prices, so she bought two pairs. Then it was back to Plaza Serrano to soak up the sun and drink beer. Best part of Sunday for me. After the beer Viv got the munchies again, but we had those medialunas in stock.

The wrap around skirts I put her off buying were nowhere to be found this week, maybe she had given up trying to sell them at UK prices. We looked in several shops on the way back, but there was one that looked like Habitat. It was short on soft furnishings and household linens, but we checked out the chairs. They looked comfy but the price was ridiculous. £450 or there about for a single chair. And to think we wondered why nobody else was in the shop. There were four staff at the back, and they looked ready to pounce time to beat a hasty retreat.

Bought some more ice cream later, I still think it is expensive, £10 for two kilos, but it is nice. Also I have an almost empty freezer. The guy still looks at me strange when I say I want a kilo of vanilla, here they mix about three or four flavours even in a quarter.

Well tonight we have Viv’s bolognese on the balcony. Followed of course by ice cream.

 

 

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Lazy Sunday

As I said last week Viv has designated a rest day, so she has me polishing the desk and refitting a top on it.

Unusually we were up early, so the jobs were soon done. We headed down to Palermo. We had a couple of things we wanted and we could just enjoy the day. Viv got roped in, in a clothes shop. She rather liked the easy wear dress. I did not think it her style, but it would be nice for the cruise.

We looked at a couple of wallets for me, but nothing floated my boat. So we walked back to Plaza Serrano, and sat outside a bar ordering two beers. The waitress said it was hot and we should go inside where there is air conditioning.  I told her it is Summer, it is Argentina and it is normal. We sat well beyond our welcome just enjoying the sun and crushing peanuts for the pigeons. The waitress was not for coming out again, so we had to go inside to pay.  I knew that we were on dodgy ground here, but I did not quite expect $300 for two beers. This was Chester prices, still it was worth it for the time in the sun. I think I put Viv off the dress, I told her it was gringo price, so now she would not buy it. I would not stop her if she wanted it, but the price was definitely high for Buenos Aires.

We walked back along the ferria at Palermo Viejo looking in he market stalls. Maybe it was the beer working, but these wallets suited me much better. Viv also got a mortar and pestle to crush her nuts (don’t ask). So by the time we got to Scalabrini we had everything we wanted today.

We passed the texmex on Gascon and made a note of its address. To check out on the internet with a view to eating there some time. We watched this place being renovated a couple of years ago from the bar across the street, now the bar is closed. Nothing, it seems, lasts here. We also checked out another place further up Gascon “Latino Rest Bar” We hoped to find more about this place, but unfortunately it seems to have no web presence. It is fairly new, but will probably be gone by the time it has a working web page.

Remember that beefe de lomo I bought for Christmas? Well we had the second piece tonight, and if anything it was even better. You cannot knock this at less than £2 a meal.

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No milonga, but plenty of shopping

It’s Sunday and Viv has decreed a rest day. That means she has work for me, still nice to have a lay in and no schedule to follow. I did get sent out in the morning and I diverted to the carniceria in the chino. I asked if he had any Bife de lomo, “no” he said. I have got used to how helpful they are here now “Mañana?” I tried si.  But he could only order me 2 Kilos and it will be $750, £8 may not seem a lot to us, but it is a fortune here. That will do us Christmas day and possibly three others. I must collect it tomorrow after two.

In the afternoon we went for walkabout. First we walked across to Cabrera, Viv wanted to see the whats on at Vinilo. I had it wrong and was a block out so we stopped at Cafe Cortezar for a coffee and check the internet. Interesting place this check it out : https://www.cultura.gob.ar/cafe-cortazar-el-rincon-mas-cortazariano-de-buenos-aires_6348/ Huge range of beers and coffee only £1.

Anyway Vinilo was just across the road but closed and all signs of its existence removed until it is open again. We walked right past it earlier.

We did not get much further when we got the munchies. There is a new bar on the corner of Malerbia called Alibeer or something like. They had an offer Papas con cheddar and two pints $400, well rude not to. We got a portion of onion rings as well for another $150. Thats £7 with tip, it would cost that just for the beer in Chester. Again a huge range of beers and unusually, they gave us the choice of beer with the offer. I am not sure we could choose from the entire range, as some were quite expensive (in comparison) so we had the golden beer.

We wandered around the old market then towards the roundabout at Serrano y Honduras. Viv could not resist looking in Solo Mirando. Funny it is not peak season but I could not get a seat outside, must be locals on holiday. The moped that was always in front is missing. I always wanted to take it away and restore it, now I have missed my opportunity.

We walked back past the welder man, not that I expected him to be there on a Sunday, but it was not out of our way. As expected everything was locked up.

Viv sent me out again later for some apple pie. La Riena was closed so I went to Boulevard on Corrientes, I looked but could see nothing. Now I am getting better at asking “Hay tarta manzana” I asked “Si” she said, and produced this massive apple pie enough to feed the five thousand. So I tried “Hay pociones?” again the affirmative and she put the big pie back and went around the counter. Then she shook her head “no hay” she said, so I left empty handed.  Not for giving up, its not often I get sent out to buy a desert, so I was not about to fail. So I went around the corner to Augustus on Medrano. Viv has often admired the cakes in there and we have been for coffee  a couple of times. Learning now I tried again “Hay tarta manzana pociones?” success. They were bigger and more expensive than I had hoped, but they will do twice. Now to Daniel for a kilo of ice-cream. That is a few future puddings taken care of.

 

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Radio Star?

Monday is our rest day, a day free from tango and a chance to rest our aching muscles, but we do not rest up completely. We walked down to Palermo for Viv to do some shopping. On the way we stopped at a bar, just for coffee, you understand. This was not the sort of place that had facturas so I decided to have beer. The guy made out he did not understand when I asked for a poron and insisted I asked in English. Then he told me that they do not do poron and I must have a pint and no black beer. I think I remember this bar, we came here a few years ago and decided not to come back. I wish my memory served me better. Still the beer was ok if a little early in the day.

On the corner across the road they were either renovating or rebuilding the corner. It was at a stage where you could not tell. I was fascinated to watch a guy doing the outside in traditional concrete work. He was making a coppice along the front, a slow job so unless I go back I will not see it finished.

We walked then into the centre of Palermo so that Viv could buy some earrings and a scarf. The sun was baking hot and when Viv was in the shops I just enjoyed the man crèche and the air conditioning.

When we got back from our shopping trip it was straight down for some Ice cream. Our usual place was closed so I had to go to Farricci, cost me and extra pound but they do have better flavours.

Anyway sitting here afterwards, watching nine out of ten cats and my messenger comes alive. It was Fernando Farias, it seems he wants to interview me for the radio. Well I have the face for it, so they say. My interview is next Monday, I will let you know when it is to be broadcast.

 

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Palermo

Today I thought we would act like tourists for a change. We walked over to Palermo to have a look at all the tat for sale.
We were surprised how little was open. Most things are closed in Buenos Aires on a Sunday, but usually Palermo is a buzz. A giant trap to get all the money they can out of the tourists.
Midday and still many of the stalls were not yet set up. We set off to look for the bookstore where we could have a drink. We could not find it, but knew as soon as we stopped looking it would appear. So we followed the ferria around Armenia and Costa Rica, looking at the stalls.
There is a bar at the junction of Costa Rica and Malabia where we stopped for some Jugo and media lunas. It was good and cheaper than yesterday, but I was put off when the waitress said “That is without the tip” I had intended to drop her $10, instead she got $5. The worst is she probably will not even realise.
We walked back down Costa Rica, and, you guessed it, there was Crack Up our favourite book store and bar.
Vi spent some time browsing the clothes, but nothing floated her boat so we set off back along Serrano. We were hot so it was time for some ice cream. The place was deserted, which again I found surprising. The guy rushed to put his apron on and serve us. He let Viv sample the chocolate mouse before buying. We even got a glass of iced water when we had finished. Excellent service, I will remember this place.
We had that steak we bought yesterday for tea. Just seared it was delicious, we British are not used to eating like this, especially for less than £2.
It’s Sunday so we are back to Fulgor again. The new faces are still there and still puzzled as to why these extranjeros are greeted more than they are. Numbers are up from Thursday, but nowhere near what we used to get here. I don’t know if it is the time of year or that this type of club is just on the wane. Nobody else seems worried, so perhaps it will improve.
The heat is now getting to us and, despite dancing every tanda, we leave at just after ten thirty. The walk home is a drudge in this heat, but then I did complain that it was not as hot as I expected last week. Serves me right, I suppose.

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Jamais Vu or Janis Vu

Well the bad weather never arrived, although today it is a little colder. Sometimes I could even walk down the street without my sunglasses on. I suppose the fact that everywhere is designed to dissipate heat makes some of the buildings feel cool, but hey, for Wales this would be a heatwave.

We have not done much of a tourist nature yet, so this being Saturday we went to Palermo for the street markets. Our first stop was Tealosophy on Gorriti we needed to stock up for our practica. Then we thought it was time for coffee. There is only one place we know where you can actually sit in the sun and last time we were here they had no coffee. Viv said they would think I was mad but I was not going through all the rigmarole we had last time we were here (it’s all in last year’s blog somewhere) so as we walked in I said “hay café?” of course they said “si”.

We could have nothing else with it though, when we asked they said “solo pizza”. So we sat in the sun reading our kindles and occupying a table for an hour with just a coffee like true Argentines.

We walked down Gorriti and turned into Honduras, half way down the block Viv saw a Feria Americana (second hand shop). Now most of them here are just piled high with stuff and are generally more expensive than those at home, but this one looked different. I think it was because of the neighborhood but the stuff in here was real quality. In fact they had a whole rail of Italian coats that were all new. I saw a couple of suits, but they were far too small and likewise the jackets that Viv tried on. She did however find two very nice skirts. All the time we were there the woman who ran it left us alone unless we asked anything and Viv could take as much as she wanted into the changing room. It was a refreshing change; we took a card for next time, in the words of Arnie “I’ll be back”.

We found our way eventually to the street market and found one or two things for prizes, but held back from buying too much yet (makes it feel like we are getting ready to go home otherwise).

We were getting hungry as they could not feed us in the last place so we called into our favorite book shop on Costa Rica, Crack Up. They did not have their famous tarta manzana today but we were happy with an avena cookie with chocolate chips.   

I learned something today Jamais vu is the exact opposite to Déjà vu and I owe Jantango an apology.

We met in La Continental for Pizza and a couple of beers. We had missed the chance to go together to La Nacional last week so we thought we would make up for it this time. Janis kept insisting we went there together last year, but both Viv and I had no recollection, even after we had arrived.

I was not in the best place to practice my cabeceo and sitting with two women, I think did not help. I danced with my two ladies and did manage one cabeceo. The trouble is the strain of all the recent activities had got the better of Viv. Shortly after midnight she had had enough. So we left Janis there and I took Viv home.

Once back I simply had to check last year’s blog. There it was in front of me, The visit to La Nacional and even the return Journey on the 151 colectivo (which I had also forgotten) on our first Saturday. The day was so much like today we had even called into Tealosophy in the afternoon.

See  https://tangogales.wordpress.com/2011/05/08/worlds-apart/?preview=true&preview_id=2569&preview_nonce=e23aae8001

So there you are Jamais Vu “a feeling of seeing a situation for the first time, despite rationally knowing you have been there before”

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Worlds apart

It’s the weekend and Viv wanted to root around all the market stalls in Palermo, so as we were up early (for us anyway) we set off in the sunshine for our old stomping ground.

As we walked down Garuchaga (I think) we passed a mens clothing shop, and right at the back was an old Corvette, beautiful with gleaming paintwork and chrome.  It was too much for me, I had to go in and look. Now I am not so naive that I do not realise that they put these things there for a reason; Draw you in then hopefully you will buy something. The sales staff pounced, but the way he pounced was as if to say “if you don’t intend buying, then bugger off” so that is exactly what I did. Viv said it was obvious that we did not intend buying, but the point is, we may well have just seen something, after all, what harm were we doing. The point is, outside we would never become customers but inside, well there is always a chance.

We wandered on as we do. We wandered down Gorritti and saw what looked like a garden in a passageway. Not put off, but now with a little more trepidation I set off to explore. The whole passageway was a sort of City garden centre, trees shrubs and plants all in pots ready for your balcony. Obviously we would be buying nothing here, but nobody was pressurizing us, so we looked and enjoyed and made the place look a little more busy. There was a surprise though; at the end of the corridor were more units, a sort of  “passage artisanales”.

There was a place full of  rather expensive niknaks, we looked around but I can’t bring myself to pay $50 or about £10 for a candle. Then there was Tealosophy. I wandered in and they pounced again, but not in the aggressive way of the clothing shop, more gentle and just enjoy our scents and flavours. The girl brought various teas in baskets a waved them under my nose, I enjoyed all the scents and we enquired of the prices. Again it was all a bit expensive, but the flavours were so good, I think we will return and bring some Argentine tea for our practicas.

It was not just the shop service that was miles apart: We wandered over to Parque Centenario, there was a market, of sorts there as well. Not the pristine stalls with the most expensive tourist tat or hand-made jewelery here, no it was more a gigantic garage sale. People had just spread blankets on the ground and were selling their old toys, cameras, tools, anything for which they no longer had a use. Most of the stuff here we would have consigned to a skip, but this is a complete opposite to the throw away society in which we live.

Nobody throws anything away here, there is a repair shop on every street where you can get anything repaired or exchanged, buy second-hand or get rid of your old appliances. If you do throw anything out, the cartoneros will grab it and make use of it. Talking of which I saw something today that really surprised/disgusted me. A boy, no more than twelve or thirteen was walking along the street and saw some dog shit wrapped in paper. He unwrapped the shit, tossed it on the street and put the paper in his pocket. I wait for the day when they find a use for dog shit, no doubt if they could sell it, that would have been in his pocket too.

Tonight we are heading out for Associacion National Italiana, I don’t think we have been there since 2004 so it will be almost like a totally new experience. Jantango said she will meet us there so we should have a good night.

The journey down was almost uneventful, apart from a drunk wanting to give us directions, when we missed Alsina and had to back track, and we had taken the subte rather than the collectivo as I wanted to check how much money was on my Monedera card.

It takes some time to get into the dancing here, the Portenos lack the discipline of european dancers, in that they change lanes, go backwards and generally invade your space, if you let them. All contrary to what is taught in Europe. It is, afterall their dance and I often wonder how these European greats would cope. Me ? well I was not coping that well, but I should be able to by the end of my month here. I had one funny incident; as I led Viv into an ocho milonguero (cortado) she looked at me as if to say “why have you stopped” my leg which was behind me was now tangled with the leg of another, I never did know who it was, I was too busy just retaining my composure and trying to look cool.

I had Jantango quizzing me all through the night on the orquestas, why does my mind go blank when she asks me? Perhaps it is the fear of being wrong, I should be better by now.

We are not yet ready for a late night, after all two o’clock here is still six at home and in my head, so we set off into the night. Janis apologised that she wanted to stay, it was no real problem as we would probably be headed in different directions anyway.

I had the route home worked and it was all clear, then as we approached the bus stop we saw our 168 disappearing into the distance, perhaps we could run across congresso and catch it the other side, then maybe not. So we waited. I had ignore another drunk as he kept calling after me “excoos me excoos me” still we were unacosted at the stop.

Our route home was preplanned so we expected to have to wait for the next 168, but Viv said “Isn’t there another bus we can catch?” we looked at the sign on the parada and I reconned that the 151 also stopped near us, so when one passed we jumped on. As we pulled our ticket out of the machine a 168 came up behind “bugger”. Still we were on another mini adventure.

The sign said Salguero and Cordoba so it would stop about two blocks from us, good enough. When we turned off Rivadavia down Salguero I knew it would pass right by our appartment. Viv wanted to get off at Corrientes but I stayed put, got up and pressed the bell as we crossed Corrientes and it stopped right at our door.

Chuffed I am getting the hang of this collectivo thing at last. Door to door service only $2.20 that is less than 40p things may have gone up here but you cannot beat that for service.

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Pericles

It was a nice sunny day and as usual we were up late, so distant parts of the city were out. As they have a lot of street markets at the weekend, I thought we could walk over to Palermo.

Pericles had just left a post on BAexpats about walking, so I responded that we were about to walk over to Palermo. As we walked over he got in contact via my cell and we arranged to meet in about an hour. More than enough shopping time for me.

Pericles for those who do not know was the driving force that got me an apartment in Buenos Aires. This started as a purely business arrangement, but like some many here, he remains a friend.

In the centre Viv found a scarf that she liked, it was not expensive, but I am starting to think Argentine and $50ar seemed too much to me. Viv won the day as she always does.

We found the bar where we were to meet and there was no sign of Pericles, so we searched around for a good table, and decided on a spot on the roof terrace. We watched the street but missed him entering. He sent me a text saying he was here, so did I.

After a further walk around I found him and he joined us on the roof. As I have said before, life is a bit more hardy in Wales, so we were quite comfortable up here, I’m not so sure Pericles was.

We talked for hours, it was such a pleasant change, usually time is of the essence and he is rushing off to an appointment somewhere. Eventually we had to go, we had overstayed our welcome (we only drank coffee). Pericles walked with us as far as his place and we walked on to do some more shopping.

At night we returned to Club Fulgor again. The numbers were down considerably, but we still had great time. As I type this out I am listening to the CD we won in the raffle. Suddenly we are getting all sorts of freebies. We did almost every tanda, the chacarera and even joined in for the cumbia.

From one of my commentators I have had some great info on the buses (colectivos) and I used this to get there. Unfortunately we panicked and got off the bus too soon, but it still saved us some footwork. I had the route planned for our return but Viv decided she wanted something nice to eat so we walked. Even in Buenos Aires there is not much open at one in the morning, but Viv’s mood was considerably lifted after Fulgor so I let her enjoy the walk. About two blocks into Guardia Vieja we did find a kiosco open and walked the rest of the way eating a Mega. Dancing till one $10ar drinks for two $22ar walking home on a warm night eating icecream priceless.

(appologies to mastercard)

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Planetario

As promised in a week when I have not done much Tango I thought I would tell the story of another of my photos.

Planetario
Planetario

 

This is the story of the day we went to the planetario.
I had for some time wanted to see it, and as progress on our apartment was stalled, we thought we would take advantage of a beautiful summers day to walk across Palermo to Libertador. On the way we visited all the national gardens, French, Dutch and German. The heat was really getting to me so we stopped in a hat shop, for something to shade my head.  I had my hair quite short in preparation for the heat, but I was totally unprepared for the forty degrees plus that it reached. The top of my head was also burning through my now thin thatch. so there was nothing for it but a hat.
Luba said when she saw it that I looked like a yanqui, and I think all the shop owners agreed, because suddenly everyone was over charging me.
When we finally reached the planetarium we grabbed the first ice cream vendor we could find and then hid under a tree.
Now for the exciting bit, but no! after all that walking, “Cerado para reparaciones” it seems the school holidays is the best time to close for repairs, but as it was Christmas they did have a very nice poster to view, with a picture of Saturn looking like a Christmas bauble.
I have included some photos of Avenida Libertador that I took on the way, as well as the park lands around the Planetario and Libertador.
I was very impressed with the tennis club, it seems it was built by the British to make themselves feel at home. The guy standing outside though did not seem impressed with us, and when he started approaching us in a purposeful manner, it was time for a quick exit.
We returned very footsore but had enjoyed some nice views on the way. I still have not been inside the planetarium though, perhaps I will next time.

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