Tag Archives: Parque Centenario


I have fallen behind somewhat, time is overtaking me.

Saturday at El Arranque was possibly our best milonga yet. We were there nearly four hours and I don’t think either of us missed more than one tanda. El Consegrados was closed so there were quite a few extra people there. We, of course, benefited from being the regulars, but there were many old friends there as well.

We stayed for the sorteo, and Viv won the champagne. They would not let us keep it  for next week though. It would have been nice to open it on our last El Arranque of this trip. Now we have it at home and not really sure what to do with it.

We had to stop off at El Opera for a beer on the way home just to unwind.  The finances are looking much better now so the high cost of beer here did not faze me.

Sunday we went for a walk around Parque Centenario. There is nothing we really need from the market, but I enjoy just looking at all the tat for sale and the high prices that they ask. I did stop off at the guitar man though and finally bought a tuner for my Buenos Aires guitar. Now it is tuned up it sounds a lot better.

Sunday night is Fulgor, numbers have not  picked up for  Semana Santa. We expected there to be many people who had the weekend off. We danced our socks off, even leaping about for the Tropical. Then about ten thirty people started disappearing. A few complained to Roberto that he had not done the sorteo yet . The first number out “Se fue” so he drew another 21, that’s Vivs again. So now she has a Huevo de Pascuas to go with the Champagne.

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Mugging in the street

A beautiful Sunday so we went for a walk down to Parque Centenario. An hour in the sun looking around the market was quite enough, we didn’t buy much and the heat was getting to us. So we cut back through the park and sat under a tree watching the giant carp, the dogs enjoying the water and young boys doing what they all do, but never catching any pigeons.

The walk back was hot and dry, but we wanted to stop at the garden shop on Corrientes. When we got there it was all closed up, I guess that they do not open Sundays.

I knew that there was another on the Right hand side down the street a little, I just could not remember which street. Then Viv remembered it was behind the Church with the guards outside. The girl done good, there it was and we got everything we wanted, a pot, some compost and a saucer for one of our plants.

So now I have planted the piece of ginger we bought from the dietetica, hopefully we will have a crop next year.

There was a load ruckus in the street. At first we could not tell what was happening, then an older guy ran from under the shelter of our balconies, face covered in blood with two youths chasing him. One youth knocked him to the floor. After that it all went a bit crazy. I tried ringing 911, crazy phones would not work, but the attackers ran off. There was so much shouting going on and then a car turned into the street the wrong way, with a medic. It was more or less over.

Soon the police arrived and an ambulance. Fortunately the guy was still standing and all our neighbour’s were out on the street haranguing the police, so there was little we could do from our perch. If we had been interviewed by the police we saw nothing really and the language would have got in the way. So we stayed safely out of it, feeling slightly useless.

It has however slightly shaken my feeling of security for when I next walk the streets.

The steak we bought yesterday was even better than the last one. Set me up for a night at Fulgor.

Well we made the walk and as usual we had no problems, I was still worrying though; what makes someone standout as a victim? How come it’s never me? and what can I do to keep it that way? Maybe I will never know, maybe they know I am from Blacon, perhaps I should take up martial arts.  Who knows?

Fulgor was the same round of greetings and kisses, but something was missing. It has not been the same since Daniel (The DJ) left. The sound is fine when they play cumbia, but the tango is rubbish, no mid range sound. It is like it was played on an old Dansette record player. I wonder if perhaps Ruben needs to upgrade his computer, before all the punters disappear.

The humidity is very high and that is not helping to keep our temperatures down. Strange then that as we walked home there was a bowser spraying water all over the roads. I could feel my body heat rising as it passed. It left me sweating just when I need to be cool for bed.


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Feels like my birthday

Saturday so I wanted to go to Parque Centanario again. I wanted some phone cable and perhaps a phone. Instead the guitar man was there. I just had to have it, no choice, it was calling to me. Viv has promised too pay for it when we get back as a late birthday present.
It may be small, but it is perfectly formed and it fits in our personal box. He even threw in a bag for it.
We thought that we would forsake El Arranque today, as there is a tango class followed by a singer at The Carlos Gardel house. We had not written the time down and found we had only ten minutes left when we arrived and we would have to wait an hour for the singer. Not only was the class very basic (as we had expected) but the guy was trying to get us to open out to do more moves. I was not about to argue, but it just is not our style.
We were not going to wait around for an hour so we left for El Arranque. The 168 was stopped on the corner when we arrived, so we risked the traffic and managed to catch it.
It was so crowded I could not see where we were and managed to get off a stop early again. Still three more blocks is not a big deal in the great scheme of things.
Outside El Arranque we met Jongwoo who was surprised we were going in, he was on his way to Ideal. This is only one block from his place so we persuaded him to give it a try.
There was quite a crowd today, but we hardly missed a tanda and for once we stayed right to the end. I have a few ladies that I dance with regularly and they sit often together. While dancing with one she said she had a present for me, some pastries from El Americana, for Viv and I. Then another of the ladies gave me a book, sort of teenage fiction, easy reading for extranjeros. I said it felt like my birthday.
As we had stayed right to the end there was nothing for it but a pizza and Quilmes. La Americana was also packed and we struggled to get a table. After we were sated we set off for home.
We saw a 151 stopped at the lights, but there was no way he was going to let us on. So we waited at the stop, then a 90 came. It is only 10 yards to the stop but he also was not going to let us on, he took off on full boost.
Eventually we caught another 90. It also was packed to the gunnels and just behind it came an empty 151. Sods law.
Seems I was wrong, the murga madness is not over, so the bus turned off again before Corrientes.
When it stopped we struggled to get off. Some stupid girl was stood in the doorway with her Iphone. I shouted permiso twice, then had to physically throw her out of the way and jam my arms in the door to stop it closing. What is it with the youth of today and technology.
It looks like they have rebuilt the stage on Corrientes again, and all the madness has returned.

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Murga madness

Another Saturday so another visit to Parque Centanario. We managed to walk right through without buying anything, which is a plus for me. We stopped for a juice and some water and then headed back.
The trouble is that I may have got away with spending nothing, but Corrientes is lined with shops. We did not even get that far before was waylaid, Viv found a dress shop on Angel Gallardo. She found nothing that fitted but we were still in there twenty minutes.
Then we stopped in a household shop and managed to get some containers, We also had to stop in every shoe shop we passed.
Then we had to go into a plant shop. I was by now hot and tired and would have bought anything. We settled for an umbrella plant for our balcony.
Eventually Viv found a pair of sandals in a shop where “everything must go” so at least we had a 50% discount.
The Venezuelan girl was very nice too. She spoke perfect English with not a hint of accent. Apparently she had learned by watching “Pride and Prejudice” over and over. I nearly left without our plant, I was so glad to get out.
After a rest we took the 168 and headed for El Arranque again. Viv was not at her best and decided to leave early. She said she would wait for me in El Americano on the corner.
After the Chacarera I joined her when she was best part through a beer. Seemed fair enough to me, so I had a beer and she had another and we had a pizza for tea. Good pizza too, I will have to put this place on our list.
The 151 again diverted down Sarmiento, but this time it did not go back up Humahuaca. We had to get off at Gascon and Guardia Vieja and walk.
Then I remembered the stage on Corrientes, and I thought “That is what is happening” Just then a bus Passed with youths hanging out and generally making a lot of noise, which sort of confirmed it.
Anyway I got quickly changed and went out to survey the action.
You have heard, no doubt, about the Mardi Gras in Brazil. Well Buenos Aires has its own version. It is on a much smaller scale, but it goes on for weeks and almost every barrio has there own Murga.
At our Murga each Barrio has a parade and it goes on for about half an hour, then there is a lull before the next barrio comes in. They march up Corrientes to where the stage is then dance Murga in front of the stage. Finally the barriers are opened and they continue through to Salguero where they finish.
There is a lot of noise, drums and whistles and a lot of jumping around. I filmed until my battery ran out and then went for my still camera. I am afraid the results were not good, but I will try and post it to Youtube when I get home.
I did get a good picture of an old collective though.DSCF0556
We managed to avoid most of the spray foam, but Viv soon got bored and was looking in the shoe shops again. Time for bed, I think.

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You win some you loose some.

A bit of a failure really. We went to Parque Centanario again just to mooch and to get that guitar I had set my heart on. Wouldn’t you know it? The Guitar man was not there today.
Last week when I was looking for an adjustable spanner they were like hens teeth. This week, because I was not looking for one they were everywhere.
Viv found some lovely cat suits, the guy said they were $200. Viv thought that was dear until I said “it’s only £10”. So Viv tried to go behind the racks to see if it fitted. The guy said “no probar”. We indicated that she would just try it and I was staying here with her stuff “No probar, goodbye” he said, and took the cat suit away.
What a rude man and he had lost an almost certain sale. Viv was angry for the rest of the day and we ended up buying nothing anywhere.
We stopped at a bar “Petit Morrison” for a juice and some water. It cooled us off but the water men were doing something and dragging their gear through from the road. So we did not stay too long, anyway we had to get ready to go out.
We went to El Aranque again on our 168 and had a thoroughly good time. I managed to scrounge some champagne from the birthday girl Graciela. Viv was not ready to do the chacarera again though, so that was our signal to leave.
We caught our 151 home again, but when it got to plaza Almagro, the traffic was stationary so he turned off down Sarmiento. As it got down Gascon I rang the bell, but the driver shouted that he was going back on route.
I really have no idea how much time he saved by missing four blocks, and adding another eight on, but we arrived right by our front door again despite the diversion.

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Parque Centanario

I worry sometimes that people take my posts too seriously. I take a light-hearted view of all the problems that there are living in a foreign land. So far we have only asked for outside help once and then I managed to get out of trouble before that help was needed. Never the less, I do appreciate offers of help. I just choose to go my own way, as I have done all my life.
So please laugh at my problems by all means, but do not be too concerned, just enjoy the ride.
Having a leak in the bathroom was not a big deal. There is a drain for the water, but it does annoy me. Philippe told me you can get second hand tools around Parque Centenario on a Saturday, so that was todays mission.
I have subbed Viv £100 in pesos so she can have some fun there as well. (£100 will go a long way here).
It is only about ten blocks so we walk. I am still amazed that as we pass the huge building that says “Jesus es el Señor” that they need bouncers. Surly anyone with mal intent is unlikely to get passed an all powerful God, or am I just being a cynic.
We arrived at somewhere around the midpoint of the market. Not sure if it goes right around or not, we decided to head to the right.
I quickly found a wrench at $70 but it was not exactly what I wanted, so we carried on. Viv was constantly distracted by the clothing stalls, while I rummaged through every tool and bric a brac stall there was.
I found a beautiful new guitar, small frame $900. Fortunately I had not brought that much out with me, or I might have been tempted.
At last I found an adjustable spanner. A bit crude and rusty, but it would serve the purpose. “Quanto es?” I asked “dos ochenta” he said that will do me, but whet I gave him five he said “No doscientos ochenta pesos”. “Damasiado caro” I said and gave it him back.
The search continued and Viv bought a skirt and some kitchen implements. (the first potato peeler was $150 we later found one for $15. They must think we just got off the banana boat).
I found another spanner “Dos quarenta” the guy said. Fortunately this time his wife said “Darme trescientos” That one was staying as well.
I did buy a hole punch, which was not on my list along with the kitchen appliances, but you have to buy when you see here.
We reached the end of the market and backtracked. Then we set off in the other direction. I found a stall with some new and some used tools. Two adjustable’s and a pair of grips. They ran at $100 each for the ajustable’s and $80 for the grips.
It still riled me to pay £5 for something I had numerous spares at home, but I bought the new adjustable anyway.
By now we were hot and thirsty, so we set off for a drink. On the corner of Anibal Troilo are three cafes. We were stuck for choice. We sat on the street drinking jugo and fizzy water, while speculating why name such a small street after such a great man.
Most of the things I had set out to buy were still on my list. Viv’s list though was completed in Farmacity.
I wanted something to stop the desk marking the wall and was not having much luck. Then in a household shop we found some bottle stoppers. More confusion as we gathered three black ones out of the jumble, only to find that 3x$10 applied to the klipits. The tops were $10 each, so I bought two.
We popped into an almacen for some meat. Once we reached the counter we realised that we had not picked a number again. The kind lady who was next let us go.
We went to the till to pay and Viv picked up some nuts for tonight. This then meant that we could not pay, as they had to be weighed at another counter. The girl asked “De donde son?” I have no idea how she worked out we were foreigners.
On the way back we bought other provisions, something salty for Philippe, for tonight.
After some food and rest we set off for Boedo, to the house of Mariela.
We decided to walk as we had the time and it was a warm night. When we arrived, as usual, we were among the first.
Gradually more and more people arrived, but being the only native English speakers, we had a little difficulty. We were soon mixing with the French contingent. It must be something odd about Europeans that they stick together even if they do not talk the same language. Luba was there as well, she was, of course, happy to talk with us, but we could not monopolise her.
One big guy was a singer and knew some British folk songs. I think the argentines were impressed by our duet. (Knew I should have bought that guitar)
Much food and drink was consumed, and then we had a tango interlude. There was not a lot of room and mostly they were beginners, but it was very sociable, changing partners every track.
We went back to the French when the rock music came on. Then Philippe served up the ice Cream.
It was getting late (for us) so we decided to leave. As always happens, Luba said “You can’t go we have not had the cake yet” but we know this can take hours here. So we left anyway.
After a couple of blocks we managed to catch a 160 Collectivo. I was not sure where it went as we had to run to catch it and could not read the sign. “Va a Corrientes?” I asked “Si” he replied, so we jumped on.
At Plaza Almagro it turned down Sarmiento, it could join Corrientes anywhere, so we got off at the next stop. Only four blocks from home that was pretty good.
I found out afterwards that it crosses at Gascon and stops on Guardia Vieja, but by my reckoning that is five blocks, so we did well.
We took an hour to get there and only twenty minutes to get home. good ol’ collectivos, eh!

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