Buenos Aires x2

6 06 2010

Part 1: Biecentenario

This may be a little late, but I feel the need to spend a little time describing the Bicentenario celebration in Buenos Aires on May 25th. The Bicentenario marked the 200th anniversary of the revolution against the Spanish, not to be confused with the country’s independence day. Katie and I went with the interns to check out the festivities, which included a 3 hour parade. An estimated 3 million people were in the area for the celebration. Everywhere we went there were unbelievable crowds and celeste and blanco, the colors of the Argentine flag.

While we dined a couple blocks away, Hugo Chavez, Lula, and Evo Morales joined President Cristina Krichner to watch the parade. The parade was unlike any I’ve ever seen (a bit different from the Sterling Heights Memorial Day parade). The floats were enormous and served more as mobile performances than the typical semi-static floats of the US. Each float represented a period of time in Argentina, from the time of the indigenous to present day. There were snow machines, giant torches, violinists sitting on taxis, flying acrobats, a float devoted to import substitution industrialization and two eerie, but moving, representations of the military dictatorship. Some must-see videos from the night can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6hx5S1OpS4 and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEgX1K_UtgU.

A few pictures: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2420089&id=21700391&l=55fd29b972


Part 2: A weekend away

This weekend, Tim and I went to Buenos Aires. We left on Saturday morning, hopped on a bus and got to BA before noon. After checking into the hostel, we decided to go explore. We spent the whole day alternating between walking and eating. It was fantastic! We walked all around Microcentro, Puerto Madero and Palermo, stopping for a merienda (snack) in each neighborhood. For lunch, we found a little Middle Eastern place and enjoyed Shwarma and Falafal. BA is one of the only cities in the country to have a decent selection of international cuisine so we decided to avoid typical Argentine food for the day. After lunch, we walked around by the water and found a really nice park on the edge of the nature reserve. With bellies full of food and warm sunshine on our faces, we fell asleep on the lawn for a while. It was one of the best naps I’ve had in a long, long time. After our nap, we had coffee and cake at an alfresco cafe in Puerto Madero before we did some serious window shopping near our hostel. For dinner, which started at 11 in typical Argentina fashion, we went to a fancy Peruvian place. We sipped on Pisco Sours (mmm… Chile!!) before trying our appetizer: ceviche! Who knew I would like raw fish with lime, onion, spice and cream sauce? It was delicious! Hands down the best thing I’ve had in this country. Then our entrees came, aji de gallina for me and king crab ravioli for Tim. They were good, but after the ceviche they definitely seemed mediocre. After dinner, we grabbed drinks, crepes and coffee before heading to bed. I was hoping to drag Tim to a reggeaton club but I was too tired from all of the walking. Maybe next time.

Today we went to San Telmo for this great outdoor market. They were selling everything from scarves, necklaces and paintings to knives and cowboy boots. There were antique watches and World Cup jerseys and everything in between. It was a beautiful sunny day and we had a nice time walking around, talking with the vendors and checking out all of the stands. We had milanesa and pizza for lunch, back to the usual Argentine fare, and finished it off with some ice cream before heading back to La Plata.

BA really is a gorgeous city. It has a very European feel. The architecture is beautiful, the monuments are great and there is plenty of green space in the city limits. It has a beautiful combination of the old and the new, often right next to each other, creating a really stunning contrast. The walls are covered in murals, graffiti and street art, much of which has really powerful social messages. Latin American capitals tend to get bad reputations (and for good reason!), but BA is different. It is one of my favorite cities I’ve ever visited, and along with Valpo, Chile is tied for the coolest LA city I’ve seen. I wanted to take pictures of absolutely everything, but luckily I had some self restraint. Here are those that I did take: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2423211&id=21700391&l=6db728bfba




2 responses

21 06 2010
Barbara Muller

These were spectacular pictures of the modern and the old buildings. I like the park, too! The best picture was number 30 with you and Katie. Tim looked like he was going to operate the dock crane (I guess that is what it was). BA looks pretty.

Your video of the parade events were interesting. The mothers of the missing children was eerie with the glowing white handkerchiefs on their heads. The flying girl looked like she’d get tired. It was quite different from the Sterling Heights parade. And the factory “float” was just wild! I’m never seen any thing like it!

17 07 2010
Nicole Nelson

Katie, I thought I remember you loudly protesting ceviche in Chile… Am I mixing that up with someone else?

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