Today is perfect: blue sky, breezy, almost hot: heaven!
One of my students scolded me for never doing anything "cultural" when I am in Buenos Aires, so I walked down to Nueve de Julio, and strolled over to Tucuman. I took the guided tour of the Teatro Colon (Tucuman 1171). It costs 110 pesos for the tour, which is offered in several languages. The one in English was the next in line when I got there, so I took the tour in English.
What a beautiful building! There are four or five different kinds of marble: white, yellow, red, green . . . all from different places in Europe. Gilt, statues and stained glass are everywhere. When we went upstairs to the Grand Hall (the place the rich used to socialize before and after the opera), I thought, "Wow! this looks like the old Paris Opera building!" and then the guide said it was modeled after that building. I felt very cultural and smug.
After the tour, I wandered around the Gardens behind the theater, which have a photo installation of the history of the opera house, along with photos of famous stars who have danced/acted/sung here. There is classical music playing; the last jacaranda blossoms are finishing; and lavender bloomed everywhere.
I took the subway to Pueyrredón and Santa Fe, and then walked the rest of the way to Recoleta Cemetary (15-20 minutes). If you don't like walking, I'd suggest taking the bus or a taxi from here.
I don't know why I like the cemetary so much, but I do. I like to wander around, then sit and think in the quiet that surrounds the area, even with tourists and songbirds flying around. I saw one mausoleum opened up, and an old man wandered by with a vase of flowers and water. I like that not all the dead are forgotten.
Lunch at Buller Brewing Company (Pte. Roberto M. Ortiz 1827)
I have never been a fan of Argentine beer, as most are pilsners, and I am not a lover of pilsner. However, I wandered past a brewpub facing Recoleta Cemetary, and decided to see how it stood up to the brewpubs in my neighborhood in Portland, Oregon. The verdict: not bad!
I had a half pint of their IPA (25 pesos), and it tasted great on a hot, sunny, late spring day. If I were not such a lightweight, I would have tried their sampler of six beers (50 pesos): stout, honeybeer, hefeweizen, IPA, pilsner and I forgot what the sixth one was. I had a plate of luscious, squash and spinach (and nut?) filled ravioli (49 pesos), covered in bolognese sauce (18 pesos). The whole meal cost about what I pay in my local brewpub at home for a glass of beer and some pasta.