More sightseeing in Buenos Aires

Recoleta Cemetary

  • Address: Junin 1760
  • Hours: 8 am to 6 PM (each website said something slightly different, but this is close)

I don't know why I like this place so much, but I tend to go every time I am in Buenos Aires. It was beautiful on Sunday. I went early, so there were almost no people. Just beautiful. It did seem strange to be walking around in 90 degree weather, listening to the churchgoers singing Christmas hymns. I have spent three Decembers in Buenos Aires, and I am still not used to Christmas being in summer.

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Centro Cultural Kirchner

Entrada: Free.

Hours: 2-8 PM Thursday-Sunday.

Tours: Thursdays 3-6 PM, every half hour; Fri-Sun. 2:15-6 PM, every 15 minutes. The tour takes about one hour. There seem to be huge numbers of workers available to direct you to get tickets, find the bathroom, follow the tour, try to answer questions, and lurk in groups in corners.

My friend, Silvana, and I met at the new cultural center. It was the central post office for 90 years, and just opened this year as a cultural center. All the activities are free to the public, so check out the website to plan when you want to go. It's pretty impressive. It was worth going on the guided tour, so I suggest doing that.

 

The building is on the historical buildings register, so they returned it to its former beauty. It reminds me of East Coast train stations: beautiful windows, marble, wood, careful craftsmanship.


The back section, ten floors high, has been gutted, and completely remodeled. Suspended in the center is La Ballena Azul (The Blue Whale), a state-of-the-art concert hall with incredible acoustics. It is so large that I couldn't find a way to photograph all of it from where we were allowed to go.

This next picture shows how large this building really is. The bluish structure at the top is called La Lampera (The Lantern), and houses an art gallery. The large mesh thing below it, is the outside of La Ballena Azul. This inside is the photo above this.

 

You can get free tickets online for concerts, according to our guide. Three disgruntled tour participants told the tour guide that they were unable to do so. Tip from the guide: when you can't get tickets online, come down the day of the concert, stand in line, and pick up tickets that people have not claimed. Apparently, there are always unclaimed tickets.

 

Good restaurant in Puerto Madera: La Parolaccia

 

  • Address: Pierina Dealessi 260
  • Salad with seafood on top (146 pesos), Caesar salad with chicken (125 pesos), 2 coffees & table setting charge: 400ish pesos

We were starving by the time that we finished going through the cultural center, so we headed to nearby Puerto Madero to eat. This is NOT my part of town: our lunch cost what a steak, salad and glass of wine cost in Almagro. However, it was air-conditioned on a very hot day; and although I couldn't eat most of the food because it is an Italian restaurant specializing in pastas, other people's food looked marvelous. The assortment of breads that I couldn't eat looked marvelous, and Silvan said the flatbread was still hot when it came to the table. The waiter was bored, as it was after the usual lunch hour, and chatted with us. He brought us complementary limoncellos, perhaps because we were so friendly? Ah, it's fun to be female in Buenos Aires :-)

Puerto Madero was being built back in the late 90s when I started coming to Buenos Aires. It is so strange to me to see tons of ritzy hotels, huge skyscrapers and restaurants, a yacht club, etc., where it was abandoned land. I agree with Silvana that it's not right that the coast area does not belong to all of the people, but instead is private property.


La Marshall: relaxed milonga and great performance!

  • Riobamba 416
  • Entrada: 80 pesos (including the lesson)
  • Bottle of water: 28 pesos

"Celebrating 12 years of the milonga. Dance performance by Augusto Balizano & Claudio González."

La Marshall is one of the gay milongas. There is a mix of young gay men, older women in couples, and people who like to switch lead and follow. Note to the Portlanders: the Lumbersexual style has hit Buenos Aires, but I only saw it at La Marshall: full beards, suspenders, work jeans and checked shirts!

The dance performance was FABULOUS! Two excellent dancers, good choreography, and very touching as a theatre piece. Two seemingly old guys, shuffle out on stage, take quite a while to adjust themselves, figure out who is leading, etc., and then dance a tango in the grotesque tradition: moves just slightly out of control or staggering, catching themselves at the last minute from falling, etc. I know how hard it is to dance like stiff old men when you are a good dancer, so this was impressive.

THEN, when I thought it was over, they played a romantic song that several of the guys (the lumbersexuals) next to me sang along to, with a chorus about remembering a year of love. While the music played, the dancers took most of their clothing off, wiped the old-guy makeup off, and put stretchy muscle tees on.

And THEN they danced an incredible, acrobatic duet. WOW. Lifts, boleos, lightening fast turns. WOW. As a dancer, I know how much work went into that choreography. It looked seamless, beautiful, and muscular at the same time. It didn't seem just sewn together like a lot of tango performances do to me. I'll just keep saying WOW.

 

Food, tango shoes and dancing: who needs more?

Life is GOOD gluten-free

Sintaxis

 

  • Nicaragua 4849
  • Totally gluten-free restaurant, with goodies and bread for carryout

I had scrambled eggs with sundried tomatoes. It came with two (small) slices of bread, and a selection of cheese: swiss, blue, and something else. The breakfast specials are served until noon, and come with a drink. I had a wonderful cafe con leche, my first coffee in over a year. Yum! It didn't look like much food, but I realized after I felt full, that comparing it to traveling in Texas last week was silly: Texas meals were MUCH too large.

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. I have the list of when they are open over the weekend and for the holidays (Monday and Tuesday are holidays), so that I can go back. It's a nice walk from where I am staying, 3-4 km., depending on how lost you get (I took the longer route because I became obsessed with documenting the new bike lanes).

The waiter seemed both surprised and pleased that I wanted his picture, so here he is:

 

El Ateneo

  • Av. Santa Fe 1860
  • Books, books, books!

I love bookstores, but this one takes the cake. You walk in, and you are in an old theatre, and it is FULL OF BOOKS. There are people drinking coffee on the old stage, and guys sipping tea in several of the old boxes near the stage. I love this place. I could have just moved in. Argentines seem to read a lot more than Americans. In seven visits to Buenos Aires, it took me until now to visit, but I plan to go back each visit after this!

 

Comme Il Faut shoes

  • Arenales 1239, staircase 3, Apt. M
  • translation: go all the way down this little street-like area, take the 3rd staircase on left, and go upstairs

I had never visited the store before, as I don't wear Comme Il Faut. However, a few friends asked for shoes, so I went to get shoes for them. It's a beautiful building.

 

 

I would say they were very friendly, but they were very business-like. I gave them my list, they found shoes in the right size, with the right height heel. They didn't have the colors that my friends wanted, but other shoes were suggested and bought. They ARE very Losshoes. If they came in wide enough styles for me, I might even get some; but my heart belongs to Neotango.

 

My feet hurt, but I'm happy

Milonga de los Consagrados

  • Centro Leonesa, Humberto Primo 1462
  • Saturdays at 4:30 PM
  • Entrada 60 pesos (does not include a drink)

I went to Los Consagrados because I agreed to meet people I knew for dinner afterwards. My hostess thought I was crazy to go there (pretty far, and most of the folks are older than I am). I had a great time: I danced for 5 1/2 hours without stopping. Each time I tried to stop, someone came up to my table to cabeceo me. In the end, I had to leave the room, put on my street shoes, and wait for my friends. I was just too tired to keep dancing.

I danced four tandas with a guy who finally confessed to 10 years of training and a certificate from the Dinzel's training school. Fabulous! We did tango, then milonga, then vals, then more milonga: heavenly! He made the entire evening for me. I wish I could remember his name. I hope his girlfriend isn't mad at me for hogging him.

I also got to dance chacarera with a good dancer. It was put in a tanda with paso doble, which I faked my way through. I did the tropical tanda (2 cumbias and a merengue) with a guy who openly told me he was faking it, but we had a blast.

What can I say? Life is good! I need to go to sleep, as it's 1:18 in the morning!

 

This flowerstand was just beautiful to look at on such a lovely day, so I took a picture of it.   

This flowerstand was just beautiful to look at on such a lovely day, so I took a picture of it.