Thursday, October 19, 2006

Home Sweet Home!

My new pad with the wide angle lens to make it look even larger than it already is.

Looking directly out my front door on the upper level of 'Los Patios del Sol', which once at one point a conventio or convent. Now its a good mix of cool people from Argentina, Spain, England and of course some Yanks thrown in for good measure. The Gallegos next door are whooping it up right now, cranking some old-school LIVE Blonde!

My actual front door and a partial view of the small balconcito that comes off of my bedroom, which is in the upper portion of the loft space, along with the bathroom. More pics to come.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

El Dia de Boludo!

Boludo doesn't really translate and can mean many, many things here and is heard constantly, mostly as a form of slang amongst the younger crowd. Like 'Che', or amigo, or dude, or bro, but perhaps a little more slangish and perhaps slightly crass. I think I've mentioned this before, but literally it comes from the balls - swollen balls - some kind of infection to the male ball sack that makes it swell - bloated balls. Figuratively, its just one of those common slang terms, like buey or cajones in Mexico, always refering to the male genetalia - part of the whole machismo thing I think. Even women, or younger women I should say, use it, commonly, in the streets, referring to each other as boluda. Just an overused but integral part of BA spanish - symbolizing a part of the local culture that is hard to pinpoint, or describe, but is always there.

Ethan stops over at the new place for a mellow bite to eat and a chat, after a few heavy days of writing, finally. Then he springs on me that yesterdays writing was "the best in his life, so far," and then, the fact that it was his 35th birthday. A day late and a few pesos short. So... a few phone calls were made, a few visitors stop over and a battle of home-style poker ensues - its his day, what to do - celebrate this painful but necessary rite of passage. Tommy couldn't be bothered, Luis is in for the long haul and then comes Natalia, in all her raging glory and neighborly goodness.

The night grows on and the game continues, springing out of nowhere, but gaining momentum each round, chips flying back and forth like snowflakes in a soft, quiet storm. A week night, a work night... but somehow, we transcend all that and put Ethan at ease in his 35th year. Feliz CumpliaƱos CHE BOLUDO! And keep on that writing, your saving grace, current calling and something you're fucking good at.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Los Patios del Sol

Tonight is my last night in my current apartment here on the Barracas-La Boca border. Had my last stopping-by-on-the-way-home choripan (a completely filling sausage sandwich - $0.75USD) from my favorite parilla in all of Buenos Aires, El Rincon Salteno, located directly across the street from Parque Lezama on Martin Garcia next to the McDonalds. While finishing packing I ran across the street to get some smokes from the ice cream kiosk and the very kind woman that always has this very coolishly bright red hair, forced me to try her favorite flavor being made by the guy right behind her in the back - Sambayon. Oh My GOD! My new favorite too. Next time I'm getting it granizada - little chocolate shavings mixed in. So good and so fresh, the Argentines are damn good at gelato and ice creams.

With limited time to look for a new place to call home, I had to break down, pay a little more and take a place back up in the heart of tourist central, especially on the weekends - San Telmo - half a block down from Desnivel and right across the street from the Universidad del Cine, only a block up from the University of Enginering on Paseo Colon (which is close to where the Cartoneros I work with on my photo shoots live and hang out when they aren't cruising the city recycling what ever it is they may find), host to my favorite bus line - the one-five-two - stopping less than two blocks from my house.

Other than the fact that it seems to be a bit like Melrose Place, and that the only view I have is out my bedroom window, looking directly across at Ethan's current chica's pad, and that it has its share of foreigners living there, which I've been fairly successful at avoiding up till now, its a beautiful Spanish style building with big palm trees in the patio, lots of foliage, great tile work in the entrance, a sweeping wooden staircase to my loft on the 2nd floor. Kitchen with low ceiling which then opens up into a larger open area with a modern, narrow open-faced wood staircase, leading to my bedroom (which has ceilings just low enough for me to bang my head when standing, we're in Argentina) with a bathroom, again with no windows. But there's lots of plants and plants are good.

Thanks to all who helped in one form or another, making this move a relatively easy success, especially Nat for the heads up in the first place (and also for the three little new plants!) and to Luis for chauffering me and my meager possesions back and forth and up and down the stairs. Should definately be interesting, whether retreating into a focused, work-related hibernation, having collegues and clients come over durning semi-regular business hours, or, just hosting a variety of random late night guests at my whim. I think its gonna work out. Probably will be able to use as a personal photo studio with two large windows letting in plenty of natural light. :-)

Buenos Aires de Nuevo - Observaciones

A couple of abbreviated observations in absence of recent posts.

- Looking for a new apartment is not the easiest thing to do in any major metropolitan area, especially as a foreigner in a third world country. But I think I've finally signed a new six month lease tomorrow and that's a done deal for now.

- I still love empanadas dearly and they have almost taken the place of a California burrito in terms of substance, fast, fun and cheap food.

- This city is still crazy as ever, non-stop, 24 hours a day - still amazes me everytime I leave the apartment, regardless of the time or day of week.

- Went to the store the other day and bought four liters of beer, some coffee, 2 liters of Coke-a-Cola, a bottle of Fernet and... a couple;e of other small things and the bill was like $12USD. That never gets old.

- Went carting last weekend, won the race and suffered NO injuries. Pics to come...

- I wish more friends from California could break from their busy lives to experience even just a week of La Pura Vida del Sur.

- And its SPRING! The weather warmeth, the leaves are turning green and its just beautiful right now...

- Other than the standard daily living observations, like the cartoneros, cuidado con los collectivos, mucho trabajo y mucha hoda tambien... life is pretty grand here, for now.

Gracias a todo for reading my blog...