Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Stuff to Learn and See By #1

Things I've observed, learned, seen or heard in the last little while here in Costa Rica.

  • The women are all bigger, browner, rounder and really like to strut their stuff about town. True Latinas.
  • No problem getting corn tortillas or HOT SAUCE anywhere!
  • Gallo Pinto = Yummy
  • Watching the US Tennis Open on ESPN2 'en vivo' at some café here in San Jose and Zabaleta is falling apart. He threw his racket at the ground and it bounce back at him almost hitting him in the face. I'll never be able to watch or even play(*) tennis again without thinking of DFW's 'Infinite Jest', which I read half of (500 pages, super small print) in Argentina.
  • Pretty sure I'll go back too Argentina but just in and out of Buenos Aires this time. Still have to get to Patagonia, Salta, Jujuy, Tucuman and beyond... like the CHACO!
  • Came to Costa Rica with no sunglasses OR rain jacket and just bought a pair of Ray Bans on the street from a vendor for $5USD... down from $10USD without even trying. Didn't have the heart to bargain him down further.
  • I've got a kick ass travel coordinator based out of San Jose that works for named Carolina who is helping me with logistics big time. She's got to renew her visa (she's Venezuelan) and we're off to Panama this weekend. She's a morena and sexy... and has made the difference for this trip. Thanks Caro!
  • Love the morochitas... but not too morochita
  • Costa Rica, or at least San Jose is really, really lush and tropical, obvio. I'd forgotten about Central America's natural beauty.
  • Gotta get to Colombia, Venezuela (with the new British passport) and then Brazil!
  • Forgot my camera cable to connect to the local computer to upload these stellar pics of the Caribbean Coast
  • My bank account is in a state of crisis.
  • They have trannies here too
  • It rains a LOT
  • $500 Colones = $1USD
  • My neck where the camera strap hangs got totally sunburned the very first day I walked around in San Jose.
  • The sun is starting to come out as the clouds part. I put my new fake Ray Bans on. Already got a mini-umbrella for $2USD. Now I just need a rain jacket
  • I really miss playing tennis, left my racket in BA with Luis. Maybe Diana in LA will be up for a few sets next month
  • They have cartoneros here too but they just don't have carritos, just big black plastic trash bags.
  • B R E A T H E... and the rest will come

Costa Rica = Pura Vida

Not surprising to find that Costa Rica is different than Argentina, to say the least. It's sunny and WARM, laid back, lush like I don't know what and... I've only been here 1.5 days.

Tomorrow is some volcano, a church some where and I can't remember what, then another volcano and then the Carribean coast on Friday for 4-5 days. That mean killer snorkeling, yummy Criole food and a trip to the islands off the coast of Panama, the turtle park... and who knows what else.

A whole lot different than San Telmo and Palermo, Buenos Aires...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

It's Over...

After sleeping all day on a couple of different AirBus A-320's and dragging my tired self through the airport in Lima, I wake up and find myself in San Jose, Costa Rica. Never been here before, never even wanted to but am now stoked to be here even though its 'the rainy season'. It's a hell of a lot warmer than BsAs. I'm back on the road and this is about the exact opposite of the big city life of Buenos Aires.

The joy of traveling... my plane ticket today was actually for tomorrow but I showed up a day early with too many overweight bags with most of my worldly possessions in them. Can't believe I broke THE cardinal rule on traveling light... why do I have that damn Photoshop Camera RAW book in my bags that weighs like 2.5 kilos?!

My salida from Buenos Aires was so hectic and haphazard that I had no idea what really went down. Well, I do remember I went to the Boca Juniors game yesterday with Luis and his two sons Pablo and Martin in the freezing cold rain for one last blue and gold victory. Of course, how could I forget my final bife de lomo steak at Desnivel San Telmo? Oh... was shooting at Palacio Alsina nightclub (on the gayest night of the week, literally) at 1:30am, 4 hours before my flight left was scheduled to leave had I chosen the correct day to fly.

Chau for now Buenos Aires, don't cry for me too much Argentina and lots of hugs and kisses to mi familia porteña which I will miss dearly... for now. And an extra special thanks to Tommy for all of his hard work, patience and diligence on this past assignment. The good news is that its never to late to teach and old dog new tricks in this digital age we live.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Fashionably Cold

Botique on Calle Defensa - San Telmo, Buenos Aires

Friday, August 10, 2007

Exposición en La Rural

Robert De Niro in Argentina

What obscure film did Deniro shoot in Argentina?

Home Sweet Home

11:30am - The RG job is close to being finished. I have more than 80% of the requested photos in the bag and have some pickup shots to do over the next few weeks. Also need to improve on any shots that can be improved on. The only feedback I got from the editor thus far is “they’re great”. I was looking for something a bit more constructive, or critical. Honestly I don’t believe this is my best work and it was an important assignment for me, something I stressed over up until even today and will continue to do so until after the final deadline I suppose. It’s the middle of winter, freezing cold. Everyone in the pictures looks like they’re freezing cold. I've got a couple of more weeks to catch a few more pictures. Sounds easy, go outside and take pictures, I know. People say it all the time, go out and take some good pictures. For some, maybe its easy. For me its hard, like most things. I tend to complicate things for myself, and for others.

Now I’m sitting up in my new pad in Palermo, on my brand new bed, waiting for the next bathroom break. Something went wrong with the food intake program the other day and I awoke in the middle of the night to violent vomiting and now just severe diarrhea. Haven’t eaten in two days and barely made it down Avenida Cordoba to the farmacia to get some pills. Who knows if they’ll do any good but its times like these when you don’t think twice about western medicine and is immediate effects. I also got a couple of bottles of drinkable yogurt. That’s what Stett taught me on our Mexico grunge trip back in ’95, back when we had no money and things were simple, "it's the live cultures that help kill the nasty unwanted bacteria," he proclaimed.

5pm – Back from the closest café with WiFi and my stomach and all connecting tubes is still making some fierce noises – bubble, bubble, toil and trouble. I bought some pills at the farmacia earlier. ‘Te duele la panza?’ she asked. Yes, mucho. Take these – 30 pesos. But the shitstorm from my ass has subsided some and I feel myself recovering from this temporary ailment. Life is for the strong and only the strong survive, but not forever. Only Jesus lives forever, and the Marine Corps.

(It was that choripan on the street, in front of La Rural, I know it. Too street, even for me.)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Bang, bang, bang...

... that's what I awoke to, the construction crew, working inside the loft, the penthouse loft in which I'm sleeping, high above the city. Billie's place. It's an awesome place with spectacular views, especially when it's not under construction.

Brush my teeth and head out onto the cold wet streets once again, officially homeless this time. Everything's different now, but I'm the same. No money, no work on the horizon, no girl, no home... but some good people here in BA that I call my friends.

Maybe Brazil, or Colombia... I'm begining to think of an exit strategy. It's time to go, or is it? Fashion week is next week, just as I'm wrapping up this huge project for RG, which has been rough, to say the least. Freezing cold rain, the snow, very little light during the day in between the city buildings and a lot of pressure to produce great images without fail. Ran out of my helicopter money, still need to go to an Estancia outside of the city... falta, pero llegando.

And then, today is different, yet again. I'm no longer homeless, found a brand spanking new studio in Palermo and moved in with... no money! A friend of a friend of Tommy's hooked me up big time. Maybe I'm the first gringo in Argentina that has ever moved into a flat with NO MONEY?! And my new landlord is an angel, divina, actress and puppet maker extrondinare. Who knows what's next, just 'walk on'...