Sunday, March 21, 2010

Linda's Back in the Studio; I'm Back on the Streets - or "Rain Rain Go Away!"

On Monday, February 21, Linda returned to the studio for her second week of hard work. I walked with her, because our friends Barbara and Jim were visiting to see the studio and Linda's work.

Jim is a retired market analyst from NYC who lives part of the year in a lovely apartment in Buenos Aires, and the rest of the year in New York (tough life, Jim!). He is the brother of Claudia Schwartz, who, with her husband Tony, has been staying at Casa Bella in San Miguel, caring for our dog Bella.

Following the visit, there was a delicious studio lunch, as always.... Apparently the Argentinians believe that an artist cannot create good art on an empty stomach. There's some logic there, I believe.

After lunch, bach to the grind! Making more good art!

Adriana and Valeria, Linda's trusty assistants!

Linda's latest results... she is feeling very productive!

While Linda continued her work, I left for a walk around Recoleta, a lovely part of the city.  First I took a bus to Plaza San Martin, the city's second most important plaza (after Plaza Mayor). This interesting building is Edificio Kavanaugh (394 feet), which was, when built in 1934, South America's tallest building. It is considered an Art Deco landmark.

While walking through the Plaza, I spied a couple of oddly dressed people carrying a sign with Hebrew characters. Curious, I followed them until I realized that they were Jews for Jesus.

I continued my walk, as always, looking for the oddball and unusual.I noted, for example, that many buildings in BA had a jug outside, with a tube dripping into it. I realized that this was water from air conditioning condensers. In New York, these are normally dripping onto the sidewalks and onto pedestrians' heads. Were Portenos (people from BA) more neat and polite, or were they making some use of this distilled water. Another unsolved mystery.

Continuing my walk, I looked up and noted a gorgeous building. It was not listed in my guidebook, so I approached for a closer look.

No dice...just another interesting, lovely, unique office building.

Another oddity of BA is that all the street signs are advertisements for cell phone providers - in this case Claro. That is a clever way of getting nice new street signs, and giving someone else besides the city the maintenance responsibility and cost. 

Walking along one of the main thoroughfares it the theatre district, I saw this marquee for...guess what?

You're right - Beauty and the Beast

I searched my guidebook for some interesting sights, and noted that there were a few small museums in the area. Unfortunately, they were either closed or uninteresting, so I mostly wasted my time. The building above, Mazana de los Luces, was supposed to be a very ancient group of buildings and tunnels. However, it apparently serves as some kind of municipal building, with meeting rooms and a patio for concerts. Nothing for a least this tourist.

As I wandered through Recoleta, it began to rain. I ducked into an ice cream shop (no surprise) I had heard about - Volta.
I ordered a ice cream, and slowly savored it as it rained cats and dogs outside.

It continued to rain. I wandered around the store, looking at the lovely chocolates.

Talking to the manager...

Admiring the decor and the menu....

and then finally breaking down and ordering another bowl of ice cream. I kidding with the manager - was the third bowl free? When would I have to start paying rent for the table. Meanwhile, it continued to pour. My small umbrella would have been powerless in the storm!

Finally, the rain slowed down enough for me to run to the subway station. Not much different than a NY subway, except no air conditioning.

Linda met me back at the apartment, and we decided to go back downtown for dinner and some shopping, not necessarily in that order. It was lovely as we wandered the streets and the sun began to set.

Avenida 9 de Julio (9th of July) - an enormous wide street (perhaps 10 lanes wide)!

The famous obelisk....

Calle Paraguay had big crowds and lots of  street vendors. A lot of energy here. Tango dance demonstrations and more!
We wandered through Galeria Pacifico (and upscale mall)

and the good news - Linda even found some boots she liked!

Our guidebook mentioned a nearby Italian restaurant that had a nice writeup in one of the guidebooks. Frankly, we were so tired and our feet hurt so much, it wouldn't have mattered where or what we ate (so long as it was followed by some Dulce de Leche ice cream).

After dinner, we taxied home and, as we entered our building, noticed something we had seen before but not focused on - a garbage picker. This woman was wheeling an enormous bag of garbage at a rapid pace through the street. We later saw people like her picking through these sacks of garbage, presumably looking for things to sell or eat. A sad commentary on poverty in Buenos Aires.

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