Correction: This blog post was erroneously attributed to Paul instead of Sandy – our apologies for the mixup!
As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts to these blogs, resting and down-time while on the road frequently affords a welcome and stimulating opportunity to get out and about in less familiar cultures and cities. It’s no doubt something inherited from my father who was an insatiably curious geographer. Apparently I too crave and thrive on the constant and circumstantial evidence of my physical, political and cultural surroundings. A walkabout in Buenos Aires is not only excellent exercise and a trusted tool in the normalization of jetlag, but instructs so well also on matters not limited to climate, the economy, the cuisine and available/plentiful resources, religious affiliations and much, much more.
Last Sunday was rewarding in every way. The weather was stunning – intense sunshine and a vigorous spring wind. The light in the city was brilliant and dappled, constantly changing as the omnipresent tall and beautiful trees sounded their response to the shifting breezes. Most all of the “avenidas” in BsAs and even almost all of the smaller streets are lined primarily with spectacular ash and or plane trees. There are many additional species also prominent. I have since discovered several impressive blogs dedicated exclusively to the trees of Buenos Aires and I strongly recommend checking them out if only for some beautiful images but also much supporting information.
My Sunday morning stroll (Mothers’ Day here) revealed families enjoying the weather in the park, and I’m guessing from what I saw that a passion for kids’ soccer far outweighs any possible distraction of Sunday school.
A practical challenge in navigating Bs.As’s sidewalks is avoiding impressive deposits of canine excrement, not to mention, at least for the time being, falling over accumulated garbage (there’s a collection strike underway – but just resolved as I write).
Continuing my peregrinations into Palermo Hollywood, I saw a very different kind of dynamic – a neighborhood in transition. It reminded me of New Orleans’ French Quarter or perhaps the Jordan in Amsterdam. Certainly it has a fun younger and bohemian vibe. There are many extremely trendy and a few exceptionally upscale restaurants mixed up with some live/work spaces inhabited by many in the film and entertainment industry, all alongside working class families who seem to be contentedly squatting in their element. The socio-economic mixture is alive and thriving – at least to my walkabout tourist eye.
The ASQ was roundly discouraged from walking home to our nearby hotel in the Ricoleta after our big Monday night concert/dinner at the vaunted Grand Hotel Alvear.
Assuredly we were “marked men” and vulnerable in our concert finery and carrying instruments too… In spite of the intoxicatingly balmy weather at 2 am (and no, we were not the last to leave), we allowed ourselves to be persuaded. Perhaps the abundant flow of fine Trumpeter Malbec throughout dinner and much champagne to follow with fine Argentinean chocolate deserts and petit fours had something to do with the weakening of our resistance. At least we all slept very well!