Sunday in San Telmo

San Telmo, June 9, 2013

This is what the San Telmo neighborhood of Buenos Aires looks like on a Sunday:

Feria de San Telmo

Feria de San Telmo by Ricardo Luengo

To face this scene, we needed more than those tiny cups of coffee served up at the cafés, so we did a terrible tourist thing and wandered into Starbucks. And then we really advertised our tackiness by being the only people walking around with big, disposable coffee cups.  But that was the trips’s only weak moment, coffee-wise. It’s much better to take your caffeine sitting down, like a civilized person.

After fighting our way through the Feria de San Telmo, we ended up on Plaza de Mayo, where Eva Perón spoke to the masses and mothers of the 30,000 “disappeared” in Argentina’s dirty war marched for justice.

Plaza de Mayo

Plaza de Mayo

Here’s what it looked like on a fall afternoon in 2013. The balcony on the pink house – Casa de Rosada – is the “Perón balcony”. You know, the one from Evita.

Plaza de Mayo, 2013

Plaza de Mayo, 2013

After touring Casa de Rosada and a nearby cathedral, we headed back to San Telmo, where the market vendors were packing up and the dancers were just getting started. Need a dance floor? Tape some cardboard to the concrete, you’re all set.

Tango at Plaza Dorrego

Tango at Plaza Dorrego

Dancing at Plaza Dorrego

Dancing at Plaza Dorrego

Argentina – Arriving in Buenos Aires

In hindsight, it was a terrible, terrible idea to commit to writing a blog post every day for a month. I already missed a day after falling asleep too early on a Saturday night. This is the fault of the recent time change, I’m sure.

Not feeling sufficiently motivated to come up with new material, I dug up 50 pages of writing from a trip to Argentina that Type E and I took to celebrate our five year anniversary. Take some excerpts from there, throw in a few pictures, and voilá — material for the rest of the month.

Argentina, June 8, 2013

After a delay, a panic, and another delay, arrived at Ezeiza International Airport after a long, uncomfortable flight.

First sign after exiting customs? It’s Miller Time. Hmmm.

Grabbed a cab into Buenos Aires, and the driver gave us our first Spanish lesson by pointing at other drivers and muttering, loco! Closer to downtown, we approached a tollbooth and heard an amazing cacophony of noises come from mostly 80s model American cars: beep beep BEEP beep beep beep beep BEEP BEEP BEEP beeeeeeep BEEEEEEEEP.


Finally, we arrived at our apartment in the San Telmo neighborhood.

San Telmo apartment

San Telmo apartment

San Telmo apartment

It’s actually pretty nice on the inside

San Telmo courtyard kitty

The courtyard came with a kitty

Our first outing was a walk up Defensa to wander in and out of the stores, which ranged from fancy kitchen gadget purveyors to underground mall-like spaces that sell everything from fruit to the Rocky soundtrack.

San Telmo, Buenos Aires

San Telmo, Buenos Aires

This kind of pre-dinner wandering became a theme on the trip — there’s always time to kill before Argentinians fire up the grills for the evening meal. Stop for a café con leche (frankly, I needed those to stay awake until dinner), window shop, people watch, have a glass of wine. Sometimes, you get delirious from having to wait so long for dinner:

Bar Plaza Dorrego

Bar Plaza Dorrego

Eventually we ended up at El Desnivel, a parrilla recommended by our host as an inexpensive and local experience. As promised, a carnivore’s paradise. Let’s just say that mushroom omelettes are not their strength, but Type E liked his pork BBQ dish well enough (though he claims not to remember anything about that night except for servers walking around with huge plates of empanadas).

El Desnivel

El Desnivel

When traveling, it’s important to visit the local grocery stores:

boogie pasta

Boogie Pasta

Sufficiently tired and full of food, we decided to recover from traveling by calling it an early night (at least by Buenos Aires standards).


The first movie made in a country without movie theatres and directed by a woman where women are second class citizens would be worth seeing, regardless of how good it is. But Wadjda is good.

What is it about movies with bicycles? This one features a ten-year-old Saudi Arabian girl, Wadjda, who wants nothing more than to get a bike, even though her mother warns that “you won’t be able to have children if you ride a bike.”

Wadjda, however, is less about the bike and more about showing the daily inconveniences of being a woman in Saudi Arabia. And truly, I’ve never thought beyond the injustice of women’s treatment in that country to consider the countless daily inconveniences caused by the rules there. Relying on a driver to get you to work, controlling the volume of your voice around men, or, for example, directing a film via walkie talkie since you’re not allowed to speak directly to the male actors you’ve hired.

Thank you, Haifaa Al Mansour, for giving us this glimpse into your country. May your film be the first of many created by Saudi women.

Philadelphia to Celebrate Mediocrity Via Parade


NOVEMBER 8, 2013 (PHILADELPHIA, PA)–The 2012-2013 Philadelphia Phillies have banded together with the Gin Blossoms, M. Night Shyamalan, the discarded “C” mascot of Commerce Bank, flavored Wawa coffee, Paul Giamatti, and the entire state of Iowa to defend the decent name of all things mediocre. “If dead fish rise to the top of  the fishbowl, we would land squarely in the middle,” explained Rubin Amaro, the most mediocre general manager in all of professional sports.

The parade will take place on Front Street (deemed the Most Adequately Paved Street by the Philadelphia Metro in 2006). It will feature a rare performance by Altoona, a distant runner-up to the brass band that ultimately joined the band Chicago.

The Phillies plan to defend their position in 2014 by signing disgraced Boston Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. “What we lose in talent, we will make up in vowels,” said Amaro.


Glazier for Mayor

Easthampton, MA just elected its first new mayor in seventeen years and its second mayor ever. Campaign finance reports show that the owner of this van—one of the four candidates—spent $29.80.


No Walking on the Rug

It’s important and healthy to try out new things you probably won’t be good at. Here’s a rug I’m making:

Rug - November 2013

Rug – November 2013

Rug braiding class is fun, frustrating, and full of people who know how to do practical things, like sewing, getting a garden ready for the winter, and taking care of horses. We admire each other’s rugs, and when it’s my turn for show and tell, they say “oh, isn’t that cute?”

Here’s what the rug looked like seven months ago.

Rug - April 2013

Rug – April 2013

Depending on its final size, I’m thinking the rug should be done around 2020 or so. So, you know, stay tuned.