Friday, September 25, 2009

Notes on Buenos Aires

At last I have my computer up and running again! This morning it suddenly decided that it wanted to pair with the keyboard again, much to my surprise. Bio geek though I may be, I will never be able to nerd out on computers, or even really understand them. But whatever; my blogging capabilities are back to 100%, and that's what matters.

This is the final outfit shot from Buenos Aires, and as you can see I finally got the chance to wear Jess's gorgeous green boots. The belt and skirt I have on are also new, as are Jess's 2 skirts (yes, it was cold that day; she nearly added a third!). I'll do some posts on the designers that I bought from later. For the rest of this post I thought I'd share a few of my general impressions of Argentina, as well as some photos.

My favorite sights in Buenos Aires were the Recoleta cemetary, El Caminito in La Boca neighborhood, the Floralis Generica sculpture, and the San Telmo flea market. But for me the best parts of the trip were not the sights, but the music, food, and experiences. Hands down some of the best food I've ever eaten was in Buenos Aires, and the wines are simply out of this world. On our last night in town, we had a wonderful time tasting some of Argentina's best wines at a beautiful wine salon called Terroir. Alex, the incredibly knowledgeable and all-around awesome guy that owns the shop, set Jess and I up with a dinner reservation at a hidden gem of a restaurant called Puratierra, where we had an outstanding 6-course tasting menu that absolutely knocked our socks off.

The thing that's interesting about Buenos Aires is that in many ways it looks very much like a European city, with its cobblestone streets and grand architecture. But it also has a very tangible latin vibe that comes from many different sources: the music, the laid back attitude of the porteƱos and the enthusiastic warmth with which they interact with each other, the tropical-looking trees and birds. To be sure, Buenos Aires is a big city, and a loud, traffic-snarled, polluted one at that. But if you get away from the center and into the smaller neighborhoods, there's plenty of quaint charm to be found as well.

We did find it challenging to interact with the locals, since English is not widely spoken and our Spanish is barely passable at best. However, the locals we were able to meet were invariably gracious and friendly. And then in terms of the cost, we were continually amazed at how far our dollars went. Clothing, jewelery, food, wine, and transportation were all a fraction of what you'd pay in the States. You can take a taxi ride across town for around $4, have a fancy dinner for two with wine for around $65, or buy a locally-designed dress for $40. Though the airfare was a little steep, we definitely made up for it with how little we spent on everything else.

More posts about the trip will follow. I still need to cover the fashion aspect, get Jess's thoughts, and talk about Uruguay, which was so wonderful that it deserves its own post. As a final thought for this one, I'll show you the luggage we came home with. I was fully expecting I'd end up with an extra carry-on for gifts and other purchases, but I hadn't planned on falling in love with the wine so passionately that I felt the need to bring home an entire case. Let me tell you though, it was worth it. I ended up carrying on the backpack and the brown shopping bag there on the left, while Jess carried on the black and white floral bag on the right. We both checked our suitcases and wine (I had the giant box on the left that contained a case of wine; Jess limited herself to half a case since she had to make a detour from Argentina to New York for a work trip). Note that we have matching Tumi bags!


The Small Fabric Of My Life said...

It sounds such a fabulous trip with all the elements of a great holiday.
I look forward to future posts and who knows - maybe one day I will get to BA too!

Unknown said...

Sorry if this is kinda off topic, but were your tattoos any trouble in getting a job? Does your job care if they are shown? I'm just curious because I'll be going into the job market soon enough.

Lorena said...

I don't want to be nosy, but I will :)
Can you take pics of your Buenos Aires bought goodies ? I will be there in a few weeks and would like to get a look before I hit the stores !

s.i. michaels said...

Those brightly colored buildings just make me smile. I'd love to go some day.

Audi said...

Allie: The tattoos have never posed a problem for me, but then I do work for a remarkably accepting and casual company. I did make a point when I interviewed to show at least one tattoo; I'm sure I'd be very unhappy working for a company that would make me keep them covered, so I figured it was better to know that up front.