Horseradish, Kielbasa, and Sauerkraut in Argentina

Today was a good day… no, a great day.  I had a roast beef sandwich with horseradish.  That may not sound like a big deal to most people, and it really isn’t, but it was huge for me.  I love horseradish on a roast beef sandwich, but I have not been able to find it in Argentina.  I have been to Jewish delis, specialty food markets, Chinatown, etc, etc.  If you put all the hours together that I have spent looking for horseradish, it would probably add up to several days worth of fruitless shopping.  I have spent many more hours looking for other things…  BTW, horseradish in Argentina is called “Rabano Picante”.  Rabano is radish, and picante is spicy or “hot”.

Here’s how it went down… Continue reading

Oh no you didn’t! Slang in Argentina

Learning Spanish is hard enough, learning how to use slang in Argentina can be harder.

How would you feel if you walked in to your friends apartment and they greeted you with “Hey Asshole!”, or “Hello Fatso!”.

It is always interesting to hear how people talk to each other in Argentina and how Argentine’s use slang.  They call each other names constantly, at all levels of society.  Sometimes they call each other names ironically as well.  They may call you Flaco (skinny) when you are very fat, and Gordo (fat) if you are “too” skinny. Continue reading

Buying Drugs in Argentina

OK, let’s start this post with a notice that this is NOT a how to guide.  I am neither encouraging, nor condoning anyone traveling in a foreign country buying drugs.  In the words of the great Nancy Reagan… “just say no!”

That being said, I did a little research and wanted to talk a little bit about drugs in Argentina.  This is on the top of my mind because yesterday there was a drug raid two blocks from my house.  Streets were blocked off, there were soldiers with machine guns, etc, etc…  it was all very interesting. Continue reading

What to do on Monday night in Buenos Aires

Monday night in Buenos Aires can be kind of slow.  Most nightclubs are closed, and the bars have far fewer people.  One great option is to head to the Konex Cultural Center in Palermo (almost Abasto?)

Every Monday night at Konex, you will find “La Bomba de Tiempo” starting promptly at 7pm.  The name means “Time Bomb”, and for some very strange unknown reason, every time I hear it, I get “Let’s do the time warp again!” stuck in my head along with mental images of…  Nevermind! I chalk it down to my very misguided and wasted youth. Continue reading

Street Art in San Telmo

San Telmo Street Art

To me, there is a difference between graffiti and street art.  Street art goes above and beyond graffiti, and is a pleasure to look at. There is a LOT of street art in Buenos Aires, and some truly amazing street art in San Telmo.  It is easy to just walk up and down the streets of San Telmo, and check out the buildings, and news stands.

If you are up for it, there are guided tours as well.  Here are two that I know of:

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Colorful buildings in La Boca

La Boca – Buenos Aires Argentina

La Boca is a neighborhood in Buenos Aires that is most famous for its colorful buildings, Tango, and The Boca Juniors Futbol (soccer) team. La Boca used to be docks and the houses of dockworkers who made their houses from discarded materials but that was long ago and the area is now also famous for being a tourist trap.

A boat tied up at the pier in La Boca

A boat tied up at the pier in La Boca

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The Magical City of Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is a magical city.  From its tree lined avenues, to its enormous parks, it is a city that enchants in the daytime, and amazes at night. The city itself will remind you of both New York and Paris.  The architecture is interesting, and will remind you of an old European capital, but with a population over 15 million, the traffic, people, and varied neighborhoods will remind you of New York.

Buenos Aires boasts both the widest, and longest avenues in the world.  9 de Julio, in the city center, is the widest at about 110 meters wide, but is only about one kilometer in length, while Avenida Rivadavia starts at the Pink House downtown and runs 37 kilometers to the western suburbs of Merlo.

After arriving, the day can be passed wandering the parks of Palermo, attending an art exhibit at one of the dozens of museums, people watching at a sidewalk café downtown, or power shopping on Santa Fe avenue. The fashionable are everywhere, and up-and-coming designers show off their styles in small boutiques and large shopping malls.

Cultural events occur every day of the week and can range from a celebration of Chinese cuisine, to a special concert in the park.  No matter the type of activity you like, you can find it.  For a taste of the different neighborhoods and their styles, take a free walking tour offered by the city.  The tours will take you into the gritty neighborhood of La Boca, home to the famous Boca Jrs, the Bohemian neighborhood of San Telmo with its funky cafes and antique shops, and all the way to the posh neighborhood of Recoleta, home to the tomb of Eva Peron.

Known as “the city that never sleeps”, the night can be spent at one of the many neighborhood bars, eating a gourmet meal, and then going to one of the popular nightclubs that don’t even open until one or two in the morning.

Fast becoming the center of gastronomy in South America, Buenos Aires offers some of the best chefs in the world, and some of the top rated restaurants.  Chefs include Francis Mallmann, Leandro Cristóbal, and German Martitegui among many others.

Argentines eat a late dinner, often not until 10 or 11PM, so after a couple hours eating some of the finest steak in the world, head to Palermo where DJ’s from around the world travel to Buenos Aires to spin at giant festivals and the hottest nightclubs.

And that is just the city of Buenos Aires… the rest of Argentina awaits!