San Antonio de Areco, Argentina – November 2019 – Gaucho Festival

We have been fortunate to attend a number of amazing events, those truly unique in the world – I can’t believe what we just saw type of events.

The San Antonio de Areco Gaucho Festival is one of those events! (caution – something this cool has resulted in a fairly long posting with 40 photos)




The town of San Antonio de Areco is about 60 miles/100 KM from Buenos Aires, but in feel it is a world away.




It has a relaxed feel, where the local dogs just cruise around town greeting visitors. This little guy hung out with us for the first 1/2 hour we were there.




It is known as the ‘Cradle of Tradition’, or ‘Capital Nacional de la Tradicion’ for all of Argentina. The Gaucho Festival is their premier event of the year.

Lasting 5 days the Feast of Tradition culminates with an exhibit of traditional dance, followed by a parade of gauchos. The dancers wore authentic period clothes.













At the edge of town is the Ricardo Guiraldes Crillo Park. The park has a museum dedicated to the gaucho.







Nearby there were numerous vendors selling gaucho-ware.




The most amazing part of the day was the parade which consisted of over 4000 horses and riders! This view is of them making their way into town from the park.




Across the ‘Old Bridge’






Into another park that acted as a staging area.




It was here you began to get an appreciation of the beauty of the horses, as well as the very stylish look of the gauchos.






There were entire herds of horses just hanging out in the park.



With 4000 horses and riders some had to wait a bit for their turn to parade.




While most were in groups of two or three a few larger groups rode together.



Horses were everywhere, including on front lawns of houses.




But it was time for the parade. This rider, carrying the flag for the festival, lead the parade.




And for the next few hours we were treated to an amazingly stylish parade.































These gauchos gathered for the ‘Grand Finale’….




A number of riders showing their herding skills by driving a group of horses through the streets of the town by themselves.







What could be better than a beautiful warm spring day with a jacaranda tree blooming in the background, and a gaucho showing his skill.




With the parade over it was time for a cold cerveza while sitting on your horse! Our day in San Antonio de Areco was fantastic, a memory that will last forever.






Buenos Aires – November 2019 – Open House goes South

Out of sheer good luck we happen to be in Buenos Aires for their Open House. Their motto is 1 City, 2 Days, 140 Buildings and 760 Volunteers.




Without much notice I missed the sign up period for many of the more popular buildings, but we were still able to see some interesting examples of BsAs architecture.

Our first stop was the Casal de Catalunya. Built in the Barcelona style, the building dates from 1886. It has been home of the Catalan community in Buenos Aires for 130+ years.













Another building from the 1880s is Casa Bolivar. It is designed in a ‘Casa Chorizo (Sausage) style, so named as there are numerous small wings connected through a common hallway, much like links of sausage hanging in the butcher shop.

Casa Bolivar is in San Telmo, which was the main immigrant neighborhood for 100 years. These type of houses served as the first home for hundreds of thousands of immigrants – now it has been refurbished into an art studio and AirBnB.












The Instituto Superior Octobre is located amongst a number of 100 year old buildings, and from the outside fits in perfectly.

Inside is a completely different look – With the openness of the center court, and the steel and glass throughout, it is thoroughly modern.










The Teatro (Theater) Gran Rex is located along the main theater street in the city – Corrientes. It is modeled after Radio City Music Hall. I am unable to identify the statue in the lobby but for now we will call him the Argentina Dean Martin.




As noted previously it was designed to be similar to Radio City Music Hall with the shell roof, and lack of ornate decorations.

With over 3000 seats, it is one of the larger venues in town. On this day the roadies were setting up for a concert.










Our final stop was the Palacio Municipal, or City Hall. It is connected to the Edificio Del Diario La Prensa (a newspaper). Together they make up the Casa de la Cultura (House of Culture).

They are very impressive, ornate buildings.






























Tigre, Argentina – November 2019 – A Brief Visit to the Delta Town

Bienvenidos to Tigre, Argentina.




Tigre is at the end of one of the lines of the commuter rail from Buenos Aires. They have a very stylish station.




Tigre is known as the gateway to the Parana Delta. This area covers the size of Connecticut, and is made up of hundreds of islands (and no roads). All of the transportation into the delta is via boat.

As a result Tigre is a tourist destination, with many attractions throughout the delta.




We had no particular plans for this day so we wandered around town. There are numerous boat clubs along the Tigre River. In this case, they are across the street, so they have a unique rail system to get their boats to the river.




Many of the clubs have very ornate buildings.




The parilla is on the grill for later!




Where could this guy be going with his load of bamboo boxes?




Why to Puerto De Furtos (the Fruit Port) of course.



The port takes up a number of piers along the river.




Tourist boats are constantly going by.




While across the river are some unique structures.




It is an interesting blend of old and new.




We went looking for fruit, but were disappointed as the entire area has been restored into a tourist market area. Still is was an interesting area, with great photo ops.













On the way back to the rail station we passed by this interestingly decorated building, with American baseball greats of the past.

Tigre is an interesting town, and we look forward to spending more time there and adventure into the delta further.






Buenos Aires – October 2019 – La Chacarita Cemetery

While Buenos Aires is home to the famed Recoleta Cemetery, it is by no means the only impressive cemetery in town.

We went on a tour of La Chacarita Cemetery with Pablo, an interesting person with a vast amount of knowledge of the history of the city.




While it has some similarities to Recoleta, it is much larger.



There are many massive tombs that were used for societies, as this one dedicated to, and for the use of people of the Spanish immigrants society.





Chacarita has more famous Argentinians than Recoleta, including Jorge Newberry. Jorge lead a very interesting, if short, life as an early aviator.

One of the two airports for Buenos Aires is named after Jorge. He died in an early attempt to fly over the Andes Mountains. The plaques on the wall are dedications to him from other groups.



While most of the crypts are well kept, some are in need of repair.



Carlos Gadel was a singer, songwriter and actor. It is said he gave Sinatra pointers on how to become a more polished performer.

People often leave lit cigarettes in his right hand for good luck.



More scenes of Chacarita…
















But there is more to Chacarita than the large crypts, much much more. Built in the brutalist style there is a massive underground area.

It is an unreal sight with over 1/4 million people entombed below.















Beyond this area is an area dedicated to famous Argentina performers. These are not just statues, the performers are actually buried here.





Beyond that area is a massive ‘common grounds’




The crematorium is in the center of the cemetery. The place is so large taxi’s troll through looking for fares.

One urban legend says to never take a taxi in the cemetery – if you look in the mirror the driver will not have a reflection.




Additional monuments are scattered throughout.




Another stunning sight is the perimeter wall – it is lined with more crypts. In all there are well over a million people in the cemetery.




For the most part the cemetery is in nice shape, however there are portions that need some repair, as shown below.




We spent over 2 hours wandering about La Chacarita Cemetery. It was an amazing, and visually stunning experience.




When in Buenos Aires look up Pablo, under Walks with Pablo. He is an excellent guide.






Chicago – October 2019 – Open House V3.0

Late October means it is time for Open House Chicago – our 3rd straight year! As always there were hundreds of volunteers making sure your visit to over 250 buildings went well.



This year ended up having an emphasis on theaters and churches. We started with the Goodman Theater.







Just around the corner is the Nederlander Theater. Built in 1926 and operated for nearly 100 years as the Oriental Theater, it was recently renamed for James Nederlander, the founder of Broadway in Chicago.



It is the most ornate theater I have ever seen.






Our morning of theaters ended with the Lyric Opera Theater.





Chicago was for many years the mail order center of the world, and as such had a massive main post office, located next to Union Station. Today it is being redeveloped into condos.







The Monroe Building is located along South Michigan Avenue. Built in 1912 it has one of the largest collections of Rookwood Pottery tiles in the world.





The Seventeenth Church of Christ is a modern style church located amongst the skyscrapers of Wacker Drive. Completed in 1968, it has a unique look for a church.



For something totally different we made a visit to the Prairie Concrete Company. It is the largest volume concrete dealer in the country, with the capability of creating enough concrete for a 2 car garage every 90 seconds!

This is their only pink cement truck.









The hundred year old Motley School was closed and refurbished into apartments.





Our final stops were churches in Ukranian Village.













Elmhurst, Illinois – October 2019 – Mies at the Museum

The Elmhurst, Illinois Art Museum is located in on a small campus in suburban Chicago. In addition to a couple of galleries, they have a space that local artists continue to work.










We did not however make the trip out to the ‘burbs for the paintings. We were here to see one of the few houses that famed architect Mies Van Der Rohe designed. Designed in 1952, it was moved in the 1990s to the art museum campus.

It is considered one of the classics of mid century modern.



The museum has done their own interpretation of the furnishings and artwork throughout.