Buenos Aires – March 2020 – Cool and Funky Vehicles of Argentina

While we have returned to the USA to ride out this challenging time, there are some interesting topics that have yet to be covered on our time in Argentina. One of those are the funky vehicles of the country.

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Lets start with the city buses. Unlike most cities in the US, the buses in Buenos Aires are privately owned, and are known as Colectivos. They are very colorful, and run what seems like illogical routes.

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Note this line’s name – Nueva Chicago. Based in the south end of the city, the neighborhood was home to the stockyards. These stockyard came after the famed Chicago stockyards, so of course the neighborhood became known as ‘New Chicago’. Today the neighborhood is more commonly known as Matadoros, but the bus line retains the original name.

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This photo transitions us from the buses to the quirky trucks that haul all sorts of stuff around the city.

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I didn’t get enough of these trucks as they would just appear randomly.

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A stop of the Subte….  Buenos Aires has 6 different subway lines and it seems each has it’s own style car, including two lines that have cars with no air conditioning so the windows open.

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A trip to the country gives a good example of the number of huge old Mercedes Benz trucks that troll the roads of Argentina.

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Also in this area was this – an Argentina El Camino perhaps. So much with this scene, a funky truck/car, a gaucho and the drivers door open with no driver to be seen, and they were parked nowhere close to anything else.

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A jeep with some interesting replacement bodywork.

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A few beer trucks…Always very cool.

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A 1970s Ford LTD as a taxi way down in Patagonia.

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This guys mom must not have told him never to play in traffic. In reality we saw numerous street performers doing their act in traffic stopped at lights.

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To me it appears Buenos Aires has more motorcycles and scooters than any city in the Western Hemisphere.

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There are also a stunning number of nicely restored VW Buses.

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But in the end the cars are the best..

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The red streamer hanging off the back is supposed to bring you good luck and keep you safe.

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With the strong Italian culture in Buenos Aires you must have a cool old Fiat.

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A ubiquitous Buenos Aires taxi – low fares, a strange collection of vehicles all painted the same color scheme, and drivers who are even more interesting. I read horror stories of the taxi’s but we took them all the time with no problems. My favorite taxi ride was to go to a commuter train station, but the street to get us next to the station was one way the wrong way – no problem, pull onto the street one block up and BACK DOWN the block to get us there. At least we were pointed in the correct direction the entire time!

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And we end this posting with this stylish Cadillac that belonged to the one and only Juan and Eva Peron.

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Buenos Aires – March 2020 – Presidential Museum

The Argentina Presidential Palace known as Casa Rosada is currently located almost a kilometer from the edge of the Rio De La Plata. It wasn’t always this way, when the first structure that was built on the property was completed it included a pier into the river, as this painting below illustrates.




This structure was the Fort Buenos Aires, completed in the early 1800s. Today portions of the walls of this fort are still used in the recently completed Museo Casa Rosada.

The museum features over 10,000 historical items, many belonging to the various presidents of the country.




The original arches of the fort frame many of the exhibit areas, while overlooking the main hall. Within the floors of the main hall are some of the original foundations.




Currently an exhibit of railways of the country are on exhibit.




The museum features several works of art, including this portrait of Juan Peron, and his wife Eva (Evita). According to legend this is the only official portrait of Juan where he is smiling. It was completed in 1948 by the French painter Numa Ayrinhac.




Or perhaps he was smiling because his very stylish 1952 Cadillac is nearby.




Other transportation include 1800s Presidential carriages.




The Presidential Guards man the museum.




Presidential sashes are very important in Argentina history.




A historic Presidential desk.




Symbolic keys given to presidents.




General President Agustin Justo’s hat.




There were a number of sets of china on display., this belonged to President Nicolas Avellaneda in the nineteenth century.




The reform era from 1890 until 1916.




More sashes.




Items associated with President Bartolome Mitre. in the 1920s.




The museum does a very nice job of combining old with new, history with the present. All countries have their good history and bad, and Argentina has more than their share – however they deal with their entire history in a sensitive, well thought out approach at this museum.






Chicago – February 2020 – Cool and Quirky Cars of the Klermont

Larry Klermont is a 90 year old who made a fortune in real estate in Chicago. With this money Larry started collecting cars, but not until he was in his 70s. His collection is housed in a 100,000 square foot former printing facility (that at one time printed Playboy!).

The collection includes many of the classic, but also a number of cool and quirky cars. As noted on the previous posting this is day 1 with a new point and click camera, so it gave the chance to have many more low angle photos.













































































































Colonia, Uruguay – January 2020 – The Old Cars of Colonia

Before our trip to Colonia I had read often that there were a number of old cars running around town. I went with the expectation it was a ‘mini Havana’, in reality there were few old cars and trucks, and most of those were parked in front of restaurants as advertising.

Still those that were there, including a number of VW Beetles, coupled with the street scenes, provided good photo ops.

We start however with one of the ‘fast ferries’ from Buenos Aires. These ferries can go up to 60 MPH.

























































































With the tourist industry there were numerous places that rented golf carts and scooters, though most were not as cool as this one.





And with that we are headed on the ferry back to Buenos Aires – with the buildings of the city visible in the distance from 30 miles away.








Across Connecticut – August 2019 – From Yugos to Yale

If you are going from Boston to New York City you have no choice but to pass through Connecticut. We did, and found two very different stops along the way.

At the edge of the town of Middletown we found the Yugo Ranch!









Just 15 miles, but about 2 light years culturally, is Yale University in New Haven.







It seemed much of the university was under construction but we eventually found what we were looking for – Beinecke Library, one of the most amazing libraries in the world.







Enough stops – on to New York City.






Brookline, Massachusetts – August 2019 – Larz Anderson Auto Museum

The Larz Anderson Auto Museum in the Boston suburb of Brookline is advertised as America’s oldest automotive museum. Larz and his wife were very early auto enthusiasts, buying their first ‘horseless carriage’ in 1899.

By the 1920s they had collected enough cars they stored them in the carriage house, and opened up their museum.




I had very high hopes for this museum, as it regularly makes the ‘top automotive museum’ lists. When we arrived we were greeted, somewhat, by a lady at the counter who barely had time to interrupt her conversation with her cousin about something to take our money and waive us towards the cars.

This obviously set a tone of disappointment, that fortunately was neutralized by a nice, small collection of some very impressive autos in a display called the Golden Age.









Further back there was a second room with a few more cars, also well displayed.







Another small room had a collection of pedal cars, and other items.



There is some nice automotive art throughout. The lower level had a few more very vintage autos in various states, as well as a bicycle collection.

The Larz Anderson Auto Museum is a nice place – however having seen numerous auto museums across the world I don’t think it rates as one of the premier ones. Perhaps had we attended on one of their numerous special events days where people bring their own classic cars.










Across America – May 2019 – Random Scenes Part 1

The following are interesting scenes that didn’t fit any of the other postings.

Lajitas, Texas – The only place to stay was a golf resort, but it had a great sunset.




Texas border area – We saw a few instances of the border patrol in action, including going through 2 checkpoints along the highway. Strangely the checkpoints were at least 40 miles from the border.





Marfa, Texas – This town is an artist enclave for New York artists. How and why a bunch of New York artists decided to go to a small west Texas town is far too long for this blog.




Fort Davis, Texas is a historic town with a former frontier fort. Today it has a couple of cool re purposed buildings.





Pecos, Texas – For about 100 miles in any direction from Pecos were new fracking oil wells. The landscape was filled with these towers burning off natural gas, as well as truck traffic jams and RVs parked in the desert for the workers. The high pay also caused our most expensive hotel night in Carlsbad, New Mexico as the demand for housing far exceeds supply.









Roswell, New Mexico – While I have a posting for the UFO industry of Roswell, there was also a very cool airplane ‘boneyard’.







Portales, New Mexico – When we were driving into town the billboard for Burger King said ‘next to the airplane’. They weren’t kidding.



Hereford, Texas – Beef capital of the world. I think they are correct.





Canyon, Texas – A Giant Cowboy



Amarillo, Texas – Much cleaner energy source.



Canadian, Texas – Lonesome train blues.



Near Shattuck, Oklahoma – Folk Art along the Highway.





Fairview, Oklahoma – We were looking for some Good Eats, but needed to find somewhere else.



Jet, Oklahoma – One of our disappointments was being unable to check out the Salt Plains National Refuge – where you can dig around for crystals in the salt flats. Much of Oklahoma was flooded, and it flooded the salt flats.

The cows however were making the most of their new beach.





Somewhere in Oklahoma – The Perfect Farm Photo

Part 2 in a second posting.