Buenos Aires – March 2020 – Characters of Argentina

As I continued checking out the great collection of photos from the Argentina experience I found a number of real characters. A few might have made it into other postings but now the best of Argentina characters are here in one place!

 

We start with the slasher of Recoleta Cemetery. Why was this young lady running through the cemetery with a knife in her prom dress? No clue – but she had a photographer with her (other than me).

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My Spanish is so bad I couldn’t even understand these two characters talking with the young lady. The Argentina version of Bill Nye the Science Guy I think.

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A guy on stilts with his food truck – what else do you need?

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I made all the guys at work jealous getting to know a local TV reporter.

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Christmas in summer = elfs on roller blades.

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Some of the many street performers.

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Parilla Argentina – the name says it all! I will miss the steaks.

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Every weekend on Avenida de Mayo there seem to be an event…

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The gaucho festival was one of the highlights. They were the real thing…

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Which apparently meant when you were done you hung out having a cold beer. Not sure a Texas cowboy goes without socks, but most of these guys were amazingly skilled  horsemen.

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The cook at my favorite Buenos Aires empanada restaurant.

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Superheros of the Mate Festival.

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Mate men.

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Marino Santa Maria – a great artist and cooler person.

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About 95% of the T shirts I saw in Argentina had writing in English – sometimes a bit inaccurate – such as ‘New York Area 51’.

Also note in this photo the window. Some of the Subte cars are old and don’t have air conditioning so you open the windows. The sticker says ‘don’t stick your head or arms out the car window’ – seems like it shouldn’t need to be said.

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E Line Elvis. There are 6 subway lines in the city, all with letters, as this line is ‘E’. I saw this guy a few times doing his bit on the train – with the delivery and the sideburns I gave him the name!

It is very common to see people roll onto the train with their portable speaker and serenade the passengers. They always get applause, even if they don’t always get money.

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Not a setup – we walked into a record store one day and there was a guy dressed in a full Spiderman outfit that just reeked of beer. We did not stick around to see his musical taste – but I bet he went for that Mafalda CD just above him.

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Wandering the Palermo neighborhood we ran into a drag queen contest.

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These 3 ladies were at the festival. Still not sure why she has a sticker on her chest.

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The guards indicated that it was ok for us to take photos of them at the Presidential Palace, but there was no rule that said they couldn’t sneer.

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The dad of a good friend. He was a hoot, and we couldn’t even really talk to each other. Characters know characters.

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Christmas Morning – about 10 AM. All he wanted from Santa Claus was a bottle of champagne and  some sort of meat. Seems he got his wish.

The picture was clear – he is blurry.

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Same morning – not sure who asked for 6 big plastic bubbles, but they are getting it.

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Rio De Lata Plata troubadour.

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Ceffi the glacier hike guide and his assistant. True characters that kept people from falling into giant crevices.

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Roci the petrified forest guide. Cool and smart.

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Another day on the Rio De La Plata.

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This is Grace and her friend Sol. Grace is a tour guide but on this day I was giving her a tour of the subway’s H Line artwork so she could come up with a new tour offering.

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Carnaval a week late….

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Sometimes in Buenos Aires they blow their own horns! There was a lot to enjoy about our time there, but the people were the best part.

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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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Olivos, Argentina – March 2020 – Views from the 16th Floor

For five months we had the good fortune of having an apartment on the 16th floor overlooking the Rio De La Plata and the city of Buenos Aires. Little did we realize when we arrived the view would constantly change depending on the weather.

It became routine to leave the camera on the kitchen table to try and catch sunrises as we woke up each day. This long posting features the best of what Argentina weather and a 16th floor apartment overlooking a ‘river’ can provide.

The sun, water, clouds, moon – all shape the changing view.

 

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Buenos Aires – March 2020 – San Telmo Tunnels

The oldest neighborhood in Buenos Aires is San Telmo. Underneath the neighborhood is a labyrinth of almost 2 kilometers of tunnels. The first of these were built as escape routes for Jesuits in the late 1700s.

Later in the 1800s they were expanded and used to reroute a creek. In the early 1900s they were abandoned and stayed that way until someone purchased one of the old large houses and started to restore it – accidentally finding the tunnels.

Today a number of them serve as an events center and art museum.

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Buenos Aires – March 2020 – The Colorful Characters of La Boca

Our visit to La Boca continued with a stop in the Caminito, a small street full of colorful houses and buildings.

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La Boca has the reputation of being a bit rough around the edges, but in this area it is completely touristy.

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While originally there was a stretch of colorful houses that reputed became that way because they used spare paint from the ships, it is now full blown style of the entire area.

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Busloads of tourists pile off, wander the streets a bit, and pile back on. But it provides lots of income to the neighborhood so I guess it works.

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Throughout the neighborhood are a number of fiberglass statues. With the current Pope being from Buenos Aires he is a favorite subject.

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Apparently his twin with a soccer player.

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The shops have taken over old buildings and are amusing to wander through them.

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Most of the restaurants have a small dance floor where local dancers work hard for tips.

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La Boca – sort of a funky Times Square for Buenos Aires. You have to see it when you are in town.

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Buenos Aires (Palermo) – March 2020 – Stylish Day at the Race

The Hippodromo Palermo is the premier horse race track in Argentina. Recently we had a chance to stop by.

Our good fortune meant we chose a day where some ladies were having a stylish day at the track, accompanied by young ladies with Down Syndrome. Together they looked great!

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Even the jockeys were impressed.

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In addition to the fashion show, there was a food festival – an Oreo Milkshake in Buenos Aires!

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The grounds and grandstands are very nice.

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Palermo is the largest neighborhood in the city – with numerous parks and other public spaces.

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Hey – I missed my train. It is good to see the train from the track, as opposed to my daily view the other way.

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And yes – there was a full card of racing.

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Interestingly for this race the winner was wearing Boca Juniors colors. A good weekend for Boca Junior – a championship in soccer, and a winner at the track.

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Buenos Aires – March 2020 – San Patricio/St Patrick’s Day Parade

Only in Buenos Aires can you go from a Carnaval 5 days too late to a St Patrick’s Day parade 7 days later (or 10 days too early)! But who cares, it was a colorful event.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.






Olivos, Argentina – March 2020 – Food Truck Friday

Each weekend a collection of food trucks gather in Olivos Harbor area, bringing good smells, music, fun people and colorful sights to the area. As with many things in Buenos Aires there is this interesting mix of English with all of the Spanish in the advertising and names.

Lets cruise on down in the classic Fiat to check it out (I wish it was my car!)





















































Buenos Aires – March 2020 – Argentina Cartoon Character Statues

One of things we have noticed are a number of statues of cartoon characters scattered around town. It turns out there are currently 16 of them.

Armed with a list and a map we set out on a cartoon character scavenger hunt.

We start in front of the Museum of Humor with a work by Guillermo Mordillo called La Girafa (the Giraffe). Mordillo was a famous cartoonist who works featured mostly long necked characters, hence the giraffe.




This guy is known as Don Nicola, a friendly landlord in the Italian immigrant neighborhood of La Boca. The character was created by Hector Torino in 1937.




Meet Indoro Pereyra with Mendieta, a talking dog, both enjoying a mate. Sadly, and true with a number of them, people have graffitied the art. This cartoon started in the 1970s.





Dating from 1945 this is Prawn (Langostino in Spanish) and his trusty, but very small ship Corina. The cartoonist was Eduardo Ferro.





This is Diogenes ( a ‘mutt’) and the Linyera (a vagrant). It has been published since 1977 in the newspaper Clarin, originally by an Uruguayan cartoonist named Tabare. After he passed away others have continued the strip.




These two characters also date originally from the 1970s. They are Negrazon and Chavella, who hail from the Argentine city of Cordoba. They are riding a locally made Puma motorbike. Meant the represent the challenges and life of middle class life in Cordoba, they were the work of the artist Cognigni. Sadly they too have graffiti on them, including an A with a circle around it – a symbol for Anarchy.




This nice lady is Aunt Vicenta, by the famed artist Landru’ – whose real name was Juan Carlos Colombres. He portrayed political and social life of Argentina for 60 years.




When we first arrived in Argentina I thought I kept seeing a Garfield the cat who had gone crazy. It turns out it is from 1993 and is called Gaturro, by Cristian Dwzonik. He has been accused of plagiarism numerous times with content, as well as the obvious look.




These too are Patoruzito and Isidorito. While graffiti free, they are in rough shape, hanging out under the trees in a park.

They are the work of Dante Quinterno, starting in the 1940s. Patoruzito is the childhood representation of the Chief Patoruzu – the last of the Tehuelches, whom Spanish conquerors saw as giants with amazing strenght. Living in the world of today he and Isidorito, a true Porteno, find adventures; but in this world Isidorito is the one with the stength.




Evoking the look of the 1950s, by Guillermo Divito, these two are simply known as The Divito Girls. Women of the 1950s took to mimicking the style shown in this weekly comic magainze ‘Rico Tipo’. Not represented, but equally influential were the male characters, with their double breasted suits.




Our friend below is Clemente. Without wings, but with very cool horizontal stripes, he became an interesting character during the military dictatorship.

The 1978 World Cup was held in Argentina during this period. One of the rules that they implemented was ‘no confetti’, in an effort to present a ‘good’ image of Argentina to the world. The artist (Caloni) had Clemente warn Argentinians of the real intentions of rules like this, and launched a ‘paper rain campaign’.

This became so popular that Clemente became the unofficial mascot of the Argentine National team. So I guess the anarchy symbol here might actually be appropriate, as in the final, broadcast around the world, confetti rained down as they won.

The cartoon from 1978, from a very interesting website detailing that period in Argentina. http://papelitos.com.ar/home




This is Don Fulgencio, dating originally from 1938. He is the man who had no childhood. This left him as a very ‘correct’ gentleman, but with childish customs. He was created by Lino Palacio.

In addition to the comics, in the 1950s he made it to the big screen.





Matis has been on the back cover of the newspaper Clarin for many years. He is the ‘boys boy’. The writer is known as ‘Sendra’.





These two characters are Laguirucho and Super Hijitus (on the right). Hijitus is a poor boy who, when putting on his hat becomes a super hero.





Another character from the 1930s is Isidoro Canones, a typical Argentine little rich playboy. He too was created by Dante Quinterno.




Meet Susanita – friend of Mafalda. She is the gossip specialist of the neighborhood.




And finally we meet Manolito and Mafalda. Easily the most recognized face throughout Argentina is Mafalda. This little girl is everywhere.

Somewhat backwards of most U.S. comic characters, Mafalda started out strictly as an advertising character who became so popular she was made into a comic strip. She represents the views of the educated middle class of Argentina.