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.