For this years I made my way downtown for the 6:55 AM start!
The event is actually 4 different races, each taking off at different times. the 6:55 AM start is for the 100 mile race.
The motorcycle police were lined up and ready to go.
The lead vehicle was in position.
The workers pulled back the tape holding the riders back, then ran to get out of the way.
And they are off.
It is always impressive how some people can overcome the greatest of obstacles – this rider is starting the 100 mile race, and he has 1 leg.
The early start meant it was chilly – 42 degrees.
During the 62 mile (100 kilometer) race, the riders are headed through the neighborhood street, including many that have small traffic islands in the middle of the road. With a couple of thousand riders coming through it was amazing there wasn’t a huge collision as they ‘parted the seas’.
The highlight is of course the collection of characters riding in the race.
I am impressed when those who are a bit more ‘experienced’ go by in the middle of the pack.
A cool helmet, and a support of the local animal shelter – Pima (County) Animal Care Center.
Racers who are proud of who they are and where they are from.
Snowbird Santa racing off for the North Pole? With the Go Pro he is watching to see who is naughty and nice during the race.
Another beautiful day for El Tour de Tucson. See you next year.
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).
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.
A guy on stilts with his food truck – what else do you need?
I made all the guys at work jealous getting to know a local TV reporter.
Christmas in summer = elfs on roller blades.
Some of the many street performers.
Parilla Argentina – the name says it all! I will miss the steaks.
Every weekend on Avenida de Mayo there seem to be an event…
The gaucho festival was one of the highlights. They were the real thing…
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.
The cook at my favorite Buenos Aires empanada restaurant.
Superheros of the Mate Festival.
Marino Santa Maria – a great artist and cooler person.
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.
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.
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.
Wandering the Palermo neighborhood we ran into a drag queen contest.
These 3 ladies were at the festival. Still not sure why she has a sticker on her chest.
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.
The dad of a good friend. He was a hoot, and we couldn’t even really talk to each other. Characters know characters.
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.
Same morning – not sure who asked for 6 big plastic bubbles, but they are getting it.
Rio De Lata Plata troubadour.
Ceffi the glacier hike guide and his assistant. True characters that kept people from falling into giant crevices.
Roci the petrified forest guide. Cool and smart.
Another day on the Rio De La Plata.
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.
Carnaval a week late….
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.
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.
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.