Thursday, March 6, 2008

Summer in Buenos Aires

Colonia 16
The South American summer is coming to an end and I'd like to share some photos and stories with you.
Colonia 18
Colonia 19
I'm an illegal alien, but officially I'm a tourist. To maintain tourist status, every three months, I have to leave Argentina and get my passport stamped. Most people in my situation take the ferry to Uruguay for the day and come back in the evening. The trip is an hour each way. Max found a package that included the ferry, in first class, a tour, and lunch for $50 US apiece. So we went to Uruguay for the day, ballers in first class, and skipped the tour to rent bikes and go to the beach.
Colonia, Uruguay:
Colonia 6
Colonia 7
Colonia 17
Colonia is a pretty town of cobblestones and motor scooters. People are nice and nobody hurries for any reason. Uruguay and Argentina have their beef, like any neighboring countries, but they have a great deal in common. Only difference I've noticed is the Portugese influence felt in Colonia, whereas Buenos Aires has a history of Spaniards, Italians, French, and Brits coming in and adding something to the cultural fabric.
Colonia 15
Colonia 12
Argentine Countryside:

Max and I spent time at his friends' country house about an hour from the city. There was a country club and equestrian center.

This gated community exists in the middle of the nowhere, with a poor small town to one side and the highway to the other. Like much of this country, the people with any decent income spend their time and money with each other, far from the riffraff. I met some of the riffraff at the beach a month later.

Pinamar Beach:
Pinamar hats
Dario, aka "El Negro," on the left, is from the town next to the place Max's friends rented for the summer. He was floored that I knew of it and was proud of his town. The guy on the right is Mattius, aka "El Colo," el colorado which is what redheads are called. From his nickname, I gained a new appreciation for the landscape of the state of Colorado and for my new identity here in Argentina, where I get to be colored.
I went to Pinamar with two girlfriends for the weekend. Pinamar is on the Atlantic coast about five hours from Buenos Aires. (More about Pinamar)
pinamar 5
We took an overnight bus and arrived at 5am. We got breakfast in the station and then took a cab to our hostel at the beach. We left our stuff and went down to the water to watch the sunrise. There we met some boys ending their night with beers at the beach.
Pinamar 4
I was with Natalia, an Argentine who owns the restaurant on the corner of my block, and Nicole, whom I met at a wine event the week before. She's a sommelier on vacation from NYC. We had a great weekend at the beach riding bikes, getting some sun, and relaxing.
Pinamar 2
Pinamar 3
Before we got on the bus full of beds to head back home, the Pinamar boys cooked up an asado and we partook. It was Nicole's first homemade asado - a big deal here in Argentina - and they pulled out all the stops, which included lots of cuts of meat, bread, and wine and...that's it. Meat and meat and some bread - a meal Nicole and I, as Californians and females, likely have never experienced. Our carnivorous companions, being the gents that they are - even the one 17 year old - made it all lovely.
Pinamar meat 1
Back in San Telmo, we had a going away party for Nicole and the boys squashed into El Colo's SUV and came to Natalia's restaurant for the festivities. Nicole's last name is Heyman. For our last night in Buenos Aires, us H(e)ymans piled in the SUV and danced to cumbia all over town with Natalia, El Colo, El Negro, and the rest of the boys - two of them teenagers.
el odio

Quequen for New Years:
Kash goes to the beach
The best time at the beach this South American summer was with Max and Kasha. We spent New Year's Eve 2008 in Quequen, seven hours southeast of Buenos Aires on Argentina's Atlantic coast. Max's friends rented a beach shack and we joined them for a week. Kasha got to spend some time outside. She even made it to the beach.
La Lou and Eve
La Lou and Max
La Lou at the Beach
Cats aren't big on open spaces so we hung out in the dunes
Kashi and guitar at the beach 1
the cat's in the bag
Kasha in the Dunes
She had fun but her favorite was the garden at the house, laying in the sun and rolling in the dirt like a good little dog-cat.
Geronimo is fresh for 2008
New Years Eve was spent with this guy. Like any good NYE celebration, it included barking dogs running around with little boys shooting off firecrackers. There was breakdancing, booze, and a party on the beach. The sleepy town of Quequen woke up and managed to do New Years Eve just right - until the sun came up.
Geronimo wiles out
Geronimo wiling
NYE kids and dogs and firecrackers 1
NYE fireworks
Max, pimping


Max started a cool new job this month producing a morning show on a network TV station. I've been busy writing for two new publications, in addition to my regular job, and we're working on music for a show and recording together. Our sound is acoustic guiar with Argentine percussion and we plan to play shows in California when we visit this summer.

This week I'm headed to New York to play with Redheadphone and meet Manny Jr., new baby in the Bronx. Argentina has turned cool and rainy and everyone is back from their two-month vacations. Fall in Buenos Aires will be nice.
Colonia 1