Saturday, August 30, 2008

Pigs, Politics, and Jobs

Apartment hunting in Buenos Aires isn't too difficult, it's certainly cheaper if you do it in Spanish. Craigslist spots are tourist-centric so not that affordable. Classified ads in the Argentine papers have more affordable rates but with San Telmo undergoing gentrification and intense inflation, rising prices are brutal. So much money to be made on purchasing apts and re-selling. Wishing I was a part of the real estate game.

This month brought two new jobs and the thought of moving, which I'm resisting. You've seen my apt here on the site, it's one of those great, Parisian-style, gorgeous high-ceilinged spots built circa WWI with an elegant entrance and elevator, French doors, wood floors, and balconies - and it's not expensive - never had one of these before. Max and I taking a relationship breather that includes not living together for two months and then deciding what to do next. I might keep the apartment since he likes his old neighborhood better anyway. It'd be complicated with the landlord since I'm not a resident, so it's more likely I'll get a new situation. I have two new super girl friends and one of them wants to move into a big, ramshackle spot together. If we lock down the right dilapidated apt, cheap, we could be in for an adventure.

I started a job with the record label I was writing about before, Zizek. They had a shiny US and Mexican tour and are heading to Europe next. They dropped two new records and the weekly party is on fire. It's an exciting new label and part of the job is working with the website that covers local street art.

Friday was my first day working with this great non-profit that brings travelers in to volunteer in the hood. It's a successful program with ten years behind it and my job is to spread the word and try my hand at some grant writing.

Voluntario Global brings people in to tutor in after school programs and adult education, to work in the Bolivian and Paraguayan kitchen that makes lunch for students and staff, or to work in the independent radio station on the site of a factory recuperada that acts as an indie publishing house. People get to work on projects in the BA version of the projects/favelas/shantytowns and connect with disenfranchised locals in a safe context.

Fashion week and the independent music festival have hit along with the international tango fest, which I missed again this year - oops. But really, don't sleep on the tango, yo. It's some hot couples dancing, intimate business with cool clothes. Made it to an actual fashion show for once which wasn't too exciting, as expected, but it was fun to go with friends.

Biggest news is my new chrome cruiser with the XL handle bars. Also the closing of my favorite local spot, Natalia's restaurant Macama. Luckily her mother's bday party in her hometown proved a happy distraction, dancing to cumbia all day on the back patio.

I got in the kitchen this past month to make brunch as a last ditch effort to do my part. I wrote them up in Time Out, put up a Wordpress page, the only thing left was pancakes and Bloody Marias. But they were resigned to shutting down. Restaurant biz is notoriously hard and there was the fact that Natalia has never really drank any alcohol or coffee so the place was kind of starting off with a handicap. Pasta revenue doesn't pay the bills I don't think. Especially here where cream sauce means a carton of cream poured over spaghetti.

One night soon after Max broke up with me, I went on a date with a guy who got in touch with me online. It was a blind sort of date and I was surprised when he showed up smoking hot. We went to see a friend's band play, at a small-ish spot in an out-of-the-way neighborhood. By total coincidence, Max's homie knew someone else in the band and he showed up at the same small party. I introduced him to my date. My friend and his girlfriend were amused by the telanovela of it all.

There was a visit to the Feria De Mataderos, some art exhibits, and, of course, the broadcast of the DNC. Me and 300 other Americans at Sugar, the meat market in Palermo, stopped checking each other out long enough to pay close attention to Barack Obama's speech and be appropriately moved and wowed.