14 August 2014

Getting Bad Advice | South America 2013

30 December 2013

Outside La Recoleta the cemetery is Recoleta the neighborhood. It's posh, full of shops and a pretty large mall. After ice cream, we stopped in a couple of stores for souvenirs and postcards that I would never send.

We bought some water (from a McDonald's for some reason) and walked the area surrounding that most morose of tourist attractions. I will say - aside from being full of bodies - it's a really cool area.

There were dozens of vendors selling dozens of different crafted wares. We didn't really browse. I want to say it was too hot to shop, but really nothing caught my eye.

All of the police cars in Buenos Aires had those bumpers.
We did not see enough ramming to warrant that, but you know, tourists. 

Around the corner from La Recoleta are several parks and plazas. It seemed very "cultured" to me, as if we were near art galleries or museums or cultural centers. We never took out the maps to check, and I can now tell you were not around any of those things.

This building caught our attention. And even though we never saw anyone enter or leave,
we were sure it was going to be open. "It's Monday. It has to be open." It was not open.
In trying to identify the unidentified building (which I now know is part of the
University of Buenos Aires), we came across this cool flower, Floralis Genérica.
Turns out we were in United Nations Plaza where the flower had been gifted to the city by an artist. We heard / read that it acts like a real flower, chasing the sun across the sky during the day and closing at night. We still had hours of daylight ahead of us, so that is not independently confirmed. But there are pictures on the Internet. Even with open petals, it was a mighty cool thing for us to find whilst not looking.

We walked back through the parks and plazas and back to the residential area of Recoleta. As a neighborhood, I could live there. The energy was good and though there were a lot of major streets, it still felt like neighborhood. I enjoyed it. Ang said she could live in Palermo Viejo, which is where we were staying. It's a quieter neighborhood where Ang could easily walk in the middle of the street - which is absolutely a thing she does - so that made sense.

We popped into a grocery store, loaded up on cold, unflavored water and took a cab back to our place to relax before dinner.

View from the rooftop pool.
View from the patio.
We had dinner at Bar El Federal, which has been open since 1864. It's in the San Telmo neighborhood, which is where you're supposed to go to see real Tango. Unfortunately, you kind of have to know where to go - and when to go there - in order to see the dancing. San Telmo is classic. It still has its original, narrow cobblestone streets. It does not have a bevy of streetlights or signs. So a nighttime exploration in the name of Tango was out of the question. 
Me & John. 
We popped into a bar after dinner, where we met Adi. It's a simple name that does not even begin to describe the... entity that was our bartender. We sat at the bar. I ordered (because even though John speaks Spanish I was appointed speaker of the group) and Bartender Adi asked me the standard tourist questions about where we were from and where we were traveling. He also asked why my Spanish was better than his and switched to English.

Adi is not from Argentina. He's from Israel. As best I can tell, he got bored one day and decided to move to Buenos Aires to be a bartender. He's not a big fan of Israel and he's not a big fan of Argentina, so it's anyone's guess where he'll end up next. Also, he's obsessed with wrestling. I think he did some MMA or boxing or both and he loves WWE. I get the feeling he rides a motorcycle. 

Anyway, Adi entertained us and earned the trust one gives to a good bartender. So when he recommended a club, we thanked him and we went. 

It was awful. 
It might actually have been a step beyond awful, but time has made me kind. 

The club was on a street accessible only by foot - while we were still trying to keep Ang off her feet as much as possible. There was a cover charge, which is always annoying if you don't know what you're getting in return. The music was house, which is on the list with dubstep and other horrid things. There were a lot dudes there. They were sweaty (because it was really warm) and dancing with each other - but not in the hyper sexualized way I've seen at gay clubs. Everyone was extremely awkward. So we were also awkward, standing in a corner wearing our confused faces. I don't think we were there for 20 minutes before going home.

So the next time I see you, Bartender Adi, you're in trouble.

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