Saturday, February 7, 2015

Adios Buenos Aires! It's been real

Thursday evening was a successful 'act like a portena' kind of night! I met up with Emily's friends from San Francisco who are in their last month of six months on the road. We started the evening with dinner Argentine style at 10PM. I'd been needing to have another proper steak and wine dinner so that's just what we did.

The selection was Don Julio in Palermo - it's a touristy spot but in doing a fair amount of research was actually recommended so we figured we'd give it a try. I wanted skirt steak but they were out of it for the day (apparently it's one of their most popular items Lance would inform me) so I settled for lomo which is essentially tenderloin filet. We then randomly selected a bottle of Malbec from the wine list and dinner was on it's way. The steak was indeed delicious and hit the spot. The wine we picked turned out to be quite nice as well - so nice we ended up with a second bottle. With each of us ordering pretty good sized steaks, two bottles of wine, and two shared sides it came out to like $30 per person. Not bad if you think about how much that meal would cost at a swanky spot in San Francisco. 

When we finally finished our meal we started to make our way to a club. There was a pit stop for coffee and ice cream along the way (I hadn't had my ice cream fix for the day so it was perfect). We were heading to Niceto which Lonely Planet describes as

One of the city’s biggest crowd-pullers, the can’t-miss event at Niceto Club is Thursday night’s Club 69, a subversive DJ extravaganza featuring gorgeously attired showgirls, dancing drag queens, futuristic video installations and off-the-wall performance art.

Great, sounds lovely sign me up. I'm here for the experience, we'll see how it goes. By the time we walked to the club it was shortly after 1AM. We walked in (girls enter free, whoot whoot!) and it's pretty much empty. 1AM is early by Argentine standards so it would take about 45 mins or and hour until the crowd picked up. Showgirls and drag queens were certainly there! It definitely felt like something out of San Francisco - but the SF queens I've seen tend to be much better looking! Music was pumping in two rooms, as the night went on lots more people cramming in, and eventually a stage performance by the queens and other performers - unsure whether they were trannys or if in fact some were girls :)

I was proud of myself that I made it until about 330. Out past one or two tends to be a big night in my book! I mostly had to get out of there because there was so much cigarette and pot smoke my eyes and throat were burning. I could also only think about how much my clothes and hair were going to stink! As soon as I got back to the apartment I put my clothes into the washer and jumped into the shower. 

I slept a while and then finished up my packing, researched where I wanted to go for the final afternoon, and met with the AirBnb host to check out and leave my bags with the doorman. I met her at noon and my taxi to the airport was scheduled for 6 so I had a few hours to kill!

It was quite hot so walking around I felt like I was in a sweat the whole time. The plan for the day was to spend most of it in the Recoleta and central areas. I wanted to check out the steel flower sculpture that wasn't too far from the apartment and then wander through the cemetery again. Both were a success. 

Floralis GenĂ©rica (the flower sculpture) used to open and close like a flower would each day. Apparently the gears broke at some point so it doesn't actually do it anymore. It looked like it was undergoing some other maintenance as well so I couldn't really get the full effect, but good enough. Proof that I was indeed there below - the only BA selfie!

Next I went back to the cemetery because I was determined to find this small angel sleeping that I'd seen many photos of but missed when I was there before. After enough wandering through the slightly creepy 'streets' I found it. 

It was so hot at this point I needed to find somewhere to be inside for a bit. I picked up pastries at a corner bakery, scarfed them down super fast, and headed to a shopping mall! I knew that the shopping mall off Florida Street was supposed to be really nice and have beautiful paintings. I figured I'd head there, cool off, see if there was anything tempting enough to waste my pesos on, and head on. The ceiling paintings were nice indeed but nothing tempted me for purchase. After cooling off I continued walking. 

I made my way through the central and congress area of the city on my way back towards the apartment. I walked by the monument commemorating Iguazu as a Wonder of the World to pretend that I'd been to see the real falls. It wasn't very successful, I definitely need to go back and see the real thing. As I wandered I was determined to find something delicious to eat - the bad thing though was that it was so hot the only thing that sounded good was ice cream. So I settled for an ice cream lunch - dulce de leche, mango, and lemon. Perfectly refreshing and a good way to kill 45 minutes. I think everything I ate on the last day was sweet - pastries, ice cream, alfajores, yummm.

Having killed enough time and eaten enough sugar I headed to the apartment to pick up my bags from my doorman friend Eduardo and head to the airport. The time in Buenos Aires and South America had come to an end! Back to San Francisco via Houston to start really doing nothing for the next few months. I've loved the adventures down here, the list of things to do and see is much longer now than it was when I arrived after meeting and talking to people about their various travels. I'll definitely be back for more - more wine, food, Patagonia, glaciers, salt flats, beaches, Mendoza, Bolivia, Columbia, Brazil, the list goes on. For now I'm glad to not have to think so hard when I want to say something to determine if I know how to say it in Spanish. Time to relax in San Francisco, reflect on the past three+ weeks, and look forward to what's to come.

First up once I'm back in San Francisco... a SALAD! I'm dying for some good veggies. 

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