Saturday, July 12, 2008


Our group took a walking tour of Barrio Norte downtown and looked at a lot of the old architecture in the city.  There's a big italian and french influence, and I love that in a city of huge skyscrapers there are all these hidden corners with ancient buildings from every architectural period.  I've also noticed that almost every building downtown has huge huge doors - I don't  know why, but they're everywhere.

The other night we went to watch Clarke play piano at the Jazz Club Olivos.  He was listed on the program as "Un joven pianista norteamericano - Clarke Reid - El Gringo de Seattle!"  It was so great - the jazz club has these weekly spontaneous jam sessions and the place is always packed with argentines who love jazz.  Jazz is so uniquely american, it was great to see that the people here were so into it.  I think our table was the youngest by about 40 or 50 years, and everyone was so happy to see Clarke, they kept coming over after to shake his hand and talk to the famous Gringo.    

Yesterday I spent the day downtown.  Our homework for the weekend is visit and write about some of the notable cafés/bars in Buenos Aires (best homework I've ever had).  We went to Confitería Ideal, where the middle of the cafe is a dance floor full of tango-ing couples.  We also went to Bar Seddon in San Telmo, which has a really eclectic feel with old roman sculptures and modern art pieces.  One thing that I love about all of the cafés and restaurants here is that the waiter never brings the bill until you ask for it - you can sit (and people do) for hours and hours without being bothered.  In the US we usually go to cafés for a reason - to study, to meet with someone, to get caffeine and go - but people here come to just eat and drink and talk and enjoy.  Most of the cafés I've been to are open until 3 am on weeknights and 6am on weekends, and around 11pm or midnight you'll see people ordering dinner before heading off somewhere else.  Yesterday I also bought tango shoes, we went shopping in Palermo, and we found a vegetarian chinese buffet - I was completely in heaven.  Another food-related discovery of the day was that I am slowly and reluctantly but surely becoming a fan of dulce de leche.  Dulce de leche is reminiscent of caramel, but it has a less annoyingly sticky texture and tastes sweet in a different way, and I've been putting it on rice cakes and fruit.  Soooo good.    

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