Cortázar-Perec Biennial

(Staging for “La vie mode d’emploi”, written by Georges Perec. Photo by Raya y punto.)

Writing, photography and jazz come together today and tomorrow at the Cortázar-Perec Biennial, where the work of two renowned authors, the Argentine Julio Cortázar and the French Georges Perec, will be celebrated. The event will consist of academic talks on literary subjects at La Academia del Sur, and a series of film projections, a photography exhibit, and a jazz concert at the Centro Cultural San Martín.

For the biennial, three stories by Cortázar and three stories by Perec will be distributed for free on Av. Corrientes. Additionally, the city`s bares notables will be receiving copies of Rayuela and Cuentos Completos by Cortazar.

Find the full program here.

When it´s Grey in Buenos Aires

(Photo by Andres_314)

Grey weather and rain are forecasted for the days to come.  Thankfully, the city is full of indoor activities and places to discover.

El Ateneo Grand Splendid: Reading a good book has got to be one of the top rainy day activities around the globe, and the Ateneo Grand Splendid is just the place to do it. This impressive bookstore, set in what was once the Grand Splendid Theatre, is considered to be one of the most beautiful in the world and conserves the balconies, the original velvet curtains, and the cupola, on which an allegoric representation of peace was painted after world war one. A great place for book browsing, sightseeing, reading and coffee drinking all in one.

Teatro Colón Tour: This impressive opera house is internationally known for its architectural beauty and its wonderful acoustics. The stately theatre can be toured every day from 9am-5.30pm and tours last approximately 1 hour. You can also go to experience an opera, a ballet, or a concert.

Buenos Aires Traditional Cafés: Another great option for BA rainy days is to seek refuge in one of the many traditional cafes to read, write, chat over coffee, or why not play some pool or a game of chess.  It is also a good chance to snack on some of the typical local comfort foods: medialunas de grasa o de manteca (2 different types of croissants made either from lard or butter), tostados de jamón y queso (very thin grilled ham and cheese sandwiches with a special bread-Argentina style), Submarinos (A glass of hot milk with a chocolate bar to melt in it), churros, alfajores, and licuados de banana (banana-milk smoothies).

5 O clock Tea: Along the lines of the traditional cafe is the casa de té, a place to go for a special 5 o clock tea where a larger variety of sweet cakes and sandwiches are served on silver platters.

Art Museums: One of the classic rainy day attractions in the city are the art museums, and Buenos Aires has plenty of those! From classic art, to decorative art, to Latin American art, to Modern Art, you’re sure to find one that suits your tastes.

Classic and Indy films: Buenos Aires has a lot of cinematographic activity and there are many places that screen classic movies, auteur and foreign films, independent features and more. The best places to go if you’re looking for something different are the MALBA, the San Martin theatre, which screens retrospectives of different directors, and cultural centers such as Centro Cultural Rojas (currently screening Cuban independent films) and Centro Cultural Konex.

For nightlife,  head to one of the city’s tango or jazz venues, two rainy day classics. Otherwise stop by AcaBar in Palermo where you can have some great drinks and play board games in a cozy setting.

 

 

This Week in Buenos Aires

Monday

(Photo by pablitux)

Head to the Museo Nacional Ferroviario (the national train museum) near Retiro. Monday-Friday 10:30am-4pm. Avda. Libertador 405, Retiro.

Later on in the evening stop by Museo Casa Carlos Gardel in Abasto for some live tango music at 6.30pm. Jean Jaurès 735,  Abasto. 4964 2015.

English blues and rock singer  Joe Cocker will be playing at Estadio Luna Park. Tickets here.

Tuesday

(Photo by gandalf.blanco)

Pablo Siquier is an Argentine artist known for his impressive murals and installations. Throughout March a special exhibit held at the Centro Cultural Recoleta will be displaying some of his more experimental work from the eighties and nineties. Junín 1930, Recoleta. 4803 1040. Open: Mon-Fri 2pm-9pm, Sat-Sun 10am-9pm.

Later on, stop by Sugar and meet other fellow travelers at the Beerlingual Bilingual Trivia Night from 7pm-9pm. Costa Rica 4619¸ Palermo.

Roger Waters, the British legend that was once part of Pink Floyd, will be presenting The Wall at the River Plate Stadium!  Tickets here.

Creedence Clearwater Revival will be playing for their loyal local fans at Estadio Luna Park. Tickets here.

Wednesday

(Cortazae photo from pedrugo flick acount.)

The Cortazar-Perec Biennial  is being held this week at the Centro Cultural San Martín where a photography exhibit  and screenings of films that adapted the literary work of these authors to the screen, can be enjoyed. Av. Corrientes 1530, Downtown. See the full program here. 

In th evening head to the stunning Colón Theatre for a special viewing of La Pasión según San Marcos, an opera by Osvaldo Golijov.Cerrito 628, Downtown. 4378 7100

Thursday

(Metropolis by Fritz Lang)

The Museo de Arte Decorativo is showcasing a special exhibit on oriental art. Additionally,  the museum´s marvelous collection of European and Oriental paintings and sculptures, the great hall,  the impressive staircase, and the smart café make it well worth a visit.  Av.del Libertador 1902, Recoleta.  4801-8248. Tuesdays to Sundays from 2.00pm to 7.00pm.  Guided tours in English are available every day at 2pm.

Book your place for the Fierro Hotel’s Thursday wine tasting and sample some great Argentine wines, chosen by the president of the Argentine Sommelier Association Andres Rosberg and in-house Sommelier Martin Bruno.  Tastings cost 25 USD per person and are limited to 7 people. Soler 5862, Palermo. 3220-6800.

At 10pm Fritz Lang´s Metropolis will be screened with a live orchestra at the MALBA. Avenida Figueroa Alcorta 3415, Recoleta. 4808-6500.

Friday

(Photo by Argentina Polo Day)

Book your place with Argentina Polo Day and spend the day in the outskirts of the city exploring the world of polo. The day includes a wine tasting with ‘empanadas’, horseback riding, a Polo Match, polo lessons, the opportunity to talk to coaches and professional players, a typical asado, and leisure time by the swimming pool. More information here.

At 7pm, the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes will be staging  a contemporary music show.  Av.Libertador 1473, Recoleta.

Another option is heading to Ill Ballo del Mattone in Palermo for some homemade pasta and live jazz at 8pm. Gorriti 5950, Palermo.

Saturday and Sunday

(Photo by… simple me)

On Saturday there will be a picnic from 11am-2pm at the Lagos Bosques de Palermo to celebrate World Water Day.

On Saturday  evening, starting at 9pm, there will be a videogame exhibit at Club Cultural Matienzo. Matienzo 2424, Belgrano.

On Sunday at 4.30pm there will be a unique presentation of drums and Japanese flutes at the Japanese gardens in Palermo. Av. Figueroa Alcorta and Av. Caseres.

St Patrick’s Day in Buenos Aires

(Photo by csuspect)

It may seem odd that Buenos Aires celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with such fervor, but actually, when you combine the local party lifestyle and the fact that Argentina has the 5th largest Irish community in the world, it starts to make sense. Below are some listed activities that will be taking place to commemorate the festivity this Saturday.

– The St. Patrick’s parade will take off at Arroyo and Suipacha, downtown, at 7pm, ending at Plaza San Martín. The parade will include traditional Irish music and dancing and a fairy and leprechaun costume contest.

– Meanwhile the nearby pubs around Reconquista Street in Retiro will be hosting their biggest night of the year, as it is the traditional city spot for St. Patrick’s Day feasting.  If you head in this direction, expect large crowds, a super street party and lively heavy drinking!.

– Another option, to celebrate with other fellow travelers, is the St. Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl. The pub crawl costs $150 (pesos), and includes free wine and beer from 9-10pm, pizzas, a stop at three different bars with a free shooter at each, discounts on drinks and a last stop at the annual “Night Of The Drunken Leprechaun” party. Book your place in advance here.

-Uniclub in the Abasto area will be hosting an alternative St. Patrick’s Day party starting at 11.30pm.  Live music and two different dance floors with rock music, reggae, ska, 80s, 90s, cumbia, will be setting the pace.  Guardia Vieja 3360, Abasto. 4867-6764 info@uniclub.com.ar.

-Isenbeck Beer Festival: Although not an official St. Patrick’ s Day party, a beer festival seems to be a very appropriate place to celebrate. More information here.

-Of course all the pubs in town will be participating in this lively festivity. A full list of pubs can be found at the official 2012 St. Patrick’s Day webpage.

Other events taking place on Saturday:

The weekend will also be chock full of alternative activities for those who wish to steer clear of the fairies and leprechauns.  Several concerts will be offered on Saturday as well as other events.

Buenos Aires Ukraine celebrations will be taking place at the 3 de Febrero parks in Palermo. Traditional music and dances, as well as food and more will be on display.

The city government will also be hosting an audiovisual night in the city featuring FX booths,  animation workshops, screenings and more. From 5pm-10pm. Dorrego and Freire, Palermo.

Renowned guitarist Scott Henderson will be playing at the ND/Ateneo on Saturday as part of his Well to the Bone Tour 2012. Tickets available here.

Another famous guitarist will also be staging a live show on Saturday; Luis Salinas will be playing at La Trastienda at 11.30pm. Tickets here.

Roger Waters, the British legend that was once part of Pink Floyd, will be playing at the River Plate Stadium on Saturday and Sunday!  Tickets here.

Isenbeck Beer Festival

(Photo by damiendebarra)

The Isenbeck Beer Festival kicks off today and will be held until Saturday at the Tribuna Plaza in the Palermo racetracks.

The event, which will be set up in a recreated village with bars and different stages, will feature an ample selection of local and international beers to sample and enjoy. There will also be a stand-up comedy stage, the Isenbeck theatre, where renowned local artists will be staging skits, and Dj sets to keep everyone on their tapping feet.

Tickets to the event are $50, and don’t include drinks. They are available here. Thursday 15th– Saturday 17th  March – 8pm. Tribuna Plaza. Av. Libertador 4401, Palermo. 4778-1500

Reserva Ecológica Costanera Sur

(Photo by lbonini)

One of the most spectacular views of the city can be found at the ecologic reserve behind Puerto Madero. This spot of nature in the city has a curious story that began with humans taking over the river´s shore.

At first, from 1918-1950 the area was used for bathing. There was not much more than the river and its banks. Then, the water became contaminated and it could no longer be used for freshening up in the summer so, in the 70´s, it was decided that it would be conditioned to build the city´s administrative center. To do so, the land was reclaimed from the river. The project was abandoned in the 80´s and when nature realized humans had no use for it, it decided to colonize the rubble filled banks that regularly flooded. The area became covered in water hyacinths and soon birds and other wildlife made it their home. In 1989 it was finally declared an ecologic reserve.

Nowadays the ecologic reserve is open to visitors from Tuesday to Sunday and can be toured on weekends from 9.30am-4pm. One Friday a month, the closest to a full moon, a nocturnal tour of the reserve is organized. To participate you must call to sign up on the previous Monday. Below is the list of the remaining scheduled nocturnal tours for 2012.

Sign-Up Date Nocturnal Tour
02-April-2012 06-April-2012
30-April-2012 04-May-2012
28-May-2012 01-June-2012
02-July-2012 06-July-2012
30-July-2012 03-August-2012
24-September-2012 28-September-2012
22-October-2012 26-October-2012
26-November-2012 30-November-2012
24-December-2012 28-December-2012

Contact details:

Av. Tristán Achával Rodríguez 1550, Puerto Madero

4893-1588/ 4893 -1597 interno 108

reserva_cs@buenosaires.gov.ar

Opening hours: Tue-Sun 8am-6pm

The Rules of Mate Brewing

(Photo by juanpol)

The world of mate is full of tradition and there are many details to keep in mind for this typical beverage to come out just right.

1. The preparation stage of the mate is crucial. To do so properly fill ¾ of the gourd with ‘yerba’ and then place the palm of your hand over the gourd and shake it. You should find some fine mate powder covering your palm. Once you have done this one or two times insert the mate straw on one of the sides of the gourd and don’t move it.

2. Rule of thumb: never brew a mate with boiling water. The water should be hot, between 85-95 C. If the water is boiling it will burn the yerba and destroy its flavor. Plus, if you’re around experienced mate drinkers they will never look at you the same again!

3. One of the most annoying things that happens when a mate isn’t well prepared is that the straw gets clogged. This usually happens when the dust isn’t shaken out (step 1) or when the straw is moved around once its been placed. The straw should be still, in the same place from start to finish.

 4. Another thing to avoid is blowing on the straw to cool it or unclog it. This is inconsiderate to others in the mate round and not very hygienic. The same goes for salivating the straw. Placing your dry lips on it should be enough to enjoy the beverage.

5. Finally, change the ‘yerba’ once its lost its taste , don’t insist on drinking a washed out mate, and never pass a washed out mate on to the next person unless you wish to insult them!

A few things to keep in mind:

The mate gourd must be cured before it can be used or it will tinge the mate with a foul taste. To do so wash it out well with hot water until the water is clear and free of pigments from the wood. Then fill the gourd with yerba up to the top and pour hot water on it. Leave it overnight and wash again well.

When sharing mates with others a few basics must be taken into account; the mate brewer, who must brew the mates for everyone in the round, must drink the first mate to make sure it’s ok, the mate should never be passed on once water has gotten cold and everyone’s turn must be respected.