Hot New Nightspots in Buenos Aires

(Photo by Carolina Tarre)

Unicorn Huset

Unicorn Huset is the most promising new addition to the Buenos Aires night scene. Trendsetters and world travelers meet at this Scandinavian inspired resto/bar-club for some stylish upbeat fun! Open from Wednesday’s to Saturday’s from 9pm onwards. Honduras 5730, Palermo Hollywood.

La Oreja Negra

La Oreja Negra is like a collage, combining art exhibits, cocktails, live music  (featuring both traditional folklore, tango and modern electro-pop-rock), and other nocturnal extravaganzas in one place. They self proclaim themselves as an art-drink-kiss factory, and promise the most varied of entertainments. During the day they operate as an art bookstore, and from 9pm onwards the music begins. Uriarte 1271, Palermo. 2053-3263.

Brook Palermo

Older crowds looking for a more traditional nightclub now have to option of heading to Brook Palermo, an elegant and ample club that offers a dinner show and later on traditional clubbing. The Palermo centered venue has open terraces and focuses on an adult crowd. Juan B. Justo 1574, Palermo. 4781-7061

Argentine Olive Oil

(Photo by riccardo bruni)

Over the past twelve years Argentina has slowly been building its name in the international olive oil industry. In fact, it is currently the first olive oil producer in the Americas and the 10th  in the world! Much like it did with wine,  it is progressively building its notoriety, and is producing top quality first cold pressed extra virgin olive oils, as well as exploring with different varieties such as Arbequina (typical of the Spanish Catalan and Aragon regions), Frantoio (originally from Tuscany), Manzanilla (also from Spain), and Arauco (which some consider the Malbec of olives).

The main regions of olive oil production are the wine areas of Mendoza, Catamarca, La Rioja and San Juan, and also, on a smaller scale, Cordoba province.   It is the wineries themselves that have introduced these delectable and nutrient packed oils into the market, and also into the tourism sector. Just a few weeks ago, Mendoza inaugurated it’s Ruta del Olivo (olive oil route) where olive oil tastings, spa treatments, and the chance of visiting olive plantations and participating in the harvest and production of oils, are offered to enthusiastic visitors.

In Buenos Aires, boutique wine stores sell these new Argentine delicacies. www.mondoliva.com has an online store with reviews by olive oil specialists, and offers olive oil tastings in the city; a must for picky palates!

Buenos Aires Basic Etiquette

                  (Photo by buscosocios.net)

Greeting: Most people greet with a kiss on the right cheek in informal situations. This is valid for women greeting women, women greeting men, and men greeting men. In more formal situations a handshake and a smile is customary.

Tipping: Generally in Argentina 10% tipping is expected in restaurants, cafes and beauty saloons/ hairdressers. Taxis don’t expect tipping unless they offer a special service.

Timetables: Locals are not generally very punctual although this varies from person to person. Lunchtime is usually around 1.30pm, and dinner around 10pm and restaurants open late.  Usually between 5pm and 6pm it is customary to  stop for afternoon tea. Parties don’t start until 2 am minimum and when invited to a house, guests are usually expected to be between half an hour to an hour late.

Public transport: In general all queues must be respected. Argies get very irked by people cutting in or pushing through. It is customary to let old people or women with babies get on  to the bus first and also to offer them one’s seat if there are no more available ones. Men usually let women get on first although younger generations do not necessarily abide by this gentleman’s rule.

Clothing: Porteños are reputed to be trendy and casual. Expensive jewelry is avoided on the streets for safety reasons. Also, if you don’t want to be spotted as a tourist, leave your fanny-packs, baseball caps, straw hats, sports sandals and khaki cargo pants in the wardrobe, as these are instant giveaways. Be street-smart and discreet, stay attentive with cameras, iPhones and laptops as well.

Conversation: People in Argentina usually gesticulate a lot and talk close to one another. It is common to strike up random conversations with taxi drivers, kioskeros and neighborhood grocery store vendors, amongst others.  There are many locals who know English although level of comprehension varies.  Argentines are usually upfront people with their opinions and don’t care much for being politically correct, however some sensitive subjects include the Malvinas/Falklands, the military dictatorship and politics in general, specially the current situation which is known to bring about heated arguments.

Mate, a typical bitter beverage that is shared amongst a group, also has its rules and you can find them here.

If you’re into dancing tango you might also want to read these suggestions before heading to a milonga.

Colón Theatre 2012 Winter Program

(Photo by Svetlana Zhukova)

July

– La Sylphide (The Sylph). Choreography by Pierre Lacotte according to Filippo Taglioni, music by Jean-Madeleine Schneitzhoeffer, director- Javier Logioia.   Plot summary: A forest fairy (sylph) seduces a young man on his wedding day.  3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th and 8th of July.  Tickets here.

– Claroscuros e Intensidades (Chiaroscuro and Intensities. Director: Enrique Arturo Diemecke. Violin solo: Ilya Gringolts. San Justo Women’s Choir.  Choir director: Roberto Saccente.Featured Pieces: Claudio Alsuyet: De atardeceres (worldwide debut), Nicolai Miaskovsky: Violin concerto, Claude Debussy: Nocturne, Claude Debussy: La Mer. 12th of July at 8.30pm. Tickets here.

– Cuarteto Petrus (Petrus String Quartet).Pablo Saraví- violin I, Hernán Briatico- violin II, Silvina Álvarez- viola, Gloria Pankaeva- violoncello. Featured Pieces: Luigi Boccherini: Quartet in G flat, Op. 33 Nº 5,  Roberto Caamaño: Five brief pieces for string quartets., Op.21, Piotr Illich Tchaikovsky: Quartet Nº1 in D major, Op.11. 15th of July at 11am. Free concert.

– Colón Theatre’s Graduate Ballet.  Choreography by David Lichine. Music by Johann Strauss. 21st, 22nd, 28th and 29th of July at 11am.

Erwartung (Expectation): Opera in one act (1909). Music by Arnold Schönberg, libretto by Marie Pappenheim, musical director – Baldur Brönimann stage director – Pedro Pablo García Caffi, interpreters – Evelyn Herlitzius.  Plot Summary: The monologue of a woman who anxiously searches for her disappeared lover.

   Hagith: Opera in one act (1923). Music by Karol Szymanowski, libretto by Felix Dörmann, musical director- Baldur Brönimann, stage director- Michal Znaniecki, interpreters- Ewa Biegas / Roy Stevens / Christian Baumgärtel. Plot Summary: Based on the Bible’s Book of Kings this Opera tells the story of Hagith, who rejects the old King David because she is in love with Solomon, his son.  22nd, 24th, 26th and 28th of July. Tickets here.

August

– La Bella Durmiente del Bosque (The Sleeping Beauty). Choreography by Karl Burnett, music by Piotr Ilich Tchaikovsky. Featuring the Buenos Aires Philharmonic directed by Luis Gorelik. Plot summary: The wicked fairy Carabosse casts a spell on the new born princess Aurora at her christening and determines that she will prick her finger on her 16th birthday and die. The Lilac Fairy who has not yet presented her gift to the child modifies the spell so that when the princess pricks her finger  she will sleep for a hundred years until a prince awakens her. 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th of August. Tickets here.

– Opus Trio: Freddy Varela Montero- violin, Paula Peluso- piano, Stanimir Todorov- violoncello. Featured music: Dmitri Shostakovich: Trio in E minor, Franz Schubert: Trio Nº 2 in E flat major, Op. 100. 12th of August at 11am. Free Concert.

Con sangre latinoamericana (Latin Blood). Director: Carlos Bertazza. Accordion soloist: Néstor Marconi. Featuring:  Adolfo Mejía: “Intima” symphonic poem, Astor Piazzolla: Suite “Punta del Este” for accordion and orchestra, Heitor Villa-Lobos: Symphony Nº 2, “La ascensión”. 16th of August at 8.30pm. Tickets here.

– Alberto Williams Trio:  Nicolás Favero – violin, Siro Bellisomi – violoncello, Antonio Formaro- piano. Featuring: Joseph Haydn: Trio in G major Hob. XV: 25 (Op. 82) “All´Ongarese”, Alberto Williams: Trio in A minor  Op. 54, Felix Mendelssohn: Trio Nº 2 in C minor Op. 66. 19th of August at 11am. Free Concert.

– András Schiff– The renowned Hungarian/British classical pianist will be presenting the following pieces: Ludwig van Beethoven: Sonata No 30 in E major, Op. 109, Bela Bartók: Sonata (1926), Leos Janácek: Sonata (1905), Franz Schubert: Sonata in G major, D. 894.  22nd of August at 8.30pm. Tickets here.

– I due Figaro o sia Il soggetto di una commedia: Opera in two acts (1826). Music by Saverio Mercadente, libretto by Felice Romani, musical director – Riccardo Muti, stage director – Emilio Stagi, interpreters- Saimir Pirgu / Asude Karayavuz / Rosa Feola / Annalisa Stroppa / Mario Cassi / Eleonora Buratto / Anicio Zorzi Giustiniani / Omar Montanari.  Plot summary: Ines, daughter of the Count and the Countess, falls in love with Cherubino who will do anything to marry her. 28th and 30th of August, 1st and 2nd of September. Tickets here.

– Relatos brillantes (Brilliant Tales). Director: Enrique Arturo Diemecke. Orquestral ISA Academy. Presnting: Vaughan-Williams: Tallis Fantasia, Gustav Mahler: Symphony Nº 7 in D minor. 31st of August at 8.30pm. Tickets here.

September

– I due Figaro o sia Il soggetto di una commedia: Opera in two acts (1826). Music by Saverio Mercadente, libretto by Felice Romani, musical director – Riccardo Muti, stage director – Emilio Stagi, interpreters- Saimir Pirgu / Asude Karayavuz / Rosa Feola / Annalisa Stroppa / Mario Cassi / Eleonora Buratto / Anicio Zorzi Giustiniani / Omar Montanari.  Plot summary: Ines, daughter of the Count and the Countess, falls in love with Cherubino who will do anything to marry her. 28th and 30th of August, 1st and 2nd of September. Tickets here.

– Arcadi Volodos. The renowned Russian pianist will present the following three pieces: Franz Schubert: Piano sonata in A minor, D 784, Johannes Brahms: Intermezzi Op. 117, Nos. 1-3, Franz Liszt: Sonata in B minor.  4th of September at 8.30pm. Tickets here.

– Nórdicos y Románticos: (Nordics and Romantics): Director- Enrique Arturo Diemecke, Violin solo- Sarah Chang. Featuring: Jean Sibelius: Violin concerto in D minor, Op. 47, Anton Bruckner: Symphony Nº 4 in E flat major, “Romántica”. 6th of September 8.30pm. Tickets here.

– Philharmonic Quintet. Claudio Barile- flute,  Néstor Garrote- oboe,  Mariano Rey- clarinet, Fernando Chiappero- Horn, Gabriel La Rocca- bassoon. Presenting: Wolfgang A. Mozart: Overture from The Magic Flute, Jean Françaix: Quintet Nº 1, Jacques Ibert: Three brief pieces, Isaac Albéniz – Enrique Granados – E. Toldrá: Spanish Suite. 9th of September at 11am. Free Concert.

– El arco milagroso (The Magic Arc): Director- Enrique Arturo Diemecke. Violin solo- Hilary Hahn. Featuring: Claude Debussy: Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, Sergei Prokofiev: Violin concerto Nº 1 in D major, Op. 19, Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony Nº 5 in C minor, Op. 67. 13th of September at 8.30 pm. Tickets here.

– Despliegues sonoros (Audible Display):  Director- Jorma Panula, clarinet soloist- Mariano Rey, horn- Fernando Chiappero. Featuring: Alberto Williams: The Bell Poem, Fermina Casanova: Clarinet and orchestra concerto, Astor Piazzolla: Clarinet concerto, Richard Strauss: Horn and orchestra concerto Nº 1 in E flat major, Op. 11, Jean Sibelius: Symphony Nº 5 in E flat major, Op. 82. 27th of September at 8.30pm. Tickets here.

– National Children’s Choir: Director- María Isabel Sanz. Piano: Natalia Suriano. Featuring: György Orbán: Mass/ Zoltán Kodály: Pünkösdölö / Francis Poulenc: Petites voix/ Claude Debussy: Salut printemps/Ángel Lasala : Popular Argentine Choir pieces/ René Teseo: Ballad of the town square (Cantata for children’s choir, baritone and orchestra). 30th of September at 11am. Free concert.

This Week in Buenos Aires

Monday

(Photo by Luis Muñoz)

Visit Palacio Barolo, one of the city’s architectural landmarks, full of references to poet Dante Alighieri. Guided tours are available Mondays and Thursdays from 4pm to 7pm, and evening guided tours on Mondays and Wednesdays at 8pm and Thursdays at 8.30pm include tasting of an awarded wine and a national delicacy. Av de Mayo 1370 9° P. Esc. 249/52. Tel/Fax: (54-11) 4381-1885. info@palaciobarolotours.com.ar

In the evening don’t miss out on La Bomba del Tiempo, a percussion orchestra that has become one of the local absolute musts. Centro Cultural Konex Sarmiento 3131, Abasto. 4864-3200

Tuesday

(Photo by Kara Brugman)

Stop by the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes to check out the new Real/Virtual exhibit, featuring Argentine kinetic art from the 70´s. Av. Del Libertador 1473, Recoleta. 5288-9999

Whilst in the area remember to stop by the Palais de Glace where a special photography exhibit is being held until the 9th of July.  Opening hours: Tue-Sun midday-8pm. Posadas 1725, Recoleta.

If you’re looking for a laugh head to the Grin Go! Stand Up comedy Show starting at 9pm at the Absinth Resto Bar. Bartolomé Mitre 1695, Downtown. 4371-6486. Be sure to make a reservation by emailing gringo@comicosdepie.com.ar.

Wednesday

(Photo by Krypto)

Take a tour of the famous Teatro Colón; 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. Cerrito 628, Downtown. 4378 7100.

At 8.30pm, the Fibonacci Proyect Buenos Aires will be presenting a multidisciplinary show, product of an international collaborative program that seeks to promote cultural integration. Centro Cultural San Martin, Sarmiento 1551, Downtown.

Thursday

(Photo by write_adam)

Stop by the Buenos Aires Planetarium to experience the immersive show “Journey to the Stars” which traces stars through time. The experience was created in collaboration with the NASA, the American Museum on Natural Science in New York and a group of renowned scientists. Tue-Fri 1pm, 4pm, 5pm. Sat-Sun 2pm, 3pm. 4pm, 5pm, 6pm and 7pm. Av. Sarmiento and Belisario Roldan, Palermo.

For a unique evening, book your place at 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, which include special tapas from Hernán Gipponi Restaurant, cost 25 USD per person and are limited to 7 people. Soler 5862, Palermo. 3220-6800.

 

Friday

(Photo by josquin2000)

Take a day trip to the local bakery, butcher shop and market where Teresita will show you all the traditional foods and ingredients. Afterwards go back to her home and learn to make empanadas before having a delicious gourmet 4-course meal with wine pairings! More on Teresita’s culinary tour here.

Later on, the monthly Gallery Nights will take place from 7pm to 10pm in the Recoleta and Barrio Norte areas. More information here.

Saturday & Sunday

Remember to make a reservation for Hernán Gipponi’s famous one of a kind brunch, now served on Saturdays too! Soler 5862,  Palermo Hollywood.  3220-6800.  info@hgrestaurant.com.ar.

Head to Tigre and stop by the Museo de Arte de Tigre where the MALBA  is sharing some of its artwork from its permanent collection.  The Tigre museum also showcases local artwork and has a stunning architecture.

Professional photographer Jocelyn Mandryk (who took Fierro’s latest photographs) and her associate Becky Hayes have taken tourist photography to a whole new level on their Saturday Foto Ruta tours.  What they propose is to get to know the city from another point of view, taking their travelers through off the beaten path locations and setting creative guidelines for the photographs so that they can explore the local colors and characters through the lens from a new perspective. The Foto Ruta tour runs every Saturday from 2pm-6pm and costs 100 pesos. More information on the Foto Ruta webpage.

Top Ski Destinations in Argentina

(Photo by Andre Charland)

Just as in the summer the locals flee during January to cool off at local and Uruguayan beaches, in the winter they head to beautiful Andean towns where skiing and winter sports abound. Below is a list of snowy destinations to slide to:

Mendoza: The famous wine province is not only worth visiting for its Malbecs and Torrontes wines, but also for its winter sports. In the town of Malargue, a popular resort, Las Leñas, receives ski-clad visitors every winter. This year, Las Leñas will be launching its new Minerva chairlift. This ski-haven is also well known for its snow park, the biggest in South America.

Neuquén: Further down south, in the Neuquén province are three famous ski resorts; Chapelco in the San Martin de los Andes city, Cerro Bayo in Villa La Angostura, and Caviahue in the Copahue town.

In Chapelco there are professional ski slopes as well as a team of specialized instructors to assist people with disabilities so they can also join in on the fun.

In Cerro Bayo there is a careful attention to details including an eco-patrol that encourages skiers to care for their environment and the mountains and to wear helmets amongst other safety precautions.

Caviahue is less known and is launching three new slopes this year as well as offering alternative tourist activities such as excursions to cascades or to the Copahue volcano crater.

Bariloche: This famous tourist destination in Rio Negro is known for its gorgeous lakes and the Cerro Catedral, the oldest ski resort in the country. Some of the highlighted features of this resort are the sled slope and the snow-tubing slope.

Chubut: Further south is the town of Esquel is a popular resort called La Hoya. It is well known for its ski fest, which will take place from the 16ht-22nd of July this year, and which features competitions, live music and a beauty pageant. It is also one of the cheaper ski resorts.

Ushuaia: Finally, way down South in Ushuaia is the Cerro Castor, which is getting ready for the 2015 world ski instructor championships by bettering the quality of their services and offering an enhanced beginner slope.  Other winter attractions in Ushuaia include riding in sleds, horseback riding and night excursions.

Winter in Buenos Aires

(Photo by Feliponsio)

Although it is rarely below freezing and it has only lightly snowed twice in the past hundred years, Buenos Aires is very chilly during winter. The city, however, has a peculiar charm during this barren season and has many indoor jewels including antique cafes (where hot chocolate and churros are mandatory), stately theatres, luxurious book stores, tango venues and vibrant art collections.  Additionally, some of the most anticipated events of the year take place during July-August.

Argentine Independence: Every 9th of July the country celebrates its independence with traditional food and dancing amongst other festivities.

Caminos y Sabores: The annual regional food fair is the perfect chance to get to know the culinary traditions from around the country. The fair takes place from the 6th to the 9th of July.

La Rural Agricultural Fair: The annual agricultural and livestock show is one of the city highlights since 1886 and will be taking place from the 19th to the 31st of July in Palermo.

Tango Festival and World Championship: The largest worldwide tango event of the year takes place from the 14th to the 28th of August in Recoleta. An excellent opportunity to watch the best dancers, listen to best music and participate in all tango-related events.

Buenos Aires Fashion Week: The latest Argentine fashion will be presented at the Spring/Summer BA Fashion week which will be taking place from the 7th to the 10th of August.

Vinos y Bodegas: Another of Argentina’s specialties is of course wine, and from the 12th to the 15th of September local wineries display their best bottles at this oeno-lovers fair.

Live Acts:

Disney on Ice: From the 13th of July to the 27th of July at the Luna Park Stadium. Tickets here.

Dream Theatre: 19th of August at the Luna Park Stadium.  Tickets are not yet on sale.

Maroon 5: 31st of August at Estadio Ferro. Tickets here.

Alan Parsons: 1st of September at the Luna Park Stadium. Tickets here.

Cirque du Soleil: From the 8th-30th of September at Complejo al Rio, Vicente Lopez. Tickets here.

Megadeth: 14th of September at the Estadio Malvinas Argentina’s. Tickets here.

Die Toten Hosen: 15th of September at the Estadio Malvinas Argentina’s. Tickets here.