5 Creative Ways to Practice Spanish in Buenos Aires

After a dozen flight hours, a taxi from Ezeiza airport, and a hot bath, you face your first real choice in Buenos Aires. What do I do next? Whilst mulling over it,  glass of wine in hand, that funky Latin feeling starts to tickle you into practicing your Spanish. Here are five suggestions to make it all the more fun, and some tips to master the local lingo.

 1)    Spanglish Exchange

talk

(Terence Chang)

It’s like Speed Dating, but without the obliged romantic interest! You’ll have five 20 minute conversations (10 minutes per language) with locals wishing to practice their English. They currently meet in 3 locations and you can find all the details at http://spanglishexchange.com/

2)    Spanish Futbol Camp

futbol

(Photo by Rama V)

Whether you’re for Messi or Cristiano, there’s no doubt that Argentina’s soccer players are amongst the best in the world.  Imagine being able to learn Spanish while taking futbol lessons in a professional team’s complex with its youth players and managers. With a variety of options according to your stay time, it’s a must for any sports fan.  http://www.bafutboltours.com/

3)    Eat! And Listen

tira

(Diego Torres Silvestre)

Nothing better than a taste of Argentina’s world famous Bife de Chorizo to soothe your appetite, or you can learn the name of other meat cuts here, and then tour the city parillas looking for your cut of choice. Mastering the menu in Spanish may be challenging, but the mozos (waiters) are usually friendly and offer a helping hand. You can’t leave the country until you’ve learnt how to say chimichurri properly. 

4)    Tangoke!

tanguero

(Brainbitch)

Tango lyrics are as passionate as its music. Learning their meaning is a way into the heart of Argentina’s culture. Google translate in hand, you can beef up your Lunfardo skills while you drink a glass of Malbec wine and sing along to melancholic tunes. There’s tons of playlists, for example Karaoke Tangos for you to practice before you hit the milongas, and if you really want to master the art you can take a tango singing lesson in the nostalgic Almagro neighborhood with Anna Franken

5)    Volunteer

helping hand

(Leo Grübler)

If helping others is your thing, BA Volunteer is a great chance of knowing the country through and with those in need. While you learn Spanish, you’ll also help leave a sustainable impact on the organization you volunteer for.

Buenos Aires Agenda: January/Enero 2016

Monday/Lunes

drum

(Photo by J-Bones)

Check out the new MALBA exhibit of Belgian artist Francis Alÿs’s poetic-political artwork. Av. Figueroa Alcorta 3415, Palermo. 

In the afternoon, from 5.30pm to 7.30pm, you can stop by the Fierro Hotel garden and grab a couple of cocktails at the UCO  happy hour! 3220-6800. Soler 5862, Palermo.

You can also head to the Centro Cultural Konex where famous percussion group, La Bomba del Tiempo, will be carrying out their Monday show starting at 7pm. Sarmiento 3151, Almagro.

El MALBA está exhibiendo una muestra del trabajo político-poético del artista belga Francis Alÿs. Av. Figueroa Alcorta 3415, Palermo.

A la tarde, desde las 17.30 hasta las 19.30hs., abre  el jardín de Fierro Hotel para ofrecer cócteles en el happy hour de UCO restaurante. 3220-6800. Soler 5862, Palermo.

También a la tarde, a partir de las 19hs., se presenta la orquesta de percusión La Bomba del Tiempo en el Centro Cultural KonexSarmiento 3151, Almagro.

Tuesday/Martes

jardin botanico

(Photo by José María Pérez Nuñez)

The Botanical Gardens in Palermo are so shady and filled with character that they are well worth visiting with a camera, a book or a drawing pad on these hot summer days.

BAMA Cine Arte is screening The Hateful Eight, Tarantino’s latest film. Diagonal Norte 1150, downtown.

Por su sombra fresca y particular identidad, El Jardín Botánico en Palermo es el lugar ideal para pasear con la cámara, un libro o un bloc de dibujo.

Durante enero, el cineclub BAMA Cine Arte proyecta Los ocho más odiados, la última película de Quentin Tarantino. Diagonal Norte 1150, downtown.

Wednesday/ Miércoles

asad

(Photo by Dani Vázquez)

Try a Parrilla Tour and taste all the typical local cuts, book your place for a Foto Ruta tour to get to know the city through your camera lens, or explore on an Off the Beaten Path Tour with Elisa and see where it takes you!

In the evening, Wiz Kalifa will be staging a live show at the Luna Park Stadium. Tickets here.

Probá los cortes de carne típicos de la Argentina con Parrilla Tour, reservá con Foto Ruta para conocer la ciudad a través del lente de una cámara, o explorá los recovecos menos conocidos de la ciudad con Elisa en uno de sus Off the Beaten Path tours.

A la noche, Wiz Kalifa se presenta en vivo en el Estadio Luna Park. Entradas aquí.

Thursday/ Jueves

costanera

(Photo by V.T. Polywoda)

The warm summer weather is ideal for a laid back two hour bike tour which you can take from the Planetarium.Av. Sarmiento and Belisario Roldán, Palermo. 

At 9.30pm, stop by Boris Club de Jazz to listen to Diego Frenkel’s new work titled Ritmo. Tickets here. 

El clima cálido de verano es ideal para hacer un tour relajado en bicicleta partiendo del Planetario. Av. Sarmiento and Belisario Roldán, Palermo.

A las 21.30hs. se presenta Diego Frenkel en Boris Club de Jazz para presentar su nuevo trabajo titulado Ritmo. Entradasaquí.

Friday/ Viernes

tigreverde

(Photo by Tigre Municipio)

If the weather is nice, a day trip to Tigre is a must while you’re in Buenos Aires. You can try a water sport, stop by the Mercado de Frutos where you can purchase local goods, go on a rollercoaster ride, stop by the newly inaugurated China Town, and even place your bets at the local Casino. Explore on your own or try a tour! 

In the evening, some outdoor drinks at  a nice bar with a terrace, or at Fierro’s outdoor garden!

Si el día está soleado, hacer una excursión al Tigre es una salida imperdible durante tu estadía en Buenos Aires. Se puede hacer deportes acuáticos, pasar por el Mercado de Frutos para comprar artesanías, subir a una montaña rusa, conocer el nuevo Barrio Chino de Tigre, e incluso probar suerte en el Casino. Explora por tu cuenta o súmate a un Tour.

A la noche, unos tragos al aire libre en algún bar con terraza o en el jardín de Fierro Hotel.

Saturday and Sunday/ Sábado y Domingo

año nuevo chino

(Photo by IQRemix)

Book your place at UCO´s delicious weekend brunch, with a great Irish version as well! 3220-6800Soler 5862, Palermo.

Chinese New Year celebrations will be taking place throughout the whole weekend at the Plaza Parques Nacionales on Figueroa Alcorta avenue, between Sucre and Echeverría in Belgrano.

Hacé tu reserva para degustar el brunch de UCO restaurante que  ofrece también una variante de desayuno irlandés. 3220-6800. Soler 5862, Palermo.

El Año Nuevo chino se festeja todo el fin de semana en la Plaza Parque Nacionales que queda sobre la Avenida Figueroa Alcorta, entre Sucre y Echeverría, en Belgrano.

Fierro Loves Hollywood: Palermo’s Hottest Blocks

Palermo is divided into all sorts of funny sub categories (most unofficial) and new ones keep popping up all the time. Some of the better known ones include Palermo Viejo (or “old” Palermo), Palermo SOHO (where all the designer shops are), and Palermo Hollywood. New sub-Palermos also include Palermo Botánico (where the Botanical gardens are, you guessed it!), Palermo Zoo (another self-explanatory one), Palermo Queens (better known as Villa Crespo but rebaptized by some because it is supposedly one of the city’s transvestite epicenters), and Palermo Freud/Sensible (because a lot of psychologists have their practice in the area). Regardless of names, it is important to know that the popular neighborhood is divided into North and South of Juan B. Justo, Between Libertador Avenue and Santa Fé, and between Santa Fé and Avenida Córdoba.

Fierro Hotel is located in the glamorous Palermo Hollywood, which coined its name after radio stations and production companies began to open up in the area in the nineties. Its limits are Av. Córdoba, Santa Fé, Dorrego and Juan B. Justo and it is one of the liveliest areas in town in terms of dining, nightlife, shopping, art and more. Over the following weeks we will be reviewing the hottest spots for coffee, drinks, and why not even a manicure. Of course, brunch and dinner are always best at Hernán Gipponi Restaurant, but there are some pretty great neighbors to get to know too.

Christmas and New Year at HG Restaurant

(Photo by Anders Adermark)

In Argentina, the big Christmas festivity takes place on Christmas Eve. This is probably because one of the seasonal joys is the fantastic food and drink, and in the local summer both are better enjoyed in the evening. Those of you who are looking for the best spot to book a great Christmas of New Year’s Eve dinner should look no further. Hernán Gipponi Restaurant will be offering a delectable menu fit for kings and queens!

Aperitifs include homemade carob/quinoa/multigrain/ciabatta breads with flavored butters, shrimps, black pudding and roasted red bell peppers,  scallops with passion fruit, sweet potato, red onion and chestnuts, and chorizo and tomato sauce.

There will also be a salad of veal sweet breads, yellow bell pepper pulp, roast tomatoes, provolone cheese, mixed greens and sprouts.

(Don’t worry we’ve still got five courses to go!)

The starter will be egg cooked at 68*C with mushrooms and vegetable stalks, all infused with flavored rice stock.

The fish main course  (which happens to be the chef’s specialty) will consist of the catch of the day with a velvety summer squash emulsion, pearled lentils and crab. After that, a delicious veal tenderloin with carrots, fennel and smooth pistachio and spinach sauce.

Finally, a pre-dessert of grilled peaches in Torrontés with Cordoba peanuts and lemon cream will prepare the palate for the final dessert of watermelon, melon, mascarpone cheese, carob and lemon verbena. Afterwards, just in case anyone is still hungry, petit fours and coffee will be served of course.

The menu, including top Argentine wine pairings, mineral water and Nespresso coffee is 650 pesos per person.

And, just in case you wake up on the 25th of December or on the 1st of January with cravings for more, Hernán Gipponi Restaurant will also be serving their famous brunch complete with juices, breads, tapas, fish, lamb/chicken  and panettone!

Let’s hope the Maya were wrong, because this will definitely be worth tasting!

Book your place in advance at 3220 6820. Fierro Hotel, Soler 5862, Palermo.

This Week in Buenos Aires

Monday

(Photo by findfado)

Check out the MALBA‘s Beatriz Milhazes exhibit “Panamericano”  that showcases a selection of the renowned Brazilian artist’s recent paintings. Avenida Figueroa Alcorta 3415, Recoleta. 

In the evening stop by La Peña del Colorado where a tango peña will be held at 8.30pm. This Palermo-centered peña serves traditional food and stages live shows as well as hosting folklore dances for the community.  From midnight onwards they also encourage the diners to play spontaneous guitar music. (They offer the guitars).  Güemes 3657, Palermo. 4822-1038. info@lapeniadelcolorado.com.

Tuesday

(Photo by joncockley)

A rainy Tuesday is perfect for a Scandinavian film fest and there is one taking place at the Village Recoleta, right in front of the famous must-see cemetery.  Find the full program here.

In the evening don´t miss the new ballet being staged at the Colón Theatre. Trilogía Neoclásica II (Neoclassic Trilogy II). Part 1- Marguerite and Armand by Franz Liszt. Choreography by Frederick Ashton. Part 2- Fuga Técnica- “Possessed” for string quartet and percussion by Alexander Balanescu. Choreography by Eric Frederic. Part 3- Before Nightfall- Bohuslav Martinu. Choreography by Nils Christe. 14th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th of October. Tickets here.

Wednesday

(Photo by 2da.Realidad | Fotos: Facundo M. Nívolo)

Head to the National Library in Palermo (a landmark in itself) and check out the exhibit on local rock legend Luis Alberto Spinetta and the screenings of some of his live performances at 2pm. Aguero 2502, Palermo.

Later on, starting at 10pm,  the Orquesta Típica Fernandez Fierro will be playing upbeat tango at the Club Atlético Fernandez Fierro in Abasto. Sanchez de Bustamante 764, Abasto.

Thursday

(Photo by Dimitry B)

The Fundación PROA in La Boca is showcasing a must-see exhibit of renowned artist Alberto Giacometti’s sculptures and paintings. Av. Pedro de Mendoza 1929, La Boca.

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 35 USD per person and are limited to 7 people. Soler 5862, Palermo. 3220-6800.

The Pepsi Music Festival kicks off with special performances by Garbage, The Maccabees and others. Tickets and more information here.

Friday

(Photo by Adrian Midgley)

Book your place with Argentina Polo Day and spend the day in the outskirts of the city exploring the world of polo. It 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.

Saturday and Sunday

(Photo by duckunix)

Remember to make a reservation for Hernán Gipponi’s unique must-try brunch, served on Saturdays and Sundays! Soler 5862, Palermo Hollywood. 3220-6800.  info@hgrestaurant.com.ar.

The Buenos Aires Market will be taking place during the weekend where a great selection of organic products will be offered. Live music shows and other events will also be taking place for the ocassion at La Usina del Arte in La Boca. Av. Pedro de Mendoza 501, La Boca.

Don´t miss the Buenos Aires Mágica event at Polo Circo where illusionists, ventriloquists and magicians will be mesmerizing the crowds from 2pm onwards on Saturday and Sunday. Av. Juan de Garay and Combate de los Pozos, Parque Patricios.

 

Find a ten-day weather forecast here.

Fierro Hotel News

During the last few months we have been working on hotel primping and have some great new additions for our guests as well as a stylish new image which you can appreciate in the photographs by Jocelyn Mandryk below, or come and see for yourself!

 

We also kept getting complaints from our guests that the beds were so comfortable they couldn’t get up so we just had to include Nespresso coffee machines in all of our rooms to entice them out of bed!

 

Another novelty is “Music to Walk the City By” a special podcast mixed by DJ Oliverio that you can download and take on your strolls through the streets of Buenos Aires!

 

 

 

 

Scan this QR with your smart phone or download here!

Finally, don’t forget to try the new lunch menu at HG or stop by for great Argentine inspired drinks and tapas during happy hour!

Top 5 French Restaurants in Buenos Aires

(Photo by Larryhalff)

La Bourgogne– The city’s most distinguished French Restaurant, in the city’s most distinguished hotel, the Alvear Palace, offers one of the best, albeit pricy, dining options Buenos Aires has to offer. Ayacucho 2027, Recoleta. 4808-2100. labourgogne@alvear.com.ar

Brasserie Petanque: This San Telmo based French Brasserie offers great quality, abundant servings, amicable service and a wonderful selection of wines. We recommend their sweetbreads! Defensa 596, San Telmo. 4342-7930. info@brasseriepetanque.com.

Chez Nous: This bright and elegant restaurant in the Recoleta based Algodon Mansion offers a great menu of French-Argentine fusion cuisine. Plus they have an annex cognac bar and a glass-covered patio with a fireplace that is great for winter! Montevideo 1647 – Recoleta, 3530-7777

La Maison: A hidden gem in the bustling Palermo scene owned by a friendly French Mademoiselle from Lyon. The at home feel of this lovely recycled house, the welcoming service, and great drinks and food make La Maison a place worth revisiting. Honduras 5774, Palermo. 3979 2970. info@lamaisonba.com

L’Atelier: Way off the beaten path, in La Lucila neighborhood is one this suburban favorite. Savory dishes and a great wine list to complement ensure this lovely French restaurant is here to stay. Av. Libertador. 3836, La Lucila. 4005-5244