June 2008

Music on the bus

This guy playing guitar on the 39 today was not too bad.


Borges & Macedonio Fernández

Macedonio Fernández was an enigmatic figure shadowing over the literary scene in Buenos Aires during the early 20th century.

Macedonio Fernandez

In a new essay published in The Quarterly Conversation, Marcelo Ballvé writes about the influence of Macedonio on Argentina’s most famous writer – The Man Who Invented Borges.

Both men were enamored of speculative philosophy, and arguably it was Macedonio who was responsible for making a metaphysician out of Borges. Both writers were incessant explorers of a handful of themes: the inexistence of the individual personality, the elastic nature of time, the permeability of waking life to dreams and vice-versa; one might say: the instability of reality in general. In both writers’ work the supposedly bedrock concepts by which we live are revealed to be unstable isotopes, slippery and layered, none being in essence what they appear to be and all of course eminently moldable, especially within the pages of a story, poem, or essay.

Cool weather & coffee time in Buenos Aires

I’ve been anticipating the arrival of the cool weather that accompanies autumn and winter. We seemingly have skipped fall and landed right in the midst of a Buenos Aires winter. That’s fine with me since my preference is for cold, gray days. (How did I survive living in Miami Beach for five years?) I like bundling up in layers of wool.

Recently, a trip to my favorite thrift shop on the southside of Buenos Aires resulted in the acquisition of an alpaca scarf and a great wool sports jacket for less than 50 pesos. (Don’t bother asking. I’m never revealing the location of that store. Despite the ridiculous inflation here, bargains can still be found if you hunt around).

This climate also gives me the excuse – not that I need one – to sit in a cozy cafe, sipping a hot cup of coffee. Since I have a very limited sense of taste or smell (an attribute that was handy for drinking copious amounts of alcohol in college), I have no need to quench an advanced coffee thirst with the recent opening of Starbucks in Palermo. Even when I lived in the U.S., I’m fairly certain my visits to Starbucks never exceeded half-a-dozen trips, most of which were in the company of a friend. Just call me bland and boring or blame my damaged taste buds. Meanwhile you’re more likely to find me in a cafe with water stains on the walls while happily drinking my murky coffee.

Obama’s search for a VP leads to Argentina

I don’t like mixing politics with my blogs, though while prowling the Huffington Post (another thing I don’t do too often) I came across this analysis of possible vice-presidential candidates for Barack Obama.

Somewhere out there a Hillary supporter is screaming, “But he doesn’t yet have the nomination!”……true but soon…anyway, I voted for Obama.

Regardless, you really should read that analysis and the surprising recommendation for the perfect VP candidate. There’s an Argentina connection…really…but you have to read to the end of the article.