October 2008

Calles y avenidas

Borges felt that the calles, the streets, of Buenos Aires formed an integral part of his being, his soul.

Traveling on these strands of cobblestone and asphalt, you journey through the urban landscape that is Buenos Aires, passing from one sector of the city to another. Your introduction to this South American capital, this city on the Rio de la Plata, is in the back seat of a taxi or a remise, a hired car, likely a VW or a Peugeot, no Lincoln Town Cars for hire here. Perhaps you’re caught in the morning commute on the highway from the airport. Your driver, swerving onto the broad Av 9 de Julio that tore a swath through the middle of the city, reveals early morning glimpses of stylish buildings in various states of prosperity. Your first image of Buenos Aires is formed along these streets, as will be your last when you are whisked away several nights later.

You might never return, you may choose to visit regularly, or, like some of us, you may never leave, choosing to call Buenos Aires home. Regardless, the streets of Buenos Aires have become a part of you, someplace in the corner of your mind always will be here, cobblestones and those nearly hidden tracks of a tram that hasn’t run for decades, pathways offering access to discoveries.

Farewell, Mother Earth

This goes into the category of things you don’t miss if you didn’t ever know it was there.

For some time during my early visits to Parque Lezama I never noticed this wood sculpture near the park’s entrance. Then one day I did and took this photo in 2005. Wrapping around the base are carved the words Madre Tierra followed by the name of the artist. Unfortunately, my photo from then doesn’t show the full name of the sculptor.

Three years later, I was on one of my usual peregrinations around Parque Lezama and sensed something was missing. I walked around and found a stump in the ground. The wood sculpture had been cut down.

You can see the stump there in the foreground. Perhaps there was a reason for it. The top of the sculpture was cracked and maybe it was removed to be repaired. I certainly hope that it was not an accidental cutting, the grounds crew getting too carried away as they trimmed the plantings behind the sculpture and just went about whacking away.

Discarded in Barracas

This falls into the you never know what you’ll find on the streets of Buenos Aires category….a reel of magnetic tape, dated 1983 – 1984, tossed out onto the curb with the trash.

We brought it home and added it to our growing collection of obsolete technology. What was the storage capacity of this thing…50 MB??

Top 10 things to do in Buenos Aires

Wow, a month has gone since I’ve last posted on this blog…a writing project has been keeping me away…it’s hard to keep up with all my projects – writing on this and that, which all in some way are related to Buenos Aires. I promise to return to this blog with more posts and announcements about some of these mysterious writing projects that I occasionally refer to here.

Meanwhile, for fans of my 30 things to do in Buenos Aires list I want to remind people of a post from earlier this year about falling in love with Buenos Aires, a description of ten enjoyable ways to spend your days in Buenos Aires.