Monthly Archives: August 2009

The Obligatory Fashion Post

So, in general, I do not intend for this to be a fashion blog. I love clothes, but am not looking to become any more obsessed with material objects than I already am; I also find that there are many much more stylish people out there who are far better equipped to write about fashion than I. That being said, I am currently in the middle of an Argentina-fashion-gasm, and therefore must give vent to my current consumer enthusiasm.

The clothes and accessories in Argentina are both affordable and amazing. There are ferias, or fairs, which are actually more like mobile marketplaces, that seem to pop up everywhere, and have all kinds of random stuff. I’ve enjoyed the ferias most for their jewelry and leather goods, but you can buy almost anything at them, from monogrammed mate gourds to melted beer bottle art. Some highlights of my purchases from ferias are a hand-tooled leather bag:

Purse 1

And a high-waisted belt embellished with painted leather:

Mariposa belt

When it comes to more conventional shopping, Palermo Viejo is by far the best area, featuring an awesome mix of small independent artist/designer shops, many of which are shared co-op style by several vendors, and pricey-but-beautiful boutiques featuring eclectic styles and gorgeous leather goods. Some highlights include a navy t-shirt dress that I think the bearded man that I bought it from may have actually made:

Blue Dress

And a red studded belt that goes really well with the dress:

red Belt

Possibly my favorite purchase so far has been these shoes, also from a boutique in Palermo:

Green Shoes

But the most exciting part of my materialistic exploits so far has been the Feria de San Telmo. I went there today for the first time, accompanied by a few of my fellow travelers, and I’m already obsessed. The Feria de San Telmo occurs every Sunday in San Telmo, a neighborhood graced with an uncannily large number of antiques stores. It is like other Ferias, except huge, and all the stalls in and surrounding the central plaza are like mini-antique-stores, where people (Collectors? Store owners? I have no idea) display everything from vintage jewelry to antique telephones. It’s AMAZING. I have never seen more things that I don’t need but desperately want in all my life. After finally wrenching myself away from the idea of starting an antique teacup collection, I settled for a necklace and these sunglasses:

Glasses

I was tempted by nearly everything, but I came out of San Telmo today with one clear goal: to save up money for a nice pocket watch. Clearly, a key piece in any wardrobe.

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My Lovely Place of Residence

So, as I mentioned earlier, I’m living with a host family while I’m here in Buenos Aires. My host family lives in a lovely apartment in Congreso, at 140 Sarandí. Congreso is the neighborhood, or Barrio, that the Argentinean congress is in (in case the name wasn’t enough of a hint), and so is generally one of the older parts of the city. The apartment building is gorgeous and is from the 18th or 19th century (probably 19th; Anyway, it was built in a century not our own). It was modelled after a building in Paris, which is in keeping with all the French architecture here.

140 Sarandi

140 Sarandi

140 Sarandi

I absolutely love the building, although it does come with a few of the less-than-exciting perks of an older building, such as dialup internet and a really bad heating system. But it makes up for these with its completely bad-ass elevator, which makes me feel like a film-noir heroine whenever I use it.

My elevator.

My room is really pretty awesome; a little old, a little musty, but really colorful and cozy. My favorite parts are the green and purple walls, and the big paintings, some of which my host-madre Clara painted.

My Room

My room

So essentially, I love my apartment. Quarters are a little close, but that’s not really anything new to me anyway. The beautiful old architecture is already one of my favorite parts of Buenos Aires, and I’m so happy that I’m quite literally right in the middle of it. Finally, I will finish this post with a picture of the view from my bedroom window:

My View.

Semana 1 en Buenos Aires

So, after much delay and neglect of this blog, I’m finally in Buenos Aires, Argentina for my fall semester abroad. I’ve actually been here for 4 days now, crazy as that seems. The adjustment has been tough, but it’s getting easier already. Incidentally, they speak NO English here, which initially increased my feeling of isolation, but my Spanish is already getting better.

My host family is very nice, and very funny. The parents, David and Clara, are both actors, and Clara also does some directing and writing. My impression is that they’re mostly into theater, although apparently Clara has a role in a TV show right now, and I just found out today that David is somewhat of a legit movie actor:

http://www.cinenacional.com/personas/index.php?persona=5072

There are definitely some cultural differences; for instance, Clara doesn’t seem to be such a big fan of wearing pants around the house, and instead opts for tights. But all in all, they are very sweet, and have been very nice to me, despite the fact that my Spanish-speaking self must seem like una poca de una idiota. David and Clara also have a 25 year old son, Federico, who lives at home and is pretty cool. He’s currently being trained as a gym teacher, which is slightly hilarious.

So, for your reading pleasure, here is an brief glossary of the random things I have discovered here that I deem worthy of description:

El Alamo – HILARIOUS American bar near where I live. Open 24 hours, 7 days a week. Appears to play nothing but the Black Keys, which is kinda exciting, and U2, which is kinda strange. Incidentally, Argentinians seem to love the song “Vertigo.” I have no idea why.

Claro – Vaguely creepy cellphone network that appears to literally sponsor the roads; every street sign has a “Claro” logo on it, as well as an arrow pointing to the nearest Claro store.

Eh-mee-lee – How David and Clara pronounce my name.

Un Lomito – Delicious steak sandwich, popular everywhere here. And in case steak isn’t meat-y enough for you for lunch, they often come with ham on them in addition to the large slab of steak. They like meat here.

Quilmes – Cheap local beer that I absolutely love. They have it everywhere, it only costs like 6 pesos Argentinos, and its decently tasty for the price. Definitely beats Natty Light.