I’ll never forget the first time I went into Anthropologie. I was with my best friend, and before walking in she assured me that it was going to become my all-time favorite store. She could not have been more on point and the retailer remains one of my favorites to this day. The stores are always so uniquely decorated and have the most interesting products. I often cannot afford many things there, but make a point to buy something small each time I go since browsing the shop always boosts my mood. I also get excited to receive their catalogue each season…the photos are always so beautiful and taken in exotic locations. One issue was taken somewhere in Latin America, and I fell in love with the patterns and colors that gave such incredible life to the clothes.
While Jess was visiting, we stumbled upon a shop that reminded me so much of the pictures from that catalogue. Santa Sabina is small, but packed with lots of unique treasures inspired by Mexican culture. They had amazing embroidered dresses with bright colors (similar ones available here), hand-woven tapestries, and Dia de los Muertos skulls. The shop gave me a similar feeling that Anthro did, and instantly became a favorite of Jess and myself (we visited the store two more times during Jess’ week-long visit).
For a girl who is perpetually single, I have a lot of high standards for my future significant other (poor guy). One thing I’ve always been very adamant about is the type of flowers my prince charming purchases for me (on a regular basis of course). I appreciate a little thought in gift-giving, and have always felt that giving roses is a cop-out and a little cliche. That said, I’ve never really been a fan of roses in general. However, I recently had a change of heart and can say that I now enjoy roses, mostly because of El Rosedale in Palermo.
El Rosedale is a rose garden in the park by my apartment. It is a breathtakingly beautiful park, with vibrant green lawns, lovely fountains, and of course tons of colorful roses. Upon walking through the entry gates you first pass through Writer’s Circle, which is surrounded by statues of many great writers like Shakespeare, Cervantes, and Borges. Once through the circle, you enter the area of the park with all of the roses. It is such a pretty spot with so many colors and surrounded by white pergolas and a pond. I personally love an extra quiet spot at the edge of the pond under a willow tree. Jess and I sat there and talked while enjoying the peacefulness of the area.
I definitely have a new appreciation for roses and their beauty, and won’t immediately put my future Mr. Right in the doghouse upon receiving them as a gift (maybe).
I remember back before arriving in BA and talking to friends about my trip. Everyone had wonderful suggestions of cool places to visit and different sights to see. One attraction came up constantly and we knew before stepping foot in Argentina that we would be going to La Bomba del Tiempo. Bomba is a drum show that happens every Monday night in Almagro at the Ciudad Cultural Konex. I was afraid that it would not live up to the hype, but I could not have been more wrong. It was one of the best shows I have ever been to. The music is lively and fun and the crowd gets really into it, dancing the whole entire time. I love how the concert is outside, and didn’t even care that it was raining the second time we went to the show. We also got lucky on our second visit, as the guest performer for the night was an incredible guitarist who started playing Blackbird to the fast tempo of the drums. La Bomba del Tiempo was amazing and is for sure one of the best things to do while in Buenos Aires.
It’s no secret that I love breakfast…and brunch…and brinner. It is by far my favorite meal and I appreciate one that is well-made. At home I always love my dad’s blueberry pancakes with Vermont maple syrup paired with my mom’s extra crunchy bacon and fluffy eggs. In Buenos Aires, an American-style breakfast is quite hard to come by since locals choose much lighter fare (and sweeter…think dessert sweet), like medialunas with jelly or dulce de leche. Although we did our best to recreate a homestyle breakfast, it was nice to finally find a place that served exactly what we were looking for. Magdalena’s is an expat resto-bar up the street from our apartment that offers American-style breakfast at any time of day. They have delicious pancakes (with real syrup!), breakfast burritos, corned beef hash, and bottomless mimosas. The atmosphere is super relaxed, with outdoor seating under a trellis covered with vines, cool artwork inside, and great music playing the the background. It has become our Sunday morning spot for family brunch and is always a nice way to finish up the weekend.
Way back in 2005, a friend planned a girl’s night. Deciding we were far too mature for normal slumber party activities, we opted to share our first ever tequila shots in place of painting each others finger nails while gossiping about all of the other tenth graders. It was then, between shots of cheap tequila, that I met Jess. I cannot recall what we initially bonded over, but by the end of the night we were old pals, even sharing the bathroom while we both got a little sick (must have been all of that pizza and girl talk). We’ve been best friends ever since, getting into one incredibly ridiculous situation after another. I was so happy when she told me on Christmas that she was coming to visit BA for Spring Break, and was excited to have my partner in crime in my new city for lots of new adventures.
The first time we went to the Underground Market I was so happy from all of the delicious food that I could barely wait until the next one. Finally, three months later, it was time for round two of the market. This time it was located in an old factory in Almagro. After climbing a few flights of stairs (which felt like forever), we made it to the market. We enjoyed a few favorites from our first market experience like the cannolis, craft beers, and pisco sours. There were lots of new things as well…whole grain empanadas with quinoa and veggies or squash and blue cheese, spinach burgers with beet spread, squash patties with pebre, Irish soda bread, carrot cake, and lemon chia seed muffins. All were very yummy (the squash and blue cheese empanada being a definite front-runner). The market did not disappoint and was a lot of fun…this time there was even a gospel singing group performing. I am so happy we were able to visit the BA Underground Market again, and am even more excited about the hot sauce I bought to bring home.
One thing I have noticed about expats in Buenos Aires is that they move around a lot. People come and go pretty frequently, causing others to move from apartment to apartment. Our boss recently moved in temporarily with another friend and decided to celebrate their cohabitation. I made magic bars and got some wine and we headed over to Las Cañitas for the gathering. We enjoyed delicious homemade guacamole and listened to good tunes while our hostesses prepared dinner. We told funny stories over amazing tacos and enjoyed plenty of red wine and fernet. It was a wonderful get together and inspired me to try and celebrate small everyday things more often.
When we first started working we were really low on cash. Still wanting to take in as much of the city as we could, we had to get creative about activities that we could do on a budget. We would go to museums on days that it was free, or explore new areas of the park by our apartment. Whenever we did have a little extra cash, we would try and get a nice dinner together. We had read a lot about La Cabrera and decided to give it a try. The restaurant is an upscale parilla that offers its entire menu at fifty percent off from seven to eight at night (perfect for a bunch of broke expats). On our first visit we ordered chicken, pork, and steak to share. The entrees also came with a ridiculous amount of sides that complimented the meat very well. Having been very impressed the first time around, we decided to take Quail there for a farewell dinner (this time at a more reasonable dinner hour for Argentine standards). We shared steak and pork and another round of delicious sides. La Cabrera never disappoints, from its cozy and quirky décor, to its amazing parilla and sides (and the lollipop tower they bring out for dessert…they had root beer flavor!).
San Telmo is by far my favorite neighborhood in the city. I think it has the most character out of all of the areas of Buenos Aires, with its old buildings and street art. With my love of San Telmo comes a love for the weekly market that takes over the streets each Sunday. I couldn’t stop talking about it all week, so Quail decided to name me the mayor of the market. When Sunday finally rolled around, we went to San Telmo to shop for trinkets that Quail could bring home. We first stopped in the indoor portion of the market that is open every day and sells everything from fresh produce to vintage leather bags to antique chandeliers. After we made our way up Defensa to explore what knick-knacks the market had to offer…Quail left with a new purse, jewelry boxes, and a crochet vest. It was a successful day at the market (I left with my own crochet vest and a cute little owl figurine), and I will of course be going back very soon.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to appreciate a good cocktail. Few places actually do a satisfactory job preparing a drink, and Milion in Recoleta is definitely one of them. We first visited Milion back in October for Patrick’s birthday. The Resto-Bar is in a gorgeous old French townhouse. After walking up a spectacular staircase, you enter the dimly lit bar. It really is beautiful, with marble counters and huge French doors that lead to an even more amazing outdoor patio. We opted to sit outside and ordered an array of beverages. On my first visit I got my very first Manhattan, and on my most recent visit I chose a White Russian (another first). Both were really good…everyone else’s cocktails were great as well and I was happy that the group was down for taste-testing each other’s drinks (an old fashioned, pisco sour, and pear martini). I really like Milion, not only for its drinks but for its overall atmosphere. Steph always says how it’s a classy place with a very relaxed vibe, which makes it so different from similar places in New York that can sometimes feel pretentious. Needless to say, we will definitely be going back before leaving BA.