Stop and Smell the Roses

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.

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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.

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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).

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La Bomba del Tiempo

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.

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Pookie

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.

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Bachelorette Pad

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.

Mayor of the Market

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.

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Milion

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.

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The Secret Garden

My favorite place in the city has definitely become the botanical garden.  As much as I love it, I have not been going as often as I would like.  The garden was designed by Carlos Thays and contains thousands of different species of plants and trees.  I like how you can always find a quiet spot to sit and relax or read (I always think of it as an outdoor library).  Quail and I went one afternoon and I think it became one of her favorite places in the city as well.  She even started to lovingly refer to it as the Secret Garden.  I sat and read while she explored the different sections of the park.  I love so much that the garden is a short walk from my apartment, which will probably be one of the things I miss most about living in Buenos Aires.  Although it will be sad to part with, it has inspired me to finally visit the New York Botanical Garden

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Revisiting La Boca

Back in October, I was glad to catch El Caminito on an off day.  It made it really easy to get great pictures of the buildings and since we had arrived right after a rainstorm, we had the entire area to ourselves.  The one downside however, was that none of the shops and cafes were open for us to explore.  At the time I thought nothing of it, but now having visited the spot a second time, I am happy that I was able to see every aspect of the tourist attraction.  Alleyways and shops that were shut down on our first trip were open and lively on my second trip with Quail.  We enjoyed a nice sunny day walking the streets, while a group of drummers played music and encouraged passersby to join in dancing with them.  We stopped in a few hidden shops where Quail found great trinkets (her favorite things) to bring home to New York.

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Jardín Japonés

I was looking forward to having a visitor for a little reminder of home, but also to encourage me to visit certain attractions in the city that I had neglected thus far.  One place that the boys and I still had not visited was the Japanese Garden.  The garden is one of the largest of its kind outside of Japan and is conveniently located in Palermo, just a short walk from my apartment.  The pond at the park is surrounded by Japanese plants, and contains beautiful bridges, waterfalls, and giant stone lanterns.  I was particularly fond of the massive coy fish living in the pond, and the peaceful calm of the garden (other than a toe-stubbing incident).  Before leaving, we stopped to have a snack…Quail and I of course chose vanilla and red bean ice creams that came in the shape of a fish (so cute!).

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Fútbol!

It always amazes me how passionate people are about soccer (fútbol) here.  There is constant coverage on television, riots in the streets, and people decked head to toe in their favorite team’s colors.  Having wanted to experience a game since we arrived, I was really looking forward to going to a game for Joe’s birthday.  We got tickets to go to El Cilindro to see Racing play Lanús.  The game was wild, even if it ended in a zero-zero tie.  The fans put any fans from the U.S. to shame, standing the entire game and singing song after song cheering on their team (and insulting the other).  Fans bring gigantic banners that they hang from the railings of the stands, or hold above their heads during the game.  Some people even smuggled in what looked like sparklers and lit them all at once, which was actually pretty beautiful. It was a lot of fun and I’m happy that I finally got to experience a fútbol game in South America.

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