Buenos Aires: Week 2 in Review
Trip Start Feb 13, 2012
27Trip End Jul 31, 2012
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Escape from Buenos Aires
Our hostel was located in the Palermo, a trendy part of BA with lots of shops (yay for Nicole and boo for David) and great eateries. While a great place to hang out, we did not hesitate to partake in a day trip to the other side of town. Puerto Madero, full of high end new condos and shops, happens to be located right next to one of the city's hidden sanctuaries. This is where we went on a great walk led by Melvin (US guy working at the hostel and generally awesome dude) and his hot Argentine boyfriend, Esteban. They were using a few of us as their guinea pigs for a potential business venture - tours of the ecological reserve. A great little get-away right in the city! The tour was complete with Mate (Mah-tay), a traditional Argentine hot drink, and postres (pastries)
Most cities these days have a Chinatown and BA is no exception. However, we decided that they really might want to consider calling this one Asian Area instead. The two streets that made up Chinatown can hardly be classified as a "town" and definitely was not exclusive to China. Even so, it was good to feed our addiction to Asian food. To their credit, the food was good and at least they had a friendship arch.
We not only got to see a great tango show over some traditional Argentine beef, but we also got to take our first tango class together. AND, we were instructed by the actual performers in the show. Needless-to-say, the show was great, the food was excellent, and the company was...unexpected. We sat next to a lovely abuela (grandmother) from Buenos Aires who chatted freely with Nicole throughout the night (not really understanding that Nicole knew little actual Spanish). By the end of the night she had told us her whole life story. From what we gather, her husband of 43 years moved to Puerto Rico for a younger woman. Certainly didn't stop her from having a night out on the town!
The evening was finished by experiencing a bit of BA night life. One of the longer term residents of the hostel was finally leaving, so we headed out into Palermo. Nicole and I stayed out until 4 am, but by BA standards the night was only just heating up
Melvin recommended that we get involved in the underground restaurant scene and offered some great reviews of one "closed door restaurant" called, Cocina Sunae. Basically, the deal with closed door restaurants is that they are a) typically run out of someone's home, b) only open a few nights a week, and c) rely on word of mouth to spread their reputations. SO, we emailed the restaurant a few days before and after a few cryptic email exchanges, they finally provided an address for the restaurant.
The night of, we took a cab to this random location and were met at the door by an older man of no particular description. After confirming we were on "the list", he escorted us through a small courtyard lit by fairy lights and colorful lanterns into a simple, yet modern dining room, decorated with Asian inspired place mats, candles, daisies, and some bursts of colorful artwork on the walls. We were sat at a table with a handful of other people (who luckily spoke English) - a couple living in BA (French guy and his Argentine wife, very well traveled), their Canadian friend in BA on a work exchange, and another Canadian couple traveling in South America for a few months. In short, dinner was a four course meal of perfection and the conversation was equally satisfying
Afterwards we experiences our second night out with the Canadian couple who led us to an underground speak-easy bar. This involved blagging our way past the bouncers and entering a secret code into an old fashioned telephone booth which mysteriously opened to the bar. After a few extremely expensive cocktails and a quick look around the sex shop (yes, it was attached to the bar), we said our goodbyes and headed back "home".
To wrap up our time in BA, we had a leisurely stroll through the Japanese Gardens (Jardin Japones). After being put off by all the other tourists (particularly the overwhelming amount of children), we stopped in for some sushi. Not bad, but didn't quite compare to the mouth watering sushi delights in New Zealand.
We packed our bags and headed to the airport for the next exciting leg of our journey.
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