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My husband and I , with our dog, Tate, moved to Buenos Aires, 8 years ago. Life has never been the same since ~ Back in the USA ... life is still not the same !
It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new.
But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful.
There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.
Alan Cohen
"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend.
Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."
Groucho Marx
The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

TuesdayWednesday

Ever notice how there are days that just go by with about 73 hours in them and you just long for it to be late enough to go to bed and end that day ?
And then other times, you get up in the morning and before you know it, a dozen people have called. 
There are too many things that have to be done, waiting for things to be done or for calls ,  then all of a sudden, it is evening, you are exhausted and you fall asleep at 10:00pm.
Well, that was my Tuesday.
Today, Wednesday,  we woke bright and early, with no Telephone repairmen stomping through the bedroom, climbing into my ever so neatly packed and arranged storage space at the top of the closet, where the phone wires also run past .. into this room where the other phone sits and now it is the Only phone sitting.
The reason for the terrible noise and crackling and no ringing and no one hearing anyone .. was the bad wiring. 
And for no reason in particular, they can not replace it so we have one phone now. 
And the cell but still, I had a house in the US that had four phones. .. plus two cell phones. 
Is this like the older we get , the less modern conveniences we need? 
I don't think so.
But I am in "Rome " now, I do as the Romans do. 
Use the cell phone for a phone now,  instead of just  a clock/watch.


We had a few things to do, then grabbed Pup and figured we would just walk .. to a new neighborhood and have lunch. As we headed out, my husband picked up some scones at the corner bakery, Pup and I stayed outside and talked to the cat... he didn't have too much to say to us though.
We walked on over to the park for a Pup stop. There were two Mounted Police, Pup ran over to say hello, we had to call him back, he has no fear, I do .. so he said hello from a distance. 
There were also two police on those quad bikes.. we were well protected, in the park, feeding the pigeons dry scones..And of course, Pup always keeps an eye on things.
We left that park once the scones were gone, who can stand being stared at by a few dozen pigeons once you quit feeding them ? All those beady little eyes....
We crossed over to the next park, where the Dr Agote statue flowers were in full bloom. I don't know who he was , just that they put his statue in the park, next to the street named after him ..
And there he is .. with those alien from outer space flowers. That green fence in the background is the new fence hiding the construction going on with the grounds and walls of the British Embassy .. it is all very hush hush , big secret, I expect some fancy wall with all that hidden construction going on!


Off we went down Libertador, this wonderful Avenue...
Through the next park where we stopped to say Hello to the General and admire the blue skies ..
Then on past the trees that are losing leaves, have already lost leaves and those who will hang on to their leaves
Heading into Palermo we were thinking of where to eat when we thought of the Eva Peron Museum. They have an outdoor area that is wonderful and "Mascots are bienvenido" .. so we wandered in that direction, past all the pretty buildings, the great   cafes and into the neighborhood of Palermo.. this is where the Zoo and Botanical Gardens and Japanese Gardens are found, very green and pretty.
Those high rises are these brand new glass apartment buildings. I am sure they are wonderful and have great views but I much prefer the older buildings here with all the character. There are many wonderful examples of 1930's architecture, some look so much like the lower part of the Empire State Building, with fantastic iron work on the doors. So on into the neighborhood we went .. 
And here we were at the Eva Peron Museum and Cafe
Pup was thrilled to lie down and relax, 
We ordered Malbec and I had a glass of Sidre .. sweet , bubbly and not too alcoholic.. else I would be curled up under the table next to Pup. . and Sorrentinos in Sage butter and a Crepe with Cheese and Onions .. We sat there for a long time, relaxing and enjoying the fresh air and just being out .. The service was great, they brought out a nice dog dish of water for the Good Boy. .  and then it was time to walk home. Back through the streets of Palermo..
past the Italian Embassy and towards our neighborhood. This is ( I think) the Saudi Arabia Embassy.
On into the Parks past the Biblioteca Nacional - wacky isn't it ?
Past the little tree and the last Autumn leaf to fall
And home again, where a certain Pup was too too tired to make it to the bed ..


Monday, June 28, 2010

Mondays - Look at This Blog !

OK, there are two blogs. One, when you see it,  you will understand why I included it .. it needs attention and is not getting the right amount. 
Madness comes in all forms .. sometimes it is kinder to pay attention than to just look elsewhere.. so pay her a little attention, she will be so thankful.


Now ...  Todays Look at This Blog ! is               Vodkamom   !!
Every day I read her blogs and every day I can count on a laugh and sometimes maybe a tear but mostly good laughs and that feeling of Yeah, I know exactly what you are talking about
I totally enjoy her way of telling a story and her outlook and her huge heart, which shows through in every post.
Go look, enjoy, if you want,  tell her I sent you. 




Now for gratuitous plugging and attention seeking .. Go read this one  and tell her that she is not really Mad, or just not more Mad than anyone else you know.


Because there are days that she sounds quite normal, but then there are days that mostly what would come out if she spoke, would be gibberish. 
Be kind to her... just be kind. 
Even the not Mad people in the world need a bit of Kindness ..


Dear Diary of a Mad Housewife


I took some photos today, but no one is around to download them for me at the moment.
Later.. when you least expect it, there will be some pictures for you to look at ... how great is that !?
Oh, OK, one ... more later...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Argentina 3 - Mexico 1

  What a game ! Even Pup watched. Every time they scored, I ran to the french doors, opened them to the sounds of people in the street and in other buildings, all screaming and cheering and some blowing horns.
Then we would all pop back inside and watch some more.


I cannot imagine what the Sports Clubs are like when they score ! or even almost score ..


This has been the most fun, whatever happens and I do really really hope Argentina wins the Cup .. this has been the best and most entertaining way to learn to like Futbol/Soccer.


¡ Vamos Argentina !                                                             
                                                                                                              
  
                                 

I want to live in an Old French Building . . she said

I love looking at blogs about home design and gardens. I have been suffering a shortage of design magazines in English and while the Argentine design magazines are beautiful and full of wonderful photos, it is exhausting trying to read the articles . 
Sadly, there is also a shortage of good shops and a variety of goods. Import duties etc cause a huge headache for someone like myself , used to being able to shop in many places and each one has something different from the next. 
Here, flea markets and antique stores and auctions are often the way to go if you want something beautiful and unique and hopefully well-made.


I thought I would share some photos of our home.
When we moved here, before we moved here, I already knew that I must have an apartment in one of the old French style buildings. 
Along with the beauty of the exterior of the buildings, you get high ceilings, lots of molding and a great deal of character, versus the new modern high rise that aside from having views on high floors and large balconies, they depress me with their soulless and unimaginative box like rooms.


Our apartment needed quite a bit of renovating. 
We looked at it and I said, oh all it needs is a good paint job and maybe some work in the kitchen and bath !


We painted the entire apartment a pale butter yellow that varies from a pale golden to a light lemon depending on the room and the light. 
All of the trim ( and there is plenty of it !) is painted a shiny white white.
The floors are original to the building, which is about 100 years old.
The story is that it was originally a private mansion, now divided into 5 floors and 10 apartments.
Many aspects of the building are still here, such as the elevator. It is the old wrought iron and mahogany with lots of gilt cage that goes up the middle , with the marble staircase winding around it.
The door weighs a ton and is one of the first things I fell in love with when we saw the apartment


How did we find this apartment? 
We were walking down the street with our realtor, who had just shown us a spectacular apartment with views over the entire city, I forget how many rooms and I was feeling slightly depressed that it was so expensive and in need of a total renovation. When I glanced up and saw the For Sale sign on the balcony of our building. The realtor called from the sidewalk and we had an appointment to meet the next day.
There were many things that really needed work but the bones of the apartment were there .. these photos are After photos..  


High ceilings with lots of light.


My little corner desk.




The view through the mirror ...


 My "garden"

I want this clock in my kitchen .. there is a wall waiting for it . I would never be late again !
I think this photo is from one of my favorite blogs, Greige..
A view 
A view from the kitchen well, a view of the kitchen window


The dressing room entrance. It was originally the maids room, we had the door opened and arched and it is now our dressing room and I still don't have anywhere to put my clothes !


I hope you liked the tour .. it is still a work in progress. I look at the blogs each day, especially the French design and Belgian Pearls, and Griege and all the White rooms and I am inspired over and over. Thank you to those bloggers who work so hard to provide me (us) with all of this inspiration !

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Good Time For A Walk in the Park

OK, so it is cold outside. 
And everyone was out late last night and slept in this morning. 
It is the afternoon, there are futbol games on all of the channels.. therefore, no one is out in the fresh air, they are all huddled inside with the telly and the futbol boys.
The game we will watch is on in an hour.. we ran errands and bought beautiful Salmon that I believe was swimming around in Patagonia just the other day and a pot of soup is bubbling quietly .. 


It was a good time to take Pup for some much needed venting of Pup Energy.
He might not be a spring pup anymore but he has boundless reserves of energy. 
We walked down to the park......... make that Husband walked, Pup dragged me down to the park.
No one was around. A couple of tourists and even they took fast photos of the statue and took off for a warm pub somewhere.. or the Hard Rock Cafe..
So we had the park to ourselves.. you can see that even in winter, there is plenty of green here
Here.. you can see how nice it is to have a park to yourself ..
just you and the Pup .. who often looks like a brown lamb grazing in the grass. 
You can say hello to one of the ladies in the statue .. and see the pretty winter sky beyond her ...
You can see my favorite trees 
and the really really big trees 
and there is that brown lamb again !
Now off for a cuppa tea and a rousing exciting futbol game.
 Today it is Go USA ! 
                                                Tomorrow, we are all about ¡ Vamos Argentina !



Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday

It is Friday.
Got plans?
I remember when Friday was the longed for day that never seemed to get there .. it was the End of the Rainbow, the Prize at the end of the Race ... Friday.
It felt different when you woke up on Friday. 
Full of anticipation, plans were already buzzing for what there was to do after work .. when the last client walked out the door.. the last phone call , the last thought of Work. 
For 2 whole days, no work, no thinking about work, no talking about work... please, no talking about work.


Choices ... eat in or out ? 
with friends or without? stay around the neighborhood or head out somewhere new?
And that was just for Friday night ! 
What about Saturday ?? Sleep late? Get up early, jump in the car and head out of town? 
Get things done around the house and go out with Friends for dinner ? A party?
Of throw some things and Pup in the car and head out of town, going Upstate to a hotel ? to the beach?




Now we are in a place that friends and family think of as a Vacation place .. foreign travel place .. 
Definitely No Work place .. 
Everyone here stays up late, eats late, with friends and family, laughing , eating , drinking, music is a big part of life wherever you go.
You can walk down the street and pass shops where the music is so great, you want to start dancing right there on the sidewalk.


A young mother walked out the door with a baby in a carriage, softly singing a lullaby, young men in the park with guitars and good voices, singing, eyeing the girls who are looking right back at them !
Free concerts, free dance, everywhere you go there is something to entertain you.




So the choices are the same, in a way.
Eat in or out ? Tonight we will eat in, it is cold out, we are expecting an iChat with someone .
What about Saturday ? I think perhaps Palermo , shopping in the boutiques, lunch in a nice cafe. 
Dinner? no idea .. Sunday? Chinatown? Puerto Madero ? it all depends on how cold it is .. how long we want to be walking around outdoors. 
It has been pretty cold lately.. I made a note to myself, next apartment we buy here, if we ever do such an insane thing.. will have a fireplace. 


So what are you doing tonight? What does your weekend have in store for you?



photos .. google images & Beekman Arms, NY, Montauk NY Lighthouse, 

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Yes? No ? Love it ?

Yes, just like I always need to move a piece of furniture or add a pillow or color here and there ... the same applies to my Blog.
I have done some re-decorating.
Do let me know if you like it, love it or hate it.
I am easily influenced... do give an opinion.



Blogs, Bloggers, Blogging

I don't know where to begin! 
Well, let's start with Blogs.. any old Blog. I have no memory of when I first heard the word or read my first Blog. I think it was probably when we were researching for a trip , definitely when we were planning on moving from the United States to Argentina.
I do remember one of the first Bloggers that I read, emailed and admired... that would be Saltshaker.. he was not only informative and helpful but he has a great Blog , full of interesting foodie stuff and more. 
And he is so generous with his information and experience in living in Buenos Aires and becoming a resident and  going through the millions of small irritating red tape chores that are required.


I really enjoy travel Blogs,   now that I am so far from girlfriends who shopped and lunched with me, I get a nice feeling of kindred spirits with other Bloggers. 
I love reading about Shopping and Decorating and Cooking.
So you might notice that the Blogs I Follow are pretty much all about that ... 
Photography and brilliant writing turn me on .


So I am always reading something that knocks me back and makes me wonder, how come this person isn't famous? Why isn't he/she published ? in the movies? on Jay Leno ??
Then there are the Blogs that I just relate to, so much, I wonder if they have been spying on me ? 
Were they there when that happened? 
Did they hear me trying to convince my 4 year old not to try to walk into the water fully dressed? 
Did they see me weeping when my children graduated and left home? 
Is this my long lost sister??


There are the stories that rend my heart, with their longing for babies, pride in the little ones they have, stories of lost children, lost loves.  Some days, I have to limit my Blog reads or else I would be sitting here weeping tears of sympathy and love for the people I have never met or spoken to.


Bloggers are friendly !
What is up with that ?
Even the ones from New York City !! haha... yeah, that includes me.


There are Bloggers in Scotland , Italy, Paris ( she makes me green with jealousy every day) and back in the US... who all entertain me, inform me and inspire me on a daily basis.
I can only use their examples to go by when doing this myself.


One Blog is giving away gifts... now what is that about ? 
I have seen people winning tea from Scotland, I won a Madness album from a wonderful Blogger in the UK  -Four Dinners  , and now Griege ... one of my all time favorite beautiful home blogs has a giveaway on her blog .. go look... sign up.. win !! Just click on the name.


I have been blogging now for 4 months. I don't know how many , I keep forgetting to look. I think I passed my 100th .. for sure . But as the days and weeks go by, I feel like I am getting better, thanks to the brilliant bloggers I study and that I am getting some very nice people who check in each day and say hello and make me feel that this Blogging thing is not so bad .. worth every minute of it.


So thank you .. the Bloggers, the Readers and the friends who kept saying, This is great, You should write a Blog.





Wednesday, June 23, 2010

USA !

Let's hear it for the boys !!!
                                                        photo incahoots

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Messi Messi Messi !!!!


OK ... we watched Argentina play Greece this afternoon , World Cup Futbol.
Argentina won 2-0.
It was fun to watch, tense and exciting and fun!
I never watched football (soccer) before moving here, I knew about it, our son went to school with Georgio Canaglia's children, that is when I learned a tiny tiny bit about soccer. 
But not enough to care.
But now - here I am - in the (what seems to be) heart of Soccer/Futbol land.
Every balcony, terrace and store has Argentine flags hanging , every window has some little symbol of Argentina and futbol. 
Sports bars are making a killing.. the one down the street closed its doors, drew the draps across the wrap around floor to ceiling windows , hiding the interior which besides having a restaurant and bar has two floors of wall to wall big screen televisions.
And when Argentina finally scored the first of 2 points, you could hear this muffled roar .. I opened the windows and could hear it clearer but no one was really out.
After the game ended with Argentina winning, then the noise outside began in earnest.
Horns, cars honking, people yelling, dogs barking just to get in on the action and horns.
They like horns here, especially taxi drivers.
So here I am , talking about Soccer. 
I was never a soccer mom.. mine liked hockey.
Which is similar in a way to soccer .. back and forth really fast with the ball/puck ... scoring against a single man in the net .. exciting in its way.


So what next, will Argentina win the World Cup ?
Will I ever adjust to the honking ? horn blowing ? dogs barking at the horns blowing and cars honking?


Stay tuned .. 




Tomorrow the United States plays ... I will be here.. I doubt I will blow any horns but I might yell a little.


Messi ? you ask .. who or what is Messi?




Martin Palermo ? you ask ...
There are more but I don't want to overwhelm you with it all at once ... just typical Argentine guys..


Due to requests, more player photos
Tevez 


Aquero
all photos Google images

Monday, June 21, 2010

Mondays Look at This Blog

God, I love Paris


It was a chance discovery, browsing blogs and then I found this. 
And now, every morning, I catch up on what is happening in Paris, how someone who did what many of us dream of doing, is managing.
I love Paris too.
This is also masochistic and torture for me but hey, I must like to suffer.


Enjoy Amy's Paris stories, they are lovely and funny.

Happy Birthday Pup !

11 years ago, a nice couple of Standard Poodles had a baby, well, some babies. And one of them was this bundle of brown curly sweetness that we brought home with us when he was only 3 months old.
He has been the best companion, best friend, best protector and biggest sweetheart we could have ever hoped for.




He is one of the most well-traveled pups that I know of , having been born in NJ, lived in New York, Florida, Oregon and now Argentina.
He has been to the Hamptons on a regular basis, he is an Eastside Pup who liked Sundays in Soho and holidays in Central Park. 


He enjoyed the summer he spent in the Berkshires and was not averse to moving there and being a Country Pup. But then as fate would have it, he became a Hot Florida Pup for a year, before being a Portlander for a year before becoming a Porteño Pup.. He really likes it here. He has made many friends and enjoys the attention and kindness of the Pup loving people here.




He makes me laugh, he comforts me, he "guards" me and he is a great Goodwill Ambassador .. 




Happy Birthday to our Pup .. May he live 11 more years or more ... 



Sunday, June 20, 2010

Another Day , Another Mime

 One of the Best ways to spend time on a Sunday in Buenos Aires is to wander the Hippie Feria in Recoleta. There are stalls set up, side by side, along the wide sidewalks that snake through the park , Plaza Francia. The atmosphere is always jolly, shoppers are generally a happy bunch, don't you think?
All of the things for sale are made by artisans and most of the time, they are the people sitting there , all day, sipping maté and having a smoke , chatting with a friend or customer, waiting for people to buy the (almost always very nice/pretty/cool/brilliant) things that they have  made by hand.


When my Sister in law and nephew were here, we were there a few times. My sister in law is a Serious shopper and she really enjoyed the unique handbags, jewelry etc. It is a great place to buy gifts for the family at home or in my case today, to buy one of those lovely hand carved wooden pins that holds a woven scarf or sweater closed. The one I bought when we first arrived here, recently went missing, I bought its duplicate today.


The pink building is the Recoleta Cultural Center, museum , theatre, wonderful place!
While wandering the park, Pup , my husband and I got the treat of watching Tango dancers in the park, much like the video from yesterday. This time it was 2 young women, 2 handsome young men and really good Tango music. There was a very old woman standing beside me watching, she was singing the words to the music quietly .. It might have been from the 20's .. or 30's .. 

Walking home by way of the Recoleta Cemetery and the cafes lined up across the drive .. there was this group .. I love them. They are always playing in clubs around here. We first heard them in almost the same spot, last summer.. walking home one night from the ice cream shop in that area. They were standing along the sidewalk, all their equipment etc and playing this amazing music. There are park benches everywhere, I sat with my husband and Pup and listened for what had to have been at least an hour .. under a huge moon, on a soft early summer night .. Listen to them.. believe me, you will like them.
Aqualactica
My favorite song is Princesa  ~
As we walked away , towards home, there was another mime !
This one stopped a mini van and climbed on the front. Then he walked beside a black station wagon with his hat off and pretended to be a funeral person .. all the while making that whistle noise but the Funeral Dirge.
Then he saw Pup ... down he went on his hands and knees and whistle/barked at Pup .. who just thought that was the best thing since dog bones and bounced around and wiggled .. then the man walked by with a Boston Terrier which went crazy barking at the Mime ..  a little dog with a big attitude.


So now we are home, snug and warm. Our phones still don't work. The cell phone is wonky too.
Someone is trying to tell us Something.... I am just not sure yet what it is.


If the computer stops working, I will know.


 photos Google images

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Expat blogger

living in Argentina