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, March 12, 2014

Thoughts on Buenos Aires

First of all, let me say, it has been almost a year since we returned to the United States and as most of you know, it has been a turbulent and sad return.
Of course there have been joyous moments and very good memories too ... but somehow, at this stage, sadness still prevails.

But ... the adjustment to being back in the US continues...
I thought I would arrive at the Airport in NYC and just fall right in to the rhythms and way of living here.
After all, I lived here in NY/the USA  all my life, not counting Buenos Aires for 6 years.
When we arrived to live in Buenos Aires, we were walking around in a daze most of the time.
We were smiling, happy, amazed that we did it , I was and still am in awe of my husband for the research and managing of the entire thing.
Knowing what we needed, getting it, the running back and forth with the dog for his papers and sadly, selling our BMW who had taken us from New York to Florida to Oregon but , could not take that plane / or boat to Argentina.

In Argentina, we wandered the neighborhoods, sitting in cafes and parks and soaking it all in, figuring out how to ask for this and that, finding shops and then there was all the Government paperwork and getting a taxi at dawn to sit in a huge crowded Immigrations building every few months ( for 2 years !!!) until we were finally Permanent Residents.
That was a Happy Day, we did Celebrate.

Pup was the talk of the town.
No one knew what he was and "where did he come from?" and "may I take his photo?" .....
We discovered food.
Not what we expected, but we managed to find places that became favorites for years and dishes that I kinda miss now.

Pasta is good no matter where you go.
In BA we found a place that only makes pasta , fresh, homemade and so are the sauces and you just call or drop by and order it and there you have it .. Dinner.

Every 29th Day of the Month, is Gnocchi Day.
Yes, once a month there is a day dedicated to having pasta/gnocchi for lunch and or dinner.
We were very diligent about following any and all traditions and customs.

It is kind of funny, walking into a cafe at lunch time during the week and all the business men sitting and talking with their friends and every one of them has a plate of gnocchi in front of them.

No matter what the age, a bench in a park in Buenos Aires is a fabulous spot to spend time .
Morning , afternoon or evening, you can sit and enjoy watching the people, the dogs, the children, the tourists and locals all out enjoying fresh air and sunshine.
Did I mention the sun shines pretty much every single day ?
The temperatures change, it can be pretty chilly and grey in the winter but it is a short winter and you quickly forget how much you complained, when that sun comes out and windows are thrown open for fresh warm Argentine sun again.

We had our favorite places and some were because they were so dog friendly.
Which is just about anywhere in the city.
Most cafes will automatically bring out a bowl of water when you sit down at a table with your dog.
Some that became almost daily stops, had waiters who not only brought out Pup's water but were known to slip him a little scrap from the kitchen.
I have been sworn to silence, I will not tell you who or where .. Pup made me... he knew if anyone found out, his treats would suddenly disappear .
Or worse, there would be a dozen pups sitting at tables, waiting .

We rarely took a taxi .. we walked everywhere ... from one neighborhood to the next , walking miles a day.
Needless to say, this is quite an adjustment for me to be back in the US where you cannot live without a car.

Some Thursdays go by and I realize, It is Gnocchi Day ! and then I feel sad.
Some days go by and I never leave the house, never talk to anyone and I realize that this would have been virtually impossible in BA ..

Music ...
They are a musical people.
Everyone. They just love music and they Know Good Music.
There is a spectacular Opera House and some of the worlds greatest conductors and performers appear there.
We saw Zubin Meta conduct and   the Violinist, she knocked our socks off !

Watch it and enjoy the music .. there I was, not far from the stage.. can you see me ?
Zubin Mehta, Buenos Aires 

Everywhere you go there is also Tango.
Tango dancers in the park. Tango music everywhere, all the shops and some streets as you walk past stores, you can hear a variety of music coming from within ..
We went to a few Milongas with friends. As their guests which was a gift .. truly.
My preference is the newer Argentine music  , like Gotan Project or Narco Tango 

Did I mention our neighbors ?
I miss them.
I always knew they were there if we needed anything.
Even now, so far away, one of them who speaks very good English, will write to me every couple of weeks or so and check on me.
I have open invitations to visit .. I cannot at this time and I wonder, If I did ... would it be the same ?
Would I have the same feelings, being there alone ?
Would I not want to come back here ?
Would I be able to convince the children that they must pack up and come with me ?
Would Minnette enjoy Argentina ?
I bet she would.



  1. It has been such a tough transition for you that probably most of that transition hasn't happened as you've had to pause that phase to take into account the other sad changes.

  2. I think you should start your own Gnocchi day with friends that you have where you are, or better, take it to a rehab place for kids or maybe to the place where you picked up Minnette. I'll bet you make excellent Gnocchi and who wouldnt love it homemade!! Just a thought. :) I continue to read your posts... Fond thoughts.

  3. Candice, I loved the concert clip, what an amazing young violinist, and I saw you in the audience! Looked like a great day in the park with wonderful music.

    Mary X

  4. Furtheron, I imagine you are absolutely right.
    Angiemanzi, that is an Excellent idea.
    I will make our Gnocchi day on the weekends when someone might be able to visit !
    In fact, this weekend might be Gnocchi time.

    Mary .. I am glad you saw me, I was afraid I might be lost in the crowd . It was fabulous and watching it on here is such a gift .. bringing such wonderful memories back.


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sunset in Buenos Aires