Thursday, April 22, 2010

Break My Heart

This is what I'm missing out on back home right now and it kills me!

Teri the Amazing Hand Stander


I found my future home. It’s called Chalten and it’s in the South West of Patagonia tucked up against the Fitz Roy Range. It’s perfect. A small quaint town with few year round residence, packs of dogs roaming the streets (but not the nasty ones you see in ciites, the tough mountain kind), and mountains and beauty EVERYWHERE. We were only there two days, but in the time we were there we were able to hike up to the base of Fitz Roy. We went up with a group of kids that we met a few towns back in Calafate and happened to be traveling in the same direction for a few days. There were 8 of us total. 1 girl from Ireland and 1 from Whales traveling together. They had been out about a month and had made their way down from Brazil. 1 guy from Philidelphia who had been traveling all around South America and had been out 8 or so months, he plans to be out a whole year. 1 girl from London who was a photographer and had been living in Buenos Aires for 4 months off and on while traveling in between. 1 guy from London who had met the photographer in Brasil and they had traveled together ever since. Lastly there was 1 girl from California who had only been out a few days. All of this to say there are soooo many people out here traveling the world. 3 months sounded like a long time while I was still at home and after talking to these people it doesn’t seem like nearly enough time. They all have amazing stories about where they have been and where they are going. It’s been nice to get out into the travelers circuit to get the first hand advice because we have been in BA for so long trying to figure it all out, and now we realize just how much there is to do and just where we want to go.
Anyway, back to the mountains. They’re beyond words. Vast and seemingly untouched compared to the bustling National Parks we have back home. The other noteable strangeness is there are very few animals out here. Aparently there aren’t many because of the harsh conditions (yes, it’s freezing and the wind usually blows all of the time), but still it feels strange for all of this open wilderness to feel so empty. When I come down next time (and there will be a next time, mark my words) I’d like to go with a group of friends, buy a beater car, take camping gear and go everywhere. One of our friends in BA asked “What are you going to do in Patagonia for a whole week?” Which seems even funnier now because I feel like I could be here for months and not see enough.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


We did it. We tangoed last night and it was pretty fantastic. Rose and her uncle suggsted this spot where you pay $20 pesos (around $5 US) where you spend the first hour in a class, the next hour tearing up the dance floor with your new moves, and then eventually they put on a show where they show how the pros do it. So we arrived an hour late, missing the initial class. One other detail they semi explained in broken english is that most people go to this sort of thing with a dance partner. When we first got there I was determined that we would still dance so I started studying the guys and tried to force Teri to dance with me, but luckily some tango efficiantos rescued us. Mine was a middle aged argentine pop musician metro sexual who knew a little bit of english. Enough to get me to follow his footsteps anyway. Teri’s was an older, slightly fatter tango man who taught her a thing or too as well. We both loved it. The focus on learning this dance is trusting your partner. It’s a pretty slow dance and the steps are relatively easy, yet there are a lot of different ways to put the steps together so you really just follow what ever the guy wants you to do. It might sound lame, but the coolest part of this dance was when you could really relax, lean into your partner and just go with it. Sounds weired, but once I was able to do that it was soooo cool. We want to Tango more. I also danced with this old guy who spoke NO english, but one of his lady friends explained to me that the group they were with (6 or 7 old folks) are a part of a senior center (over 60) that get together every Saturday to take Tango lessons. They were my idles. Out at 2 in the morning with all of their compadres drinking, eating and dancing. Loved it.
Lastly I danced with an Argentine closer to my age. He was an unlikely find at a Tango Bar (or so I thought)because he was hippyesque, young, and a hip hop/pop musician (I have yet to look up his band, but I feel like this could either mean something really interesting, or really no bueno). In his broken english and my next to nothing Spanglish we talked about how Argentines and most of the hispanic world partner dance from such a young age. He first started dancing with his mom when he was a kid and next with girls he knew at dance party/get togethers that start when he was around 12. It’s really natural for them to dance with a girl, whether they’re attracted to them or not. He asked me something like “How do you know how to socialize with boys without being able to dance with one?” I like the idea of this question/statement. Men here are so confident and natural about talking to you, makes me wonder if this has something to do with it. Here Americans are known for being stiff. They put their hand out to greet rather than the traditional cheeck kiss greating they all do here. When dancing it’s really natural for me to want to pull away a bit and look at my feet instead of rest up against a stranger and relax. It’s one thing to think “ya. I want to relax more and be more open”, and it’s been another to actually do it, especially in Tango. I’m giving it a try.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Today we went to a movie of a friend (Zach) of a friend (Dusty) who just happens to have a film (Bummer Summer)in a festival (BAFICI) that just happens to be going on right now in BA. Magically it all worked out, we made it to the movie AND ran into Zach (the producer) on the street outside of the movie theatre. I only recognize him from his blog posts that Dusty has shown me, so hopefully I didn't freak him out too much being being one of those people who comes up to you in a foreign country and knows all about you.

It was well worth it to check this out. First off it was fantastic to listen to english for a few hours. Also, I followed the production of this film a bit on their blog and I really loved the aesthetic of the photography on the blog. To my pleasant surprise the film was like one beatiful photograph after another, really fun to see. Also, another friend, Elna, that I know from New York just happened to be in the film too, which was filmed and took place in Oregon/Washington - weired.

Some lovely shots from the film below. . .

All in all it was pretty great.

Sneak Peak

Finally mini is back and running (for now) and Teri and I are scrambling to get stuff done while it's working. We leave for Patagonia early next week so we're trying to live it up here in BA while we can. So far I love/hate this city. One side it's super dirty, people aren't particularly friendly, and it really wears us out trying to get around here. On the other side it's been a blast seeing so many new things. I love the language, they have a beautiful dialect here. They also have great food, great parks, and a lot of beautiful architecture. They also have amazing shopping. At first we didn't think so and then we started figuring out where to go. They have tons of cute botiques here and the leather is especially amazing. Tons of great boots, shoes, and jackets. I never thought I was into leather jackets and there are sooo many beautiful ones here. This weekend we hope to do a lot of antique shopping too which I have heard is unparalelled. Hopefully the rest of the trip isn't as tempting as this place because I have had to have some serious self control with my wallet.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sooooo, mini computer already crashed. Turns out the NYC Craigslist special wasn´t what it was cracked up to be. Luckily uncle Gabriel (who lives here with Rose) happens to fix computers for a living is working on it and is letting us borrow his mini computer which has a spanish key pad. Now I´ll have a legit excuse for my poor grammar.
BA is very cool and interesting. The people aren´t espcially friendly, to be honest, but that said we have met a handful of gems. First off the people we´re staying with are unreal. They are so good to us and Rose, who is 20, is super sweet and fun to hang out with. We kick it with her whenever she´s not in school.

One thing about BA that´s so funny is that this place never sleeps. It´s 1:30 am and we can hear someone in the aparment building is playing a piano, yes, a piano. We haven´t had dinner before 9 o´clock since we´ve been here and it´s totally acceptable to wake up at noon. This is my kind of town.

Today Teri and I went to this famous old cemetary to walk around, take pictures and do some drawing. After wards we took the long way to the next area we wanted to go to and stumbled upon a lot of good stuff. Old ladies excersizing in the park, a botanical garden that for some reason is full of cats (and I mean FULL of cats), drummers at another park, lots of interesting things. Teri is my perpetual spanish sounding board. She´ll teach me all day and not get sick of explaining things which keeps me pretty entertained. We´ve eaten more empinadas and icecream than any two people should, but we´re just living it up while we can.

Anyways, stuffs is good. Love you all. Chau Chau.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

We Made It!

Prepare yourselves, this is about to turn into a travel blog. Upon Chelsea's suggestion (Chelsea you're a genious) we brought along a mini computer as our travel guide/flight booker/telephone and now blogger. For now we have internet so it's our little buddy.

Arrived in BA two (or three?) days ago and it is fantastico. Teri is trying to speak a ton of Spanish to me so my brain is currently throbbing, but I've already learned a lot and I even dare to talk to locals from time to time (as in say hello I mean).

We're staying with THE nicest people. A friend of Teri's aunt has an apartment here where her daughter currently lives while going to design school. They both act like we've all been friends forever and we have a lot of fun together. We went out with Rose (the daughter) last night and all of her Dominican friends (that's where she's from) and they don't go out to the clubs till 3 or 4! No joke. Teri and I showed up ready to go at like midnight at her friends apartment and then were so beat by 3 that we only lasted about an hour before we lost our groove.

Besides this we have been wondering through busy streets, through beautiful plazas and historic buildings. Going to some cool markets today. Everything is going swell and Teri is my golden ticket because she is the translator. If you ever want to ditch the US of A for a bit and head south you'll know where to find us!

Chau for now!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I want to break free

Teri just showed me this video and it is epic. Since youtube and I don't get along I can't figure out how to post, so you'll just have to do it the old school way and follow this link. You won't be sorry.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Flight neighbor

I guess the below post never was posted, but I swear I really did wake up at 5:00 am the other morning. It's been a whirlwind of a month and I couldn't be more satisfied about it.

Currently on an airplane sitting next to my new hero. Couldn't help but share because I am intrigued by this guy. He's from Idaho Falls, traveling home from Nepal where he spent 4 weeks trekking around with his lady friend. He's also 74 years old. He's proceeded to tell me about at least 8 other international trips that he's either been on in the last year or is going on in the next. Once he's back in Idaho he is headed south in his four wheel drive vehicle (I didn't ask the specifics) for some adventures in Southern Utah and Colorado. Back up to Salt Lake to pick up his new travel van (it's a Ford, I did catch that one) and then he's headed up to West Yellowstone. This guy is the man. He's given me a few jems like "you have to travel while you're young because if not you'll get old like me and not be able to fit in with all of the young hippie kids. Those kids are always smiling so they must be doing something right". He's also a proponent of not worrying so much about making money because what's the good in saving money for when you're old ? "Then you'll be too fat like me to do any of the fun stuff!"

We also ski on the same ski and just had a 20 minuet nerd out gear head conversation. Love this guys - WHAT A STUD

Just what I needed - a reminder of why I am so glad I'm headed to South America tomorrow even though I kind of feel like I have a hang over and that it's only going to get worse with 36 more hours of traveling ahead. I needed the pep talk.

Monday, April 5, 2010

New York I love you, but you're wearing me out . . . I just woke up, check your watches (or my post time) 5:11 a.m. Many of you may have thought I wasn't capable of such maddness, turns out I am. Sammie (new friend and happens to be an angel) is in a cab on her way to pick me up to take me to the flower district to get my clients apartment rigged out in beautiful greens, pinks, and more. I am more tired than I though I could be and so excited. Been working NON stop for the past 5 days on this project and it will be done in 6 hours. Photos to come.
I stole this photo from Jams blog because I love it. We're in the bathroom playing words with friends while Aly has a serious convo in the other room. This pretty much sums up my month. 3 bodies plus in our 400 sq ft apartment. Couldn't been one bit less privacy, more exhausting, or more fun for that matter. Not sure I'm ready for it to end tomorrow.