Friday, July 31, 2009

Painted Wild Life in Argentina

Grafitti Mural Rhinoceros Launching an Attack in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Recently I have learnt something about rhinocerotidae. As a matter of fact, rhinoceroses are three-toed, either one or two-horned and the smallest of their kind is Sumatran. These animals are native to Africa, India and southern Asia.
I have reasons to believe there is an Argentine subspecies, too. For those who don't trust me I have photographic evidence to prove it. So, it is my honorable duty to aptly name it and I proudly cognominate it diceros bicornis argentiniensis coeruleus. Attention, the big blue guy looks like he is about to launch a running attack targeting you. Because of his size and the fact that the Javan Rhinoceros has only one horn, I put two and two together and conclude this specimen is closely related to the African type. In the end, rhinos and graffiti have one thing in common: Both may be extant one day and extinct the next!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Working Hands: Confitería Argentina

Working Hands are about to Wrap Facturas / Pastries in a Bakery in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Today I'd like to introduce you to facturas, one of Argentina's sweet delights. Facturas is how pastries are called in South America, especially in Argentina and Uruguay. Basically, there are bigillions of these sugar-carb bombs out there in Buenos Aires. Three at a time, however, were more than enough to satisfy my munchies. I'm not ready to become a tubby yet. ;)
So, what do we have here? The black one is called tortita negra, the piece between the tongs is a medialuna con dulce de leche and, last but not least, the one in the basket is a medialuna de manteca dusted with powdered sugar. Medialunas are the Argentine croissants and are exceedingly tasty. It's needless to say that this sweet stuff is best accompanied by a hot café con leche. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Buenos Aires’ Building Boom

Building Boom in Puerto Madero Buenos Aires, Argentina
To build or not to build is not always a matter of demand. There is an increasingly high number of newly accomplished buildings popping up on the real estate market of Buenos Aires. I don't want to know how many of these office and apartment buildings will stand empty after completion forming a deserted ghost town. Frankly, there are thousands of people who would and could fill these buildings with life but cannot afford it. I do know these buildings are not projected to make the world a better place, but you can't stop me from dreaming.
Apropos, this isn't a phenomenon that arises only in Argentina. Have you ever heard of the new ghost towns in Spain? Ciudad Valdeluz, for instance, is a completely newly constructed city for approx. 30,000 inhabitants, but has in fact not more than 197 after all. — And it doesn't look like it's going to get any better.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Selling Burnt Almonds

Two Guys at a Sweets Stand near Plaza Dorrego in the San Telmo Neighborhood in Buenos Aires, Argentina
I like these street scenes telling you a story of the city. The guy in the red jacket was waiting, maybe for his wife, his kid, or Godot, to come out of the polyclinic right behind him. While doing so, he observed the world around him; once in a while he small talked with the guy beside him who had a stand with pistachios and burnt almonds to sell to passer-bys. Obviously his business went so slow this morning that he decided to become his own best customer. The pack he was just about to open was for himself. I caught him in the act.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Creative Elevator Door Decoration in Centro Cultural Borges

Artfully Decorated Elevator Doors in the Centro Cultural Borges in Buenos Aires, Argentina
How to pimp a plain, boring looking elevator? Just take a paintbrush, some color and, most importantly, be creative when painting some ornaments on its doors. Well, lift decoration has become very popular over the last few years. You see these artistic works more and more often, at least in Buenos Aires. Even the advertising industry has discovered that elevator ads are one of the most innovative and unique advertising mediums today. This fancy lift door decoration, however, is no advertisement. The elevators are located in the Centro Cultural Borges and were artfully adorned with some black line drawings. Very eye-catching!
What do you think about using lift door for advertising?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

In Commemoration of the 57th Anniversary of the Death of Evita Perón

Principal Remembrance Plate on the Mausoleum of Evita Peron in the Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Today is the 57th anniversary of María Eva Duarte de Perón's death. The principal remembrance plate to honor her was attached to the mausoleum of her family in 1982; 30 years after Evita had died. It says (roughly translated):

Q.E.P.D. (Que En Paz Descanse)
1952, 26 de Julio - 1982
No me llores perdida ni lejana,
yo soy parte esencial de tu existencia,
todo amor y dolor me fue previsto,
cumplí mi humilde imitación de Cristo,
quien anduvo en mi senda que la siga.

RIP (Rest in Peace)
1952, 26 of July - 1982
Don't cry for me being lost and distant,
I'm an essential part of your existence.
All love and pain for me were predetermined,
I accomplished my humble emulation of Christ.
Who pursued my example shall carry on!
Her Disciples

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Giant Key Sign Advertising Safety-Deposit Boxes

Banelco Safety Deposit Box Sign in the Streets of Buenos Aires, Argentina
Looking for a bank with a safe-deposit box section in Buenos Aires? Well, almost there. At least you've found the sign you have to watch out for. Frankly, my first impression of that sign was this is a key service where you can duplicate your home keys. Banelco, an acronym for Banca Electronica, is an ATM network that is affiliated with the VISA/Plus system, and probably the most widespread in Argentina. By the way, it can be pretty annoying for foreigners to access their cash in Buenos Aires. The limit for a single withdrawal is subject to change and differs from one ATM provider to another and depends also on your debit or credit card. In addition, they might charge you a withdrawal fee. The good news is the limit on ATM withdrawals seems to have been raised to A$R 750, at least at Banelco machines.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Rusty House with a Skirted Balcony in La Boca

Charming Rusty House in Zolezzi Street in the La Boca neighborhood in Buenos Aires, Argentina
This house with the rusty facade is to be found in close proximity to the Estadio Alberto J. Armando. The famous football stadium in the La Boca neighborhood is much better known as "La Bombonera", home of the Boca Juniors. Buenos Aires — well, actually, the entire nation of Argentina — is acknowledged to be extremely football-enthusiastic. The Porteños like to name streets after their beloved football personalities. This street was named after Antonio L. Zolezzi who was a former president of the soccer club Atlético River Plate in 1912 and for the period from 1925 to 1927. Be it as it may, I love the house not only for its rusty charm, but because of the fancy skirt around the balcony.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Store Shelf Packed with Yerba Mate

Shelf Full of All Different Kinds of Yerba Mate Tea in a Grocery Store in Montevideo, Uruguay
Like coffee and tea, not all yerba mate tastes the same. Still, it's always dazzling to see all those different brands and styles on one and the same thing. I personally don't taste any difference between all these sorts of Mate, but maybe this is because of the fact I haven't tried all yet. Yerba mate is mainly consumed in countries like Argentina and Uruguay. I found this shelf in a small grocery store in Montevideo which explains the hefty price tag; it's in Uruguayan peso.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Buenos Aires Subterráneo Sign Fail

Don't Hug the Train Sign in the Subte of Buenos Aires, Argentina
There is this voice again telling us about the importance of keeping humor in mind at all times. Since I saw this sign I believe that also sign designers keep humor in mind even though the humor is some sort of wry. I'm not sure if I understand the sign correctly but I guess it is saying: Do not embrace the train! Aw, c'mon, don't be such a kill-joy! This is exactly what everybody wants to do, right?
Kidding aside, I'm not convinced that someone who wants to jump off the platform can be stopped by a sign like this.
In what way do you perceive this sign?

There's another sign fail post on Buenos Aires Perception:
Beware of Businessmen in Buenos Aires?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Wheelbarrow BBQ at a Construction Site

Street Asado at a Construction Site in the Once Neighborhood in Buenos Aires, Argentina
If you are a focused, attentive reader you will remember my post about the vast number of construction sites and revitalization works throughout Buenos Aires. This site caught my attention because of the wheelbarrow on fire. Well, the fire wasn't build because it was so cold that day. It was made to have a street version of an asado. The asado is the South American version of the barbecue. It is quite common that construction workers use their wheelbarrow as a parrilla, put charcoal in it, set the stuff on fire, prepare the meat and place the steaks on the preheated grill-wire. What an ingenious misuse of a wheelbarrow!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Funny Shit

Poodle Dog Just Finished Pooping on a Sidewalk in Buenos Aires, Argentina
I've been tracking the search terms that brought people to Buenos Aires Perception lately. So, here are some assorted search phrases including some comments from yours truly. No offense to anyone who used these search terms!

  • used yellow citroen 2cv dolly palermo buenos aires argentina
    - Dude, where's my car? *LOL*

  • "buenos aires is"
    - ... big, bright, bountiful, brilliant, bizarre, bogus, blunt, breathtaking, beautiful and bohemian!

  • are stores closed on revolution day in buenos aires?
    - Well, if that day ever comes I'm pretty sure all stores will be closed then. Keep me updated!

  • ice delivery niagara falls
    - Niagara what? Falls? No offense buddy, but go for the real thing. Check out Iguazu Falls! (:

  • is buenos aires noisy
    - Whaaaat? Speak up, I cannot hear you! Buenos Aires is so noisy!!

  • liked montevideo a lot
    - Yeah, me too!

  • qayxswedc
    - Really? I didn't know that. Thanks for letting me know!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Offshore Silicon Valley in Buenos Aires

IBM Affiliate in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Offshore outsourcing is the controversial practice of moving jobs overseas, to countries where labor costs less. After the peso devaluation in 2002 Argentina has become more and more attractive for companies that seek to move work to offshore locations in order to cut costs and maximize profits. Especially IT companies that operate in software development and maintenance services have discovered the geographical advantages of Buenos Aires over traditional destinations in Asia and appreciate the close proximity to the US. The list of firms forming this offshore Silicon Valley in downtown Buenos Aires reads like the who's who in information technology and software engineering such as IBM, Microsoft, Cisco and Sun Microsystems.
Is offshoring a job machine or a job killer?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Beautiful Women of Buenos Aires

Some Philosophizing About Beauty in the Metro of Buenos Aires, Argentina
Beauty is indeed relative and is truly in the eye of the beholder. It is said that Argentina, specifically Buenos Aires, has the most beautiful women in the world. Surely this big reputation creates a temptation to perfection. Argentina is also known for its relatively large number of cosmetic surgery. Is this just a coincidence? I guess it must be hard to resist. Even the president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, is not immune to this temptation. She is always dressed up and well-known for her fashion expenses.
What do you think is beauty a blessing or a curse?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Weird Snake Wall Painting in San Telmo

Grim Snake Mural in the San Telmo neighborhood of Buenos Aires, Argentina
I chanced upon this mural while walking through the barrio of San Telmo and was wondering what's up with that weird image. It appeared pretty grim to me and not as cheerful as others I have seen in the past. I don't think there are any hidden metaphors here that are too deep, however, it remains a bit hard to grasp.
By the way, can you spot the telephone distribution box?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

Cobblestone Road in Barrio Historico, the Old City Center of Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay
Colonia del Sacramento, a small provincial town directly across the Silver River from Buenos Aires, is a nice and silent refuge for stressed metropolitans and tourists alike. Founded in 1680 by the Portuguese colonial administrator Manuel de Lobo, it remained the only permanent Portuguese settlement along the Rio de la Plata. A special site worth seeing is the old historic quarter, the Barrío Historico, which was named an UNESCO heritage site in the mid 1990s.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Zen Way of Parking

Buddha Parking in the Palermo Neighborhood in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Everyone can practice Zen Buddhism in any desired way. Buenos Aires, however, offers one more possibility: Buddha parking! As every Buddhist already knows, the Zen way is the complete opposite of the common western mantra. Buddhists neither try to dominate other people nor do they try to control events. Kudos!
But still, I don't get it. Do they really park differently, too? Marketing ploy or legit?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Buenos Aires on Second Place in Best City Ranking

El Obelisco in the Center of Avenida Nueve de Julio in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Ooooh, how I love these rankings, because they are just stupid nonsense. I think rankings in general are a very poor measure for anything and made for people who refuse to think for themselves and love to have everything classified into the smallest possible category.
Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that Buenos Aires ranks second at World's Best Cities Award of the Travel + Leisure Magazine. Isn't it amazing? It's already the second year in a row that Buenos Aires is the second-favored choice by travelers. Isn't that amazing, too? The chances for 2009 are also pretty good if the worldwide economic crisis will not foil this year's poll.
Yeah, there's just one rival left - Bangkok - we will kick your *** out of the match! Hooray! (:

Monday, July 13, 2009

Revitalizing Buenos Aires

Haciendo Buenos Aires, Construction Work in Defensa Street in the San Telmo Neighbothood
The city administration of Buenos Aires pushes a wave of street constructions and renovations since last spring. Everywhere in the city, construction sites are shooting up like mushrooms. These guys are working on the revitalization of Defensa Street in San Telmo. They replace old pipes and repair the sewer system in general. Well, then. Haciendo Buenos Aires!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sleeping Cat on Car Trunk

Sleeping Lolcat on a Car Trunk in Buenos Aires, Argentina
"Nah, buzz off! I wanna sleeping. Iz time for my cat nap. Yu can't has your car now!" Hmm, seems there are some of these funny Lolcats out there, too, in Buenos Aires. This cat is making a nap on someone's car trunk and doesn't want to be bothered. Actually, I've never seen such relaxed cats before as in the busy streets of Buenos Aires. There are thousands of stray cats living the urban wild life and get fed by locals.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Chilly Airs and Wafts of Mist

Creeping Winter Morning Mist Outside the Suburbs of Buenos Aires, Argentina
The winter morning mist was creeping over the groves and meadows near Buenos Aires. Only the early riser can take advantage of this mystical atmosphere. This morning the fog was pretty dense and the visibility was quite poor. The mist draped everything in infinite melancholy and tenderness. The fog evoked a mood of vagueness that was dissolved only by the rising sun. Every season has its own enchantment.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Faculty of Law - University of Buenos Aires

Faculdad de Derecho Law School in the Recoleta Neighborhood Buenos Aires, Argentina
The UBA, the Universidad de Buenos Aires, is Argentina's largest and most prestigious university with over 300,000 students enrolled in 13 faculties. Its number of academic staff has reached almost 30,000. These are amazing numbers. The building that has a certain affinity to an ancient Greek temple is the School of Law and Social Sciences. It has been design in 1938 by Arturo Ochoa, Ismael Chiapore and Pedro Vivent and was finally built in 1949 during the Perón administration.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo Memory March

Mothers o the  Plaza de Mayo Peacefully Protesting in Front of the Casa Rosada in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Every week, always on Thursday 3:30 PM, the Madres de Plaza de Mayo come together to protest silently for a sad cause. They gather in front of the Casa Rosada presidential palace in the center of Buenos Aires to remind people of a painful period in Argentine history that today is known as the Dirty War. The women march in memory and remembrance of their children and grandchildren who had been "disappeared" during the military dictatorship between 1976 and 1983. Every mother wears a white head scarf with the names of their abducted children and family members embroidered in blue letters. The mothers and their supporters demand information from the government about the whereabouts of the desaparecidos. The white head scarf has become the unique symbol for this political movement which is by now over 30 years old. I adore their unbending courage and the never ending endurance in this fight for justice.

There is another picture post on this matter:
Stumble Stones Mark Painful Junta Past

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Low Fall From a High End

Sudden End of the Highway Ruta Nacional 1, aka La Plata Autopista in the Puerto Madero Neighborhood in Buenos Aires, Argentina
The abrupt cut of this street marks the ending of the Autopista between Buenos Aires and La Plata, also known as La Ruta Nacional 1. The remaining lanes lead to the Autopista 25 de Mayo that will get you to the Ezeiza International Airport. The sudden end of the lanes looks pretty unfinished just as if a future extension is planned. In fact, I have no clue whether this is an extension point or the final state of the construction work. Let's hope nobody will ever fall off this urban cliff.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Original Version of "Metropolis" Rediscovered in Buenos Aires

Old Cinema Posters at an Exhibition about the Amigos del Arte in the MALBA in Buenos Aires, Argentina
About a year ago the news of the sensational rediscovery of the original version of Fritz Lang's "Metropolis" went around the globe. The find of this uncut version in the archives of the film museum Museo del Cine in Buenos Aires is so important because it contains key scenes that were considered to be lost forever after the movie was radically cut because of a disappointing premiere. These 30 minutes long scenes could give a completely new view on the dramaturgical plot. Metropolis is a historic masterpiece of early cinematography and the most important silent movie in German history. The original cut of the dystopia had its premiere in Berlin on January 10, 1927. Metropolis is probably the most famous science fiction movie ever and has influenced and inspired writers, movie producers and directors down to the present day. The 16-millimeter negatives are currently under restoration and will be most likely shown at next year's Berlinale in Germany.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Only Cycling is faster

Everyday Traffic Jam on Avenida Nueve Julio in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Who's got time to grow old in traffic?
The average speed for a journey by car in downtown Buenos Aires is damn sluggish. The moment the picture was taken we were driving 24 kilometers per hour, almost our maximum speed that morning. I wonder why our cities were made so car friendly in the last 50 years and yet don't work as needed. You may know that problem from your city as well. This avenue, the Nueve de Julio, is supposed to be the biggest street in the world but most of the time the street is congested. Oddly enough, streets were obviously built to suit more and more cars, but they were not built for transport efficiency and travel comfort.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Unique El Ateneo Bookstore

El Ateno Grand Splendid, a Unique Bookstore in the Avenida Santa Fe in Barrio Norte in Buenos Aires, Argentina
What's so unique about the El Ateneo bookstore in Avenida Santa Fe in Buenos Aires? It is so distinctive because of the interior of the building the store resides in. The magnificent building was conceived as a theater in the first place. Back in 1919, the Grand Splendid Theater was inaugurated and had been a place of activity for only a few years. In 1929 the theater was converted into a cinema which existed for more than 80 years. In the late 1990s the building once more was converted into the exceptional bookstore you see in the picture.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Gold of South America

Dulce de Leche 1KG Portions in a Shop Front Display in Buenos Aires, Argentina
This grocery store sells 1kg cans of Dulce de Leche for about U$S6.5. Dulce de Leche is the true gold of South America, gold that is hoarded on your love handles to be exact. The sweet spread consists mainly of three basic components, sugar, milk and fat. It looks and tastes like a crème caramel dessert and can be spread e.g. on bread or toast. Actually, there is hardly a thing Argentinean wouldn't add some Dulce to. They have dulce de leche-flavored ice cream, cookies and cakes and even soda and other beverages.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Street Vendor Selling Chocolate Bars in Buenos Aires

Street Vendor Selling Chocolate in the Puerto Madero neighborhood of Buenos Aires, Argentina
If you take a walk through Buenos Aires you will notice many street vendors selling any kind of goods in the streets of the city. This woman was offering chocolate bars to passer-bys. While she is probably selling ice cream and popsicles in summer, chocolate, of course, is much more in demand in winter. Her business is tough at all seasons and I watched numerous people decline. Still, she had a good site between Microcentro, the business district, and Puerto Madero. There at least she can count on some solvent clientele.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Large Assortment of Nostalgic Phones with a Past

Nostalgic Telephones in an Antique Store in the San Telmo neighborhood of Buenos Aires, Argentina
If I happened to be a movie production designer or a set decorator and I had to recreate an illusion of Buenos Aires back in its glory days, I knew where to go first. I would start my search for particular items for the set in San Telmo, which is full of these vintage collectible and antique stores. I really like to browse these stores because you'll find so many things that were already outdated several decades before I was born. It's just fun to see these gorgeous items. Sometimes I wonder what people will think about our state-of-the-art tech and gadgets such as the iPhone, the XBox or Netbooks in about a hundred years from now. Psychic abilities, anyone?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Empty Words, Empty Phrases, Empty Promises

Campaign Poster for Cristina Kirchner Calling for a March toward Plaza de Mayo: POR UNA ARGENTINA PARA TODOS
Some of you might have thought yesterday's post were already my contribution to the July's theme day "empty", it was not. An empty beach would have been so obvious, easy, though, but not creative.
My interpretation of "empty" is an old campaign poster for Cristina Kirchner calling for a march toward Plaza de Mayo. "For an Argentina for all" The slogan sounds really great and worthwhile but it is nothing more than a shallow, empty promise. Politicians in general, tend to come out with a lot of empty speeches with even more empty words. They promise you everything until they get (re)elected, and the very next day they don't give a hoot about you. I really wonder who buys these hollow phrases anymore. In Cristina's case, the legislative elections last Sunday have put an end to her style of politics.
Don't get me wrong, I'm neither for nor against the Kirchners. I don't give a s**t about politics, politicians are obsolete and all I just said are empty phrases...

If you like to see more contributions from other members of the CDP community: Click here to view thumbnails for all participants