Monday, March 31, 2014

"I Wanna Be a Part of BA, Buenos Aires..."

Don't cry for me, Argentina. 

The truth is I tremendously enjoyed my first day in Buenos Aires.

My flight from Rio on GOL airlines was perfectly smooth. Utilizing an inexpensive airport bus that took me to a central location from which a car took me to my hotel, I arrived at the Argenta Tower and Suites around 2pm.

I knew Paolo's flight was arriving about 40 to 60 minutes behind mine, so after checking into my room I killed some time listening to the Cubs Pirates game on WGN Radio through my MLB At Bat app.

Paolo arrived, but unbeknownst to me was on a different flight from his friend Suzanne with whom he had been in Chile.

So as he checked in and settled in, I went a wandering.

That first 90 minutes of activity in Buenos Aires, which included walking a grand boulevard called Av 9 Julio, seeing an obelisk monument and the Teatro Colon, then proceding to the Plaza de Mayo to see the Casa Rosada--the former presidential palace where Eva Peron famously spoke to the throngs in the square--and back to my hotel past the Torre de Inglesis, photographing everything of course, was more enthralling than anything I experienced in Rio de Janeiro.

Perhaps it's because Buenos Aires--as has often been referenced--feels quite European with grand architecture, many monuments and open spaces, but it just had a vibe that I really relished.

After Suzanne arrived, we ventured to pick up our Lollapalooza tickets from a store we were referenced to by the official ticket vendor, only to learn that such pickup had ended a week ago.

So will have to get the tickets at the Lollapalooza grounds, whose distance from the central area of Buenos Aires is already posing questions about how to get there and back, and now it seems we'll have to head there even earlier than I might have planned.

So I plan to wake up early and do a bit more roaming on my own, and then head to Lollapalooza with Paolo and Suzanne. I don't physically like the festival experience much anymore, but plan to take things at my own speed. I'm looking forward to seeing Nine Inch Nails and Arcade Fire, or perhaps just hearing them.

So I'll cut this off in a moment to get to bed, but wanted to note the excellent dinner we had at a place Paolo knew of called Cabana Las Lilas. He says its known as one of the best steakhouses in South America.

It isn't a churriscaria like in Brazil; rather I--and Paolo--got a big piece of steak called Bife de Chorizo, which despite the name isn't made of sausage, but rather a nice cut of beef. I don't think I liked it as much as steaks earlier this year at CUT in Las Vegas and Smith & Wollensky in Chicago, but it was nonetheless quite tasty.

And including a number of sides and drinks the bill came to only about $40 per person. I like this Argentinian exchange rate; even a taxi back to the hotel from dinner was only about $3.75. We couldn't take the Metro for less than that.

I appreciate anyone who's been reading each of these recaps; I enjoy sharing my adventures with you. Given the expectation of getting back to the hotel from Lollapalooza quite late the next two nights, I don't know if I'll be posting until perhaps even Friday.

But BA has been great so far, and tomorrow and Wednesday it should really rock.

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