I´m grateful for living in a city where I don´t need a car (to find a parking spot in BA is an adventure)
One of the things I like the most about BA is that when I think I´ve seen it all, I find something I hadn´t seen before.
Like Lanin St.
The first time I heard about this street that is only three blocks long, was when a friend of mine told me about an art fair that he had been to. I made some reasearch and found out that an artist called Marino Santamaría painted the facade of his studio using vibrant colors and the neighbors followed him decorating their facades too.
The street soon became known as a cultural place where plastic artists gathered for outdoor exhibits and a meeting point for cultural activities of different kinds.
As you can imagine, I was curious enough to visit the place and take some pictures. Here are some for you to see:
Buenos Aires is visited by people from all over the world. There are certain neighborhoods you really don´t know where you are. You hear English, French, German, Portuguese, etc and you wonder if you´ll be able to find a person who speaks your own language!!
It´s very common to find tourists taking pictures. In general, people don´t object to that. If you ask the owner of a bar if you can take pictures of the place, he will probably be glad you do it while he asks lots of questions such as where you are from, what places you have visited so far, if you like the city.
Today I wanted to take pictures of a restaurant from the outside and there was this waiter in the sidewalk handing out fliers, offering the executive menu. I was minding my own business, camera in hand, when this guy saw me shooting two mannequins that were at the main door. He said nothing but he walked to the door and stayed there, blocking my view. He wouldn´t move and I couldn´t take pictures.
I found it so annoying since I´m sure nobody asked him to do that. That restaurant has been photographed by hundreds of people before me and it will be after me. I didn´t want to make a big fuss about it so I just left, thinking of coming back some minutes later. But he was still there and I had to come back to my office.
Maybe next time I have better luck. So this is the only picture I can show you (I took 3 or 4 but they are very much alike).
One of the things I like about BA is that there is always something going on. And I always happen to find unusual things.
Today -again- I offered to run some errands. I wonder why I don´t look for a job as an errand-girl? Not a bad idea!
I was on my way back when I saw a long line of people waiting for … who knows? paying bills in an improvised stand in the street? That it´s weird, at least where I live.
When I came closer I realized that they were mannequins and that the stand read “slow collect”. Then I saw a real person taking the last place in the queue. And that there were cameramen.
But I couldn´t find out what it was about. Now I´m curious!!
NOTE: In BA there is a chain of stores called “Fast payment”. It´s like a bank but you just can pay bills such as electricity, phone, credit cards, etc. It´s supposed to be faster than a bank but it has become so popular that sometimes you have to wait for a long time. I associate it with it. As I soon as I find out, I´ll let you know!
Walking has a soothing effect on me, clears my mind so when I feel anxious about something, I go for a walk. I chose quiet streets but it´s a large city so I inevitably end up in some noisy ones. And sometimes, the noise is too much for me and look for quieter places to hide. And sometimes I get lucky and find hidden treasures.
This is a University. I have walked past it several times and admired the architecture but never occurred to me that I could take a look inside.
But I saw an open door and decided to take a peek.
I had this strange feeling of having crossed a time line. It was like going back in time and entering an unknown dimension.
I spent some time with the lady, in silence. Then I got a phone call from 2011 and had to answer. I had to go back home.
I had to run some errands, in fact, I didn´t have to. I offered. I didn´t want to be at the office, it was one of those days you feel like a lion in a cage?
It was rainy but I did not care. I had my newly acquired translucent umbrella, my camera inside a ziplock bag and flip-flops. What else did I need to survive the dangers of the wet streets?
Off I went, like a brave and courageous woman. No rain would stop me, no words of discouragement would sink in, no possible danger would undermine my decision. I was determined to be out of the cage. Even if I had to battle against pirates.
Errands done, no more rain, I didn´t slide or fall or whatever. I didn´t have to fight against any pirate. And I laughed at the thought. Pirates in BA? That would be something !
Now I had some free time ahead and decided to treat myself with a nice cup of coffee. It´s very easy to find a coffee shop in that area but I was looking for some place new or original. Special in some way.
All of the sudden, I saw it. And I knew it was just perfect. It just cracked me up.
And instead of fighting against the pirates, I just shared with them a pint of beer!!
Caballito (literally “little horse”) is one of those neighborhoods that is changing radically. It used to be a residential area with large houses with patios, big windows, gardens. Now, every time I see a “sold” sign at the front of a house I know that it will be replaced by an ugly tall building.
I feel it so much because I spent my childhood playing with my friends in these streets and I used to know the neighborhood like the palm of my hand.
Sometimes, I just get lost in the less crowded streets where I still can sense the neighborhood I used to know. It is a joy to find pieces of art on my way. And of course, I shoot, not to kill !! but to preserve the spirit of those streets the way I remember them.
As you know, I´m embarked upon this project “Scavenger Hunt”. I have to find ten items in the city and photograph them. One of the items from last week was an alley so I went to Palermo for my shot.
Of course, the picture was just an excuse to go for a walk in one of my favorite neighborhoods. It has many attractions and one of them is its murals.
I always find something new, some piece of art that I know will fade away till it is completely gone. Taking pictures of these murals is a way to preserve them from the passage of time, before the weather takes its toll and erases them for good.