November 10th - CHURCH OF SAN TELMO
Every morning I wake up and look across the roof-top terrace to the arches in the sky. Sky blue meets sky blue. Reaching, hoping Dad will put him on His shoulders.
The Church of San Telmo is on Umberto 1º, right around the corner. However, it functions as a mueseum. I think this is because there has been little to no religiosity, at least that I have observed. God does not strike fear as much as the sidewalks scattered with dog shit do.
Architecture of the rich everywhere. The bones of a not so long ago past. Culture, too, thrives everywhere. Proof is just before the mueseum. You can barely see it past the trees and cement wall: the abandoned orphanage, huérfano.
It is massive with 10-ft rod-iron fences that stand guard on the 10-ft high concrete barricade. Keeping purity in and reality out. Or, the other way around?
Angela, our superintendent, told me that a branch of the government bought the building and is investing $9 million in converting it into an Hispanic cultural centre. Art. Mueseums. Film. This is San Telmo.
Nonetheless, I wonder as to how quickly the project will get underway. I saw a bulldozer yesterday taking down some of the external growth, but when is the deadline? Are there deadlines in Bs. As.? It seems that the hush rush of N.A. has not jumped these scaling walls. (I have just recently found out that construction starts this week. Pretty neat.)
Same same but different.
November 11th, 2009 - A DAY IN PALERMO
Yesterday, we decided to check out another neighbourhood that´s supposed to be the hot spot for day-shopping and nightlife. The area is called Palermo, about 45 blocks (ok, exaggeration) from San Telmo. Nonetheless, the subway, or subte, should have been a pretty direct line. It shouldn´t take long.
We got to the subte station Independencia where there was a small gathering of people sitting under the shade next to the entrance. We didn´t even notice the banners as we quizzically stared at the bolted doors.
"Chicos, lo tenes."
Apparently, the subte workers were on strike. Ah, just our luck. Palermo, the unwalkable, needed to be reached by bus. So we walked to find the nearest bus stop to take us there. And we walked. We bought a Guia-T, the map of bus routes, and planned our route. Well, none of the 59, 64, nor 111s were going to Palermo. We walked for blocks trying to find somewhere/one that could tell us something. While we were walking along Avenida 9 de Julio, we were captivated by these massive arboles that centred the median. The trunks were comparable to some of the largest trunks I´ve seen, and I´ve been out West. The roots raised in a sharp, articulated gesture. As if the tree were sitting down and bending its knees. It looked like a tree from The Lion King, or something.
There were fences around the trees but by no means deterring. We could quite clearly see the whole structure of the trees. Shockingly, within the depths of these raised roots, the crevasses of these glacial trunks, were homeless people taking their siestas. You could barely make out the figures within, just the shoes that stuck out the ends. There were so many of these nests. No, more morbid than that. There were so many of these tombs.
Shaking off the eerie thought we finally found an info station. We asked a tourist information kiosko at the obelisk what bus we should take. The 67 on Libertad to Plaza Italia. Gracias.
Palermo was beautiful. Tree-lined streets, parks, shops, restaurants, patios, pet stores, BOOK STORES, cafeterías. Everything.
It was all so overwhelming that we had to stop for a beer rest. While sipping on a litre of Iguana beer, a magician appeared.
He did a this and a that with little applauses here and there from his audience of 3. But, something about it made me uneasy. Another "rival" magician appeared and sat with us. He made gestures for the original magician to show us some more tricks. They both mumbled. Never speaking.
The first magician left, making curious faces. The second left and walked a little ways down the street. He kept looking back at us.
The orginal magician came back and mumbled, "that guy, don´t trust him. Me, you can trust me. Don´t worry about your purse with me."
Ok, Maggy said, I´m paying and we are outta here.
I couldn´t help but wonder if the two were in it together. If one was meant as a distractor and the other the ´trusting, charismatic, quick-handed´front man.
Nonetheless, Palermo, you´re not bad.
Sitting at Lezama for dinner, we found out that we could stay at the ´pad´in San Telmo until Christmas Eve. Relief sunk in.
November 12th, 2009 - LAS ESTRELLAS
Last night and all of yesterday we took it pretty easy. Long days of hot sun and not enough siesta-ing.
Whilst the homies took advantage of a pillow and high noon, I sat on the terrace to enjoy a book, a glass of wine and the sun. It was in that moment that I realized this is what makes me happiest. It became the perfect day all because I didn´t do anything.
Later, after an appetizer we went up to the star-lit terrace with some wine. I looked up and to my right saw Venus, in all her brilliance. Or, so I think. My right-hand lady. She had fallen since I last saw her, but her brilliance was still powerful.