Buenos Aires Travel Blog › entry 2 of 2 › view all entries
May 28th, 2006 – by: pursuingelation
Perhaps the only major exception to this "speed-walking" norm is that of the Elderly, and those who are walking with elderly. The Elderly in Buenos Aires walk the streets in surprising numbers, somthing else that i´ve not noticed in other cities. As they walk the city, they do it at their own individual pace, as would be expected. Most pedestrian I see, pass Elderly on the sidewalks, just as they would pass a slow moving car, quite possibly driven by an elderly person. In this way, I guess walking in Buenos Aires corrolates with driving in the states on several levels. In the states, we drive if we want to get somewhere. People drive to airports. They drive to marta trians. Some even drive to busses. Here they walk to busses. They walk to Trains. Some may even walk to the airport. We drive everywhere. Here they walk everywhere. Similarly, some people in the states drive very fast, others very slow. Elderly generally drive slowly in the states. Here people Often walk very fast, but others walk slower. The Elderly walk much more slowly. In Atlanta, when people walk, many of them do not pass each other, they tend to join thew flow of the people in fron of them when they come to someone going the same way. Here, and it may be because of the crowding, drivers often stay where they are in ranks. They follow the flow. The majority of cab drivers i´ve been with didn`t try to pass tht much, even when they could. Some did try to pass. Just like when walking in Atlanta, there are some people that pass everyone while walking, whether by habbit or because they are in a hurry. It seems similar in the driving situation here.
Also on the topic of the elderly here. There are so many out in public. It`s surprising to me. I walk around and see people far oldr than my grandparents walking up and down the sidewalks of this immense city. I`ve come to several possible conclusions as to contributing factors. One is the walking. The walking around that they do, that surprises me, also give them the exersize that allows them to continue walking around. it`s like an exersize cycle. They are able to exersize because they stay fit. They stay fit because they exersize. They exersize because they have to to get thing, perhaps. I see some very old people walking with their children or grandchildren helping them along, but i see others that walk around the city alone. The fact that they do this, leads me to believe that they are probably more independent than a person of similar ge in the states. That independence neccecitates the physicl level that they are in. This culture of walking everywhere for your whole life keeps them in the shape that they need to be independent, then the staying independent continues to keep them in shape. It`s a wonderful system that results in far more elderly walking the streets than i´ve ever seen in my life. I believe that large cities in other places like the u.s., such as new york, give their citizens this similar level of exersize from walking, but i´ve never heard of or noticed the number of elderly being about being large in these place. if the number of elderly around is not as high in those places, then i would be interested to find out why it is not so.
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May 28th, 2006 – by: pursuingelation
I haven´t spent a significant amount of time in many big cities. I have lived around Atlanta my whole life. I haven´t traveled very extenseively in the United States. I´ve never been to New York, Chicago, or L.A. However, Buenos Aires quite possibly has the highest average walking speed of any city i´ve experienced.
Walking round Atlanta, I seldom see anyone who appears to be walking "fast." This could easily be because Atlanta is where i´ve grown up and Atlanta is "normal" for me. However, when i´ve been to Washington D.C., Curitiba, Brazil, Manheim, Germany, and various other cities in Brazil, Germany, and the southeatern United States, i don´t recall many people going at any pace other than that which i consider "normal." This leads me to believe that this city is at least among a crowd of cities where individuals walk at a relatively fast pace.
When walking down the street here, i quite often walk at a pace that i would consider "speed walking." I love to tke in all the sights as i go by, but i can take them in more quickly then take in the sights at my destination more thouroughly once i arrive, if i walk quickly. In addition to that perspective of mine, the city seems to almost beckon you to walk quickly. The cars are in near constant motion, when the light turns yellow, they race off. The other pedestrian are usually walking at a similarly rapid rate.
May 28th, 2006 – by: pursuingelation
This blog is dedicated to the fashion of Buenos Aires
. This city has some very distinctive trends going on. The fashion is in no way what I expected. In my past trips to Brazil, most of the male's wore bright colors and flashy clothes. The shoes were very distinctive, with squared off toes. They have kind of a duck bill look. Since the first time I went to Brazil three years ago, these style shoes seem to have become very popular in the states. At the trendy boutique's of Virginia Highlands and the boutique style shops on malls such as phipps plaza, lenox, and perimeter they sell brands such as diesel and others that make shoes in this style. These shoes, however, are the trendy exception, and not the rule in shoe fashion in the states. For females in Brazil, I often saw very high heels, lots of leather and intricate leather work for wrapping around the ankle and calf. The clothes for females were generally very tight, and flattering. The hair styles i saw were never particularly "Strange by my standards. very similar to the states, with males with short hair usually, and sometimes shoulder length. Females usually had long conservative hair styles. I must say that I am in favor of most styles I have witnessed in Brazil. I am also very eager to see what is worn in the larger cities we will be traveling to such as Sao Paulo and Rio, seeing as my experience has been in smaller towns.
Coming to Buenos Aires with little basis for an expectation of anything other than what i had witnessed in my only previous exposure to South American culture, I was expecting similar styles of dress here. I was quite surprised to see nearly the opposite of my expectations. As oppose to the Brazilian flashy colors, the citizens of Buenos Aires generally wear very bland dull muted colors. Earth tones are very prevalent. One can feel like a blatant "soar thumb," standing out for all to see by merely wearing a shirt with 3 obvious colors or any color warmer than a burgundy or tope. The color rule appears to hold true for the vast majority of male and female dress. The majority of young females i see in Buenos Aires have loose fitting clothes, something that contrasts Brazil just as strikingly as the colors in clothing. The shoe fashion of Buenos Aires fascinated me as well. Both male and females of my age group appear to be in love with converse all-stars, or "chucks" as they are some time's referred to in the states. One of my argentine friends made a point of pointing out people wearing converses and expressing her approval of the style. I never saw her wear any, but she pointed them out quite often, assured me that they were the most fashionable thing, "all the rave" one might say, and she scorned a commercial that we saw on tv for an off-brand "knock-off" of the prized converses. Besides converses, the other typical shoes i've observed here have been very similar, if not almost identical to the majority of shoes i see on a daily basis in the states. The hair styles in Buenos Aires show some very different attributes than those of clothing and shoes. They appear to be near opposites of those i've witnessed in Brazil, which can be said also of the clothing and shoes, but whereas the clothing and shoes are quite conservative, the hair styles are what i would call daring to say the least. Some popular hair styles are what I would call mullets, rat tails, dread-locks, and several combinations of those. Among females, the fashionable Hair style seems to be a variant of the mullet worn by many members of the rural south-eastern United States. Their hair is longest around the neck line, then progressively shorter in very prominent layers toward the top of the head. Sometimes the longest hairs go past the waist of the individual and the shortest are the bangs with the same level hair being slightly longer around the sides and back. I would say a typical argentine female mullet has roughly 3 to 5 layers depending on length. Males also wear what i would call "mullets," but in fewer numbers. their mullets tend to be less prominent, most likely because of a significantly decreased length in males hair as oppose to that of females. The "rat-tail" is also very common here, certainly more common than any place i've visited in my past. A rat tail consists of a small circular patch of hair near the base of the neck that is far longer than the rest of the individuals hair length. Often the hair on the rest of the scalp is shaved to a very short length of a 1 to 4 (on the electric razor scale, 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch i believe). I also have seen what i believe to be a higher percentage of males with dread locks than i generally see in the states, this number however, is still less than the number of rat-tails and mullets here. One style that i have not seen more than 5 times prior to here, but i have seen far more than 5 times since i've been here is the "dread-rat-tail" as i would call it. It's when an individual has most of their hair very short, but a small circular patch on the back of their head is "dreaded", of in dread locks. The number of dread lock wearing hippies in this city, particularly when walking around Plaza Francia in Recolletta is rather impressive. The hippies possibly make up for the lack of color exhibited by the rest of the city, in my opinion. All in all, there's a very interesting mix. I would be quite intrigued to know what fashion stimuli created this seemingly very unique fashion environment.
May 28th, 2006 – by: pursuingelation
okay, so when you go to a nice sports bar what do you expect to eat? i expect pretty good size portions of whatever is being served. i expect good size wings, or a large quantity of them. i expect a pretty good size chicken breast on a chicken sandwich. however, most of all, i expect a pretty big burger. when i order a hamburger from a sports bar, i expect it to be about 1/2 to 1 lbs. i think a commonly accepted size is 3/4 lbs. and a minimum, is 1/4 lbs. i like my burgers, and i like a good bit of meat. similarly, when one goes to a country that is known for their cattle industry, one must only expect large portions of any beef products. at an asada, you are generally served as much, or more than, you could wat or handle. it´s wonderful. i love the idea of endless amounts of meat. i´m a bit of a carnivore. i love in argentina and brazil, how the bbq´s seem endless. my diet consists of meat, cheese and bread in most situations. i like fruit, but probably, i don´t eat a very good food pyramid. all of that however, is beside the point of this. the point that you have likely already guessed is that argentina has dissappointed my hamburger connoisseur taste. i have ordered several burger´s, and only one i have eaten, has come close to my standards. for instance, at spell cafe, a cafe durring the day, and sports bar during the night, i ordered a hamburger. this burger was of sufficient price for me to expect a meal out of it. when it came out, i was in a state of dismay. for readers from the states, i would equate it most closely to a wendy´s junior cheeseburger. however, the flavor that i love of the wendy´s junior cheeseburger was not there, and neither was the cheese that i ordered. those who know me, know that i don´t speak spanish. but it was clear on the menu, which one was ¨con queso¨ (with cheese). and i clearly pointed to it. mistakes in order´s take place even without a language barrior, but they made no mistake when they made that patty. they meant for it to be tiny. when i eat wendy´s junior cheesburgers, i usually have the junior bacon cheeseburgers (bacon was something else tht i thought i ordered), and i usually eat 3 or 4. they are pretty small by my standards. perhaps 1/8 lbs. to make the situtation of my burger worse, it was marked by the same nearly flavorless bland style of most argentine food (with the paramount exception of the meat at asada´s). the closest thing to a savior for my sandwhich was the wonderful ¨salsa golf¨. salsa golf is a must on many argentine dishe´s i´ve found. in the states, i avoid mayo on most dishes, an ketchup on all but hot dogs and hamburgers, but with the dry bland sandwiches that are the staple of the cheapest cafe, to much nicer estabishments here, salsa golf is all that drives one towards the next bite. well, salsa gold and hunger from walking everywhere. the walking does help to justify the ingestion of mayonaise, in my mind. the best burger i´ve had here was at my buenos aires native friend´s house. her mom made us all hamburgers on their kitchen stove. i don´t know if you would say they wee fried or what, but they were certainly not grilled on a charcoal grill, my preferred style. the burger had no exceptional taste, but with the help of a ketchup and mayo, homemade salsa golf concoction, it was enjoyable. i was slightly dissappointed as well when there were no hamburger buns. i ate mine on two slices of wheat bread. it did a little to sooth my culture shock from the hamburger standards in argentina. if i were to live here, i would most likely limit myself to my own burgers cooked on one of those wonderful grills that almost every personal residence appears to have in place for asadas. i could spread the magnificence of a medium rare (or to each person´s preference) crarcoal grilled burger. my conclusion is that the meat at asada´s is so good that noone has ever endeavered here to develop and cultivate the art of hamburger grilling.