Category Archives: BA

Punta Alta

I just took my last trip in Argentina. It feels weird to write that after spending what feels like years here. I’ve been to Córdoba, Mendoza, Iguazu, Bariloche, San Juan, El Chalten, El Calafate, Punta Alta, and Bahía Blanca. And, of course, I’ve spent months here in Buenos Aires.

This weekend was the 200th anniversary of Argentine independence, so the country had a huge bicentennial celebration. My roommate and I spent our 4 days (Monday & Tuesday were both holidays) about 9 hours south of BsAs in a little town called Punta Alta, about 30 minutes from the much larger city of Bahía Blanca.

Two Argentine friends of ours took us around their town and the surrounding countryside. But, really, the trip wasn’t about sightseeing; it was about food.

The picture above is of the best asado that I’ve had to date, and I’ve had some good ones. We had chorizo, morcilla, chinchulines, matambre a la pizza, and costillas (sausage, blood sausage, intestines, flank steak with tomato sauce and cheese, and ribs). Absolutely rocked my world. And it was all cooked on a custom indoor parrilla built by my friend’s grandfather, who moved to Argentina from Italy only 50 years ago. It was, as my friend Eli said, “una obra de arte” (a work of art).

And that was only one meal. I had amazing fondue, pizza, more steak, empanadas, locro (a traditional pork stew with beans), an incredible coconut torte with dulce de leche. This could go on and on.

I think these may have been the best 4 days of eating that I’ve done and a badly needed vacation. Now, back to the grind and back to the gym…

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Lazy

Just as in the previous semester, my posting here has fallen off of a cliff. I was working on some big NYU Local pieces and traveling a bit so I’ve been pretty absent.

However, if you haven’t seen them yet, take a look at my pictures from Spring Break. I was in Patagonia – both on the Argentine and Chilean sides. It was some of the most breathtaking natural beauty I’ve ever experienced – I hope my photos can give you a taste.

In other news, I’m excited to announce that I have been chosen as the editor-in-chief of NYU Local next year. That means lots of work over the summer as I prepare to take the site forward and make it even better. We will sorely miss the graduates of the site, though – Jessica Roy, Ned Resnikoff, and Lily Q – all friends and excellent writers. Keep your eyes peeled for their names, as they will be popping up all over the mediascape in the next few years.

Also, I have been selected to captain the NYU Purple Haze Ultimate Frisbee team in the upcoming season with my good friend Husayn. The team had a very successful season this year, placing 7th at Regionals (the tournament before Nationals) after being seeded dead last (16th).

We hope to build on that success and feel very confident that we will be an extremely competitive team vying for a bid to Nationals.

In short, my time here in Buenos Aires is winding down and my focus has begun to shift back to life in the US. It has been an incredible experience living here and I’ll have lots more to write about in the next few weeks. But, now, I should probably go do some work, since I am at my job. Heh. Recall the title of this post.

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Superclásico

That’s a photo from my seat in the Bombonera stadium, home of the Boca Juniors Athletic Club, probably the most popular club in Argentina. In fact, if you’ve heard of any Argentine soccer teams, you probably know Boca.

But this wasn’t just any Boca game. This was the game. The kind of event that shuts down the city, as people pour into bars and cafes and just about anywhere that has a TV. They were playing against their cross-town rivals, River Plate, the 2nd most popular team in the country. Locura.

This soccer game is on some newspaper’s list of the top 50 sporting events to see in your lifetime. It deserves the spot. There’s just nothing like being together with thousands of frenzied hinchadas de Boca. When Boca scored its first goal en route to a 2-0 victory, the stadium absolutely rocked. Strangers hugging, people climbing up and standing on top of barbed wire fences, deafening cheers.

This was my first trip to see Argentine soccer live in the stadium. It was hard waiting it out, saving up for the 600 peso ticket (normally 1/4 of that or less), but, wow, it was worth it. Quite an experience.

Thanks to Phoebe for letting me use her photo.

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Working

Eli (my roommate) and I are out on our patio firing up some of the best meat we’ve had in Buenos Aires for a crowd of about 10.

This picture quickly summarizes why I love this city.

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Smoking

That’s a picture of a typical Argentine pack of cigarettes. Pretty strong. The text reads, “Tobacco smoke chokes them and makes them sick,” referring to babies.

I haven’t really seen statistics on labeling like this, but I imagine that it has a tangible effect on smoking. The girl who bought these cigarettes transferred them to another pack without a sick baby on front because it bothered her so much.

The US should really consider stronger labeling. Smoking is a big public health issue and causes a lot of unnecessary medical spending. Let’s put our wasted teen anti-smoking campaign ad money to work on coming up with startling labels. Why not put a phone number to a quit smoking line on there too?

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Boxing

Last night I did the hardest workout I’ve ever done. I mean, way beyond anything I even thought was hard (except maybe for the one night at Haze practice running stairs while I was sick). It was a solid hour of pushups, squat jumps, brutal crunches, and soul-crushing shoulder exercises. Today, my entire body aches.

I joined a boxing gym. I will be going three nights a week for 2 hours at a time. Last night I learned how to walk. Wide base for balance, back foot up on the ball – ready to punch with the right hand. I spent 45 minutes walking. I needed the rest after the workout.

My goal: get into the best shape of my life and be able to kick anyone’s ass. You heard it hear first. I’ll see y’all in 4 months.

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Saturday House Blogging

I’m back in Buenos Aires. The big story of the new semester is that I’ve got an apartment now (that I’m sharing with my good friend, Eli, who also studied here last semester) and I’ve escaped the tyranny of NYU housing and homestays.

To be fair, I liked my homestay, but, in terms of freedom, it was a far cry from my situation now.

I live right next to a grocery store, kiosco, farmacy, bread store, and pastry shop. I will probably be fat when you see me again.

So here’re some pix of the house:

This is the main hallway. To the left (off the photo), there is a small living room with a (surprisingly comfortable) couch, table, and a couple of chairs. A TV with very basic cable (no ESPN…) is there for soccer games.

To the right down the hallway are the two bedrooms. Nothing fancy – bed, table, chair, shelves. They definitely need some personality added.

Up the short staircase is the bathroom and a larger staircase that heads up to the kitchen. It’s a small, but really nice one. The gas stove cooks evenly and quickly. There’s a ton of natural light. Also, the house’s only air conditioner! (As it is currently about 90 degrees, we have fans in our rooms. Thank God.)

Attached to the kitchen is a small patio with…an outdoor shower (?) and a parrilla. Asado time. Definitely gonna throw some parties.

Anyway, plenty of space and it should be really great when the temperature comes down a little bit. It’s really hot and humid right now.

In other news, my bike got stolen. Big bummer. Today I’m off to look for a cheap new one. Later, frisbee.

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