A Long Weekend in Buenos Aires

I played tourist while roaming the city solo, gawking at the Obelisk, perusing the Feria de San Telmo, and wandering in and out of the shops of Once.

The Obelisk | El Obelisco, Buenos Aires, Argentina by katiemetz, on Flickr

Iglesia y Convento de Santo Domingo, Monserrat, Buenos Aires, Argentina by katiemetz on Flickr

I admired the tattered elegance of San Telmo, the neighborhood where I stayed during my visit.

Pasaje de la Defensa, San Telmo, Buenos Aires by katiemetz, on Flickr

Old Balcony in San Telmo, Buenos Aires, Argentina by katiemetz, on Flickr

I strolled with my friend Beatrice through Parque Lezama, and we smiled and suppressed a few giggles at the sight of some old folks doing tai chi. The twisting branches of the tipa trees overhead offered protection from the blazing sun that even those of the canine persuasion seemed to appreciate.

Tipa Trees in Parque Lezama, San Telmo, Buenos Aires, Argentina by katiemetz, on Flickr

Dogs in Parque Lezama, San Telmo, Buenos Aires, Argentina by katiemetz, on Flickr

Drinking Mate in Parque Lezama, San Telmo, Buenos Aires, Argentina by katiemetz, on Flickr

I ate traditional Argentine favorites done right at Bar El Federal; a slice of fugazza (onion pizza without cheese) at Güerrín while standing at the bar chatting with strangers; a soggy, disappointing margherita pizza at Siamo Nel Forno; tasty and creative crepes at Lo de Carlitos; and flavorful papas a la huancaina and ceviche at the Peruvian restaurant Mamani.

I discussed the merits of tongue marinated in vinegar with a butcher at the Mercado de San Telmo and sized up the offerings at a Saturday morning market that springs up near the corner of Chile and Balcarce each week.

Butcher Selling Offal, Mercado de San Telmo, Buenos Aires by katiemetz, on Flickr

Butcher at Mercado de San Telmo, San Telmo, Buenos Aires, Argentina by katiemetz, on Flickr

Fruit and Veg Stall in San Telmo, Buenos Aires, Argentina by katiemetz, on Flickr

Egg Seller, San Telmo, Buenos Aires, Argentina by katiemetz, on Flickr

Mini Dietética, San Telmo, Buenos Aires by katiemetz, on Flickr

I sweated (did I mention the stifling heat and humidity in Buenos Aires last week?), necessitating at least two showers per day to remove the layers of perspiration, sunscreen and grime of the city from my skin.

Self-Portrait at Pasaje de la Defensa, San Telmo, Buenos Aires by katiemetz, on Flickr

In a city with nearly 40,000 taxis, I managed to hop into the cab of a nutty, wild-eyed driver I first encountered over a year and a half ago, who delivered one of the strangest monologues I'd ever heard, which compared men to different brands of alfajores (Argentine sandwich cookies). I instantly remembered him when he launched into his well-worn, practiced shtick once again.

The Ladies by katiemetz, on FlickrI enjoyed the company of friends. Over the course of my four-day stay in Buenos Aires, I broke bread with Angela from San Telmo Loft, Deby from TangoSpam, and Fred from SilverStar Transport.

Cherie of Tangocherie invited me to a fantastic asado that she and her partner Rubén hosted at their home. I got to meet Tina from Tina Tangos and Sally from Sallycat's Adventures – two lovely ladies I've known "virtually" for some time but had never had the pleasure of meeting. Cherie wrote up a great post with photos about our get-together.

I even danced tango (badly) for the very first time after a 15-minute lesson from Rubén.

Hey, you only live once, right?

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