This morning I woke up to rain for the first time in Buenos Aires. I spent a lazy morning reading, and then by the time I headed out, the rain had stopped and it turned into a really nice, if overcast, day. I walked down to the park surrounding the Recoletta Cemetery and had lunch at a little café nearby, then wandered around the best outdoor market yet (which is saying a lot). Because of the weather, half of the booths were actually empty, but the ones that were up and running were full of all kinds of cool stuff—tons of leather goods, jewelry, figurines, glass and, my personal favorite, dog sweaters (which are everywhere). The vendors there—and in all of the stores down here, really—are really pushy. One actually wrapped a scarf around my neck without even speaking to me, but overall, it was still great.
After the market I took a long walk along this series of parks in the south of the city and finally ended at the MALBA (Museo de Arte Latino-americano de Buenos Aires), which is considered by some to be the best art museum in South America. I’m not a huge art person. (I know, I know, I’m not supposed to say that, but I never studied it, you know?) It didn’t matter, though, it was such a fantastic museum. I got to see paintings by Frida Kahlo (the self portrait with the parrot), Diego Rivera and Fernando Botero (I actually learned Botero about a couple years ago when I was in Miami for work. The fancy hotel where we held our meeting had several of his sculptures and when my boss found out I wasn’t familiar with the artist, he gave me a 45-minute lecture on his work. It was a really pretentious conversation, but it was kind of cool today, knowing a bit about him.)
The museum is surprisingly small for the amount of recognition it gets. I walked almost the entire thing at a pretty slow pace in about two hours. Apparently it only holds about 40 percent of what it planned to show, and an expansion is currently in the works. Regardless, it was pretty incredible. There was a great mix of sculpture and paintings and multi-media exhibits. I watched a short, but terrible, film called “The Fox and the Mirror” which essentially showed small figurines for five minutes at a time, set to really lovely music. I also saw several chairs made entirely from cow and horse bones. I kind of want one.
In other news, I have a stye on my eye (yes, this blog is taking an unnecessary turn) and it’s gross and puffy and slightly impairing my vision. All day I wandered around with the same feeling I get when going to Harris Teeter in my yoga/pajama pants and unwashed hair. Don’t look at me. I’m hideous. It should be said that Buenos Aires is a city full of absolutely beautiful people, and I’m starting at an immediate disadvantage–what with not having black hair down to my ass and all–so walking around outside with the stye is not particularly good for the ol’ self esteem. Luckily, because I know virtually no one in Buenos Aires, there’s a far smaller chance that I will run into a coworker in the wine aisle, so to speak. My doctor (read: the internet) says that putting hot compresses on it should clear it right up, so that’s what I’m doing. Actually, because I have no hot water or washcloths, I’m holding a ball of toilet paper soaked in lukewarm tap water against it, but same difference, right?