Happiness as Anarchy #151: Taking photographs

I learned to take photos on my parents’ 1970s Pentax SLR. The photos I took (especially on my first trip to Europe when I was 21) are still some of the best photos I’ve ever taken. There’s something special about the weight of an SLR camera that sharpens my eye and makes me frame an image well. I had my photographic eye on today while out enjoying the sunshine, and found shapes and lines and contrasts everywhere I looked.

This church is a short walk from my apartment, nestled between a basketball court and the Centre for Latino-amercian Music.

Happiness as Anarchy #150: Friday night pyjamas

Everyone else is getting ready to party and going out because it’s Friday night. One of life’s little joys, and particularly holiday joys, is choosing to stay in. I went out on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights, and this evening had aperitifs with the last rays of the glorious sunshine. Shunning pressure from the city, I now choose to hang around in pyjamas watching ABC iview – and it feels like a luxury!

Happiness as Anarchy #149: Wine (again)

How I love a vinous adventure. Argentinian wine is not yet part of my expertise, thus I am enjoying discovering and exploring what the country has to offer. As is the case all over the world, there are lots of cheap and nasty wines here, however, step the budget up over $6 Australian dollars and things get interesting and pleasurable. A delicious bottle of bubbles ($7) preceded a 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon ($6) this evening. Both wines were very well balanced, with complex palates and long finishes; fairly classic examples of the varieties but with a definite Argentinian edge – I’m not sure how to describe it, but it’s just a bit different from wines form other parts of the world.

Yesterday’s Malbec in the Art Deco surroundings of Café Rivas was also very nice, even if it was slightly disconcerting to be drinking it from a Martini branded glass!

Happiness as Anarchy #148: Night Owls

I’m a night owl doing night owl things. I come home at one in the morning to my fellow night owls, who I find cooking dinner or doing the washing at after midnight. ‘Tis so nice to keep the same unusual hours as other people. No sneaking around trying not to make noise (which is nigh on impossible when you’ve had a few wines and are wearing high heels on marble floors), and people to say ‘hola’ to in the wee small hours of the morning.
Here’s the Argentinian Short-eared Owl.

Happiness as Anarchy #146: Argentinian folk music

Contrary to popular belief, tango is not a national dance. It is specific to Buenos Aires, and even in the city, not everyone knows how to dance it. Most of the people in my tango classes are Argentinians rather than foreigners. There is a wonderful folk music tradition in Argentina with dancing, called folklórica. It is beautiful and fun, and the very essence of community and connection. This evening I went to a concert of musica litoral (music from the north-eastern provinces) in the cupola at the Centro Cultural Kirchener. The music was beautiful, heartfelt and full of stories, and distinctly Argentinian. Brought to us by three lovely musicians, with a guest appearance by the accordionist’s father, dressed in traditional costume. A delightful Monday night treat!

Happiness as Anarchy #145: Looking up

There are so many intriguing and beautiful things floating above us in the skyline. It only takes looking up to find them. Fat clouds skipping across the sky, pigeon pairs talking to each other, intricate architectural details, and curious combinations. Although I constantly risk falling in a hole in the footpath, I can’t stop myself looking up to see what is on show. I love this juxtaposition of the mobile phone transmitter next to the turrets of one of Buenos Aires’ oldest churches.

Happiness as Anarchy #144: Fierce Women

Looming large in the square outside the Centro Cultural Kirchener stands a statue of Juana Azurduy (1780-1862), heroine of independence, women’s rights, and equality in South America. The statue was installed in 2015, replacing a statue of Colombus and ruffling more than a few feathers. She stands fiercely outside the extraordinary new cultural centre that houses exhibitions, installations, concerts, workshop and more, and all free for the people. There is something deeply hopeful in this prominent respect for the arts, culture, inclusion, equality, and independence in the heart of Buenos Aires.

Happiness as Anarchy #142: Street art

There is street art everywhere in Buenos Aires. The general state of disrepair seems to bring with it an aesthetic freedom for its citizens. There is no doubt that a painting on the wall is more pleasing for everyone than peeling grey paint. In some parts, especially San Telmo where I’m staying, it almost appears obligatory for shops and bars to have street art exteriors. This one is just around the corner and is one of my favourites.