This heat!

February 12th, 2023
John at Corte Comedor

My phone is showing 99 degrees today, and it was 97 yesterday. It’s not so humid but it’s toasty, for sure! John and I didn’t get our bikes out, as it was already 85 and climbing by 8:30 each morning.

Last Sunday we ventured out to Corte Comedor for a parrilla lunch – the sides were my favorite: eggplant drizzled with yogurt and then grilled veggies. Today we went to Carneros – the food was delish and we liked the ambiance and service, too.

Refreshing lemonade with mint and ginger at Corte

Yesterday I ran a couple of errands around noon (proud of myself for navigating new parts of town in the car), and walked up to see the animals for adoption later in afternoon. The Greyhound (probably really a Galgo) was still there, but I read a bit about them and they are not recommended for households with cats, as they like to chase small animals – alas!

I went to happy hour with Lea and Kat on Thursday after work, and Friday evening John and I went to a going-away party for a colleague. I was happy to visit with my A-100 friend Jamie quite a bit – always fun to catch up with him.

I read “Wild, Weird, and Wonderful,” another photo book by Mark Sloan, my friend Mara’s dad. The photos were from the early 1900s by F.W. Glasier, a Massachusetts photographer – fascinating. I also finished “What my Bones Know” by Stephanie Foo, a former “This American Life” producer.

Full moon

Summer in Buenos Aires

February 5th, 2023
Summer storm

I love summer here, despite the heat. The streets are quieter, you can get tables at restaurants, and Friday afternoons at the Embassy are very quiet, as most folks opt for “summer hours,” working longer days Monday through Thursday and leaving at noon or 1:00 PM on Fridays. It’s blissfully quiet and I’m also able to get to know some of the officers and local staff who stick around on Fridays with me. And sometimes we get a nice rain, like the one rolling across in the photo above.

Yesterday I biked down a few short blocks to the Bella Arts Museum to meet Lea. We were both blown away by it – such an extensive collection, including world famous painters from Renoir to Rothko, and spanning centuries. Afterward we went to a nearby cafe for lunch and enjoyed the lovely weather in the shade, as well as delicious salads (arugula, sautéed yellow peppers, burrata cheese, and avocado for me). Before coming home I walked through the street fair by Recoleta Cemetery. Later in the day I walked up to the park where a local group takes dogs and cats for adoption – I was tempted to bring home a beautiful old brindle Greyhound but didn’t think Flavia would appreciate it. I stopped to buy some cherries from a fruit stand run by Bolivian girls who were sweet and a bit chatty – the cherries are huge and delicious!

Huge cherries!

This morning John and I rode down to the EcoReserva again – it was a beautiful morning and we were back at home before it got too hot. We saw some huge birds that weren’t storks – I need to figure out what they were, and we saw some smaller parakeets.

Homage to taxi drivers near EcoReserva

I finished “A Gentleman from Moscow” this morning – it was wonderful. Thanks to John for flagging this interview with the author – it pointed out several things that I missed while reading it, including the “accordion” timeline (@Sarah, you might enjoy the interview….@Joan, I think you’d like the book!).

Artsy week

January 29th, 2023

I finished “Self-Made Worlds” by Mark Sloan and Roger Manley – it’s mostly a ”picture book” about self-made artists who have constructed odd environments in which to live. It was fascinating, and spurred me to return to the local flea market to see if Tony Valiente was there – and he was! He’s quite the character, and I walked out with a small clock sculpture and felt a bit more enriched for our visit.

Tony strikes a pose
The small clock sculpture (hard to understand from this view)

Before the flea market, I walked around a street fair (lots of them around the city each weekend) at Plaza Serrano that was nice. And I got a hair cut yesterday morning – there’s a salon that specializes in curly hair where I’ve had my hair cut before – hoorah!

Walls all over are decorated with images from the World Cup (Plaza Serrano)

The Embassy got an art refresh last week and now we have some fun limited edition prints (Jeff Koons, for one), original paintings, and photos of prior Presidents and First Ladies. (They used the term “refresh” but I’m not sure the 1970s-era Broadway posters that were hanging up (no kidding) counted as art in the first place!) The curator came to Buenos Aires to hang the collection, and John arranged for him to do a talk for Embassy employees about it – very interesting! Bonus: everything was donated through a special program, so no cost to U.S. taxpayers.

Last night we were invited to Bosch Palace to celebrate the wedding anniversary of the Ambassador and his wife – it was quite the epic party. Aside from the lovely jazz combo, they brought in an 18-year-old (whose name I didn’t catch) but who sang (partially) in falsetto – kind of amazing. Then we moved outside where they had set up a dance floor and we got to see a short performance by an Argentine dance/drum group called Malevo – I really enjoyed it – it was kind of like River Dance, South America style. Check out this short video. They were on “America’s Got Talent” a few years ago and are heading to the U.S. this week to start a tour.

This morning we got on our bikes and headed to the EcoReserva – another beautiful day and we really enjoyed being outside. Here are some photos:

“Tower of the English” as it was know before the dust-up in the Malvinas (aka The Falklands); now it’s just “Monumental Tower.”

Along the canal
”Floralis Genérica” Huge mobile sculpture that is supposed to open in the morning and close at night (not sure it still does) – we can see it from our apartment.

And I’ll leave you with your weekly dose of cuteness from Flavia!

Old home week

January 22nd, 2023
Hernan, John, and Martin

This was definitely the week for old friends! We went to a fun asado (BBQ) last night with John’s friends from his Systematics days – we were at Hernan’s weekend place about an hour outside the city. I don’t think I had met Hernan before (although he’s been to Little Rock for classes), but he and his wife and kids were great. And what a treat to see Martin and Rosario again – they were in Costa Rica with us, and I haven’t seen them since. It was really a fun evening!

Hernan and Sandra
Martin and Rosario

And earlier in the week, we hosted dinner for Jessica and her family – she was a junior officer with us in Guadalajara and was visiting Buenos Aires from her current post in Lima. Jill, who I currently work closely with and who was also with us in Guadalajara, came as well. It was lots of fun catching up!

We took advantage of the American holiday on Monday to buy bicycles! We took them out for a spin yesterday morning and had a blast! We passed this statue in one of the parks where we rode – very serene and the trees are beautiful.


And we stopped on the way home so I could get my cherry fix. I continue to be blown away by the produce shops here – this was just the fruit (veggies were in the back):

Last Sunday I met Lea for brunch at Casa Cavia – I love their entryway display of Gerber daisies:

TV-wise we watched the latest season of “Jack Ryan” and started the new season of “Hunters” with Al Pacino.

Good week!


January 15th, 2023
Flavia in her bed

Flavia sure loves her bed! It sits on a desk by a window so she can bask in the sun. It’s summer here, and, aside from the heat (it can get hot!), I love it. January is when Argentines typically leave for vacation, and the town is quiet and less crowded. It’s my new favorite month!

We went to a fun dinner Friday night at Rachel’s house with some co-workers – it was a good way to end a stressful week. I was filling in for my boss, and we’re also making some personnel changes, so there was lots to do.

Other than work, the week was quiet. I went to the salon yesterday, and we had a yummy smoked brisket delivered. We watched a great movie last Sunday night, “The Official Story,” about the babies taken from their mothers at the detention centers – it actually won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 1985. We’re also watching the new season of “Jack Ryan,” which we’re enjoying. And I’m reading “All the Living and the Dead,” about the “death industry” (yeah, I read stuff like that and enjoy it!).

My mother-in-law celebrated her birthday this week – happy birthday, Ginger!

I noticed these two lovely monk parakeets in a tree at the embassy this week – so pretty!