April 03, 2005
Buenos Aires: day 3
The next morning I decided to go back to Plaza Dorrego again for brunch. When I got there the square was overtaken by a market selling mostly antique knick knacks. On the sidewalks young bohemians had spread blankets covered with hand made jewelry. In the middle of the square two gauchos were busking with performances of music and dance routines. I especially liked the routine which uses two small balls on chains twirled in the same fashion as fire dancers. However the balls were made to actually strike the pavement as they were spun adding a percussive effect which combined with the dancers high heeled tapping boots. A little google research leads me to believe this might be called "malambo". You can see a video I shot of it here: gaucho spinning balls dance (AVI 5 megs). Also they did another cool dance using their ponchos like a flag show: gaucho poncho dance (AVI 8 megs).
I had arranged to meet Res One at the site of one of his murals which turned out to be only two blocks from my hostel, down the only street I had not gone down yet. He showed up and we headed out for Res One's Contemporary and Historical Buenos Aires Graffiti 101 class. I'm going to make that a separate post so I'll skip ahead now to the evening. Res and I hung out at his apartment for a bit before heading out for dinner. He showed me his scrap book of old work he had done in Argentina and Spain, and also a collection of his tattoo works including photos of him giving himself a large gothic script R E S O N E tattoo across his torso. Crazy.
Later at a pizza joint I noticed a punk girl carrying a guitar and then some other kids too carrying other instruments. I got Res to ask them where they would be playing, and it turned out to be a party for a circus performer collective. Man, that's so San Francisco! We got the address from them and decided to check it out later.
But first we went to a bar Res had told me about. I had mentioned to him that there were no real strip clubs in Buenos Aires, apparently just brothels, and he told me that he knew some places but they didn't necessarily look like strip clubs from the outside. So we went to this place, and it was sort of like a Hooters, but there wasn't really any food, there were waitress (wearing thongs and tiny t-shirts) and waiters (wearing only hot pants), and every hour three of the waitresses did a fully nude floor show. And the beer was cheap. Nice place!
Around midnight we headed over to the circus party. It was held at the collective's rehearsal space which was the top floor of a building in a slightly sketchy side of town. When we got upstairs we found a pretty sizable crowd mostly out on the rooftop patio which was set up with a small stage. We had just missed the band we had seen at the pizza place, but pretty soon we got to catch some comedy acts with performers popping up over the neighboring buildings walls. A all-clown band provided ongoing musical accompaniment. The audience was having a great time, laughing at all the acts. Even though it was all in Spanish I found myself laughing along anyhow. The clowns were quite talented. Later there were suspended rope acts, juggling and various impressive gymnastics. Res's girlfriend Dione showed up around 2AM to join the fun. Around 4AM I had to say goodbye though. I needed to head back to the hostel so I could get some sleep before heading to the airport in the morning.
It had been a long day, but probably the most fun I'd had the entire time in South America so far!
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