In years past, what excited me most about going home for Christmas was the eating (I love you, Mom). It became a ritual. Somewhere around September or October I’d begin working out again – not because of the approaching bathing suit season but more so to drop the five pounds I knew I was going to gain at home during a month of unbridled face stuffing and beer chugging. I’d purchase my flight carefully making sure I didn’t land too early in the morning so that we didn’t have to wait in the parking lot of the In N Out before they opened at 10:30am. My mom would get a food and liquor list a week before my arrival, and instructions to have my favorite cookies ready for the car ride.
When I moved to Buenos Aires at the ripe age of 23, fresh out of college, mostly (read: completely) skill-less and ready to drink as much fernet and coke as it took to transform into a porteño, I was above all things, poor.
My first real apartment was a two bedroom in Abasto that came adorned with a leaky faucet, broken kitchen window, questionable stains on the walls, and a furnace that por suerte didn’t explode. There were four of us crammed in there. We slept on the cheapest mattresses we could find (on the floor) and “decorated” the place with furniture mostly made of things we found in the street (tied together with string from Ugis) and a couch that smelled like a wet dog, all working whatever jobs we could get to scrape together a minuscule amount of money for rent (and a little extra for said fernet). But we made the best of it: we covered the nail holes with wall to wall art, danced at home rather than go out, and threw monthly bring your own bowl stew parties for our like-walleted friends.
Article by Kevin Vaughn, owner and head chef of the Mexican supper club MASA.
There is something about having to walk around Microcentro on a weekday that makes me wish for a second bubonic plague. There are people everywhere. And we are all trying to transit the same foot wide slab of sidewalk while attempting to frogger our way around men that want to sell you socks or the stank of a freshly lit cigarette cloud blown directly into your mouth. The architecture is cool, I’ll give it that, but there is cool architecture all over the city so yeah, I hate Microcentro.