50th Anniversary of Argentine Comic Icon Mafalda

mafalda-50th-anniversary-buenos-aires-exhibitionThe most famous Argentine comic “Mafalda” is celebrating its 50th Anniversary! If you already know a bit about ‘Mafalda’, then you won’t want to miss out “El Mundo Según Mafalda (The World According to Mafalda)” exhibition at Usina del Arte, which is currently going on till November 30.

If you don’t know who she is yet and have been walking around Buenos Aires, you may have probably seen her images in various public spaces and wondered why is she everywhere? To help you get to know HER better, and to understand why SHE is such an icon in Argentine culture, check out Who’s This Girl? PART 1 and PART 2.

Better yet, for those who can’t make it to the exhibition in person, here is a great video (the first part) about it:

Cultura Latina 11: Mafalda 50th Anniversary & MALBA Museum from Mauricio Izquierdo on Vimeo.


Best Monday Night Out in Buenos Aires: La Bomba de Tiempo

bomba-de-tiempo-buenos-aires-music-nightlife8 years and counting, La Bomba de Tiempo drumming show is still the thing to do on Monday nights in Buenos Aires. La Bomba de Tiempo is a 16-piece drumming group whose performances are completely improvisational and communications between the conductor and the percussionists are all done through signs and gestures. Since the group was formed in 2006, they have developed a system that consists of more than 100 signaling motions using hands, fingers and the body. They started performing at Konex Cultural Center every Mondays and their shows became an instant hit among the young hip crowd. As word spread, soon enough not only around-the-block line-ups outside the cultural center every Monday, but their popularity also brought them outside of Buenos Aires, touring and jamming with famous musicians including Calle 13, Café Tacuba and the likes.

If you enjoy outdoor music show where you can dance to energetic yet hypnotizing beat in a very buena onda (good vibe) environment, then you definitely have to pencil in La Bomba de Tiempo on your Buenos Aires MUST-do list!

To get a glimpse of what all this hype is about, check out this video. And don’t forget to go to Konex website for show information and get your ticket ahead of time.


Where To Enjoy a Pint of Craft Beer in Buenos Aires

craft-beer-microbrew-buenos-airesWhile here in Buenos Aires it may still be easier to find a Quilmes or Brahma at your typical Argentine watering hole, the microbrew craze that is sweeping other parts of the world is certainly starting to take hold in the bar scene of Buenos Aires. As an avid beer drinker and someone who appreciates the art of artesenal beer making, I’m constantly on the search for new places that can placate my hops addiction.

First off we have our classic Buenos Aires bars that have made a name for themselves all in the name of good, artensal beer. These bars offer a wide variety of in-house brews that are served by the pint. Most have a happy hour special that is sure to make your after office filled with delicious malts, barleys, and hops. To name a few:

Cerveza Artesanal Antares:
Now with 3 locations in Buenos Aires, this Mar del Plata beermaker has become a staple in the city’s beer scene. Offering 8 standard beers and typically a pair more of seasonal brews, Antares is sure to have your perfect pint waiting for you.
Palermo: Armenia 1447; Las Cañitas: Arévalo 2876; San Telmo (New): Bolivar 491

Gibraltar (Perú 895, San Telmo), Bangalore (Humboldt 1416, Palermo), and The Shanghai Dragon (Aráoz 1199, Palermo):
These 3 bars, all under the same owner, offer some great microbrews as well as some delicious comida. They’re styled after your traditional English pubs (the latter not so much) and are a great place to get together with some friends to enjoy a quieter evening with tasty beverages.

The Temple Bar:
Also now with 3 locations throughout the city, The Temple bar offers a wide range of domestic and international beers while also serving on tap their own in-house brew.
Palermo: Costa Rica 4677; Recoleta: Las Heras 1822; Centro: Marcelo T. de Alvear 945

Buller Pub & Brewing:
Taking the honor of Buenos Aires’ first microbrewery, Buller makes all their beer on site in their brewery situated right in front of the Recoleta Cemetery. After a hot summer day soaking in some of Argentina’s cultural sites, Buller makes for a great refuge with a cold craft beer.
Recoleta: Pres. R. M. Ortiz

Buena Birra Social Club:
Once a closed door, beer aficionados members only club, Buena Birra now welcomes the public with some really next level craft brews. A small operation, Buena Birra enjoys the ability to constantly adjust and diversify their beers with innovative tastes and styles.
Los Colegials: Zapiola 1353

Burger Joint:
While not technically a bar, this burger restaurant offers something I think we’ll be seeing more and more of around the city – restaurants with good beer on tap. As of now, Burger Joint only has 2 beers on tap, but combined with an epic burger and fries, their Pale Ale washes everything down like a match made in heaven.
Palermo: Jose Luis Borges 1766

If you’re at all like me, a stocked refrigerator of good beer is a necesity. However here in Buenos Aires your supermarkets are still a bit behind the times in terms of beer selection. What microbrews they have are pricey and limited to a few select domestic manufactureres. Enter Pinta Point: Cervezas Tiradas para Llevar (Tap Beer to Go). Now with two loactions (Belgrano: Olleros 1693; Congreso: Hipólito Yrigoten 2201), Pinta Point offers an impressive selection of on-tap beers and a wide variety of bottled beer to go. As you stand in marvel of about 20 taps, you’ll notice Pinta Point has a unique system to deliver your beer to go. Using heavy duty plastic bottles, each beer has a special vacuum tap that fills your liter or half liter bottle while maintaining carbonation with little foam. The system is designed to keep your beer good for a week but lets face it, a week is more than enough time for that beer to disappear from the fridge. Pinta Point offers some really great beers like the Triple IPA, Honey Beer, Golden Ale, Bitter, Porter, and my favorite the Belgian IPA.

I’ll leave you with one last insight into the beer world of Buenos Aires: Organic Markets. I happily stumpled upon this discovery while visiting one of the organic markets that are springing up around the city. Alongside organic foods and products of all sorts, you’ll find some microbrews trying to get the word out about their beer. These scrumptious craft beers are bottled and ready for you to take home and most vendors have a tap or at least beer on ice to enjoy right away.

Now go support the economy and drink a local craft beer!

Wandering Willis

Best Areas to Bike Around in Buenos Aires

bike-around-in-buenos-airesThe Argentine winter is quickly drawing to an end and here at Vamos Spanish we’re already thinking about warmer weather and enjoying sunny days in the city. My personal favorite way to get out and explore the city is by bicycle. Whether using the City’s bike share program, EcoBici, or maybe you found a classic bike in need of some TLC on MercadoLibre, the bipedal bustle is a sure way to have an idyllic day. To start you off on your bicycle adventures, below you’ll find some of my favorite places to spend the day cruising on la bici.

Los Bosques De Palermo (The Palermo Woods) is a popular destination for bikers, roller bladders, skaters, and runners. With numerous bike lanes and some bikers/pedestrians only streets, cruising around the lakes and shade of Los Bosques is a great way to quickly escape from the hectic streets of Buenos Aires.

Another great way to quickly escape the chaos of Microcentro is to head down to Puerto Madero and the Ecological Reserve. While meandering down the waterfront, it’s nice to take in the starkly contrasting modern architecture of Puerto Madero with the natural landscape that lies just beyond. Just outside the reserve is a string of Argentine vendors selling their infamous choripan (Argentine hot dog) and bondiola (pork shoulder) sandwiches which make great incentives to burn some calories afterward. After you’ve dowsed yourself in bugspray, head on into the reserve and enjoy kilometers of unadulterated nature paths and sporadic views of the Rio Plata.

If you’re in Buenos Aires for a few weeks you may be lucky enough to catch one of the bi-monthly bike gatherings called La Masa Critica (Critical Mass). The first Sunday of each month attracts hundreds and hundreds of bikers to the Obelisco for an all-day cruise through town all in the name of the oldest and best green technology. For the slightly more adventurous bike enthusiast, the second Masa Critica of each month meets on the night of the full moon for a party on wheels that lasts well into the wee hours of the morning.

I’ll leave you with one last outing that makes for a great day trip. Fill up a couple waterbottles and head up the shoreline to Zona Norte and Tigre. As you make your way out of the city you’ll catch some great glimpses of the Buenos Aires’ skyline as it fades into the distance. You’ll also stumble upon some shoreline restaurants to keep you fueled as you head north. Once in Tigre you can ramble around the waterways and relax by the water with your mate (your friend or the Argentine tea). The best part is if you’re feeling a little worn out from the ride up you can always hop on the train and be back in the city in no time!

Una bici más, un auto menos.

Wandering Willis

2014 Buenos Aires Tango Festival and World Championship

Tango-Festival-Buenos-AiresAugust is tango month in Buenos Aires because of our Annual Tango Festival and World Championship that takes place at this time of the year. The 2014 Tango Festival will begin on Wednesday August 13 and go till Tuesday August 26, 2014. It offers tons of free shows and activities like concerts, dance performances and exhibitions, tango classes and workshops led by well-known tango professionals, milongas, movie showings and tango merchandise market.

The Opening Concert will kick off this year´s festivities at Usina del Arte on Wednesday August 13 at 8:30pm. It will be a concert by Osvaldo Berlingeri and his orchestra, and then at 9:15pm another concert by Orquesta del Tango de la Ciudad Buenos Aires paying tribute to our great tango icon Aníbal Troilo. 2014 marks the 100th birthday of Aníbal Troilo, so you´ll see this recurring theme throughout the festival.

All of the shows and activities are free admission. However, due to limited capacity at certain venues, some events are on a first come first serve basis, and some will also require tickets. These tickets will be given out to the public an hour before the show starts, read here for more information on how to get them.

A full schedule of the festival can be found at the Official Website of Tango BA.


A Friendly Match: Buenos Aires vs São Paulo

A lot of visitors have traveled to this side of the world lately because of World Cup in Brazil. Not sure how the coverage of this major sport event has been reported internationally but since Argentina and Brazil have been decades-old football rivalries, comparisons between them were made often in local media. Even outside of the football world, given we are neighboring countries and we are home to the 2 biggest and most notable cities in South America, Buenos Aires and São Paulo respectively, it is unavoidable from being compared from time to time.

Inspired by the Paris vs New York project , Brazilian illustrator Vivian Mota did just that but in a playful and artsy way. A friendly “illustrated battle”, as she put it, of Sampa (a nickname of São Paulo) and Buenos Aires. New ones are constantly created and added to the collection and you can check them out and even buy prints through the Sampa vs Buenos project website here.

These are some of our favorites!









Famous Football Stadiums in Buenos Aires


Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti (or simply El Monumental)
 - River Plate
Av. Pres. Figueroa Alcorta 7597, Nuñez

El Monumental is considered to be Argentina’s national stadium because it is usually the venue of choice to host major events. Besides being the home of River Plate, it is also used for many important sporting events, such as when the Argentine National Football Team (La Selección) plays as host at home for World Cup qualification games. In the upcoming 2018 Summer Youth Olympics, which Buenos Aires will be the host city, the Open and Closing Ceremonies will take place at El Monumental. Given it’s easily accessible location in the nice Buenos Aires neighborhood, Nuñez, and it’s size being the biggest in the country with a capacity of 70,000+ , it is also the venue for big concerts. Most of the international superstar performers who came to Buenos Aires held their shows at this stadium. The recent ones who have come through town include Coldplay, Roger Waters, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Miley Cyprus etc.

Estadio Alberto J. Armando (formerly known as Estadio Camilo Cichero) – Boca Juniors
Brandsen 805, La Boca
More popularly known as La Bombonera (the Chocolate Box) owing to it’s shape, where one side had to be built ‘flat’ due to limited space. The stadium is a well-known one because it’s owned by one of the most famous Argentine football clubs, Boca Juniors. It is because of it’s architectural uniqueness, it creates an unintentional amazing acoustic effect where you can actually feel the vibration when fans sing and jump in unison. Thus, offering an exceptional atmosphere unlike any other when watching a game at La Bombonera. However, due to football club politics and increased insecurity at football games, it’s getting more and more difficult to get tickets to see a game, especially Boca home games, at La Bombonera without having to pay a high fee and/or the connections to find one.

Estadio José Amalfitani – Vélez Sarsfield
Av Juan B. Justo 9200, Liniers
This stadium is the home of Vélez Sarsfield, an Argentine First Division football club, and is also the national stadium for Los Pumas, the Argentina National Rugby Union Team. It is widely called as El Fortín (The Small Fort). The stadium was originally built in wood in the early 40′s, but it was rebuilt in cement a few years later and further expanded to be used in the 1978 FIFA World Cup when Argentina was the host. International concerts were held occasionally at this venue. Rod Stewart, Elton John, Bon Jovi, One Direction were some of the visiting performers.

Estadio Pedro Bidegain - San Lorenzo de Almagro
Av. Perito Moreno y Varela, Bajo Flores
More widely known as El Nuevo Gasómetro (the new gas tank), it’s the new home of San Lorenzo team since 1993. They are a popular team locally but not much known in the international stage until recently because of Pope Francisco, who is from the neighborhood and is a supporter of San Lorenzo. The team is actually from Almagro and their original stadium, Estadio Gasómetro, was located in Boedo (just south of Almagro). However, in 1979 it was expropriated by the military government and the land was then sold to French retailer Carrefour. A huge Carrefour supermarket has taken up the lot ever since. For 14 years, San Lorenzo didn’t have a ‘home’ and had to move around playing at different stadiums until they managed to build El Nuevo Gasómetro not too far from their origin. This newly built stadium has the largest pitch in the country and it is known for the only stadium that has a real tunnel for the players to enter the pitch rather than through an inflatable one.


Free Entry to the Best Art Museums in Buenos Aires

art-museum-palermo-parks-buenos-airesAny visitor to Buenos Aires could recognize that Buenos Aires is a very artistic-looking city, with all the beautiful sculptures, big statues in big street intersections, and art installations in parks and plazas. If art appreciation is your interest, then the city also has a lot to offer indoors because it has a wide variety of international collections, from classical to modern, displayed in the many art museums all over the city. The best of all is that many of them if not free entry every day, one day of the week is free, and here are the ones that you should not miss:

Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes
Av. del Libertador 1473, Recoleta (Across from Recoleta Cemetery)
Tuesday to Friday 12:30pm-8:30pm Weekends and holidays 9:30am-8:30pm
Closed Mondays

Museo Nacional de Arte Decorativo
Av. de Libertador 1902, Recoleta
Tuesday to Sunday 2pm-7pm
Closed Mondays
FREE Admission on Tuesdays

Museo de Artes Plásticas Eduardo Sívori
Av. Infanta Isabel 555, Palermo (inside Bosques de Palermo, in front of El Rosedal)
Tuesday to Friday 12nn-8pm Weekends and holidays 10am-8pm
Closed Mondays
FREE Admission on Saturdays and Wednesdays.

Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires (MAMBA)
Av. San Juan 350, San Telmo
Tuesday to Friday 11am -7pm Weekends and holidays: 11am-8pm
Closed Mondays
FREE Admission on Tuesdays.
(Note: Don’t mix this up with Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Buenos Aires which is another art museum just a few blocks down the road. It has good exhibitions too but it has no free days but cheaper on Wednesdays.)

Centro Cultural Recoleta
Junín 1930, Recoleta (right next to Recoleta Cemetery)
Even though this is not a museum, it needs a mention because they always have great contemporary exhibitions going on and they are always Free Admission!

Lastly, just in case you wonder where is the guidebook-said-must-visit MALBA? Well, sorry to break it to you that it has no free days, it has cheaper days on Wednesdays though. With all the money saved up from the other places, there’s no reason why you need to leave it out of your to-do list. It’s totally worth a visit too!


Learn Football Vocabulary in Spanish (Buenos Aires Style)

vamos-argentina-mundial-brasil-2014World Cup 2014 is heating up all around the world, and definitely here in Buenos Aires, Argentina. If you are in the city watching the live broadcast on local TV here, it is pretty hard to understand what the commentators are saying other than ‘goooool!’ and “Pulga Pulga Pulga” (Just in case you don’t know yet, “La Pulga” (The Flea) is the nickname for Messi) since they speak really fast and also probably you are not familiar with football vocabularies in Spanish yet. Well, here we are to help you with a list of some basic common football terms we use in Buenos Aires.

(Note: Since football is such a prominent sport in many Spanish-speaking countries, there are many regional varieties. The list below represents what we commonly use in Buenos Aires; a more general term in brackets, if any.)

World Cup = Copa Mundial
Team = Equipo
National Team = La Selección
Team line up = Alineación
Opposing team/rival = Adversario/Contricante
Football shirt = Camiseta
Football shoe(s) = Botín(es) (Zapatillas)
Football = pelota (balón)
Fans = Hinchas (Aficionados)
Hooligans = Barra bravas

Game = Partido/Encuentro
Friendly game = Partido amistoso
Season = Temporada
League = Liga
First/Second Period = Primer/Segundo tiempo
Half Time = entretiempo (descanso/medio tiempo)
Extra Time = Descuento (Tiempo Extra/Tiempo Suplementario)
to Win/to Defeat = Ganar/Vencer
to Lose = perder
Winners = Ganadores
a Beating (a big win) = Paliza
Defeat = Derrota
Draw = Empate
Qualifying round = Eliminatoria
Semifinal = Semifinal
Final/Championship = Final / campeonato
Finalist = Finalista
First runner up = Subcampeón
Champion = Campeón – Vencedor del torneo del que se esté hablando.
Scoreboard = Marcador
Rules = Reglamento/Normas/Reglas

Stadium = Estadio
Football field/pitch = La cancha (el campo de juego)
Dressing room = Vestuario
Sideline = Línea de banda lateral o simplemente Línea
Goal line = Línea de fondo/gol o simplemente Línea
Player box = Palco
Goal = Arco (Portería/Meta)
Goalpost = Palo (Poste)
Crossbar = Travesaño (Larguero/Barra horizontal)
Referee = Árbritro
Linesman/asistant referee = Auxiliar/Juez de línea/Asistente
Coach = Entrenador/Director Técnico (DT)
Training = Entrenamiento
Tactics/Strategy = Táctica
Technique = Técnica
Captain = Capitán
Goalkeeper = Arquero (Portero/Guardameta)
Forward = Delantero
Midfielder = Mediocampista
Defense = Defensor

Fair play = Fair play (Juego limpio)
Foul play = Juego sucio
Assist = Asistencia
Score/Goal! = Gol! or usually it’s more like Gooooooooooool!
Great goal = Golazo
Invalid goal = Gol anulado
Own goal = Gol en contra (Propia meta)
Foul = Falta (Infracción)
Handball = La mano
Offside = Offside (Fuera de juego/Posición adelantada)
Yellow card = Tarjeta amarilla
Red card = Tarjeta roja
Penalty = Penal
Corner Kick = Corner (Saque de esquina)
Throw In = Saque de banda/Saque Lateral
Goal Kick = Saque de arco
Out of bound (sideline) = Fuera de banda/Línea
Out of play = Fuera de juego
Free kick = Tiro libre directo/indirecto
Change of players = Cambio/Variante

a Pass = un Pase/Toque
a Shot = un Tiro (Disparo/Chutazo)
a Move = una Jugada
Header = Cabezazo
Flop = Tirarse al piso
Counter attack = Contraataque/Contragolpe
Defense = Defensa
Offense = Delantera
to Dodge = Gambetear (Regatear)
to Expel = Expulsar
to Hit the ball with the head = Cabecear
to Mark (a player) = marcar
to Score = Meter un gol (Anotar/Marcar)
to Kick = Golpear/Patear
to Shoot = Tirar/Disparar
the “Wall” = Barrera
Crossed-kick = Rabona

Olé, Olé, Olé!


Where To Watch 2014 World Cup Games in Buenos Aires

watch-world-cup-public-big screen-buenos-airesWorld Cup 2014 is finally here! As a football-is-a-religion country, that will be all we watch, hear and talk about here in Argentina for the next few weeks. In Buenos Aires, the atmosphere will even get more intense as we have cafes, bars, restaurants in every corner and almost all of them have television sets. There are really no places where you cannot watch the games. That being said however, there are still a few locations and ways that worth a mention.

Outdoor and festival feel
The Buenos Aires City Government has set up big screens at 2 very accessible locations where you can watch the games with many others for free. You will also have lots of room to dance and wave flags of the nations you are supporting. The 2 places are Plaza San Martín (Microcentro) and Parque Centenario (Caballito).

Sports bar experience
While there are thousands of bars and restaurants you can easily do your pick for your games hang out, there are a few known sports bar which will guarantee awesome vibe. One is Locos X  el Fútbol (X stands for ‘por‘) at Las Heras 2101 (corner of Uriburu) in Recoleta. Also in Recoleta is El Alamo at Uruguay 1177; they now also have another location in Palermo at Córdoba 5267.
Sugar, known to be a popular expat bar in Palermo Soho with good American-style food, is at Costa Rica 4619. They have huge HD screens, great for sports games viewing for sure.

Home or wherever you want experience
If you prefer having your private get together in the comfort of your own home and you don’t have cable, no need to worry! As part of their ‘Fútbol Para Todos’ initiative, the Argentine government will make all World Cup games and festivities available on TV Pública, our public TV channel. 32 major games will be shown live on the public TV channel 7, the other 32 will be recorded and can be watched through DeporTV, the digital channel of TV Pública, you can download the player here.

Good luck to all your teams!

Oolé, olé, olé, olé!!