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Getting To Know the City called Buenos Aires

learn-spanish-in-buenos-aires-vamos-spanish-academy

Half the fun of moving to a city abroad is learning about all the quirks and idiosyncrasies that comprise a place. Almost every major city has an international reputation that is validated by people who have never been but have heard about it, or people that have been for a short amount of time and saw everything that they needed to see (i.e. all the tourist attractions).  This mentality is best summed up by the expression “been there, done that”.  I’m not implying that this is an altogether bad mindset since we can’t expect to become familiar and see even a fraction of everything that all the big cities have to offer; however, it can definitely blind us from all the amazing things that a place hides in plain sight.  I’m guilty of judging a city by its superficial characteristics; almost every city in Europe intrigued me but I didn’t have the time or resources to really comprehend what made that city unique aside from its attractions. What shocked me about Buenos Aires was that I was immediately convinced of the uniqueness and personality that it possesses.

It is generally difficult to discern what makes a city unique with a first impression since we learn by relating unfamiliar things to familiar things. This occurs when we go to a new place and we try and interpret it by comparing it to places that we already know. For instance, when I go to a new city I try to make sense of it by associating certain characteristics from other places I have already been to my new environment. Buenos Aires is no different and many people refer to it as the Paris of South America. At first some of the streets, cafes, and restaurants were reminiscent of Paris and I agreed with the comparison. But as I slowly became more familiar with the city and how large and diverse it is, I realized that this was an unfair comparison.

Buenos Aires is its own entity. It is not an offshoot of an European city, but the amalgamation of influences from so many cultures and people that it eventually engendered its own character.  That is not to say that certain influences don’t still exist within the city – there are many – but all of the foreign aspects have become influenced themselves by the ineffable psyche of Buenos Aires.

It is impossible to define what makes Buenos Aires as a whole so unique and gives it its personality, theatres-corrientes-buenos-airesbut many individual characteristics are noticeable.  When certain trends develop they seem to propagate rapidly through the culture – like popular fashion movements that periodically sweep through the city and don’t seem to exist anywhere else in the world (right now a common trend among the ladies is to wear these high platform shoes that have elevated the average women by about three to four inches). Similarly, the city breeds idioms that are unique to this region and will add some personality to your Spanish if you learn it here. Tango originated here in the 1980s and continues to flourish, and not just as a tourist attraction. There is the highest concentration of theaters in Buenos Aires than in any other city in the world. Fútbol is definitely not just a game but a passion. Meals are followed up with sobremesas, long discussions about anything that can persist well into the morning.  Porteños, the people from Buenos Aires, confident and well dressed, stride around the city. The list goes on, and changes daily. All of these things are amazing within themselves, but the product of their combination is what results in the powerfully enticing appeal of Buenos Aires.

Alex
vamospanish

Getting Cheeky in Argentina: How and When to Kiss People in Buenos Aires

(Aside from the obvious answer of whenever you can and however you want…)

Right cheek kiss demonstrated by Argentina President. (picture from Reuters)

Right cheek kiss demonstrated by Argentina President. (picture from Reuters)

In Argentina it is customary to give certain people a beso, or kiss, on the right cheek when you say hello or goodbye. If you are not expecting this to happen, or don’t know that it is a thing down here, you will definitely be caught off guard the first couple of times that it happens. The first time it occurred to me was with a very attractive Argentinean friend-of-a-friend. Right afterwards I was surprised by her forwardness and wondering when she would give me an actual kiss. When another one of my friends showed up and she did the same thing I was devastated. We had barely started our relationship and she was already kissing other guys. Furthermore, when one of her male friends came over to introduce himself and he kissed me I had no clue what was happening. Was this the most promiscuous culture in the world?

I was enlightened by a friend who explained to me how Argentineans, both male and female, give each other un beso when they meet friends or friends of their friends – they also greet family the same way – with a little kiss on the right cheek.  My next mistake came the next day when I tried to give a kiss back and actually kissed a woman’s cheek with my lips.  It turns out that you give people a little mock kiss, sound and everything, but don’t make physical contact other than cheek to cheek.  She took it well but I felt pretty awkward.

Once I mastered the cheek to cheek approach, I had to figure out what to do during the kiss with my hands. Place it on their left-shoulder, back, handshake, butt, or dangling dead-arm approach?  No matter how I approached the kiss the right arm seemed to forget what to do and would just droop in between us like a scared dog’s tail retreats between it’s hind legs. My hands wanted to get in the mix but they had no proper place. My current approach is to gently rest it upon the other person’s left shoulder and let my left hand hang to the side.  This has become perfunctory with Argentineans, but when I see or meet people from other countries things get awkward all over again.

Where I am from most people give each other hugs when they see one another. Usually there is an awkward moment after we say hello where each person is trying to determine whether to go in for the kiss or not.  This is funny to watch as a spectator as both sides seesaw back and forth until they have a quick and embarrassed kiss or just give up and hug or shake hands. When I meet someone from the United States I will sometimes throw in a reflex hug after the beso. This is a sure-fire way to confuse people since they won’t be expecting it and will be pulling away from the beso.  It also lets both of my hands do something but can be received unsatisfactorily and I don’t recommend doing it.

As a foreigner it is very difficult to have smooth and comfortable besos, even if you know what to do. People here will most likely realize that you are a foreigner and they themselves will be uncertain of whether to give you a kiss or not.  Alternatively, other foreigners have a hard time determining if you have adopted the custom and will most likely just shake your hand, which is probably for the better.  It is a cheeky culture and takes some time getting used to, but after you’ve kissed enough strangers you will start to get the hang of it.

Alex
vamospanish

Yerba Mate vs. Coffee: The Internal Debate of a Confused Gringo in Argentina

yerba-mate-coffee-argentine-cultureIn order to adequately assimilate into Argentinean culture you better know a bit about yerba mate.  From the southernmost city in the world – Ushuaia – to the northernmost point of Argentina, yerba mate, or we simply call it mate, is consumed religiously.  It is the lifeforce of the country and a foreigner cannot say that they have been to Argentina without trying it.  Many people that I have met down here have been converted to mate and have relinquished their coffee dependencies.  As a foreigner that is partial towards coffee, here is a glimpse into my initial perceptions and slow adoption of mate as my primary source of caffeine.

Mate seems to affect people very differently, for example, when I drink it I experience a mellow buzz and have relaxed thoughts.  Some of my friends, on the other hand, equate it to crack (I hope they can’t accurately make that comparison) and are surprised that it is even legal.  As an addicted coffee drinker from the States, I was initially disappointed in the effects of mate in comparison.  I had heard that it was this almost mythical substance that would grant the user superhuman abilities and allow one to think like Einstein (probably not the source of his genius); I thought it was something like ZBT from that movie Limitless.  These perceptions were inaccurate but I found that I enjoyed mate for a myriad of other reasons.

Mate contains less caffeine than coffee.  Don’t expect to lose control of yourself after a cup, it is not that strong.  einstein-drinking-yerba-mateThe buzz people experience from it seems to be more moderate and sustained compared to the fast energy burst from coffee.  Also, people claim that they don’t experience the customary coffee crash when they drink mate.  For me, the effects are mild yet noticeable; it gives me a good boost when I am tired but never puts me over the top like strong coffee can.

Another reason I enjoy drinking yerba mate is that it just looks cool to drink.  The combination of the handcarved-gourd and the metal straw make me feel like I am participating in some ancient spiritual ritual whenever I have a cup, and in a way I am.  While modern mate cups are starting to be made from various metals, plastics, and woods, the classic calabash gourd (cuia) is still the most popular.  The gourd, combined with the curious spoon-straw-filter, called the bombilla (bom-bi-sha), makes for a unique drinking experience.

In addition to the decorative appeal, the process of pouring a mate is not as straightforward as one would think.  Prior to consumption the leaves (yerba) must undergo an obligatory series of shaking and the removal of small particles before the bombilla and hot water are added.  The first cup of mate is strong and bitter and called the “mate of the fool”.  If you are new to the mate game, avoid drinking the first one and let who ever poured it, called the cebador, drink the first few cups.  After the first two cups the mate becomes more mild and bearable.  Another option to avoid the bitterness is to include sugar, lemon, mint, or some other enhancer to the mate.  Also, many people will include various herbs and health-conscious supplements to their mate.

how-to-prepare-yerba-mateAll the positive effects and aesthetics aside, most importantly mate is a social drink.  It is usually shared among friends and family in a circle. The mate moves around the circle in a counter-clockwise rotation starting from the cebador.  There is not that much liquid in the cuia since most of the space is taken up by the yerba; finishing an entire cup is a must at one’s turn. While the mate rotates, everyone in the circle is busy chatting.  Something about the fact that everyone in the circle is sharing the same thing, a little hollowed-out squash full of leaves, makes for good conversation.  In this regard I much prefer mate to coffee.  In the morning my coffee is my lifeline, something I need and hord back home – sharing it is not an option.  Later in the day it is something that I may get with people to catch-up, but I would never imagine sitting in a circle with a bunch of new friends and strangers pouring each other coffee in the same ceramic mug and passing it around.

When it comes to the health of mate it is both lauded and castigated by many people and organizations.  It is either causing cancer or preventing it, no one seems to know for sure.  It could possibly be reducing cardiovascular disease and help prevent dandruff.  It may lower stress, enhance physical endurance, burn fat, and of course clean your colon.  Whether or not you experience these effects, and I hope you do, it is nevertheless a fun drink to be enjoyed in the presence of friends, family, and some occasional strangers.

As I continue to hone my mate drinking abilities, and grow accustomed to the bitterness, I will see if I can replace coffee indefinitely.  Returning home will be the deciding factor, I will look crazy sitting in a park trying to usher strangers into my mate circle so I will have to get used to enjoying it alone or in small infrequent groups.

P.S. Try and find unsmoked mate as the smoked mate may increase your chances of developing certain types of cancer.

P.P.S Smoked mate may reduce other types of cancer though.

Alex
Vamospanish

La Bomba de Tiempo - Live Music in Buenos Aires

La-Bomba-Tiempo-KonexBuenos Aires is a city full of venues to experience some amazing live music.  Whatever you may be in the mood for, there is most likely a spot that caters to that specific genre.  If you want to have a very unique Monday night music experience, then you should definitely check out La Bomba de Tiempo.  Comprised purely of percussion, this group of 17 drummers knows how to put on a great show.

The “Time Bomb”, as it is translated, started in 2006 and is a collaboration of the best percussionists from Buenos Aires and surrounding areas.  As a group they attempt to portray the city through improvisation and powerful rhythmic music.  Although they are a unified group, the differences between their styles and sounds is palatable.  Rather than diminish the music, the different sounds and drumming styles add character and embody the multicultural and eclectic nature that comprises Buenos Aires.  During the show the founder of the group orchestrates the entire ensemble through a series of intricate hand gestures.  With these hand gestures he formats the music and band to correspond to the energy in the crowd.  Similarly, the crowd is a large vibrating mixture of extranjeros (foreigners), locals, and everyone in-between.  The form of communication is body movement, and everybody is free to express themselves in any manner they desire.

La Bomba de Tiempo is performed in a warehouse-like building that opens up to a large outside courtyard area equipped with a large metallic bug and colorful graffiti.  The show is very popular and is guaranteed to be packed inside — standing-room only.  Even though the dance floor is full and it looks like mayhem, the atmosphere is very jovial and amicable.  There is plenty of available space around the outsides of the mob if you need to cool down or your moves require a little more space to be appreciated.

Once the show comes to an end, which it does promptly at 10:00 pm, there is a large succession of showgoers and some of the performers in the street outside where the party continues for a little while longer.  If you’re still inclined to keep the beat going, there is usually an after-party at a bar or club where some of the musicians continue to boom away into the early morning.

The Details
The Place: Ciudad Cultural Konex, Sarmiento 3131, Abasto, Buenos Aires
The Time:  Opening band comes on at 7:00 pm, La Bomba del Tiempo comes on at 8:00 pm*
*It can get busy fast, and the line can get very long.  It is recommended to get there at 7 even though it should not sell out.
Price: Affordable
Phone: (+54 11) 4864 3200
Websitewww.ciudadculturalkonex.org

Alex
Vamospanish

Don't Forget About Tennis in Buenos Aires

juan-martin-del-potro-argentine-tennis-playerCatching a football game, whether is Boca Junior, River or even a minor league team, is no doubt a must-do while visiting Buenos Aires. Football to the Argentines is almost like a religion, taking up pretty much all the spotlights in the local sports news. However, there is another sport also garners a lot of audience and participants in Argentina and that is tennis.

As Argentine pro-tennis players made their ways into the top spots in the international tennis world, like Guillermo Vila in the 1970’s and Gabriela Sabatini in the late 80’s/early 90’s, everyone at home was paying attention. In recent years, the passion for tennis has seen a special boost especially when Guillermo Cañas made headlines worldwide by defeating Federer twice in 2007 which was during a time when Federer was almost unbeatable (except by Rafael Nadal), and then in 2009 when Juan Martín del Potro, nicknamed La Torre de Tandil (The Tower from Tandil, the city where he is from) for his height, won the US Open champion title by having defeated Nadal in the semi and Federer in the final. Since then, we have been cheering on La Torre on newspapers and TV news whenever he played. Unfortunately due to a recurring and troubling wrist problem, he is currently out of the circuit and is recovering from his second surgery.

Many different tennis tournaments, ATP games and special events take place in Buenos Aires yearly. Like this week, we are having the ATP Argentina Open. Rafael Nadal and many top players like Tommy Robredo, Fabio Fognini, Argentine Leonardo Mayer and Pablo Cuevas are participating. At published time, it looks like Nadal is well on his way heading to the final round. If you are in town, get your tickets here now while they are still available. The Argentina Open takes place at the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club from Feb 23 – Mar 1, 2015.

Then in 2 weeks from March 6-8, we will be hosting the All-South America world group first round of Davis Cup. We will be playing against Brazil – not only our rivalry on the football field! The Argentina team fares pretty well generally at the world cup of tennis. We are currently at No. 5 in the Davis Cup Nations Ranking out of 133 participating countries. Get your ticket and event information here, and let’s cheer for Argentina on the tennis courts!

Vamospanish

 

 

How To Stay In Shape In Buenos Aires Part 2: Indoor Edition

exercise indoor while learning spanish in buenos airesBuenos Aires generally has very nice weather, but once in a while we do have extreme heat or a cold front from Patagonia or electric rainstorms. In order not to let these get in the way of your fitness routine, you can easily bring them indoors. First and foremost, we have many FITNESS CENTERS, or gimnasios (gyms) all over town. As more and more Argentines get on the fitness train, gym popularity is at an all time high. New ones pop up almost every week, and they all get really packed during the week after 6pm. All the gyms offer monthly and yearly packages, but some also have weekly or even day passes for those who are just in Buenos Aires for a short stay. Depending on what kind of fitness studio you are looking for, you will be able to find many choices.

Two of the biggest and most popular fitness chains in Buenos Aires are MEGATLON and SPORT CLUB. Both of them have multiple branches and they are the ones that you will most likely come across while walking around town. Since being a member of these clubs means you have access to all of their facilities at any of their branches, their membership fees are also a bit more expensive. For the higher price though, they are very well equipped with a huge variety and newer machines, an impressive schedule of classes like spinning, yoga, pilates, cross fit, shadow boxing, dance aerobic and so on. Some of them even have pools for swimming laps and also classes.

If you do not live close to one of these big fitness centers or simply watching your wallet, you can always look for smaller gyms in your neighborhood. This kind of studio is a lot more economical, while they may not have as many fancy machines, that doesn’t mean they are less equipped. The cardio and muscle departments still have all the usual suspects and are sufficient for all the basic workouts. Nevertheless, don’t expect a pool or lots of extra room/floor space for doing additional exercises. I would actually say that these small gyms are better for working out because generally there are not as many people around and you can do your program a lot more efficiently. A good thing that both big chains and small studios have in common is that they all have at least 2 or 3 personal trainers on site and they are there to help you out with any exercise questions that you may have.

If you feel typical fitness studios aren’t tough enough and want to bring that workout to another level, then you probably want to try out CROSSFIT. Since this trend has arrived Buenos Aires a few years ago, there are more and more crossfit studios opened up in the city. The big fitness chains offer this type of special program too, which is already included in its more expensive fee, but if you care for just the crossfit training, then sign up at a studio that is specialized in crossfit.

A more relaxed way to do something good for your body as well as for your soul is YOGA. Like all around the world the yoga boom did not miss Buenos Aires. As you can already imagine the big fitness studios offer yoga classes too, but I would recommend to go to a yoga studio which usually provides higher quality classes and more personalized instructions. Some of them also offer classes in English.

A great way to exercise your whole body while having fun and learning how to defend yourself is MARTIAL ARTS. From kickboxing to krav maga to muay thai, you can find all types of self-defense arts here in town. For these special types of training, rather than the big fitness chains, you will have to look up individual studio that specializes in its own discipline. If you are interested but don’t know where to start, check out Dojoclub in Palermo, they are a martial arts training club offering a variety of classes, like karate, kickboxing, muay thai, jiujitsu and taekwondo.

Lastly, another sport that will put your whole body to the test is ROCK CLIMBING. This activity will take you from indoor training to eventually outdoor climbing excursions facing the natural formation. Classes are offered at all levels. You can also rent shoes and gears at the studio in case you don’t have yours or not ready to commit 100% to this sport yet. If you are already a climber, you can simply pay a per use fee or become a member to use the facility. Many of the rock climbing schools are outside of the city but there are a few that are easily accessible in the city: Punto Cumbre, Bien Alto and Rustik.

For more workout ideas, also check out our How to Stay in Shape in Buenos Aires Part 1: Outdoor Edition .

Happy exercising!!

Vamospanish

Ways to Put Your Spanish Skills to the Test While Learning Spanish in Buenos Aires

As we are learning a foreign language, other than making sure we are grasping the grammar and applying them correctly in a classroom setting, we often feel like testing ourselves and trying to see how we actually fare in the real world. Able to interact with native speakers is definitely one of the best ways to achieve that. Having a language immersion experience like learning Spanish in Buenos Aires with us at Vamos Spanish Academy, will definitely allow you to have lots of these opportunities once you step out of the classroom and into the streets since you will be living the language.

For beginners, going about doing everyday chores like ordering at a restaurant, getting your take-out coffee, and buying fruits at a verdulería (vegetable/fruit stand) where it is not customary self-served here in Buenos Aires, would already give you lots of real life practice opportunity. For those who feel comfortable enough to carry a more in-depth conversation in Spanish, there are various language exchange events available in the city. One of them, which Vamos Spanish students frequent a lot, is Mundolingo. It is a free event where everyone will sticker their chest with country flags representing the languages you speak including the one you are learning, and using these stickers as indicators to find each other who want to practice your mother tongue and in exchange to help you with your Spanish. This is a great way not only to make new friends (local and international) but also to work on your Spanish speaking skills.

We actually have another suggestion which you could put your Spanish comprehension to test while you are here in Buenos Aires studying Spanish. It might sound a bit daring for some Spanish learners, and it is stand up comedy in Spanish! Generally we wouldn´t recommend typical Argentine stand up shows because they involve a lot of local slangs not to mention the comedians speak at a speed of light. It definitely won’t be a very encouraging experience unless you have already reached a very advanced level and also are familiar with the Argentine colloquial and local culture.

However, we have come across just the right one for you all Spanish learners out there. This particular stand up show in Spanish is done by Kristof Micholt, an European who has lived in Buenos Aires for many years. He speaks at a good speed and uses way less slangs and complicated words. Also, he shares his vast experience and interesting encounters being a foreigner in this city, which Spanish students who are also visiting Buenos Aires would probably find them very relatable and have a good laugh!

You can find his show “Un Belga en Argentina” every Thursday at 10PM at Paseo La Plaza (Corrientes 1660). More info at website: elbelgastandup.com.ar

Here is a taste of the show:

Vamospanish

How to Stay in Shape in Buenos Aires Part 1: Outdoor Edition

Run a marathon while learn spanish in buenos aires

Everybody who visits Buenos Aires is aware of all its good steaks, tasty empanadas, silky helados (ice-cream) and melt-in-the-mouth rabas (fried calamari), and so do I! I have been living in this city for 3 years so far and since I don’t (and will never!) have the intention to miss all the good food and drinks I have to come up with a plan to keep my weight in a healthy state. After having started looking, I was amazed at how accessible they are and the quantity of activities you can easily find all over Buenos Aires to keep you in shape.

So, the first and most typical activity to do is RUNNING. Simply put on your running shoes and exercise outfit, and off you go. Buenos Aires has a lot to offer for people who just want to have a run. There are the Bosques de Palermo and the Recoleta area which have their running tracks, then there’s the Reserva Ecológica (Ecological reserve) in Costanera Sur (close to San Telmo), and also the many parks and plazas around town in an urban landscape where you will not only have fun jogging but also experience the city in a different way.

In case you do not have a running partner but would love to have some company while working out, you will probably find some meet up running clubs that suit your needs on the webpage of the Club de Corredores. A lot of half marathons and marathons, especially in the summer months, take place all around the city. If you run in the Palermo parks, you will no doubt see a lot of promotion for these kinds of running activities. Another way to have fun and explore the city running is the Urban Running Tours. A professional trainer and experienced runner will meet up with you at your preferred time and will guide you through the city streets running, telling you interesting facts of the sites as you pass them by. They run different tours focusing on different parts of the city every day and they can plan tours according to your needs as well. See their website for more information.

If you are a person who loves to be on two wheels, there are also a lot of possibilities to BIKE in Buenos Aires. The city has put in a lot of effort in the past few years encouraging cycling and converting Buenos Aires into a bike-friendly city. While there’s still room for improvement and you should definitely take notes from our Tips on Biking Safely in Buenos Aires, the city has really come a long way to provide us with many bike lanes with traffic lights, conveniently intertwine throughout the city and all the major parks for leisure biking.

Part of the effort from the Buenos Aires city government is running the Public Bicycle Sharing Program, which is now also available to tourists. (Go here for registration instructions for tourists). Even though this public bike service is free of charge, they do have their limitations as they are not available all the time and have a maximum of 1 hour per rental.  As cycling becomes a more prominent activity, so do bike rental businesses which offer more flexibility on when and where you want to have a ride. Many of the popular city bike tour companies, like Biking Buenos Aires and La Bicicleta Naranja, offer different city tours as well as bike rentals. There are also companies focus on rental service only like Che Bikes which has longer term rental than others. For those who want to buy a bike, you can easily purchase a new (usually expensive) one at any bike shops you find in town, or try these websites to find a bargain on an used one: Mercadolibre.com.ar (our local ebay-like site), Craigslist or these Facebook groups: “intercambio de bicicletas” and “compra/venta/canje argentina fixed gear”.

If challenging your body to the limit is your thing (including being screamed at while doing this), then there is Bootcamp Buenos Aires for you. You can check out their different schedules and meeting points on their website here, and also sign up there. You will meet up with other people and your instructor will hunt you through the Palermo woods or the Recoleta neighborhood and try to give you the worst time of your life – ENJOY!

Last but not least, we of course can’t put to waste all the beautiful outdoor green space in Buenos Aires without some outdoor YOGA. You can find yoga lessons take place in the Bosques de Palermo (on a nice sunny day) and in different parks in the city on the weekends and they are free to participate. Follow this link to see the schedule and organizers of the free outdoor yoga classes that are currently available during these summer months. For the rest of the year, join “Yoga Gratis en Buenos Aires” Facebook group to keep updated.

Don’t forget to check back in for our Part 2: Indoor Edition on How to Stay in Shape in Buenos Aires.

Happy Working out!

Vamospanish

Free Outdoor Summer Events in Buenos Aires

movie in Palermo parks Buenos Aires

Photo by Gustavo Correa, from Festivales de Buenos Aires FB.

Foreigners who are visiting Buenos Aires in January and February are most likely escaping from the cold weather in the northern hemisphere; thus, feeling the sun and being outdoor as much as possible is always high on the agenda. Last week, we have already given you some beach ideas around the city, but you may ask, how about after the sun sets, what are there to do to stay outside? Good news, there are actually quite some great options other than just grabbing a bite at a nice restaurant´s patio.

From now till February 8, a city-wide summer festival called Verano en La Ciudad is offering up a bunch of activities in the evenings. Stages and seatings have been set up at various outdoor locations, like parks and plazas, at different neighborhoods in the city where you will get to enjoy live concerts, theatre, milonga, circus performaces and movie screenings.

If you are more of a fan of the classic arts, then head over to Teatro Colón because they are bringing their shows outdoor! Well, not exactly a live performance, but they will be showing some of the best international opera, ballet and symphony productions on a big screen at the Plaza Vaticano which is right next to the theatre. This will take place from January 15 to February 7, every Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8pm.

All of the aforementioned events are free of charge. Seats are first come first serve so go early! For more information and the schedules, visit their corresponding websites:

Verano en La Ciudad

Festival de Música en Plaza Vaticano

Now, let`s hope the weather will cooperate and cause no interruption to our outdoor fun!

Vamospanish

How to Get a Beach-like Experience in Buenos Aires

buenos-aires-urban-beachesTalking about beaches, we have good news and bad news. Let’s start with the bad one first: Buenos Aires does not have beaches. Yup, you heard it, as misleading as it appears on the map sitting right next to the water, which is our Rio de la Plata, this city does not have beautiful beaches unfortunately. However, the good news is that there are many nice ones close by, where the closest one is just a few hours away (See map below, click to enlarge). These beach destinations are also where you can find many porteños (residents of Buenos Aires) vacationing and escaping the heat of the city during January and February, our summer months.
Visit-beaches-while-study-spanish-in-buenos-aires

Of course not everyone get the time to go to the nearby beaches, our city government also thought about that and here is another good news. 2 man-made sand beaches will be open to the public from January 9 to March 1, 2015 at Parque de los Niños in the north end of the city and Parque Roca in the south end. This idea of ´beach in the city´ is actually inspired by Le Paris Plage along el Seine in Paris. Even though you won´t get to go into the water, these beaches will have a nice Rio de la plata view and also well-equipped with beach chairs, beach umbrellas, cabana beds, wifi zone, showers to cool off, football/beach volleyball courts, reading lounge, wave pool etc. Futhermore, there will also be aerobic classes, dance classes, live music shows etc. on selected days. Everything is free access. Opening hours are Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 8pm. Check out their facebook page to keep updated.

As part of Buenos Aires playas 2015, a few of the city`s parks and plazas will also be equipped with sunshades and beach chairs, turning into an urban outdoor solarium. Opening hours are Friday – Sunday 10am – 8pm. Free access, first come first serve. You can find them at:

Palermo – Av. Figueroa Alcorta y La Pampa, Palermo
Parque Las Heras – Av. Las Heras y Av. Coronel Díaz, Palermo
Rosedal – Av. Sarmiento y Av. Figueroa Alcorta, Palermo
Plaza de las Naciones Unidas – Av. Figueroa Alcorta y Juan A. Biblioni, Recoleta
Plaza Rubén Darío – Av. del Libertador y Austria, Recoleta
Plaza Almagro – Perón y Salguero, Almagro
Plaza Boedo – Sánchez de Loria y Carlos Calvo, Boedo
Plaza Giordano Bruno – Giordano Bruno y Neuquén, Caballito
Parque Rivadavia – Ingreso por Rosario y Viel, Caballito
Plaza Roque Sáenz Peña – Av. Juan B. Justo y Boyacá, Villa Mitre

Don´t forget the sunscreen, the sun is very strong here!

Vamospanish