29 April 2008

Where in the world is Steve Gore?

Hola Chicos,

Big thanks to all the early birds that pointed out that Matt Lauer kicked off his annual world tour down here in BsAs. The video is pretty decent, the best part is either Matt Lauer on a moped or when he thanks the tango dancer in Italian (thats right, I'm judging people for their poor espanol).

So where am I right now? I am at the Alamo Bar (again) enjoying their lunch special of sauteed chicken and veggies, fries, ALL YOU CAN DRINK BEER, wifi, a slingbox for US tv and Foghat on the jukebox. Its a hard life down here when the senior manager goes back to the states for two weeks.

In the past week another ADP team, one guy from Belgium and one from Minnesota, have arrived here and they've been a lot of fun to hang out with. On Friday we went to a flamenco show in San Telmo which while maybe not authentic, was very cool and surprsiingly intense. I also checked out the Costanera Sur which is a big nature park right outside BsAs and got my big break into South American television when I got a speaking part in a promo for Puerto Madera. My big line: "Yo quiero venido bailar a Puerto Madero". Look for it on a travel channel advertisement near you.

A week ago we finally hit up the club scene which I actually really enjoyed. It went something like this:
  • 9:00pm: went to Tracy and Cy's, opened first bottle of wine
  • 10:00pm: dinner time, 2nd and 3rd bottle of wine
  • 11:00pm: starting watching the Avs beat the Wild to win their 1st round matchup
  • 1:00am: went to Palermo for a house party
  • 3:00am: got into Crobar VIP (you know how I do)
  • 3:00am - 7:00am: danced my face off / wandered around / got in a fight with flowers
  • 7:00am: went to a breakfast of crepes + french fries (delicious)
  • 8:00am: got home, had 45 minute skype conversation with Ashley in Japan (who I haven't spoken to since graduation)
  • 9:00am: dunzo

Its been good, and its probably gonna get even better. Kyle and Meghan get here in about 21 hours and bring with them promises of all you can eat steak races, Iguazu Falls, Mendoza Wines and the tallest mountain in the Americas: Aconcongua.

I'll end this one with a rhetorical question. How many all you can drink lunches can my $600 US stimulus check buy? A lot.

My new favorite building in BsAs

Why do I always take pictures of these things?

22 April 2008

Earth Day 2008

and now, I get on my soapbox (I feel like I dserve one of these per blog).

Hopefully most people know that tomorrow, April 22nd, is Earth Day. Unfortunately, that news has not seemed to sink in with the Argentine farmers, arguably some of the people who should be most concerned about it. They also, arguably, have a great opportunity to make a positive impact on the environment. So naturally they set 175,000 acres on fire to clear their fields and literally (as in this is not an exaggeration) choked Buenos Aires with smoke. The smoke blocked out the sun, burned eyes, reflected headlights and made everything smell like an ashtray. An 175,000 acre ashtray. It makes you realize why people in places like Mexico City and Beijing, people wear surgical masks whenever they step outside. These pictures don't really do it justice, but use your imagination.

The people are pretty upset, international papers are taking note, the president is flying around in her helicopter making speeches ("don't cough for me Argentina"..... terrible.... sorry) and the government is threatening to arrest anyone responsible for setting the blazes. Which is all well and good, but I image that after the smoke clears (as in goes up into the atmosphere) and everything gets backs to normal, people will simply forget and continue to ignore our impact on this planet.

One of our biggest impacts is global warming, which for most of us lacks the punch-you-in-your-face immediacy of a mouthful of smoke (though I would imagine a number of New Orleans residents would disagree with me). And without that immediacy, I think our governments and societies (in Argentina, in the US, in the world) are simply content to ignore these impacts until we are forced to deal with the consequences.

But luckily, societies are made up of individual people (ie you). And just like individual people managed to really fuck up the air in Buenos Aires (Spanish for "Good Air"), individual people (ie you) can really make a positive impact. Take a bus to work, recycle your beer bottles, give up the styrofoam coffee cup, get some rechargable batteries, plant a tree! There are millions of things you could do and just as many internet sites dedicated to this stuff - personally I like http://www.idealbite.org/. So rather than ignoring out impact on the world, use Earth Day (and my eloquent and compelling literary style) as a excuse to make a positive, concrete, healthy and hopefully fun change.

Feliz Dia de la Tierra!

16 April 2008

Sweet Home Buenos Aires

The Bar
Friday night found us out wandering around the outside of the Recoleta cemetery deciding which of the popular tourist restaurants to take our dinner. Touts handed out cards, hostesses offered discount steaks, but what really got us was (of course) the cover band playing Oasis. So we sat down, ordered the first of many beers, enjoyed a delicious chorizo and listened to perhaps the most terrible and most entertaining cover band I've heard in a while. They had a passable CCR Rolling on a River, but generally their style was to take popular American tunes and change all the lyrics into Espanol. Their greatest achievment (or so it seemed- they broke into it about 4 times) was a crowd pleasing take on Skynard that went something like "Sweet Home Buenos Aires (Aires, Aires, Aires), donde el cielo es tan azul."

Habitat para la Humanidad
Saturday we woke up bright and early and worked with a group of Accenture folks on a Habitat project oustide of BsAs. It was great fun to be back doing construction, playing with rebar and racing wheelbarrow (no welding or bobcatting this time though). Turns out you build houses here in pretty much the same way you build them in Thailand: concrete, concrete and more concrete. It was also a fun way to practice my construction Spanish and meet some more people including the American guy in charge of building the house who is down here volunteering in Argentina for a couple of months and gave me a good opportunity to reminise. One thing that was not very fun was waking up sore as shit the next day, apparently my 'mound of dirt shovelling' stnace needs some work.

Mi Casa
By popular demand (100% of the people I spoke to this week requested it), here are some pictures of the apartment.

Getting out of the house - San Telmo
Ok, I know, lame way to tie this to the home theme, but I spent Sunday wandering around the feria (market) in San Telmo which was great, and wanted to put up a 'classic' tango picture:

12 April 2008

Viente Cinco

Celebrated my second consecutive birthday outside of the Eastados Unidos on Tuesday and yes, I am a quarter of a century old. The birthday was great, went to dinner with Justin, Tracy, Cy and Marisa (an Argentinan Accenture employee) to La Cabrera in Palermo. This was probably one of the best (and most fun) steak places I have ever been.

Before even sitting down they gave us free champagne (then more of the free bubbly at the end of the meal). We ordered Ojo de Bife (Ribeye), 2 Bife de Chorizos (similar to the Ojo) and Bife de Lomo (filets) and the four steaks probably added up to about a quarter of a cow. This was pure, unalderated beef (pretty sure there wasn't even salt on it) and it was incredible. They also gave you like 6 little side plates (some great: mushrooms, mashed potatoes, roast garlic, sweet potatoes; some not so great: eggs in beet sauce, broccoli in mayonnaise) and we got these great champagne and lemon sorbet things for desert. For my birthday, they brought an incredibly rich tiramisu with an awesome birthday candle (see picture below and left). Oh yeah, and we had a bunch of wine (we asked the waiter why the red wine was cold and he said, loosely translated, 'because you ordered the cheap crappy bottle').

Topped off the night at an outdoor bar drinking more cheap red wine then at a random house party (drinking more cheap red wine). Wednesday was not my most fun day at work.

Ok ok, so that is not a birthday candle, it is in fact the olympic torch. It cruised through Buenos Aires today and I lined up, with about 5,000 others, at the Obelisko to catch a glimpse. There was one or two pro-Tibet people, a couple hundred pro-China people (which made me really want some sesame chicken) and then several thousand police officers. Seriously, it was like the torch surrounded by the Chineese police in blue, surrounded by cops on ATVs surrounded by cops on motorcycles surrounded by cops jogging with linked arms surrounded by plainsclothes cops. I remember in 96 the torch going through Denver and there were like 10 people around it. Interesting fact: the olympic torch relay was dreamed up by none other Adolph Hitler to promote the '36 games in Berlin.

Rather than end a post about by birthday with that factoid, here is a fantastic link which really nails me dead on: http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.wordpress.com/2008/04/10/95-rugby/


08 April 2008


Thats right, I got a cell phone. Gimme a call at +54 (9) 11 5990 5631 (from the US, dial 011 54 911 5990 5631).

Or you can text me (Gore/Colleen/other obsessive texters out there).

Or, if you are feeling Skypey press the blue button over on the left there that says "I'm online" (note: if it doesn't say that, call the cell).


07 April 2008

The people of BA

Here's a quick rundown (great movie - shown repeatedly on TNT down here) of some of the people I've met here:
  • The other ADP consultant / roomate: Justin. Justin is a very cool guy, very easy to hang out with (which is good since we are spending about 18 hours a day together), speaks Spanish and should make for a fun person to travel with.
  • The senior manager: Tom. Tom is a really smart guy (like most senior managers) but has some 'interesting' traits (like most senior managers). He's married to an Argentinian, spent a year in Spain but speaks less Spanish than I do (a lot less). He's survived living in Korea, Singapore and Kentucky but still looks terrified every time he has to cross the street. He wears slacks and a t-shirt.
  • The senior manager's family. Tom brought his wife and two 7 month twin babies down to BA with him. His wife is nice and his kids are cute (as far as babies go... they'd be cooler if they were puppies). His wife's big Italian (theres lots of Italians here) family is still here so we've met a lot of friendly aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters and cousins.
  • The GW connection: Tracy. Tracy is the latest of random GW High School people I have run into while travelling in a foreign country. She and her boyfriend Cy came down here after getting sick of their jobs in Denver and are trying to decide if they want to find jobs or just travel.
  • The study abroad kid: David. David is a friend of Green's and has been here since September studying abroad. He speaks excellent Spanish, is a local at a cool bar (not the Alamo) and when we met him he had just gotten back from an estancia (huge ranch) and was getting ready to go sailing with a professor the next day. He is, quite simply, living the life.
  • The scumbag American: Romiero. We met Romiero after a coin toss decided that we were eating at the restaurant he owns last Saturday. Throughout the meal (which was terrible and overpriced) he graced us with his stories of drugs, corruption and, of course, his love of prostitutes. And love prostitutes he did (supposedly 654 of them), he could tell you exactly where to go on any night to find hookers and how much they would cost. Talking with him left me with the same feeling I got after a few hours in Patong (or a few days in Myrtle) - namely that I needed a shower. Badly. I wonder what warrants he has waiting for him in America.
  • The goth kids. There are a ton (like hundreds) of goth kids hanging out in this one park on Callao. Whats the deal with that?

Anyways, checked out the La Boca futbol game on Saturday which was a ton of fun. It had the feel of a Duke basketball game, but with 50,000 screaming and singing fans instead of 2,000. Raced home from that to watch the final four only to find that we had been locked out of the apartment by a technician (who came to install wireless for two tech consultants). So wandered around Recoleta till about 3am (which is about when people stopped eating dinner and started going out) and ended up sleeping in a hostel. On the plus side, the hostel had a sweet view of the cemetery:


04 April 2008

Buenos Aires, Buenos Noches

Good Airs, Good Nights.