We finally made it to the Recoleta Cemetery, one of the biggest tourist attractions in our neighborhood. Its really unbelievable - its set up in sections with city blocks separated by tree-lined walkways. All of the graves are mausoleums (like in New Orleans) and they are ridiculously elaborate. They are basically mini marble houses for coffins in an array of architectural styles. Some even had stairs on the inside that lead to a basement level. You can't go inside them unless you have the key (not that you would want to) but you can see into them through windows. One of the craziest things was the number of stray cats in the cemetery - we saw at least 2 dozen. It is definitely a creepily magical, mysterious place. Next time we go we will find Miss Eva Peron's grave - the cemetery is too big to cover all in one day and apparently her grave is more humble than you would expect.
According to President Christina, this smoke along with the earlier farmers strike are all a result of soybeans. I just hope that this is really an accident and not a calculated negotiating tactic to try to smoke out Buenos Aires. If that were the case, that would be pretty whack.
As we went to go to the gym yesterday evening after work/school, we walked out of our building and into a noxious haze. We though that something nearby was on fire, but we really couldn't figure out what it was. The haze was still there an hour later as we walked home, and we were reluctant to go back out again. Finally, we got the story from one of the teachers in Kat's program when we joined a group at a tango show. Apparently farmers in the Delta in the Parana river have been burning brush to clear their fields, and all of the smoke was blown into Buenos Aires. It was nasty.
On Saturday, 4/5, we went to a show called Southfest. It's a big electronic music festival, and the headliners were Paul Oakenfold and Underworld. We found out about it by just searching the internet for upcoming shows in BA, and it sounded fun. Like most things here, it didn't get started till late, and kept going till really early in the morning. Since Oakenfold wasn't scheduled to go on until 4am (apparently they go on as scheduled here instead of an hour late) we decided to show up around 1. The venue was three pavilions connected to one another. The main one had to be the size of 2 football fields with a huge control tower in the middle. I'm not sure how many people were there, but it was really, really crowded with sweaty Portenos wearing sunglasses at night. The show was a great time, and even though we were too tired to make it through the whole thing, it was really fun to be at a show of that size and to see all of the different types of people who showed up.
Take a look at the slideshow link to the right to see some pics from the show. It's hard to tell from the pic but one guy is wearing a bathrobe - just like The Dude.
We made it and so far everything is absolutely amazing!
Our apartment is in Barrio Recoleta (check out the link). Its a great area in the center of the city and we have a pretty big place with a kitch, living room, balcony and the bathroom even has a bidet (so lovely).
Everyone we've met has been wonderful - laid back and really friendly. Buenos is definitely a late city, like Madrid. Dinner is at 10 pm and the party ends around 7 am. Most bars/clubs stay open past 6 am. So it looks like we're going back to our New Orleans-style livin.
I start class tomorrow at the University of Buenos Aires. Greg had his interview today at a law firm and he got the internship! He starts work next week.