The last Cortado

September 16th, 2009 § Comments Off on The last Cortado § permalink

I’ll miss these little coffees…

Last night drinks

September 16th, 2009 § Comments Off on Last night drinks § permalink

Last night we went for drinks at some erotic bar/restaurant with dim lighting and everything red, including velvet curtains, that has sexy shows on their tiny stage. But last night it was just a guy playing guitar and singing. A flyer for another night of the week with a more erotic performance has been decorated with red velvet and flowers made to look like a vagina. The menu had options like, “Spill your seed on me” soup. We were only there for drinks–walked over to have steak again at our favorite parilla, Miranda, for dinner–and found this place on the way back to our hotel.

No one spoke much English, so it was unclear if drinks were going to be made at first. The woman who cashes checks for the wait staff gave us the drink menu, took our order, and after we told her what we wanted, she snapped something about having no bartender. Then, nothing happened for a while and while we sat there wondering if we should make our own drinks, a waiter was found to do the job. He did fine, and it was amusing to watch him scramble behind the bar, having no idea where things were located.

Salta’s holiest day is today

September 15th, 2009 § Comments Off on Salta’s holiest day is today § permalink

We’ve been seeing pilgrims walking into town for today’s celebration that wards off earthquakes. They walk for weeks!

The colors, man…

September 13th, 2009 § Comments Off on The colors, man… § permalink

If it weren’t for the gasps of the others, I’d have thought I was losing my mind–their sounds of startled appreciation told me they too were seeing what I was: a world awash in shifting color, with the occassional flash and pulse of bright, intense light.

We were laying on a black square of marble floor in an empty room that makes up an exhibit called Sky Space in the James Turrell museum at the Colome winery. We were participating in a piece of art (I would add science and magic to that moniker) that can only be viewed at sunset or sunrise–it involves the mix of natural and artificial light and uses the sun’s waxing or waning rays to envelope the audience in an experience of color that cycles through the spectrum, continuously changing the hue of the room’s ceiling and walls in a show that lasts 30 minutes. The sky itself is part of the work–a giant square, open window in the ceiling frames a section of the changing sky, and uses its colors as the main ingredient of the experience.


Viewing the rest of Turrell’s work was also amazing–a truly immersive and experiential journey through light and color. At one point, one of my travel partners, Gwen, said she, “felt like I was walking in jello.” At another she said, “I was inside an Easter Egg.” Gwen called the empty rooms that either enveloped us in a field of white nothingness or in a disorienting cloud of neon color, “calming and meditative.” I, on the other hand, found my brain turned on full power and set on the extra spin cycle. My eyes vibrated-I thought of Willie Wonka more than once: the trippy boat ride and how Mike TV must have seen and felt his little, empty TV space-I could see and feel emptiness myself, and the experience was a disorienting trick of the mind in collusion with eyes that couldn’t make sense of what they saw.

For some, I bet, the experience might not equal comfort or feel like a creative cyclone, but a terrifying flashback to their drug years.

Its the next day and I can still feel the visceral effect of Turrell’s art.

Gooooood Morning Argentina

September 12th, 2009 § Comments Off on Gooooood Morning Argentina § permalink

I think spring is finally here.

Highest Vines

September 11th, 2009 § Comments Off on Highest Vines § permalink

Settling down with the sunset looking out from our room at the highest vineyard in the world. Amazing 7 hour drive out here, happy that we have 2 nights here!

Forget the kitchen sink, give me the farm

September 11th, 2009 § Comments Off on Forget the kitchen sink, give me the farm § permalink

Our mixed grill (called parillado) at the parilla included: chorizo (sausage), a few beef steaks, a piece of goat, beef ribs, a chicken breast, a pork chop, black pudding, large intestine, thymus gland, and udder.

I pretty much skipped the offal (but did take 1 bite of each) and split the rest with Ben. We ate this around 11 pm and went to bed at 12:30. I fear the scale when I get home.

Seven steaks in 6 days

September 10th, 2009 § Comments Off on Seven steaks in 6 days § permalink

Ben has eaten more steak than I (the post title is his words), but we’re going to a parilla (steakhouse) for dinner tonight and I will try to catch up–dinner here starts at 9:30 / 10:00; some people sup at midnight! Nothing like eating 1/2 kilo of meat (the standard portion size) at, say, 10:30 before going to bed only a few hours later. Makes for weird dreams.

Besides beef steak I have had: lamb, lama, and goat. They love grilled meat here, as much as wine–it’s drunk with both lunch and dinner. How will I get used to salads for dinner at 7:30 when Im back home?!?

The Andes

September 9th, 2009 § Comments Off on The Andes § permalink

The view from our room at the Cavas Wine Lodge in Mendoza

Wine tasting all day!

September 9th, 2009 § Comments Off on Wine tasting all day! § permalink

Mendoza is famous for Malbec, but they also grow many others grapes. They say visiting wineries here is like Napa 30 years ago: not commercialized and a very personal experience. I wouldn’t know because I was only allowed to drink milk back then, but it was definitely a pleasant day. My tongue was purple at the end!