After tangoing in the rain the night before, I decided to stay local and explore our area of Palermo. Often compared to NYC Soho, Palermo Soho is the trendiest neighborhood in the city. Years ago French architect Charles Thays designed all gardens using the images of Paris’s Bois de Boulogne’s and London’s Hyde Park. Today, the neighborhood maintains a perfect harmony between greenery, old French mansions and modern high-rises. Many ancient houses have been converted to galleries, boutiques, or even restaurants with roof top terraces under spacious umbrellas.
Like the Quimbombo restaurant hiding under white umbrellas and rising above the Yoga studio. I usually don’t strive to achieve Moksha, and yet this place became a temple for my soul. I wanted to meditate over the delicious brunch and accept the slow-paced environment. Dipping fresh fruits in a home-made yogurt, I attempted to read a Spanish newspaper and watch the craft sellers below in the plaza Armenia.
Only a few places are open for late breakfast as it seems that Argentinians prefer dinners and lunches over eggs and bacon. Since I can’t speak before I have my coffee, I searched for a cafe to perform my morning ritual. Mott restaurant, where Maria Lancio’s kitchen does not lack creativity, quickly seduced my heart by its Third dish (french toast) and cozy white sofas. Clean and modern, with lots of natural light, wooden furniture, and a fireplace, Mott certainly dances well within the bohemian atmosphere of Soho.
Full of artists, intellectuals, designers, etc., Soho inspires one to not only feast but, among other things, to shop. The futuristic collections are simply irresistible to pass by and I ended up severely damaging my bank account. The skirt I purchased from Digital Mixture (Pasaje Santa Rosa 4911) is adorable – I only need to figure out how to put it on (last time it took me 30 minutes).
For the hand-made jewelry I strolled down to Atipica and for the leather goodies stopped by Calma Chicha. Don’t waste your time on a trip to the leather district of BA – the quality of products is poor and the prices are a rip-off especially if you don’t speak Spanish. Less expensive things can be bought at a street fair on Plaza Serrano in Palermo or Sunday antique market in San Telmo.
To sweeten my shopping adventures, I treated myself (other than a venti latte from Starbucks) with a famous Argentinian dessert – dulche de leche. La Salamandra cafe claims to offer award-winning products and I bought a few tins of dulche for my friends back in the U.S.
While my travel-friend was getting her hair done at a funky Roho salon, I wandered around the streets inhaling the wisdom of the centuries along with the wind of changes. I started thinking about my life, the big birthday and what it all means to me. Granted, I am not where I expected to be at this point, but I can’t not to feel lucky for the chances and opportunities I’ve been given.
Even the opportunities that I missed.
I suddenly wanted to stop time and block the noise about planning the next trip or looking forward to a new adventure.
I wanted to simply be.
Without a plan. Without a goal. Without a perception.
Drink a glass of wine by the pool and enjoy the stars above my head. Blow a kiss to a stranger and walk in the rain (the rain part I had done the day before).
Until, of course, my ADD kicked in and I was ready to let the evening begin. My big birthday was celebrated at Cabana Las Lilas, a lovely restaurant in Puerto Madero that serves beef from its own Argentine ranches. On the terrace we dined savoring the colorful palette of meat, sweetbread, desserts, wine and champagne. Puerto Madero itself was once the industrial docks area that now has been redone and transformed into an ultra contemporary spot of BA.
Later that night, we met up with friends at lounge V, where I was introduced to a Lion Tamer. Lions in BA? I was lost in translation but went with the flow and joined the circus as a fortune-teller on a mission.
Because tomorrow my mission is Patagonia!