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El Bagelazo Delivers Bagels in Buenos Aires

June 30th, 2009 | 07:55 PM

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Bagel LogoBy Fiorella Donayre

If happiness is a fresh warm bagel delivered to your door, then happiness arrived in Buenos Aires in March. That’s when Hanna Schiuma, Nicolas Fardi and Katrin Wilkniss launched “El Bagelazo” out of the small kitchen in Schiuma’s apartment in Almagro.

The question now is how soon it will be before they’ll have to move to a bigger space as word of their bagels spreads.

“A few days ago, we had our biggest order yet, for 50 bagels that we had to deliver at 8:30 a.m.,” said Brazil-born Schiuma during a recent interview in her apartment. “We were up almost all night.”

Schiuma and Wilkniss, who’s from Germany, decided to go into the bagel business this year as a way to work for themselves and meet an apparently untapped demand. “There was nobody in Buenos Aires delivering warm bagels fresh out of the oven at anytime you wanted with just 24 hours advanced notice,” said Schiuma, who moved to Buenos Aires five years ago after studying history and gastronomy in Spain.
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4th of July Party At Icana This Saturday

June 30th, 2009 | 07:48 PM

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The Democrats Abroad sent out the following invite to celebrate the 4th of July this Saturday. Everyone is welcome, regardless of political perspective:

DEMOCRATS ABROAD ARGENTINA CELEBRATES
UNITED STATES’ INDEPENDENCE DAY AT PUERTAS ABIERTAS

Saturday, July 4, from 3pm to 8:30pm
(ICANA, Maipú 672, Buenos Aires)

Democrats Abroad Argentina will celebrate US Independence Day with Puertas Abiertas the annual cultural event at The Argentine-American Cultural Institute’s (ICANA) downtown headquarters at Maipú 672 in Buenos Aires.

The celebration is from 3pm to 8:30pm and is free and open to both DAA members and the general public.

In addition to authentic American food there will be live music, American films, and door prizes. This year’s Puertas Abiertas has been declared an event of cultural importance by the Argentine Secretariat of Culture. (more…)

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Voters Deal Severe Blow To Kirchners’ Power

June 29th, 2009 | 08:40 PM

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CFK Post Election Presser

Voters on Sunday dealt a powerful blow to former president Néstor Kirchner and his six-year-old grip on power. Argentines lined up throughout the country in massive numbers to vote for opposition candidates who said it was time to put an end to the former president’s antagonistic, confrontational style.

Buenos Aires City Mayor Mauricio Macri, whose Union Pro Party defeated Kirchner in the province of Buenos Aires, said voters sent a clear message to Kirchner and his wife, President Cristina Fernandez: “They sent a message that is absolutely clear, which is, ‘Enough.’”

Opposition leader and wealthy businessman Francisco De Narvaez, who competed head-to-head with Kirchner in the all-important province of Buenos Aires, beat the former president by more than two percentage points. It was a relatively mild win in terms of the actual arithmetic but a huge victory in terms of its symbolism. Kirchner had bet heavily that he could beat De Narváez and his gamble turned out to be the worst bet of his political life.

Opposition candidates beat Kirchner-backed candidates in the country’s five top electoral districts: the City of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires Province, Cordoba Province, Mendoza and Santa Fe. Kirchner even lost in his home province of Santa Cruz, dealing a harsh psychological blow to the First Couple, which dominated the province’s politics for many years.

Kirchner’s ruling Victory Front Party got single-digit support in key congressional races in Cordoba and Santa Fe, less than 12% in the City of Buenos Aires and only about a quarter of the vote in Mendoza. This election was many things, but nothing if not a resounding symbolic defeat for the First Couple.

Here is a rough guide to the election’s big winners and losers: (more…)

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Governor Sanford’s ‘Dear Friend’ Issues Statement

June 29th, 2009 | 08:09 PM

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South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford’s “dear, dear friend” issued a statement Sunday discussing part of her involvement in the governor’s disappearance scandal. In the statement, she talks about how her e-mail communication with the governor may or may not have become public knowledge.

The Argentine Post was not going to publish her name, but since she has come out publicly and done so herself, this ethical quandary has become a non-issue. For those of you interested, what follows is the e-mailed statement, in English, that María Belén Chapur provided to the TV station C5N.

The Argentine Post has independently confirmed that the statement is from Chapur herself. The statement was given to C5N host Eduardo Feimann.

Dear Eduardo, (more…)

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Suspicions Rise Over Argentina’s Flu Data

June 28th, 2009 | 02:51 PM

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Flu Map

As Argentina’s winter season moves into full gear and the number of confirmed H1N1 flu deaths rises, suspicions are also rising about the veracity of the government’s swine flu data.

As of June 26, the latest available data, Argentina had 1,587 confirmed swine flu cases and 26 confirmed deaths, according to the Health Ministry.

That ranks Argentina third in the world in terms of confirmed deaths. It is topped only by the U.S., which has had 27,717 cases and 127 deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and Mexico, which has had 8,279 cases and 116 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.

La Nación columnist Joquín Morales Solá summed up the suspicions over Argentina’s official swine flu data in a column Sunday: (more…)

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Photo Post: Argentina’s Election Ballots

June 28th, 2009 | 01:49 PM

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Kirchner Ballot Web

For those of you who follow politics but aren’t familiar with Argentina’s electoral system, here are two photos of typical ballots being used to vote this Sunday. The first corresponds to the ruling Victory Front Party ticket led by former president Néstor Kirchner. The ex president is one of few people on the 35-candidate ticket who has actually promised to take office if elected.

Many of the other people on the ticket are so-called “testimonial” candidates, meaning they may not actually take office if elected. If this sounds nonsensical, it is, so don’t worry if it doesn’t make any sense – because it really doesn’t. (more…)

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New Study Shows Some Improvement In Crime

June 27th, 2009 | 05:17 AM

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Crime Victimization Chart

Torcuarto Di Tella University has released its latest crime “victimization rate” survey and the results are much more encouraging than they were a month ago.

The study, which surveys households in 40 urban centers around the country, shows that 31.8% of these homes reported that at least one household member was the victim of a crime within the past 12 months. Although that figure is up 17.3% on the year, it’s actually down 17.8% from the previous month.

It’s hard to know how promising this news is. After all, when compared with the previous month, crime declined last May too. In fact it declined in each of Argentina’s winter months last year. Are criminals less apt to rob and steel when it’s cold? (more…)

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New Poll Gives Kirchner Solid Election Lead

June 25th, 2009 | 08:45 PM

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Ibarometer Poll

A poll published Thursday shows former president Néstor Kirchner with a solid six-point lead over rival opposition candidate Francisco de Narváez in their race to gain or maintain power in this Sunday’s congressional election.

The poll, conducted between June 24 and 25 on 2,500 people by Ibarómetro, has the ruling Victory Front Party candidate Kirchner getting 37.8% of the vote compared with 31.7% for Union Pro candidate De Narváez, who is a wealthy businessman seeking to end Kirchner’s seven-year grip on power.

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Starbucks Opens New Store In Nuñez

June 25th, 2009 | 07:49 PM

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starbucksThe economy may be weak but that doesn’t appear to be preventing people from lining up to buy coffee at Starbucks.

The Seattle-based caffeine supplier to the masses opened a new store in Nuñez Thursday, bringing the total number of Starbucks in Buenos Aires to 11.

“We hope Argentines continue to choose us as they have until now and allow us to take the Starbucks experience to those places where are clients are waiting for us,” Starbucks Argentina General Manager Diego Paolini said in a statement. He didn’t say where the company might open its next store.

The Nuñez store has 75 seats and 25 employees or “partners” in Starbucks corporate lingo. It’s located on the corner of Avenida Libertador and Comodoro Rivadavia. You can find all of the local Starbucks locations here:

  • Shopping Alto Palermo – Arenales & Av. Coronel Díaz (Palermo)
  • Av. Federico Lacroze 2301 – corner of 3 de Febrero (Belgrano)
  • Callao 702 – corner of Viamonte (Centro)
  • Avenida Elcano 3179 (Belgrano R)
  • Malabia 1738 (Palermo Soho)
  • Calle Florida (Florida, at the corner of Rivadavia)
  • Abasto Shopping Mall Corrientes 3247
  • Dot Shopping Center (Melian Avenue and the Panamerican highway)
  • Dot Shopping Center (Melian Avenue and the Panamerican highway)
  • Patio Bullrich Shopping Mall (Posadas 1245)
  • Comodoro Rivadavia and Libertador
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Gov Sanford Admits Affaire With Argentine Woman

June 24th, 2009 | 08:56 PM

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Mark Sanford

By now you’ve almost certainly read about South Carolina Mark Sanford and about how he surreptitiously traveled to Argentina. While Sanford was in Argentina, his staff back in the U.S. told reporters that he was hiking the Appalachian trail alone. In reality, he was hanging out in Palermo with his Argentine mistress.

Before Sanford disclosed the facts of his sexscapade to staff and later to the nation in a teary-eyed press conference, yours truly already had confirmed exclusively that Sanford had flown into Buenos Aires on June 19 on Delta Airlines. He was here until June 23, when he flew back through Atlanta.

Sanford also had been in Argentina a year ago on what was at least partially an official visit. On that trip, the governor flew into the country from Paraguay, arriving at an airport in Cordoba on June 24. He stayed until June 27, when he returned to the U.S., also on Delta. During the 2008 trip, Sanford met with Buenos Aires Governor Daniel Scioli (seen in the photo above) and, presumably, his Argentine mistress. Sanford called the woman a “dear, dear friend” who he has known for eight years.

McClatchy published this story which includes a photo of an apartment building near the Jardín Botánico that allegedly belongs to the woman. Sanford reportedly stayed at the place while in Buenos Aires.

The State newspaper in South Carolina, which claims to know the woman’s identity, published emails sent from Sanford to his mistress here. The Wall Street Journal has a complete wrap on the sorry tale here.

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INTERVIEW: Actress Elena Roger, Star Of Piaf

June 20th, 2009 | 10:07 AM

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Elena Rogerby Javier Arevalo-Rendall

The obvious difference between London and Buenos Aires is the language. The buildings are similar in style and they gaze down on you in similar ways.

The cool, trendy people that live in London’s Portobello are akin to those living in Palermo. There are moods, streets, and times of the day that trick the mind and tempt you to say, “I’m in Buenos Aires now.”

Argentine actress Elena Roger, who recently returned to Argentina after living in London for three years, knows all about this. Already a successful actress, Roger moved to London in 2006 to star in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s play Evita. While there she fought hard to learn English and conquer the world of theatre. She recently received what most critics consider the English theatre establishment’s highest accolade: she won the Lawrence Olivier award for her starring role in Piaf in London’s West End.

Newspapers and magazines throughout Argentina told the story of how she got the award. They talked about how she was born in the Buenos Aires suburb of Barracas some thirty-odd years ago, and about how she has now returned to Buenos Aires, triumphant, to play the role of the great French singer Édith Piaf – otherwise known as the “Little Sparrow” – here on the legendary, theatre-lined calle Corrientes.

But the local papers said little about Roger’s struggle to adapt in a new country and master a new language. This is her story, as told in an interview before her trip back to Buenos Aires.

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BA Gets Limited-Use Electronic Transit Card

June 18th, 2009 | 06:31 PM

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metro-card-web-finalThe City of Buenos Aires on Friday will get a limited-use version of the electronic transit card system touted earlier this year by President Cristina Fernández.

The system, called SUBE (Sistema Único de Boleto Electrónico), will allow travelers to use the subway, and some trains and buses, by swiping a single, pre-paid electronic card.

One aim of the system is to free up coins for use by the general public, ending the country’s absurd coin shortage problem.

On Friday the government will distribute 50,000 cards around the city in a bid to get the system up and running, the Transportation Secretariat said in a statement. At first card holders will be able to use the card on a limited number of buses (including the 5, 8, 50 and 101 lines), as well as all subways and the Urquiza and Belgrano Norte train lines.

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