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Dan Perlman and the "Closed Door Restaurant"

November 29th, 2009 | 06:55 PM

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By Brittany Darwell

Despite the ubiquity of the phrase, “puertas cerradas” (“closed doors”) doesn't fit what Dan Perlman does. Perlman and his partner welcome at least 20 people, most often strangers, into their home each weekend for dinner. Another 12 or so visit for cooking classes during the week.

“Underground restaurant” doesn’t work either. Perlman’s Casa SaltShaker is listed in several city guides and has been mentioned in the New York Times and The Guardian. Entirely legal, with certification posted in the kitchen, “speakeasy” is also far from appropriate.

That’s why Perlman calls his in-home restaurant “a salon for food and conversation.” No pretense of mystery or exclusivity. Perlman wants people to know just what a SaltShaker evening entails: a communal table and five courses with wine pairings by a professional chef/sommelier.

“We get people who’ve read about us or got the number from a friend, and they have no clue what they’re getting into,” Perlman said. (See his comprehensive FAQ page.) (more…)

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Al Jazeera Video: Argentina's Strange New DNA Law

November 27th, 2009 | 09:59 AM

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Al Jazeera does it again, this time taking a look at Argentina's oddest new law.

The law could force hundreds of people to give DNA sa

mples in a bid to find out who their real parents were and if they were kidnapped during the Dirty War.

The law raises profound ethical questions and shows how, three decades later, Argentina is still trying to deal with its past.

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Happy Thanksgiving from The Argentine Post

November 26th, 2009 | 09:39 AM

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Happy Thanksgiving!

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Free Tickets to See The Killers Friday

November 24th, 2009 | 10:50 PM

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Want to win a pair of free tickets to see The Killers in concert this Friday?

It’s easy. Just send an email to tix@argentinepost.com with “thekillers” in the subject line.

We’ll randomly pick the winning email and send you instructions on how to pick up the tickets Friday morning. Be sure to include your full name and reply email address.

You’ll have to be able to pick up the tickets in person near the corner of Santa Fe and Callao in downtown Buenos Aires. The pick-up time will be between 12-4pm Friday.

This is not a trick. No names or contact info will be collected or shared. Just free tickets. Value 490 pesos! Yours for free, just as a way of saying thank you for reading The Argentine Post.

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Metallica Confirms January Concert in Buenos Aires

November 24th, 2009 | 10:20 PM

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The master heavy metal band Metallica has confirmed it will play at River Plate stadium on Jan. 21, 2010. You can get tickets online starting Dec. 10 here.

Thanks to BB for the heads up.

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Anatomy of an Article: Riding with Pablo Escobar’s Son

November 20th, 2009 | 05:20 PM

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Escobar & SonThe following post first appeared in the As Belgrano Byrnes blog and is re-printed here courtesy of my friend and colleague Brian Byrnes.

By Brian Byrnes

I was in a car on the Panamericana Highway in Buenos Aires last week with two men I had just met, both of whom I was interviewing for a story I was working on for Newsweek. One of them, Nicolas, asked me where I grew up, and when I told him Baltimore, he veered the conversation (as many often do) to “The Wire.” We both agreed that it was one of the best television series ever made. The other guy, Sebastian, had never seen the show, so I started breathlessly telling him how the writing, acting and photography were unmatched, and how it portrayed the modern urban American experience so vividly, and how it gave viewers laser-sharp insight into the inner workings of inner-city drug cartels.

About 45 seconds into my fawning discourse, I recognized the sheer absurdity of the situation: the man I was glorifying the American drug culture to was the son of the world’s most famous drug dealer, Pablo Escobar.

Yes, I was talking drugs with Juan Pablo Escobar, who now goes by the name, Sebastian Marroquin. Thankfully, I stopped myself just short of offering to lend him my DVD copies of Season 1-5. Now, that would have been weird. I don’t think Marroquin would find “The Wire” particularly entertaining. At least I hopenot, especially since the reason I was in the car with him, and director Nicolas Entel, was the new documentary film they just released called “Sins of My Father,” essentially a 90-minute apology from Marroquin to the Colombian people for the many gross, violent and bloody acts committed by his father when he was the richest, most powerful and ruthless drug kingpin on the planet.
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Showdate Calendar for Movies in Argentina

November 18th, 2009 | 06:24 PM

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The Blind SideEver wanted to know when a new move will make it to local screens?

Fret no more. The Internet Movie Data Base has a “coming soon” release calendar that details when films will become an “estreno” at Argentine theaters. Click here to check the sked.

Kudos to “syngirl,” whoever she is, for posting this gem on the BA Expats community web site.

You can see her original post, with more details, here.

According to the sked, it looks like The Blind Side, which is supposedly the 2009 “feel good movie of the year,” will hit local theaters Dec. 17, almost a month after its U.S. open.

A Serious Man,” the new Coen Brothers film, opens Dec. 3. So does the science fiction blockbuster 2012.

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Thoughts on Fear and Censorship in Argentina

November 16th, 2009 | 07:25 AM

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wayMore than a quarter century after the military dictatorship fell and Argentina returned to democracy in 1983, the country suffers from a climate of fear and censorship that permeates certain aspects of public and private life.

This climate is largely imperceptible to many people, especially tourists, expats and others who don’t pay close attention to politics or current events. For these people, and for those who don’t read the newspapers or watch political talk shows, life simply goes on as usual, as it should. People go to work, go out to eat, attend concerts and live as usual.

But for some who work in business, in government or in journalism, the atmosphere of fear and censorship is a tangible reality that can affect life in significant ways.

For journalists, the climate affects our ability to speak with sources and quote them on the record. Opposition to the Kirchners and their policies is both deep and pervasive. The overwhelming majority of private sector CEOs, finance officers, corporate spokespeople, and diplomats speak negatively about the Kirchners off the record. People say one thing in private, another in public. To a vastly lesser degree, this kind of thing happens in other countries, especially with diplomats, who are famously tight-lipped.

But in Argentina, concern about government retaliation is so great that many officials, including even some – mainly lower-ranking – government officials themselves, don’t dare to say anything that could possibly be interpreted negatively by President Cristina Fernández or her husband and predecessor, Néstor Kirchner.
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Buenos Aires Mayor Gives Green Light to Gay Marriage

November 15th, 2009 | 05:30 AM

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Buenos Aires City Mayor Mauricio Macri on Friday moved to allow a gay couple to get married in the city.

In a video published simultaneously on his YouTube, Twitter and Facebook pages, Macri said his government would not appeal a court order that allowed for gay marriage. The order, issued earlier in the week by Judge Gabriela Seijas, declared that two articles in the city’s civil code were unconstitutional. The ruling sets a new legal precedent in Latin America that allows for same-sex marriage, according to the city government.

Judge Seijas issued the ruling after a gay couple, Alex Freyre and José María Di Bello, asked the court to approve their marriage.

“We’ve decided not to appeal the ruling,” Macri said. “I feel this is a step forward. What we have to do here is learn to live freely without impinging upon the rights of others. This case is about allowing people to be happy based on their own decisions. We have to live together, accept this reality and realize that the world is moving in this direction. I’m happy that the government is not going to appeal this and I hope they will be happy together.”

Macri’s decision comes as some members of the Argentine Congress are pushing a bill that would allow for same-sex marriage nationwide.

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Recoleta Exhibit Honors Carlos Thays, Landscaping in Buenos Aires

November 14th, 2009 | 12:38 PM

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ThaysOne of the great joys of Buenos Aires is the city’s collection of splendid parks, gardens and tree-lines streets.

Many of those spaces – such as the Jardín Botánico, Parque Centenario and even the Plaza de Mayo –  were designed by the French architect, nature lover and landscaper Charles “Carlos” Thays.

Thays came to Argentina in 1889 and by 1891 had already taken charge of the city’s parks and sidewalks system. He was largely responsible for planting the trees that so enchantingly line the streets you walk today. You can find a bust of him in the Jardín Botánico. If you appreciate all things green and the urban landscaping scene, then you this post is for you.

The Centro Cultural Recoleta has an exhibition dedicated to Thays and his profound influence on Buenos Aires. Without Thays, the city would be almost unrecognizably different from what it is today.

The exhibit runs through December 6. Details follow:

Where: Centro Cultural Recoleta, Junín 1930
When: M-F 2-9pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am-9pm, until December 6
Contact: 4807-6340
Cost: Free

*Kudos to my favorite tree nerd for pointing this out.

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TED Conference Coming to Buenos Aires in April

November 14th, 2009 | 07:01 AM

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The astonishingly interesting TED conference is coming to Buenos Aires in April.

TEDxBuenosAires, which is modeled on the original – now globally-famous – TED events in Long Beach, California, will, like the original conference, focus on “ideas worth spreading.”

The event will bring together 1,000 participants and more than 25 speakers, including people like NBA star Manuel Ginobili, mathematician Adrián Paenza, geneticist Gabriel Gello and, my new friend, media expert Roberto Guareschi, among others.

If you’re not familiar with TED, you should be. A while back TED opened up its amazing archive of hugely interesting videos and podcasts for the whole world to see, absolutely free. The above video is one of my personal favorites.

To pre-register for TEXxBuenosAires click here. To check out some of the TED videos for yourself, click here.

Where: La Rural
When: April 8, 2010

Link: TEDxBuenosAires
Link: TED
Link: Twitter
Link: Facebook

*Kudos to Vanesa for the info!

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Want to Give Back by Volunteering in Argentina?

November 10th, 2009 | 07:36 PM

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MateWould you like to give something back to Argentina?

Here’s a chance to find out how.

Idealist.org has published information about a meeting Wednesday night for people who’d like to learn about volunteering in Argentina. You might be asking yourself, What is Idealist.org? Here’s their intro:

“Idealist is a project of Action Without Borders, a nonprofit organization founded in 1995 with offices in the United States and Argentina. Idealist is an interactive site where people and organizations can exchange resources and ideas, locate opportunities and supporters, and take steps toward building a world where all people can lead free and dignified lives.”

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