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Beyoncé Coming to Buenos Aires in February

December 20th, 2009 | 11:03 PM

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The strikingly beautiful, hyper-talented singer and dancer Beyoncé will perform in Buenos Aires on Feb. 12.

Argentina will at least momentarily break from its typical, Rolling Stones-dominated music culture while Beyoncé sings at the Hiprodromo in San Isidro.

For more info from Beyoncé’s official site, click here.

For a very funny video of a fat man dancing to Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” song, click here (who says white men can’t dance!). For an even more fun Saturday Night Live spoof with Justin Timberlake, click here.

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Argentina to Ban Smoking at Iguazu Falls

December 15th, 2009 | 11:49 PM

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The great American novelist John Updike once said of a character in a short story that she “had a nature-lover’s hatred of smoking and drinking.”

Updike’s description led me immediately to wonder if there’s any reason to think nature-lovers actually are more inclined than others to hate such things. Perhaps he was right.

At least that’s what you might conclude from a new decision by the National Parks Administration, or APN, to ban smoking at Iguazu Falls. The APN plans to prohibit smoking within days on the Argentine side of the bi-national park.

The reason? In comments to the newspaper La Nacion, APN officials said they decided on the ban because of so many complaints from international tourists. Such an amazing place of pristine natural beauty should be free from “contamination,” the visitors repeatedly said.

Updike, a smoker who died earlier this year of lung cancer, wrote about the stench of cigarettes in one of his novels, Rabbit Redux:

“You can never get the smell of smoke out. Like the smell of failure in life.”

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Chasing Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

December 13th, 2009 | 11:24 PM

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Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Butch Cassidy (bottom right) & The Sundance Kid (bottom left)

By John D Farr

Any Westerner knows about Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Their daring raids were executed with military precision and skillfully planned. They roamed the west in such a wide ranging region that it was hard to know where they were hanging out.

The “Wild Bunch” was an always changing group of men. If any one thing marked them, it was their fine horses because that was their mode of transportation. In their day, people remembered fine horses.

The railroads and banks got pretty serious about this group of bandits and eventually the outlaws fled to Argentina. Here along the Andes in Chubut province in a little mountain town of Cholila, they settled down. It took a few years for the authorities to find them. Stories of robberies in Argentina tipped off the Pinkerton people that maybe they were down there. (more…)

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Argentina to Charge Americans an Airport Entry Fee

December 11th, 2009 | 03:37 PM

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visa-stampThe Argentine government will start charging U.S. citizens an aiport entry fee of US $131 starting December 20, the U.S. Embassy said in a notice Friday.

Last year Argentine officials announced plans to start charging such a fee, but then suspended them in a confusing change of position. But the plans are now back on track and any American citizen – who isn’t a resident of Argentina – will have to pay the fee starting December 20.

The fee will also likely apply to residents of other countries whose governments charge visa application fees to Argentines who travel to those countries. The fees will likely vary country by country, depending on how much those countries charge Argentines.

A government official said last year that the reciprocity fee “would not lead even a single person to not visit the country.”

However, that statement seems overly optimistic and is almost certain to lead at least some people to think twice about coming to Argentina.

Over the past year, more than 40 people have emailed The Argentine Post to say they would cancel their Argentine travel plans if the fee were implemented, indicating that the fee’s impact on tourism will be at least moderately negative.

It will be a one-time fee allowing Americans to enter the country multiple times over the period of 10 years.

In a message to U.S. citizens, the Embassy had this to say:

“This warden message is being issued to alert U.S. citizens that on December 20, 2009, the Government of Argentina will begin charging American Citizens visiting Argentina for business or tourism an entry fee of $131 U.S. dollars.  The fee will be collected only at Buenos Aires Ezeiza International Airport.  Once paid, the fee permits multiple entries into Argentina for ten years in accordance with United States visa reciprocity.  Americans may pay in dollars, by credit card, or with travelers checks.”

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Chicago Girl Starts Granola Company in Buenos Aires

December 10th, 2009 | 09:56 PM

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granola-mixBy Brittany Darwell

Got milk, need granola?

Granola Mix, a customizable granola company, aims to solve that.

After a year at a Buenos Aires consulting firm, former Chicagoan Marina Lidow decided it was time for something more fun. Marina missed the cereal options she had in the U.S., so she learned to make her own. Thinking she could fill the void for others, Marina started Granola Mix with her boyfriend Adrian Carpintero. (She likes a healthy breakfast. He likes his with chocolate and candies.)

Granola Mix caters to either preference. Although they offer some pre-mixes, you're missing out if you don't create your own on their snazzy website. Start with your base: plain muesli, honey nut granola, chocolate, reduced fat or granola bars. Then you have 19 dried fruit choices,

7 types of nuts, 7 kinds of seeds and 12 “fun” options, from chocolate chips to Sour Patch Kids.

My selection was honey-almond granola with dried apricots, dried cherries, crystallized ginger and flax seeds. It came in a paper carton with printed nutrition information and my name handwritten. The honey almond base was not too sweet, which was the right balance to the fruit and candied ginger. The granola was nice with milk or mixed in yogurt. It's tasty enough to eat straight out of the container, but a bit messy since there aren't many big clusters.

I liked my healthy mix, but if you need a sugar fix, make your own at GranolaMix.com.ar. Also check out their breakfast-in-bed gift baskets.

*Brittany Darwell spent three months in Buenos Aires after graduating from the Missouri School of Journalism this year. She writes about food at HeCooksSheCooks.net.

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Wikipedia Founder to Give Talk in Buenos Aires

December 8th, 2009 | 10:47 PM

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WikipediaWikipedia founder Jimmy Wales will give a talk in Buenos Aires this Friday at 10 a.m.

The lecture, sponsored by the U.S. Embassy, will deal with “Wikipedia, Wikia and the future of free culture.”

The talk will have simultaneous translation. For more information, click here. To register, call: 5252-0260

Where: Sheraton Libertador Hotel, Avenida Leandro N. Alem 1191
When: Friday, 10 a.m.

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Indian Cooking Classes and Catering in Buenos Aires

December 6th, 2009 | 10:57 PM

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Indian Food

Some of the Many Spices Used in Cooking Indian Food

By Fiorella Donayre

Five minutes into the class, Juhi Manwani's kitchen fills with an intense and delicious aroma of cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, garlic, cumin and coriander as she cooks and explains with detail how to prepare peas pilau (spicy rice with peas), paneer (cottage cheese), saag murg (chicken spinach curry) and homemade yogurt. The small group of foreign students follows closely, sipping sweet lassi and enthusiastically inquiring about the best places to find ingredients and spices. They also help, kneading aloo tikkis (savory potato croquettes) that they will later deep fry and serve with a tasty coriander chutney; they flip mung pancakes in a pan. The class wraps up with a tasting of the food they've learned how to make.

Juhi began cooking in 1995, after she moved to Buenos Aires and missed the food of her homeland. She started teaching Indian cooking classes in 1999 and founded a catering service the following year. (more…)

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A Personal Note from the Editor

December 3rd, 2009 | 07:57 PM

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Dear friends,

The Argentine Post is a blog about culture, economics, entertainment, food and politics, among other things. It rarely has been a personal blog about me or any other contributor. However, recent events have affected me personally in a way that affects this blog and my contribution to it.

My great friend, beloved and otherwise-healthy mother was recently diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia, a dreadful disease which does everything it can to suck the life out of you. I am with family and taking care of my mother at a hospital in the U.S., where we are hoping, praying and fighti

ng for remission.

During this time, I will not be able to respond to many emails or post about matters profound or mundane. To the extent possible, friends, fellow journalists and other contributors will do this for me. If you have emailed me and not gotten a response, my sincere apologies. At some point, I will try to catch up with the hundreds of emails that have gone unread.

Life is short, very short. As my mother has always reminded me through her actions: Forgive genuinely, give generously and love unconditionally.

Kind wishes and a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.

Taos

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Brian Byrnes Describes CNN’s ‘Backstory’ on Argentina’s Forensic Anthropology Team

December 2nd, 2009 | 11:33 AM

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By Brian Byrnes.

There have been many, many stories told about Argentina’s horrific 1976-1983 “Dirty War,” when the military ruled the country with an iron fist, squashing any dissident voices. At least 10,000, and perhaps as many as 30,000 people, “disappeared” during this dark era. I have done several reports over the years on a variety of topics related to the “Dirty War,” from amnesty laws being overturned in 2003, to the public opening of a former detention center in 2004, to the (still) missing witness from a trial in 2006. As more and more former military leaders appear in court on human rights abuses, and more and more victims are identified, the issue continues to be a very important one for many Argentines. When I learned about the work of the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team (EAAF, in Spanish) and their tremendous success in identifying and reuniting family members with the remains of their loved ones through the use of science, I immediately wanted to do a story about them. (more…)

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