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Blues-Rock Legend ZZ Top To Play Luna Park May 26

March 30th, 2010 | 10:22 PM

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The bearded blues rockers ZZ Top will play Luna Park on May 26, according to the band’s official web site. You can get tickets to see the famous Houston, Texas-born trio here.

Prices range from 120 to 350 pesos, plus additional ticketing fees.

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Megadeth, Testament to Rock Buenos Aires April 28

March 30th, 2010 | 10:06 PM

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The head banging heavy metal band Megadeth will rock Buenos Aires on April 28, according to a report in Rolling Stone magazine.

The concert, which hasn’t yet been announced on the band’s official web site, is part of the Rust in Peace 20th Anniversary Tour.

Fellow mosh pit lovers Testament and Exodus will open the concert, which will be at Luna Park.

Tickets will be available here beginning April 8.

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Cristina’s Hotties versus Néstor’s Uglies?

March 29th, 2010 | 08:14 PM

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All right, let’s acknowledge the patently absurd supposition underlying the headline for this post.

Beauty, as the old saw goes, is in the eye of the beholder.

In different cultures consensus tends to emerge regarding what’s considered beautiful and what isn’t. Some scientific research indicates people tend to equate symmetrical features with beauty.

The thinking is that symmetry in nature – particularly in facial bones – denotes health, strength, genetic normality, which, in turn, denotes survivability, which is what potential mates look for in others. After all, if you’re going to have offspring, you do want them to survive, right?

But while symmetry and beauty have been linked, no deductive argument can be made in favor of one person being objectively more beautiful than another. Healthier? Certainly. Stronger? Sure. But more beautiful? What is beauty, exactly? It seems easier to recognize than to define.

Whatever the case, the observation among Argentina’s talking heads, political junkies and aesthetes is that former president Néstor Kirchner had a knack for appointing “ugly” public servants while his wife, the generally impeccably dressed and fashion-passionate President, appoints more attractive types to office.

You be the judge.

*PHOTO: From top left to bottom right: Former economy minister Martín Lousteau, Central Bank President Mercedes Marco del Pont, Economy Minister Amado (literally, “the loved one”) Boudou, Commerce Secretary Guillermo Moreno, Presidential Cabinet Chief Aníbal Fernández, Planning Minister Julio de Vido. The top row peeps were appointed by President Cristina Fernández, the second row by her husband, former president Néstor Kirchner.

**Kudos to AR.

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American Airlines to Offer Daytime Flights to Miami

March 24th, 2010 | 04:55 PM

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American Airlines

American Airlines will start offering daytime flights to and from Miami in July.

American already makes two daily flights to Miami (MIA) via the Ezeiza International Airport (EZE). It also offers direct flights to Dallas (DFW) and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).

All of those flights are overnight. The new Miami flights will leave in the morning and arrive in the evening. The daytime flights will be offered between July 2 and Aug. 23.

“As we celebrate 20 years of service to Buenos Aires, we are delighted to offer this new flight during the high season,” said Peter Dolara, American’s Senior Vice President based in Miami. “Argentina offers our customers looking for a South American vacation a rich and unique cultural experience. Known for being an important financial center, Buenos Aires is also a popular destination for our business travelers.”

As with its other Argentine routes, American will use the Boing 777-200 plane. Click here for a map of the plane and its seat layout. The plane carries 247 passengers – 37 in business, the rest in cattle class.

The daytime flight schedule follows (shown in local times):

From Miami to BA: Leaving 11:10am and arriving at 8:50pm (Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, starting July 2)

From BA to Miami: Leaving 10:55am and arriving at 7:05pm ((Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, starting July 3)

*Hat tip to my buddy Brian Byrnes for a heads up on this.

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ATM Withdrawal Fee Rises to 15.50 Pesos

March 21st, 2010 | 08:55 AM

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ATM Fee

Local banks are now charging foreigners a whopping 15.50 pesos (US $4) for ATM withdrawals.

The fee also applies to Argentines and anyone else who uses a local ATM to get cash from a foreign bank.

In July 2009 banks banks in Argentina started charging a US $3 fee on ATM withdrawals from foreign banks.

The only way to avoid the fee seems to be to use Citibank’s proprietary ATM machines. All other ATMs, as far as I know, charge the fee.

The Argentine Central Bank has said it has nothing to do with the fees, while spokesmen for banks haven’t wanted to talk about the issue.

In a statement last July, Banelco said both it and Link started charging a US $3 commission on every cash withdrawal using foreign cards. The companies, which work as networks representing Argentine banks, said the practice is the same as has been applied in other countries “for more than a decade.”

But the discriminatory application of a fee only on foreign cards doesn’t seem comparable to the fees commonly charged in most countries. Representatives from Banelco and Link have declined to answer questions about this or discuss the motives behind the fees.

However, for the reasons mentioned above (the withdrawal limits and the discriminatory application of a fee only on foreign cards) , the commission doesn’t seem comparable to those charged in most countries. Banelco declined to answer questions about this or discuss the motives behind the new fee.

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Almost Half of Porteños Approve of Gay Marriage

March 17th, 2010 | 08:14 PM

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BA Gay Marriage Poll

Almost half of the people living in Buenos Aires support gay marriage, according to a new survey.

The survey, published Wednesday by the polling firm Ibarómetro, indicates that 48.4% of Porteños support gay or lesbian marriages.

That number is up from 45.1% in 2007, indicating that opposition to gay marriage is declining.

The 2010 poll shows that 39.4% of the city’s residents oppose gay marriage, down from 41% in 2007.

About 12% of people polled said they “don’t know” what they think about the issue, down from almost 14% in 2007.

Fewer Porteños are in favor of gay adoption, however, with 37% approving it and 48.3% against.

In 2007 57.8% were against gay adoption while 31.1% favored it.

Pollsters also asked Porteños if gay parents would have a “harmful” or “similar” influence on children as would straight parents. About 44% said gay parents would have “a similar” affect on children while around 30% said their influence would be “harmful.”

The survey interviewed 600 people and was conducted on March 16. It has a margin of error of +/- 5%.

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Cirque de Soleil’s ‘Quidam’ Coming to Buenos Aires

March 13th, 2010 | 08:00 AM

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Quidam

Cirque de Soleil is returning to Buenos Aires in May with its show Quidam.

The show, which is an intricate mix of circus entertainment and street performance art, opens May 29th in Vicente Lopez, just outside the city limits.

Cirque de Soleil was started by a small group of performance artists in Canada in 1984. The Montreal-based group now has more than 4,000 employees from around 40 nations, about 1,000 of which are performing artists.

Quidam premiered in 1996 in Montreal and has traveled around the world since.

Last year Cirque de Soleil performed 20 different shows simultaneously around the world. Some of the group’s shows are near-permanent fixtures located in cities like Las Vegas while others were traveling shows.

You can get “Pre-sale tickets” here. For more information, click here.

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Aerosmith to Rock Buenos Aires May 27

March 10th, 2010 | 10:49 PM

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The legendary rock band Aerosmith will rock Buenos Aires on May 27, according to the band’s official site.

UPDATE: Aerosmith has cancelled its plans and will not be coming to Buenos Aires. :(

Aerosmith will play its “Cocked, Locked, Ready to Rock” tour at the Hipodromo in San Isidro, the same place where Beyoncé performed last month.

Ticket sales information isn’t available yet, but we’ll update this post when it is.

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Pizza Piola Coming to Palermo Hollywood!

March 10th, 2010 | 10:36 PM

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Piola

The best pizza place in Argentina, Pizza Piola, is opening a new branch in Palermo Hollywood.

The new store will open on Gorriti 5751.

Not sure what the opening date is but we’ll update this post with the details once we have ‘em.

The colorful pizza heaven has locations in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Honduras, Italy, Mexico, the U.S. and Turkey.

Oh, how lucky those countries are!

In Buenos Aires, Piola is located on Libertad 1078, just a few feet from Santa Fe.

*Special thanks to pizza lover “E Squared” for this slice of information.

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El Secreto de Sus Ojos Wins Oscar

March 7th, 2010 | 10:37 PM

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El Secreto de Sus Ojos, Juan Jose Campanella’s film starring Ricardo Darín, won the Oscar Sunday for the Best Foreign Language Film of 2009.

Campanella said he was “stunned” by the award, saying it seems like “a lie” that’s too good to be true. Darín called the award “miraculous.” Darín also said he had seen the other films competing for the same award. How did see see them? He watched pirated copies of them, he said.

If you haven’t seen El Secreto yet, check it out. It’s well worth it.

Also be sure to check out a fun Newsweek interview that my buddy Brian Byrnes did with Darín here.

Juan Jose Campanella is an Argentine-born director of both local and international TV and films. He is perhaps most famous for directing El Hijo de la Novia, which was nominated for an Academy Award in 2001, though he has also directed episodes of U.S. TV shows such as House, 30 Rock and Law & Order.

Link: Official Movie Site
Link: YouTube Trailer (why it’s not available in HD is beyond me)

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The NY Times on Vegetarian Food in BA

March 7th, 2010 | 08:04 AM

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Veggy Food

The New York Times today published nice little overview of places to eat if you don’t dig on meat.

For those who are vegetarians or who have vegetarian friends or relatives, it might be a good idea to bookmark this list for future reference. If you know of other good options for vegetarians, please leave a note in the comments sections. We’ll compile a list of the best places and publish it later.

You can check out the Times story here.

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Hillary Clinton to meet CFK Monday in BA

March 1st, 2010 | 06:30 AM

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Hillary ClintonU.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will make an unexpected visit to Buenos Aires Monday to meet with Argentine President Cristina Fernández.

The visit, announced just hours ago by Assistant Secretary of State Arturo Valenzuela on his Twitter page, seems to be an attempt by both sides, though particularly by the U.S. to improve relations.

The exact Tweet was: “In San Juan, refueling. Never dull moment w SHRC-adding stop tmrw pm-Buenos Aires, to meet w Pres. of Argentina de Kirchner.”

Fernández, who spoke very highly of U.S. President Barack Obama a year ago, was critical of him a few days ago.

“The expectations we had haven’t been met,” Fernandez said. “There is a sensation in the region of lost opportunity. There was a lot of hope for Obama.”

Valenzuela responded by saying that everyone has a right to voice his or her opinion about U.S. foreign policy. He added that Obama is more popular in the region than are some presidents in their own countries. That was interpreted by some as a dig at Fernández, who declined to meet with Valenzuela on his last visit to Argentina.

Fernández is one of the least popular leaders in Latin American with an approval rating that, according to recent polls, hovers around 20%. She downplays such polls, however, saying they are carried out by anti-government conspirators.

Fernández says the government conducts its own polls, which it has never published, and that those surveys show her to be much more popular.

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