Sometimes it’s good to remember – because it’s all too easy to forget – that 70 years ago Argentina was on top of the world. It was one of the richest countries on the planet and was far ahead of its time compared with many of the world’s other nations.
My father, who is 82 and grew up in Texas during the Great Depression, tells me of an expression he used to hear as a boy. He says that when you needed to describe someone as really wealthy, you’d say they were “rich like an Argentine.”
Watching this classic travel video is a like stepping into a time machine and traveling back to the bygone days of Argentina’s glorious past. The images and commentary are stunning. Even back then the world was captivated by Argentina and its people.
by Javier Arevalo Rendall
With Argentina’s election still fresh on people’s minds, a group of political analysts met in London recently to discuss the results and their possible impact on Argentina’s future. Their conclusion: “The Kirchners have failed” and “governability is not at stake,” as the Kirchners warned it would be.
Back in March, former president Nestor Kirchner said that in the election Argentines would decide whether “to consolidate governability” or “to take a step back.” He warned apocalyptically that if the government lost its majority in Congress, Argentina would return to the dark days of the 2001-2002 crisis.
But while the government did indeed lose its majority in the election, the country hardly seems on the verge of falling apart. (more…)
Buenos Aires is known more for its tango than for its prostitutes. But the oldest profession in the world is almost as legal here as the seductive dance. And now it’s not just milongas and tango theaters that have their own maps. Thanks to Google Maps, whorehouses do too.
A brief look at this map here indicates that brothels are more common in Buenos Aires than are Burger Kings, movie theaters or shopping malls.
Though largely out of sight, and therefore out of mind, the city’s streets, especially those in the downtown “micocentro” area, are literally lined with houses of ill repute.
Of course, in some sense there’s nothing novel about this. The world’s cities have been home to underground pleasure palaces for millennia. What’s novel is the way BA’s sex industry has utilized the Internet and new technologies such as Google Maps to promote itself.
Online sites such as this one (WARNING: XXX material) provide prospective Johns with an www.amazon.com-like browsing experience, complete with photos, customer reviews, and contact information for call-girls and “massage therapists” throughout the city. (more…)
A while back when the hot story of the day was South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford and his furtive relationship with an Argentine woman, my colleagues and I rushed to write a related feature for the Wall Street Journal. As is often the case when working on such pieces, the story evolves or the facts change or views shift on what the feature should or shouldn’t look like.
While working on the story, I spoke with two very interesting people whose comments didn’t make it into the final feature. These are Victor Casafus, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Buenos Aires, and Alejandro Rozitchner, a philosopher and author of countless books and articles on philosophy and culture.
Their thoughts deserve attention and are sure to be of interest to anyone interested in the topic.
Among other things, I asked both men what they thought about the “scandal” and about how Argentines and Americans might react differently to it. So without further ado, but with their permission, here is some of what they had to say about the matter. (more…)
Though still a serious concern, violent crime seems to have become a bit less of a problem last month, according to a new study.
Torcuarto Di Tella University’s latest crime “victimization rate” survey indicates that both overall criminal activity and violent crime seem to be trending lower.
Di Tella’s study, which surveys households in 40 urban centers around the country, shows that 28.5% of these homes said at least one household member was the victim of a crime within the past 12 months. Although that figure is up 12.6% on the year, it’s down 5.8 points from the previous month.
In other positive news, the percentage of violent crimes declined in July, falling to 14% from 16.5% the previous month. That’s the lowest level for violent crime in the past year.
More than 74% of those surveyed said crime is a “very grave” problem while another 19% said it’s “somewhat grave.” Almost 72% said crime is getting worse.
Link: Di Tella Victimization Survey
The (outlandishly excellent) alternative rock band The Killers will play Buenos Aires on Friday, Nov. 27th, according to the group’s website. Tickets will be available soon online here.
The band with be playing at the GEBA club in Buenos Aires. Rumor has it that The Killers will be opening for Coldplay, but The Argentine Post hasn’t been able to confirm this.
Stay tuned for more details and an opportunity to win free tickets from The Argentine Post.
Swine Flu isn’t just a threat to your health, it’s a threat to the legal music and movie industry.
That, at least, is the claim being made by local business associations and intellectual property rights groups.
They say the A/H1N1 flu outbreak has led people to stay at home and rent, buy or download pirated DVDs instead of getting legitimate ones from Blockbuster or other stores.
“As a consequence of the voluntary self-isolation people are imposing on themselves to avoid getting the flu, the consumption of pirated goods and online downloads has increased,” the groups said in a statement last week.
Oscar Laino, president of the UTSA author’s union, said the pirated movie industry is ruining the legitimate movie industry.
“The percentage of pirated purchases nears 80% of the total number of DVDs sold, making this industry, which provides work to 25,000 families, unsustainable,” he said.
Aldo Fernández, president of the UAV video editors association, said that in 2006 there were 1,179 video rental stores in the country. Since then 414 have either closed or become pirated DVD clubs. (more…)
by Brittany Davis
Argentina has a number of renowned ski resorts. And though none is as big or high-tech as the leading resorts in Europe or North America, some are quite impressive and attract visitors from around the world every year.
The most popular of Argentina’s nine ski resorts are Cerro Catedral in Bariloche, Las Leñas in the mountains outside Malargue, Penitentes accessible through Mendoza, and Cerro Chapelco in San Martin de los Andes.
If you’re planning an Argentine ski vacation this winter don’t expect to be able to go “resort-hopping” because these resorts are at least a day’s journey from each other along the winding Eastern slope of the Andes.
Cerro Catedral in San Carlos de Bariloche doesn’t have the highest altitude of the Argentine resorts and typically doesn’t get the most snowfall, but it’s widely considered the No. 1 ski resort in South America with 38 lifts and 120 km (46 miles) of accessible mountain terrain. Ski and snow related activities draw crowds that help account for Bariloche’s 200,000 yearly visitors. (more…)
Record collectors from around the world will gather in Buenos Aires next month for the city’s first ever International Record Collectors Fair.
If old-school LPs are your thing, then you can’t afford to miss out on the fair, which will unite vinyl lovers to buy, trade and sell records from all corners of the planet.
“This Fair will provide access to material that is virtually impossible to access on the traditional market,” according to a description of the fair on its official website.
For those who love music but don’t dig vinyl, the fair will also offer a wide range of CDs, DVDs, posters, concert programs, magazines and related music and entertainment paraphernalia.
The cost of admission is 20 pesos. You can get tickets here.
WHEN: August 7-9th
Friday Noon – 10pm
Saturday Noon – 10pm
Sunday Noon – 8pm
WHERE: Costa Salguero, Pavillion 4
LINK: BA’s 1st International Record Fair
The U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires on Thursday issued the following Swine Flu note for travelers and local residents:
The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Argentina of the health risks associated with the World Health Organization (WHO)-declared 2009-H1N1 influenza pandemic, which has resulted in illness in numerous countries. The current outbreak in Argentina has caused federal, provincial, and municipal authorities to announce several measures to prevent the illness from spreading. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that Americans at high risk for complications of influenza and considering travel to areas affected by 2009-H1N1 influenza, such as Argentina, discuss their travel plans with their doctor. Together, they should look carefully at the 2009-H1N1 flu situation at their destination including available health-care options in the area. They should discuss their specific health situations and possible increased risk of traveling to the area affected by 2009-H1N1 flu. This Travel Alert expires on September 14, 2009. (more…)
TomTom, the GPS unit and digital map giant, is coming to Argentina.
The company will begin selling products at retailers like Garbarino, Fravega, Carrefour, Wal-Mart and Falabela in August.
“Argentina offers a good potential with over 9 million cars on the road every day, and we are confident that we can achieve the same leading position in Argentina that we already have in the rest of the world,” Elias Kabeche, TomTom’s Area Director Latin America, said in a statement. “Offering our fully localized PND (portable navigation device) products in Argentina is a logical next step in our expansion strategy in Latin America.”
International tourism in May plunged 15% from the same month a year ago, making this the eight consecutive annual decline since October.
Last month’s numbers were also bad, but they were tempered by news that outbound tourism was up almost 17% as more Argentines travelled abroad. That wasn’t the case in May because the number of Argentines who left the country fell 5.2% on the year. (more…)