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Saturday

Argentina - Buenos Aires

I have just come back from an epic trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Never have I had the desire to go to the South American city, however with friends moving out there and expressing how exciting it is, i needed to see it for myself. Luckily for me, a friend of mine lives there, so we managed to stay with him a few days while we explored the city.

No what I expected at all, the city has a very European influence in it’s architecture and it’s relaxed way of life. I have never visited South America before, so expected for some reason a more run down, less developed part of the country. It never occurred to me that this ‘city’ was in fact a great metropolis.
After touching down on Friday morning, pretty jet lagged from our 12 hour flight- not to mention a 10 hour stopover in Madrid! We met our friend who lives in the lovely district of Almagro. Funnily enough, a friend from work lived just down the road from Mario Bravo where we were staying, just off Corrientes, a popular street that offers a range of shops and a LOT of Burger Kings.

The first epic adventure was to Creamfields – a better slightly less annoying version of the Liverpool festival, with a better vibe and a place where I actually felt really safe, despite it being in the area of La Boca, which tourists are advised to avoid if possible. La Boca however, has a great and interesting street with shanty houses that are painted beautiful colours and live tango dancing. We managed to survive the bus ride which took some getting used to. Unlike London buses, despite dropping you off on the side of the road one way, you may have to walk another 2 blocks to get back on the rite stop to get back. While trying to co-ordinate 6 friends at 6am in the morning when I had no clue where I was going, we were also crammed onto a buss, which was something like a ride in India!

We did the tourist things, went to go see the different areas including Recoletta, San Telmo and also Palermo, which is probably an area which most reminded me of being in Miami perhaps – large wide streets, roller bladders and a lot of palm looking tree’s. It was also full of interesting bars, cafés and expensive shops, which was totally different to the vibe of San Telmo, which was intriguing with its markets, bars and restaurants – a more real vibe to BA.
We explored the beautiful markets in San Telmo, filled with other peoples junk, photographs and fresh fruit. Random ET figurines and pictures of Eva Peron covered stands and most remarkably, Hitler memorabilia. After speaking with an owner of one stall, apparently a lot of nazi war men fled to Argentina to escape after Hitler went into Hiding. It has since been thought, Hitler himself lived in Argentina (and Liverpool?) which could explain the following.

Watching a live tango show was lovely, especially in the summer sun,. Drinking a Quilmes, the local beer. Cocktails are also a popular choice, with Long Island Ice Teas and Pina Colada’s. I don’t think I have ever drunk so much alcohol as I had on this holiday.
The nights were filled with drinking at the Hostel, which in hindsight was a waste when I could of explored the many hidden gems of the city. Bahrein was a good club we went to on a Tuesday to see some Drum and bass, with Kika a choice for the Thursday night. A city that obviously doesn’t sleep much, despite walking back to my room at 7am, the city seemed to be more alive than it was at 7pm the night before. Buses constantly roaming the streets.

The street art was one of my favourite part’s of the city. The intricate detail of artists work plastered over walls across buildings, car parks and bins was fascinating. You sometimes caught teenagers in San Telmo, lurking around buildings with the intentions of graphitising over the paint, but after dark you don’t want to stop and stare, especially if you are not from round those parts.
The botanical gardens were beautiful, with the most hilarious security guards I have ever met. ‘Keep off the grass!!’ they would shout and blow their whistle’s, which was a shame as it was the most beautiful grass I had ever seen.
We visited the University of Law and noticed that governors from their were also street names. This supported an idea that my friend had thought of, that the city doesn’t really have an iconic history. Yes they had Evita, and they have a great diplomatic union, however apart from smashing England in the world cup all those years ago, what else is there to remember? There are no particular ruins that stand out, apart from the cemetery which covers an exhausting amount of caskets, but when you think of a huge city such as BA, you would imagine more intimate areas which support its nationality. However, the street names which reflected influences in the 21st centaury and plaza’s, it seems it is trying to find it’s own place in history now.

If I could go back to Argentina again, I would delicately try and make sure I ate more steak. The meat was beautiful and the service from a little argentine family in the suburb of Almagro was wonderful. I would love to try Locro, a dish with meat, fat and corn as well as some interesting meat platters with intestines.
I have taken many pictures myself of my trip, however they don’t quite capture what I really saw. Check out some of the images below, or even better still read Andy Donohoe’s blog – a friend of mine who lived there for a while and captured his movements through a lens.


This man must be famous, as I saw him when I was in Sna Telmo! The cutest man ever.


La Boca, where they have beautiful houses and amazing live Tango

Anydonohoe's http://blog./

I will update with my own pictures very soon

Streatham - save it!

Most people think Streatham is somewhat of a ‘ghetto; with no prospects and an area of deprivation. As with all South West areas of London, it is given a bad name and because it has no tube or boys shuffling around in skinny jeans, it is seen as an area of low aspiration. I am a fond believe of Streatham, Moving to the borough a year ago, i was excited to move to a suburban area with a great sense of community. Living close to the common which hosts the Streatham Festival, Circus and also Farmers market was a great place to live. I had lived by a common for 4 years while at university and living in London it can get extremely hectic at times walking around those paved streets, and when we had our heat weave ion October, it was a delight laying on the common.
Plans to split the 4 areas of Streatham, into different constituency not only breaks the spirit of Streatham but now allows for other boroughs to change religious activities which the council have worked hard to maintain within the area. Some may say, Streatham, has improved over the years, as like Brixton into an interesting and vibrant area. Streatham High Road has some amazing shops, cafés and bars with some interesting Lebanese and Spanish restaurants. Streatham Common has great pubs, outdoor activities and with his neighbouring Gipsy Hill and Tooting, it is becoming an area where property buyers are laying down their first payments.
Streatham Hill is planned to become part of the Clapham constituency – does this mean an increase in house prices and cost of ;living? To have the ;’privileged’ of being part of that area means more focus on making it up and coming rather than supporting the needs of the residents. Streatham has always had its bad rap in the past and recently their seems to have been a bar lifted in the attitude of the area. Its become a place where residents have enjoyed being part of the community and have got involved working with each other to create a suburban life.
I have signed the petition to stop Streatham Common becoming part of Mitcham, which is a borough south of the area. Mitcham’s needed are different to Streatham’s and voting for a chancellor who doesn’t appreciate the differences between the two boroughs means Streatham will lose out. Think of East London trying to buy out West – it just doesn’t work. Each area has it’s identity and it needs to stay.


Save Our Streatham Petition | GoPetition

Tuesday

Away for 2 weeks!

I have been awol lately - work has started to take over my life and the last thing I want to do when i get home is sit in front of the computer (no offence guys!) But alas - I have a new camera. PC World have helped be savour the holiday where out of 5 people, no one had a camera. Now, 2 days before I fly I have one and I cannot wait to start snapping all the street art, colours, random stuff all around Argentina.

I fly on Thursday and after more than 8 hours in Madrid, I need to kill the time so will be heading out and about before we catch our connecting. Things I deffinately reccomend for long haul flights -

-Eye mask (no one likes to be gauped at)
- Book
-Ipod
-Mints (its been 12 hours...)
-Face wipes
-Mirror
-Lipstick (forget the make up, just have a great mouth!)

I do not know what to expect in regards to fashion, music or anything really. I understand that I will be going to Creamfields, so yes, Liverpool, it will be a festival however what will the town be like, what will the people be like?

This is my first mission abroad with friends that has not been a mini european adventure and I cannot wait. I will be sure to keep you all updated with some interesting photo's on my return. In the meantime, check out some wants for this Christmas. Despite running away for 2 weeks for a hot holiday, I love walking out of work down Oxford Street and get that warm feeling - espcially around Hamleys!



ASOS - yum!