Sunday, June 28, 2009

Mujer de Museos

Dear Chicago,

Today my mission was to see the rest of the Museo de Bellas Artes and find a new museum Cristina was raving about. Bellas Artes is like the Art Institute of Chicago - huge and hard to see in one visit. (It is also free...) I spent the morning on the upper floors of the place learning about Argentine art and artists. These people have been through so much - the art is intense, to say the least. The sun was shining as I walked through the sculpture garden to the Museo de Arte Decorativo.

The Decorativo isn't listed in any of my guidebooks and it opens only in the late afternoon. I stopped at the museum cafe to wait for the opening and I am SO glad I did. This city, much like Paris, forces me to slow down. The cafe experience is as much about waiting and enjoying the surroundings as it is about that sip of warm coffee. The cafe here is officially my favorite in the city. I sat on a terrace in the sunlight and enjoyed a cafe and a ham-and-cheese croissant. There is a beautiful garden and fountain and the whole area is a fenced in part of the museum property. The finishing touch - instead of little cookies, my cafe was served with candied and sugared orange peel. Adorable and delicious.

Now for the museum - one of 5 left in the city designed by French Architect Sergent. It has served as a family home for years and is completely preserved with original furniture and everything. The Bosch-Alvear family were major power players at the turn of the century and the palace/home reflects it. The dining room was constructed to fit the dimensions of the renaisance era tapestries that would hang there... I could go on. Every room, chandelier, painting took my breath away. Fortunately I snuck some pictures:

Music Salon:

View down the black and white staircase of my dreams:

Great Hall:

One of the most amazing things about the house was the giant fireplace. I couldn't sneak a picture of it, but the homeowners had comissioned Rodin (yeah, that Rodin) to design a mantlepeice. He did but it never materialized due to World War... unbelievable. The whole time I was there I kept thinking how much K and Mom will love this place! I can't wait for their visit.

Saturday night was the most random yet. As elections are Sunday (and voting is mandatory), no alcohol was served at the bars. The girls and I managed to find a tiny little restaurant that found a creative way to bend that law - we were served beer in coffee cups! It was hilarious and very, very random. Two girls from the program with their drinks:
Another fun night downtown in Buenos Aires.

A quick thank you to everyone who actually reads these posts - Grandpa, I'm glad to hear you're connected to the 'red' ("web" in spanish) -- we really are world wide!

Ciao - Tess

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