08 October 2010

life in west palermo. . .

Since you been gone I can do whatever I want
I can see whomever I choose
I can eat my dinner in a fancy restaurant
But nothing, I said nothing can take away these blues. . .

-Sinead O'Connor, Nothing Compares 2 U

Life's good in the hood- the hood being the outskirts of Palermo, where I am currently residing. It's also sort of near Recoleta. But I think I've mentioned that.

Palermo's usually considered a good area to move to because it's been inhabited by affluent types (wait, what am I doing here?) ever since the famed yellow fever outbreak of way back in the day, when those who could fled their homes along the river in the neighborhoods of San Telmo, San Nicolas, La Boca, and other places in favour of higher ground, where there were fewer mosquitoes and thus less risk of contracting the disease. The houses they left behind were soon overrun by the lower class, who fit entire families into single rooms, so that there were sometimes 20 families living in a house with one bathroom (basically it sounds like they were living in hostels). And there's your Buenos Aires history lesson for the day.

Anyway, sometimes the people of Palermo like to reminisce and relive the good old days, when their neighborhood was more exclusive, and they'll do exclusive, rich sorts of things. I've actually heard the clip-clop of horseshoes on pavement twice this week as families of means drove carriages down the street.

Had somewhat less pleasant visitors to the street a couple of days ago, when a man with two pit bulls (and another, less intimidating dog) waited outside my door for about 10 minutes. Did I mention he was shirtless? That was strange. And a little scary. I took this pic out the bathroom window.

Have I mentioned that the men here are very straightforward? Even more so than the men of Spain, and much more so than my dearly missed suitors in Italy. I expect to hear things said as I walk down the straight, hear kissing sounds, car horns, that sort of thing. The other day a guy poked me in the chest with a flyer he was supposed to be handing out. "Seriously?!" I exclaimed, turning to him and throwing my hands up. He looked a little bit surprised that I actually called him out on it.

Then there was the guy today who actually set down what he was carrying to watch me walk past and groaned in Spanish, "Ay, mami, you're killing me with those legs! Oh, you're killing me! Stop it!" I think part of it is that I'm wearing shorts when other people think it's cold- but if it's mid-60's and I'm already wearing a sweater and boots, you'd better believe I'm gonna be plenty warm. Too warm, actually. Still, I appreciate my legs being noticed (never happens), and I got a laugh out of the whole thing. Win-win.

What else. . . there are so many beautiful murals in this town! Even the political graffiti is elegant and vibrant and inspiring. I've included a few pictures for your viewing pleasure.

Some news on the job front, it looks like I could get some work as a freelance editor, and I just had a couple contact me about babysitting, so that's all promising! I'm looking forward to this weekend- not for any particular reason, because being unemployed means I can do whatever I want whenever I want to do it with no regard to the hour or even day. But it's still nice to say that it's the weekend. More soon!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the photos and street scenes. I always enjoy having them to go along with the information. I can just imagine you saying these things and hear it as if you are telling the tales in person. Keep them coming!