Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Swiss Day in Buenos Aires

Switzerland became an independent state in the year 1291.

I have never been to Switzerland, and the way the local economy is functioning, it might take a very long time for me to save enough pesos to make it a worthwhile trip. However, if I do go, it would be great if it would be around their independence day. From what I read, they tend to celebrate with a paper lantern parades, fireworks, bonfires, as well as drinking, dancing and eating.

Here in Buenos Aires, the Swiss Embassy is celebrating the day by sponsoring the kickoff to the "Semana del Chocolate" along with Fundacion EISA.

They have asked Sugar & Spice to participate in their event. We will be there with a stand offering our goodies so please come by, say hello, and peruse the stands that will be offering all things chocolate.

Friday night is a private party for the Embassy, and at least 400 guests.

Saturday and Sunday the doors open to the public from 3pm to 8pm. The cost is $10,00 for adults and $5,00 for children (5 to 12 year olds, under 5 enter for free).

I have a very limited number of tickets for this event. Whoever comes to my shop and spends more than $30 will receive two tickets for this event.

The celebration continues past these two dates:

On Monday the 4th of August from 3pm to 6pm, there will be a class on making marzipan figures by Swiss Cheff Philippe Zellweger and a Truffles and Petit Fours class by Head Baker Hilda Caridi.

On Thursday the 7th of August from 6pm to 9pm there will be a class on how to make artisanal chocolate by Swiss Cheff Carolina Bartalay.

Each of these classes cost $60 individually; if you take two, the cost is $100

The address is Rodriguez Peña 254. You can click on the map below to get a bigger view of the location of the event.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Good Morning Buenos Aires Party

Samuel of Good Morning Buenos Aires is proud to announce he is hosting a cocktail party to show his appreciation to the International Community of Buenos Aires.

This is no cover charge for this event.
Good Morning Buenos Aires does not profit in any way. No kick-backs, no inflated prices, no fuss, no muss, no wrinkles...

There will be 2 for 1 drink specials and 20% off all food items until closing time and several items will be raffled off for free to include:

  • A free cultural tour from CULTOURS of Buenos Aires;
  • A dinner for two at the Duhau Park Hyatt, Buenos Aires;
  • 5 hours of Spanish lessons (or a backpack) from EleBaires;
  • A dinner with dessert (no beverages included) at Freak Restaurant on your next visit (depending on attendance levels, Freak will donate more than one meal);
  • Free drinks at Freak Restaurant to be used on your next visit;
  • Two gift sets from Sugar & Spice (pictured above and normally retails for $40)
  • One year membership with South American Explorers...

There will be more details announced leading up to the event date....

Several organizations and companies are co-hosting this event to include: BA Gatos, the BA Insider Magazine, Buenos Aires International Newcomers Downtown Group, CULTOUR turismo con identidad, Democrats Abroad Argentina, Duhau Park Hyatt (Buenos Aires), EleBaires Spanish Experience Program, Freak Restaurant and Cocktails,, South American Explorers, Sugar & Spice, TMT Argentina, Wynn Woods Solutions, and more to be announced later....

I hope to see you all there.

For complete information on the date and location, please go to the following link:

Friday, July 25, 2008

Through Thick & Thin

"the Documentary is a brilliant historical record coming from a multi-talented producer of a new genre of Latin American filmakers." - El País, The Herald Tribune.

Apparently love does not conquer all. The film sounds fascinating and brings to light yet another embarrasing point against the United States.

Free screening is Saturday the 26th of July.

Oh, and by the way, Democrats Abroad will help any American that wants to register to vote with the whole process.

Ian and Cintra of GoodAirs are also helping to promote the film. Below you can click on the link to their post:
GoodAirs: More than a bad translation of "Buenos Aires": Democrats Abroad Film Series Inauguración

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sugar & Spice at Fontenla Design Mall

Fontenla has several furniture stores throughout the city. They just inaugurated their design mall and it is a fantastic building. Sugar & Spice was there for the inauguration. I guess they liked the cookies so much that now they have asked me to go back and work this art gallery event.

Two famous names in Argentine art will be there: Clorindo Testa (click here for a picture of the Library he designed), and Héctor Medici. I found a little info on Héctor Medici below:

click on image to expand

This event is open to the public so you can check out some fine contemporary art in beautiful surroundings while munching on Argentina´s most delicious cookies. Come by and say hello if you visit.

The alternative address is Avda Cnel Roca 6701 and it´s shown below. You can click on the image for a larger view.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Market Works!

You know, I used to think that there was a big difference between third world country governments and our own. I guess we needed a President to match the new peso.

For those of you who normally don't follow this show. Jon begins with a reference to his visit to Bill O'Reilly's show where Bill claims that a huge segment of Jon's viewers are stoned when they watch him.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Make History for $8.34

I don´t know what´s going on with me recently, but bear with me a little while longer. I normally have not been very political in the past. Maybe it´s all the stupid stuff that I have seen and keep seeing coupled with some great stuff.

So what´s with all these generalizations? And who is Sean Tevis and what does he look like?

I don´t know the answer to first question, but I could help you out on that second one...(click on any of the images below and you will be taken to the original site.)

If you have read this far then you need to click on any of the images above and see how the story turns out, as well as how he is doing in his fund raising (he is at 1,414 donors as of the 17th of July).

I love his approach. I love his sense of humor, and I also love that he is standing up and fighting against the current republican.

Kansas, give Sean Tevis a shot!
Oh, and he has a blog as well.

I found this guy through an excellent blog called Pharyngula where you can follow his recent battles with organized religion over the Eucharist, or as he affectionately calls it, a cracker.

I, in-turn, found that blog through Pablo´s excellent blog called D for Disorientation.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Pura Vida Buenos Aires

Back when I started my gourmet cookie business I thought there were several other things that could go over big here. One of those other ideas that I had was a smoothie bar.

I was not alone in thinking that and pretty soon Marty Hannah set up Argentina´s first genuine article smoothie bar... Pura Vida Juice Bar.

I love this place. I just wish he would hurry and open one up closer to where I work.

If you like the idea of an Avocado Citrus Calad (organic mixed greens, avocado, grapefruit and orange slices, cilantro, mint, sunflower seeds), or a Pollo Latino Wrap (chicken breast, organic greens, salsa latina-marinated bell peppers, tomato, mango, red onion, cilantro, chilies), or a Coconut Corn Soup, or even a Goji Berry Poppy Seed Muffin, then you best plan a visit to this one of a kind shop in Buenos Aires, and now in two locations.

I don´t know of anyone doing anything similar.

In the pictures below I noticed that I included shots of the prices. If they are different when you visit keep in mind that Argentina has very high inflation these days; besides, the muffins were very good.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

McCain Giving Women a Choice?

Carly Fiorina, ex Hewlett Packard CEO, is currently helping McCain with his run to the White House. In her efforts she has stated that women would like a choice when it comes to birth control.
"many health insurance plans cover Viagra, but wont cover birth control medication. Those women would like a choice" --Carly Fiorina
She was tapped to help McCain win the women vote. Here is another quote from Carly:
"Of course, it would be an honor for anyone to serve John McCain. But I'm really focused on helping the American people get to know him a little better," she said.
Well let´s see how she is doing. Below is a clip of John McCain trying to answer, or trying not to answer the Viagra/Birth Control question that Carly brought up above.

They are so in tune with each other aren´t they? What a well oiled machine! This is how you run a campaign!

And just in case you may not know why McCain needs help trying to get the women vote. Here is a little of what he is trying to erase or at least hope no one remembers. These are a sample of his jokes:
Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly? Because her father is Janet Reno.
Okay, so when I read this one I chuckled a little bit, but then you gotta keep in mind Chelsea was only 17 years old. Now picture an old guy making fun of a seventeen year old girl. It just doesn´t have quite the same chuckle effect any more. And just to clarify, I laughed at the Bill Clinton--Janet Reno imagery not at poor little 17 year old Chelsea.
Did you hear the one about the woman who is attacked on the street by a gorilla, beaten senseless, raped repeatedly and left to die? When she finally regains consciousness and tries to speak, her doctor leans over to hear her sigh contently and to feebly ask, ‘Where is that marvelous ape?’
I guess this is the reason why Viagra is covered for insurance? And no, I didn´t even crack a smile at that one.

And finally, I leave you with a video that pokes fun at John McCain calling his wife a cunt. Now this is comedy John.

The inspiration for this post came from Crooks and Liars, and Democrats Abroad.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Fresh Air

One of the plusses of having a blog is that sometimes information comes to me. This time I was reached by a non profit in New York. The Fresh Air Fund has provided free summer vacations to New York City children since 1877.

It is already mid July and they still need help. There are three ways in which you can help them:

1. They need volunteer host families to host an inner city child
2. You could donate money
3. You can write about them and help spread the word

I had never heard of this non-profit, but so far I like what I have seen.

Here is a short article from the New York Times on them: What´s Outside the Big City?

Monday, July 14, 2008

How Good is the Water in Argentina?

A fellow expat, and soon to be local business owner, recently submited a water sample to an American water testing company called National Testing. She just received the report, and from what I can tell, the water in her sample was good. She took it from the tap in her home in Las Cañitas.

I would like to share the results of the test with you:

If you would like a copy of the test you can click on the image above.

Iron and manganese are common metalic elements found in the earth´s crust, and therefore, also found in water. They can affect the color and flavor of food and water. They may react with tannins in coffee, tea, and wine. In this report the local water supply got a 0.046 mg/L in Iron, way under the US national standard of 0.3 mg/L. Manganese squeeked by with a 0.04 mg/L against the national standard of 0.05 mg/L.

Copper also comes in way below the national standard of 1.3 mg/L at just 0.10 mg/L.

Zinc also comes way below its national standard clocking in at .067 mg/L against 5 mg/L.

There were three elements that did not state a national standard limit and only had a minimum detection level stated. Those were Calcium (19 mg/L), Magnesium (3.8 mg/L), and Sodium (21 mg/L).

Calcium and Magnesium are involved in affecting the hardness of the water, and since the hardness came in at 63 mg/L, this qualifies it as moderatly hard water, but well below the national standard of 100 mg/L.

Turbidity in the local water was 0.6 mg/L below the standard of 1 mg/L. Turbidity is the lack of clarity of brilliance in a water.

Total Dissolved Solids is used as an indicator test to determine the general quality of the water. In this case it came in at 130 mg/L, way under the national limit of 500mg/L.

Chloride, which gives water a salty taste, also comes in way below the national standards; 21 mg/L versus the limit of 250mg/L for example.

Total THMs came in at 0.06 mg/L against the national standard of 0.08mg/L. This test is important becuase it measures four chemicals that are formed as by-products of chlorination. These chemicals are Cancer group B carcinogens (they cause cancer in lab animals). The full name of the test is Trihalomethanes.

I am no expert in this topic. I just started snooping around based on the report received. Based on this report, it looks like the drinking water is safe and well within the US National Standards. The water might be a little hard, but that was kind of obvious to me when I first came down here.

Good-bye bottles!

** Note: The following are links for informational purposes only. I do not endorse any of these companies. **

AYSA - Water treatment plants of Buenos Aires
AABA - Atlas Ambiental de Buenos Aires

Companies that clean water tanks:
Antiplaga Norte

Companies that analyze water samples:
Entolux - this one does both the cleaning and analyzing

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Story of Stuff

Once upon a time there was... stuff. This is a 20 minute story of the Materials Economy or how we extract, produce, distribute, consume, and dispose of stuff.

Go to this site, look at the movie, and snoop around. You will find all kinds of neat information. One tool that I found, that was also entertaining, was an online personal carbon footprint calculator.

I was also quite shocked in finding out that there are personal care products that are made with toxic materials. Yeah, that´s right, there are some shampoos, creams, lipsticks, etc. that have toxic materials in them. You can read about those by visiting Not Just a Pretty Face.

I thought the movie was brilliant in its simplicity. Sure, it´s a broad stroke to a very complicated problem. The author herself responds that it is complicated giving people simple solutions; "Neither the problems nor the solutions are simple or easy. If we want to change the situation we’re in, we’ve got to be willing to spend time figuring all this out."

This is a great first step, and it gets you thinking of how you can take your own steps in helping to reduce your own carbon footprint.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Happy 4th of July!

The picture is from Living Large, and it is of Buckingham Fountain in Chicago.

After all these years in Argentina, last night was the very first time I actually celebrated the 4th of July on the actual day. Normally I would go to the Embassy's gig, but they normally have the full blown affair in March when the weather allows us to celebrate outdoors. It's actually a great event with hamburgers, hot dogs, food vendors, a Scholastic Books tent as well as games and music events. I even got to judge a pie contest one year; but that is a completely different event from the one I went to last night.

I got to catch up with Ian and Cintra from Goodairs. Here is a link to their post on the night. I met up with some other old friends and I even got to meet some that I had only exchanged e-mails with in the past. The get-together, sponsored by Democrats Abroad and Le Merval, was also covered by and you can see a little clip of it below. Yes, I am in it, and you can see me blank out on Obama's name. No I had not had any beers, in fact, I was interviewed just as I arrived. Maybe a beer first would have been a better way for me to go. Ah well, there's always next year.

Oh, and by the way, if you want to see some pictures of Chicago during the 4th of July you can click -here- and see how a future resident of Buenos Aires spends his last 4th of July there, before leaving for Argentina.