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April 9, 2005

No Place Like Home III - Night in Buenos Aires

Dinner was well in the north of Barrio Norte close to Palermo at Chueca Resto-Bar on Soler. The cab driver had a hell of a time finding it - standard rule for cabs in this city is to give them the cross streets as well as the address. Chris didn't tell me it was a drag restaurant - I can't say I minded! The hostess was an immense round empanada of a drag queen - if they had been short of tables they could have thrown a cloth over her décolletage and served a meal from there. Chris brought several people with him; friends from the B&B he was staying and friends from bar hopping. It was a less felicitous mix than one had hoped; by the end of the meal it was evident that with the five people at the table, any one person seriously disliked two of the other people at the table.

The meal was quite good. I had a non-alcoholic daiquiri, a chicken brochette appetizer and beef tenderloin in a malbec sauce. Buenos Aires is land of the steak, and the meat there is delicious and flavorful: stronger tasting than American steak. The total was 50 pesos; the cab ride there 10 pesos including an extravagant tip. It's like vacationing in Sale of the Century.

And then afterwards, my first drag show south of the equator! I do not know who the ladies were; one of them was quite talented in more ways than one, with a very agile mouth that was able to fit an entire trimline princess phone into it. Don't ask. Drag at Chueca was more luxury and fantasy oriented than what I am used to in New York. Lots of gowns and gloves and Marilyn Monroe wigs. In New York, it´s less about the glamour. We were all to go to Palacio, but Chris and one friend decided to go to Sitges, a closer bar, leaving me to go with another, much younger friend to Palacio.

Palacio is in el Centro, a bit southwest of the Obelisk. The line was down the block by the time we got there at 2 am. That's one of the legendary traits of Buenos Aires: late late nights. It didn't look like we were getting in before half an hour, and I had already had a fine full night with a great meal and a drag show. It also was a very young crowd, and when you're 41, you want to spend your nights differently than when you are 22. I bid my companions good night and grabbed a cab.

There's a sexiness to urban life that doesn't even require sex; it's in the connection to the pulse and energy of the city. The cab ride back, speeding down the immensely wide Avenida de 9 Julio towards the glowing Obelisk at 2:20 am with the driver's disco mix beating out of the stereo, was as sexy an urban experience as any I have had in any city in the world.

Posted by Leigh Witchel at April 9, 2005 9:25 AM

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im glad you had a good time, i haven´t heard from those americans since. i was a bitch and she was a bitch!


Posted by: chris at April 10, 2005 5:45 PM

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