Monday, September 30, 2013

Flowery language

Sometimes I get into enough of a spanish headzone that for example I pass a street sign that says "Calle Florida" and instead of reading "Florida Street" (like the street of the state) I read "street covered in flowers," which is much nicer.  It also makes one think of the state in a new and lovelier light.  Nice, right?

Also, speaking of linguistic revelations re: the Sunshine State, will someone please make a web series about the seedy underbelly of Boca Raton and call it Ratmouth?  Thank you in advance.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

City of the dead

So, a german girl in my Spanish conversation group lives in Chacaritas, a not-too far out neighborhood notable for its very big cemetery. She said the place was worth a visit, she didn't say why, but one Sunday we went and it was one of the trippiest things we've seen.

How can I explain this?  OK, imagine a standard North American cemetery.  If all those people were alive, what kind if neighborhood would it be like?  I think of like darling suburbia, with trees and lawns.  And lots of the Chacaritas cemetery was like that, but a whole other part was like a high-density glamorous huge high-rise seventies starchitecture apartment complex of the dead.  
But as befits the dead, instead of going up, this multi-story complex goes down.

There are dozens of "bays" like this, into which you descend via one of many numbered (here's that word again) brutalist entry pavilions.

More cool pictures after the jump.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

teatro 8 (these are starting to be out of order)

OK I need to keep bangin' out these theatre posts or I'm sunk.  A stage version of Bergman's Autumn Sonata. Directed/adapted by Daniel Veronese, the same ex-avant-garde playwright who made a sex farce out of Teresa Rebeck. As always in BsAs, it was super well-acted. The Liv Ullmann role was played by the actress who starred in this amazing film which you should see. The experience was interesting in a multi-text way: we'd watched the original film in preparation (Swedish w/English subtitles) and my invaluable Spanish tutor had loaned me his copy of the published screenplay translated into Spanish. Bergman's screenplay as it appears in print contains a lot of material that didn't make it into the movie, so it was interesting to see what stuff Veronese cut from the movie and pulled from the published screenplay to cobble together a sort of 90-min new Ibsen play.  Smartly done, if that's your thang.  Some OK directorial ideas.  

It was in the same theatre where I saw Betrayal, and now I can tell you what you really need to know about the theatre Picadero: it has an EXCELLENT restaurant/café in its lobby. 

I mean, exemplary.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

First letters

There's a thing where you know you really speak a language fluently when you're no longer translating in your head as you go.  Today I found out I'm not there yet.  I was talking on the phone with a potential housekeeper (I know, right?)  I told her that our apartment was on Defensa Street.  And she said, Defensa with a "D" as in "finger"?  And my head briefly spun, and then I said, Oh of course yes, D as in finger.  

But aside from that part the whole exchange was pretty comfortable on my end.  Progress!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

teatro 7

The photo makes this look better— or at least more interesting— than we found it to be. A Spanish company called La Zaranda, they do a super old-school '70's Agosto Boal/Tadeusz Kantor poor-theatre Marxist political critique thing.  And nothing wrong with that, but a) while this sort of show is designed to be seen in a raw warehouse space right in front of you, it toured here to the enormous and slightly ridiculous national Teatro Cervantes, so we saw it from about a mile away; and b) I couldn't secure the texto in advance, so I understood about half of the talking and Nick about none.  So chalk it up to experience.

The Cervantes was a fascinating trip in its own right.  Built in the 1920's but to look like serious Don Quijote level colonial Spain.  (Gift of the Spaniards, naturalmente.)  It's an old-school opera house, pretty much exactly the way they were laid out in Louis XIV's time, and though we had pretty good seats as mentioned we were a mile away from the stage.  The cool thing was that the view from our seats illustrated the following principle more clearly than I've ever experienced: when these theatres were first designed, it was literally as important to see the other audience members as it was to see the stage.  See photo.  (Which leads to the question, when will we finally stop building these theatres?  I'm looking at you, Schwartz Center.)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

brutal 2

More brutalist BsAs
(beaux-arts and deco updates coming, promise!)

[I totally forget where this is sorry]

Brazilian Embassy

Banco Hipotecario

Canal Siete (National Public TV)


SO here is the way we're learning to buy meat.  You go to the butcher (a real butcher, in a market.)  You have learned the name of the cut you want (because you are awesome) and you ask for that cut.  He says "how big?" and you are learning to answer that question too.  And then he takes a big CHUNK OF A COW off the wall and cuts your piece off of it WITH A BAND SAW.  And wraps it in paper and ties it in string.  And that is how we do it.

This place may kill us.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Teatro 5+6

Unh, bad bloguiste.  Mainly I've fallen behind on teatro, which is a good thing when you think about it.  So here's a two in one.  A couple weeks ago, on a consecutive Friday and Saturday Nick and I went to Timbre 4 (Buzzer 4, it took me a long time to figure that out.)  This is one of the very prominent theatres of the "off" circuit here.  

The Timbre 4 shows were great for Nick and I to see because they've been published in Spanish for me, and translated and published in English (by the awesome Jean Graham-Jones) for Nick.  (Again we found that Nick is perfectly able to watch a play in Spanish if he's read it in translation.)

The joint (it's a real little complex, two theatres, offices, rehearsal room and a café) was founded by a sort of wunderkind named Claudio Tolcachir.  He was a successful young actor (he looks to be very conventionally good looking) but instead of going into telenovelas or something, he started an acting studio in his apartment (hence buzzer 4) and— this is the way things are often done— eventually wrote/developed a play on an ensemble of his actors.