Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Last Days of Summer

As the days shorten and the temperature drops from hot to comfortable (and cold at night), I find myself starting to miss Buenos Aires even though I still have a week left.  While I am excited to return to the US to see my friends and family, I have had such a fabulous time here and have been genuinely impressed with the quality of people in Argentina and in South America in general.  Obviously, I have run into some problems as evidenced by my previous posts, but they have been more the exception than the rule.  I've been doing my best to stick to my routine of tennis, yoga and tango (in roughly that order) and, of course, work too.  On the tennis front, I've been especially fortunate recently to meet some of the most famous that Argentina has to offer in both past and present.

I wasn't going to write anymore about tennis for fear of boring my audience to tears.  However, a couple weeks ago I was getting ready to play a match with a new friend, Carla on the main court at Club Vilas, when we got bumped by the man himself:

The unwritten rule is that whenever Guillermo Vilas shows up to his club (he's not the owner anymore), he gets court 1.  He was dressed in black like a ninja, and was nice enough to pose for pics with us and chat with me a little bit about New York.  Embarrassingly, I did not realize how accomplished he was at the time.  He owns 4 Grand Slam titles and also 4 Grand Slam finals (losing to Borg 2x at the French Open).   He still owns the longest all surface consecutive win streak at 46 and had the longest clay win streak at 53 before some guy named Rafa came along in 2006.  His career record on the tour was 923-284 which is ummm....better than mine.  Definitely a thrill for a tennis loving junkie like myself.  Many thanks to Carla for having her camera and getting Vilas to pose with a strange American for a few moments. 

The only other Argentine tennis player I was secretly hoping to meet was Juan Martin del Potro who won the US Open last year beating Roger in an exciting 5 set final.  Argentina is a big country, so I wasn't holding my breath, also understanding that the tour is global, requiring a lot of travel for the players especially the top ones.   But, as luck would have it, Delpo as he's affectionately called by fans turned up in the weight room at the same club!

I'm not the shortest guy + he's a good bit taller than me.  Thanks again to Carla for getting him to pose with me (she's well connected there).  I'll be rooting for him in Miami next week when the action starts on key biscayne. 

As for tango, I've been doing as much watching as learning recently.  Last night, I played supreme tourist and checked out a tango spectacular in a fun little area of town called Puerto Madero.  It's similar to a Broadway show, except there's no dialog or unifying plot and you get to eat a tasty Argentine dinner with wine while the show unfolds.

They were practicing "modern" tango which combines the old style with contemporary moves and, at times, electronic music. 

The costume changes were great and the dancers reminded me of the pros on Dancing with the Stars.  

This was the final scene with all dancers on stage and the two singers on either side.  

It is definitely a touristy thing to do, but fun and well choreographed.  I'd recommend it to anyone who comes down this way.  

For all my LOST watchers, I haven't forgotten about you.  I certainly have some thoughts and theories on the wackiness that is that show but I will save those for a later post.  Right now, I'll say that I'm glad they did a Ben Linus episode as I was starting to miss him.  I find it interesting that Jacob has this somewhat convoluted, indirect way of communicating with people, whereas the Lockness monster is very straightforward and honest.  Even when he kills the masses, he gives them a warning and a choice beforehand.  I'm not saying he's the good guy here, but for now, there seems to be a method to his madness.  We'll see where things go and if he delivers on some of what he's promised (I doubt it, he did lie to claire about Erin being in the temple).  Regardless, it is the most entertaining hour of television presently and every week I can't wait.  

I am off to Iguazu falls tomorrow for 2 days to see if it's as beautiful and spectacular as everyone says it is. Good luck to Vandy; please don't lose in the first round again.   Have a great week! 

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