Today I experienced my first – and hopefully last – act of violence in Buenos Aires. Objectively, it was a tiny incident that doesn’t hold a candle to the violence and violation experienced everyday by millions of people across the globe. But it terrified me and violated my sense of security, and how I felt after might have implications for more traumatic kinds of violence as well.
When I arrived in Buenos Aires, I had no idea the city was so well known for its amazing graffiti – but even in my first few hours of exploring, I began to discover splashes of color and creativity on almost every block. And I’m not just talking about the quickly-spray-painted tags and angry acts of vandalism that you see in most cities; I’m talking about beautiful works of public art. Now, that’s not to say that Buenos Aires doesn’t have more than its fair share of tags and vandalism, or that these forms of graffiti aren’t art in their own right. But the porteño street art culture is indisputably unique – and incredibly accessible.
Buenos Aires is known for its closed-door restaurants, or puertas cerradas, where some of the city’s best chefs put together mouth-watering multicourse meals in the comfort of their own homes. The menu is set, and reservations are mandatory. The closed-door experience has always intrigued me, but given that I’m a picky vegetarian living in the heart of parrilla-ville (i.e., meat galore) an expensive fixed-menu meal did not sound promising, and I gave up on the idea.
That is, until I found Jueves a la Mesa, a charming vegetarian puerta cerrada in San Telmo run by Meghan, the beautiful soul who also founded Buena Onda Yoga (stop by Monday evenings for a class taught by yours truly!)
So I took a look at my calendar today and had what I’m pretty sure might have been a tiny little panic attack. It’s June. JUNE. Which leaves me with a little over a month left in Buenos Aires, two weeks of which will be spent traveling elsewhere in Argentina.
Needless to say, I’m freaking out here. Jennifer-Hudson-in-Dream-Girls freaking out. Part of me (a really, really big part of me) just wants to grab onto one of the pillars at La Bomba de Tiempo, or one of the goal posts at Boca’s stadium, or any one of the amazing people I’ve come to love here, and hold on for dear life while screaming I’M NOT GOING YOU CAN’T MAKE ME. The other part of me is struggling with an understandable case of FOMO, and has spent the last few hours – in classic Annie fashion – making lists on lists on lists of all the places I’ve still yet to conquer in Buenos Aires.