Friday, April 24, 2015


I seized another opportunity to hit the beach last week (who wouldn't when it's an all-expense-paid trip, too?). This time around I was with most of my school – a weekend escape with friends, peers, and my fav staff members. My program caps at a little less than 70 people, and even though it seems like a tiny number compared to the 40,000 students at NYU back in New York, it's still hard to get to know everyone beyond just the names and faces. The few days we had at Mar del Plata was a great chance to hang out with everyone, even the awesome down-to-earth student life staff who made all of it possible.

Anyways, Mar del Plata is a major fishing port right on the coast of the Atlantic and it's also the biggest seaside beach resort in Argentina. There are so many shipyards, ports, and beaches taking advantage of the city's prime real estate. Fun fact: The city used to be a seasonal resort back in the 20th century when the elite built luxury-laden European-inspired (think elaborate chalets, eaves, and porches) summer homes for themselves. Today, many of the residences are converted into upscale restaurants, clubs, and markets to accommodate the influx of tourists.

It was really cool seeing these houses because they reminded me of the suburbs back home with their freshly manicured lawns, shiny mailboxes, and backyards well-equipped with pools. An odd sight in Latin America with its dense cities, tiny pockets of towns, and fields that stretch on forever. But, what was really wonderful about Mar del Plata were the gorgeous sunsets on the beach. El cielo fue un hermoso tono de naranja a la puesta de sol. The skies would turn this truly impressive shade of orange, sometimes pink, at the horizon – right where the blue waters met the even bluer skies. When we realized our cameras weren't doing the sunsets any justice, we would just sit against the rocks in awe of the view before us, listening to the crashing tides and watching surfers catch their final waves.

And after a delicious dinner and some alcohol-induced fun, we'd find ourselves right back on the beach past midnight, sans anything but the moonlight and distant lights of clubs just opening up for the night to guide our clumsy run to the shore. Our eyes adjusted to the pitch blackness of everything around us, and for a while, the world felt so vast and us so incredibly tiny. With our pants rolled up at our ankles and skirts gathered by the fist, we danced on the soft sand, music blasting from our phones, foolishly running into the freezing waters and back. We stargazed, thinking about how cool it is that the moon before us pulls the tides every night. And when we really started to feel the cold seep into our bones, we sought refuge at a club. We danced and danced 'til we realized how many hours of sleep we had left before we had to get up in the morning for our trip back to Buenos Aires, the fleeting moments from the night becoming pocketed memories to tell another day. 

Read More

Thursday, April 16, 2015


I have just a little over a month left before I have to head back to New York and leave behind Buenos Aires (for now). I'm just starting to realize that my weekends are numbered, and it makes me want to abandon all of my schoolwork, throw down all my pesos, and take in everything I can before it's time to depart South America. It's easy to play tourist and want to travel all the time (ugh such insatiable wanderlust), but some of the best days I've had I've actually spent just relaxing, walking around the city and doing absolutely nothing with the best company.

My weekend trip to Rosario, a city in Argentina's Santa Fe province, with my gal pal Rachel was nothing out of the ordinary – our initial plans to go kayaking in the Rio de la Plata, biking, and boat-touring all fell through but we weren't the least bit upset about it. We ended up just soaking up rays exploring the beautiful city, hanging out in parks, and eating every other hour to our heart's content.

On our very first day, we visited Rachel's family friends who treated us out to a wonderful outdoor lunch right by the river (I still dream about the delicious grilled boga fish we had). It's always nice to practice my Spanish with locals even if I stumble with pronunciation (especially Argentina's unique accent) and struggle to remember specific conjugations (present, preterite, imperfect, and more!). How nice it was to be chauffeured around town for a few hours; it felt odd just cruising around in a car for the first time in a while.

The rest of the weekend we spent tanning on grass until we felt the dew on our clothes, pedal-boating across the lake, studying (just a teensy bit since midterms awaited us back in Buenos), and perusing Rosario's impressive flea markets. Rach and I must have strolled up and down the same streets eyeing the same stalls' antiques and vintage goods at least 8 times. I scored some pretty cool things for my friends back in New York, but mostly just resisted making some major impulse purchases. One of my favorite finds was a gorgeous beaded purse in perfect condition for just 7 USD.

I had the best hostel experience in Rosario. We lived in an immaculately clean, colorful, and bohemian 3 story house, and got to really know the superb guy who lives there and runs it. That's the thing about Argentines – everyone's incredibly warm and open. It's such a contrast to New Yorkers who are unfortunately too cool to care, or too wary / guarded / reserved in general to strike up a conversation.

My moments in Rosario – spending nights chatting up bartenders, making A+ homemade dinners, eating amazing ice cream at Messi's family's restaurant (Rosario's his hometown!) and consuming too much cheap wine in a single sitting – was nothing short of memorable. Even though we didn't do anything eventful, it was so much fun leaving Buenos Aires, a city that reminds me of New York sometimes with its high density and constant stimulation, for a smaller, more relaxed city. I would go back in a heart beat to do it all again.

Read More