Friday, August 1, 2008

Just around the corner... (Last night in Argentina...)

Just around the corner...
Originally uploaded by Laura Grace
verdulerias--small shops, which sell fresh fruit and vegetables; found all over the city, making bright patches of color on gloomy days.

Michael found this one close to home, and has been a loyal customer during these 2 months; they know him, and so of course he had to introduce his family.

The owner was not really shy; she just thought I was a bit peculiar for wanting to take a photo of her shop. Probably right, too.

Our last night in BA; shopping for a farewell dinner at Ursula and Carlo's home.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Jardín Japonés, Buenos Aires, Argentina

I like having signs of spring twice in one year! This place is a 30 min walk from our place.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Argentina: Family Mosaic # 1

The best times in Argentina have been with family!

Porteña - My last photo safari with this wonderful group...

Originally uploaded by jorferrini
We went to a cafe that doubles as a museum of photographic equipment and prints; then walked for several hours.

This group has been just a delight, and I am so grateful to have found them.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Palacio Barolo: Emma & Peter

I've never been up in a tower that had little balconies all the way around it, just big enough for two people at a time.

It was great for viewing, and for photographing each other.

We really lucked out -- it was supposed to rain, but it was the warmest and prettiest day in 5 weeks!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

BAROLO - Grupo Porteña

BAROLO - Grupo Porteña

Originally uploaded by Magda-50
At the Palacio Barolo; Michael, Emma and Peter are in the room, but not in the picture...

This was an amazing building, designed to honor one man's obsession with Dante and Paradise Lost. You can read about it here:

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The only two, in the whole world.

Yep, so now Emma and Peter are here! Next Friday Stefan arrives, and then we head for Iguazu Falls on Saturday. Stefan is Emma's boyfriend, but really a part of our family, too.

Emma & Peter have gone off to visit the zoo, and Michael is at work, so it's very quiet right now. I love having the variety, since before it was just quiet all the time: no "hooray boys" as Dad used to say.

As in: "I have to go to work tomorrow, so let's not have any hooray boys..." Whenever my Mom's family was visiting, that would be the message :)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Trudy Bordeau Tuschak

She was the second of four children; my father's oldest sister; and since my Dad died in 1993, the last of the four. She was my godmother, my aunt, and took the place of our grandmother, who died before my brother was born. Every Christmas we spent at her house. When I was born, my three year old sister was staying with her. I think she kept us when our brother was born, too.

Her real name was Gertrude, but she loved to be called Trudy. She always dressed beautifully. She was always glad for a visit or a phone call. She was the one who started going to a Lutheran church in Detroit, which her family later joined.

She worked in the Decorator's Studio at J.L. Hudson Co. She rode to work, in downtown Detroit, with my Dad, for many years. She always had a cookie for him. He wallpapered her kitchen after he husband died. She went with me to pick out flowers for my dad's funeral.

She was the mother of two, and the grandmother of 5 granddaughters. She was a great-grandmother, too. She went to every play, graduation, wedding, game, shower, and family event that she could.

She was a Tigers fan, and a Wings fan, right up to the end.

She always had good things to say. Really. Always...!

When we visited at Christmas, we all got Chocolate Santas.

She gave me the Brownie box camera that had belonged to her mother, Laura Putnam Bordeau, and the story of how her mother and father met at the county fair, because Henry asked her "Taking any pictures?"

We always loved her.

We will miss her so much. My joy is in the hope of seeing her, seeing all our loved ones, again. I'll bring the cookies, this time. We love you, Aunt Trudy.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Sabado, 28 Junio: Rolling on the River

Originally uploaded by Laura Grace

CLICK on the photo to see others...
Michael & I, along with a new friend from flickr, Mary, made a journey to the river town of Tigre today.

Although I took zillions of photos, I've only posted a few because I'm sleepy. And although this was taken on the way home, not on the river, I'm using it because I've become fascinated with a software program called Photomatix Pro. I've explained it a little on one of the other photos.

Anyway, it started out foggy, and after an hour train ride, we got to Tigre and it was foggy AND it was cold! Frio!! yes...

But we walked around and took pictures and chatted and had lunch... and then the sun came out!

So we took a river trip. Again, I'll post more photos, maybe tomorrow.

But -- tomorrow Peter (our son) arrives!! And then Emma arrives on Tuesday, so we'll see how much I get done.

I love hearing from you all,

Friday, June 27, 2008

BONUS - not my photo

for all my baseball loving family & friends.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

BONUS - not my photo

Originally uploaded by hendriko
Couldn't resist. If you aren't sure where this is, click on the photo and then look at the letters on the top of the bridge.

BONUS - "not my photo"

Originally uploaded by hendriko
My friend hendriko, a founding member of the "famous" vandigicam group in Vancouver, took this awesome shot of "The Maid of the Mist" in Niagara Fall, Canada.

I love the way it looks like the boat is hovering...

Three Generation Vacation

One of the sure-fire wonderful things about travel, especially being on your own, is that you have the option to chat with total strangers.

Now, I have family members who view this is one of the major drawbacks to travel (!) and who have requested DNA testing...

Anyway, I was hanging out, petting a particularly lovely young cat, in the Botanical Garden/Cat Heaven. These three friendly ladies walked by, admiring my taste in cats, in English.

So naturally, we had a lovely discussion...

So here's to you, ladies!

Land 'o Cats

JardinBotanicalCats - 3
Originally uploaded by Laura Grace
The Botanical Gardens is a short walk from our apartment, and is full of healthy, friendly, well-fed cats who are just waiting for you to sit down and pet them...

If you click here, you can see 14 other photos from our walk in the garden, on

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Miercoles: Buenos Aires Zoo

Jardin Zoologic
Originally uploaded by Laura Grace
Michael & I wandered through the Zoo today, as you can see...

If you click on the photo, you'll arrive at my flickr photo site, and there are 43 (count 'em!) other photos... I took most of them, but some of the really great ones are Michael's!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Flickr Fiesta

Flickr Fiesta
Originally uploaded by Laura Grace
So, yahoo had a party to celebrate the fact that flickr argentina has the fastest growing flickr groups... Michael & I were really glad to be able to be there, and we met up again with some of the folks from the walk on Sunday, and met some new folks, too. Thanks, yahoo, it was a lot of fun.

OK, you're where, again?

Isn't this beautiful? This is a Russian Orthodox Church.

We were a bit lost, looking for a famous neighborhood in BA, called "Boca"; this was a nice part of being a bit lost. The church was closed, but wonderful to see.

Barrio Boca, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Not exactly what you'd expect, huh?

(This is a Russian Orthodox Church)

Barrio = neighborhood

Boca = mouth; in this case, the mouth of the river.

for my nephews... Boca Stadium

This place is just GI-Normous!

Stadium Star (Photo by Michael Lacey)

Stadium Star
Originally uploaded by Laura Grace
Boca Soccer Stadium; we walked by it as we were attempting to find the famous colorful areas of Boca.

Lunes, 23 Junio: Another side of Boca

Another side of Boca
Originally uploaded by Laura Grace
This is by no means to imply that there aren't plenty of places in the USA with this kind of housing. What was striking, though, is how close this, and many building just like it, are to the extremely touristy area of Boca. When you see photos with gorgeous colors on houses, and tango dancers, you are probably looking at photos of Boca.

We, on the other hand, forgot to check the camera battery, plus we were just overwhelmed by the time we had walked blocks & blocks... so when we finally got to the "real" Boca, we didn't take any photos.

I'd like to go right at sunrise, before the vendors get set up. It really is an extraordinary area, but feels kind of like Disney with sexier artwork & more litter.

I hope to go back with some of the photographers we've met here, to get some local perspective. After all, I would NOT like them to judge Atlanta by World of Coca-Cola...

Caminito (little walk)...

This photo does a great job of showing the color, and the touristic feel, of this one little area of the barrio of Boca. Taken by pianococtail on

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sabado, 22 Junio: Nuevas Amigos!

In 2005, while we were living in Vancouver, Canada, I started a group for photographers. We went on photo walks together, and we all became a part of, which is a photo sharing website. That group "vandigicam" is still active, and I still keep in touch with some of the people who helped me have such a great time while far from home.

Well, flickr groups meet all over the world, and yesterday Michael and I went on our first photowalk in Buenos Aires. It would be hard for me to understate how happy I was to finally meet some other photographers; and everyone made us feel very welcome. Several members spoke English extremely well, and gave us lots of attention. What a treat!

You can go to my flickr page and see lots more photos: HERE

and pictures from others in the "porteña" group HERE.

(porteña is what people in BA call themselves)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

POLITICS: Michael goes to Plaza Italia

A short video, but interesting because it's near us, and because Michael was actually there.

Going under: taken out the bottom floor window of a moving amtrak train in Fort Madison, Iowa

Going under
Originally uploaded by corvette_skater
This was taken by my nephew, Eddon; his family took the Amtrak from California to Chicago. I am totally impressed, both with the impact of this photo, and the way he set up this photo. Way to go, Pro!

POLITICS: tv news video of farmer's strike

This video shows footage of the blockades of main routes in Argentina. When we were at the conference in La Falda, we heard, first-hand, about participants who had left the conference to go home, but had their buses turned back.

POLITICS: D for Disorientation: Cacerolazo, and then?

The word "cacerolazo" was being used on the TV news, and you might like to read the wiki entry for it:

This blog has a good summation of the events since Monday night, when I took the video of the Night of Pots and Pans.

Lunes, 16 Junio: Politics/video 1

Lunes, 16 Junio, continued: Politics

I'm going to post a short video; I opened one of our windows when I heard pot lids banging ... it means either a futbol victory or something political. In this case, very political: the farmers have been on strike for over 100 days and this was sort of an alert & a show of support for them. I'll write more in a bit, but I want to post this, and see if I can find some blog or another in English that will explain the situation. The "alert" was because people were going down to the major intersections to rally and show that they are unhappy with the government's actions lately...

Monday, June 16, 2008

Lunes, 16 Junio: Flag Day, Laundry Day!

Lunes 16 Junio: Flag Day & Laundry Day!

About last night: We had a lovely time at the home of Ursula and Carlos, who are Michael's colleagues. Very cozy by the fire, delicious homemade pizza & relaxed talk. It's good to know people who are so friendly, that's for sure!

We've decided that not having laundry facilities here is a good thing: Michael picked up his laundry today and was charged 10 pesos -- a little more than $3.00. I'm imagining going up & down 2 flights of stairs if there had been a laundry room in the building...

Michael and I went back to Florintina for lunch (sense a pattern here? we feel it is our obligation to investigate restaurants in the neighborhood.)

I took a 3 hour walk to Bosques de Palermo. Because today is Flag Day, lots of stores were closed AND the roads through the park were also closed, as they are on weekends. It was a wonderful time to wander around: a sunny afternoon, a huge park full of families and groups of teenagers and young couples.

Agua Caliente
If you look carefully at the photo above (click on it to enlarge it), you can see a sign which, for us, is somewhat mysterious. We're used to seeing cold water for sale, but in Argentina, Brazil and probably other parts of South America, no occasion is complete without settling down for mate, a warm infusion of herbs, which is typically shared with friends.

You can learn about it here:

I didn't take any photos of anyone drinking it, because I didn't want to be intrusive and didn't have my telephoto lens, but trust me, mate was being enjoyed all over the place. Michael & I have each tasted it, and it is pretty strong, probably an acquired taste.

Street Hockey
Lots of rollerbladers, bikers, joggers, and plenty of "group cycles" -- I don't know what the name is, but 2 - 6 people sit on benches, under a canopy, and pedal their way around the roads.

I saw street hockey, which made me think of my nephews and my cousin Tom; my guess is that their games were usually not interrupted by horse-drawn carriages!

In the Bosques de Palermo (which is huge... no foolin') I walked through Rosada, which is a lovely quiet place with rose gardens, statuary, and on the banks of a small lake.

On my way home, I found a good place for gelato: Helado Venezia... six different kinds of chocolate... mmmmm....

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Sabado, 14 Junio - Cafe Florintina 3 pm

We've just had a lovely lunch at a cafe 2 blocks from our place. For some reason, our internet access is down, so we're hanging out here for a bit.

No new photos, just yet...

Friday, June 13, 2008

Viernes, 13 Junio 5 pm - por mi padre favorito!

I'm posting this for Michael, because I laughed and thought of him when I walked by... this is a parking garage, but it could be anyplace. "No hay cambio por $100" is one of the fun games in BA... the cash machines only dispense $100 peso notes. So you are happy... you have some cash in hand. But wait -- nobody has change for $100 pesos. Certainly not at the grocery store, at least not without holding up the line to call the manager to come over. My first foray into grocery buying, this happened to me. And behind me in line, 3 other people, almost certainly locals, with their $100 peso notes in hand... go figure!

Oh, one more challenge: in order to ride a bus, you must have change. The bus costs 90 centavos. But whenever you buy ANYthing, it's in round numbers, so it's impossible to get change! Today I bought an Andes mint type thing (which, coindidentally, cost 90 centavos) and I'm now the proud possessor of a 1 peso coin and a 10 centavo coin. So I'm set. But it's easier just to walk! :)

Happy Father's Day, Michael my dear; thank you for bringing me here...

Viernes, 13 Junio 5 pm - por mi hermano & suya esposa

And Happy Father's Day to all ... click on the photo to read the sign... (I wish I'd taken a photo of the father's day sale add on a store FOR WOMEN...kind of like giving Mom a new rachet set?)

Viernes, 13 Junio 5 pm - por mes sobrinos

Sobrino = le hijo de mi hermano. Hermano = Bill Bordeaux. Los Hijos = Eddon, Henry, Thomas

Viernes, 13 Junio 5 pm - In search of books

The weather today was just beautiful; cool in the shade, but perfect in the sun, light breeze. Today I went in search of a library & bookstores. I was finally successful, in the last place I looked -- think of that! Actually, it was also the end of my list, and it was GREAT.

I'm posting a photo of their little cafe, where I was treated to a coffee & little sweets, I guess because I was so obviouly a new customer. And I really needed a pick-me-up just then.

I'll also post a few random photos from my walk, many self-explanatory. This one is the front door of our building.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Jueves, 12 Junio, 10 pm - Another long walk

Today Michael went in to campus, after we had a lovely snack at a local place that sells fabulous olives, breads, savory and sweet items. I walked from about noon till about 5, with one break for lunch. It's actually pretty easy to find your way around, at least in this part of BA. The streets are mainly on a grid, and almost all streets, large & small, are one-way. I know driving would be maddening, but it's a good place for walking; it's possible to find quieter side streets.

Today I headed in the general direction of Recoleta Cemetary, which is very famous and much photographed. As I was heading east, I could see that there was a significant area of sunshine up ahead; it turned out to be a school, next to a really large park: several playgrounds, a carousel, soccer fields, and so on. I lingered there awhile, and took this photo of some extremely well behaved dogs, who were waiting patiently for someone -- their dog walker? -- to resume their exercise. And there were tons of kids running around, and other dogs too. Good dogs!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hmmm... I'm having a problem with this post...

My first time on the Subte (Subway); we went down and paid the rest of our rental for the apartment, then went into the most amazing bookstore, a former grand theatre. More later. We also visited a much more humble used book store which had a very humble collection of books in English; not cheap either, at around $3.00 a pop. I got one book in English and a Spanish edition of Little Men, by Louisa May Alcott.

When we came around the corner and saw this building... well, it stopped me in my tracks!

Miércoles, 11 Junio 3 pm: A Trip Downtown

My first time on the Subte (Subway); we went down and paid the rest of our rental for the apartment, then went into the most amazing bookstore, a former grand theatre. More later. We also visited a much more humble used book store which had a very humble collection of books in English; not cheap either, at around $3.00 a pop. I got one book in English and a Spanish edition of Little Men, by Louisa May Alcott.

When we came around the corner and saw this building... well, it stopped me in my tracks!

My first time on the Subte (Subway); we went down and paid the rest of our rental for the apartment, then went into the most amazing bookstore, a former grand theatre. More later. We also visited a much more humble used book store which had a very humble collection of books in English; not cheap either, at around $3.00 a pop. I got one book in English and a Spanish edition of Little Men, by Louisa May Alcott.

When we came around the corner and saw this building... well, it stopped me in my tracks!

Miércoles, 11 Junio 10 am - a typical evening and morning?

Last night Michael made polenta (like grits, only thicker) and squash. I found out that you can get slices, or pieces, of vegetables at the "veduria" (small fruit & vegetable stands; I'm not sure I spelled that right). That's handy!

We watched futbol (soccer) for a while; I went upstairs and started channel surfing on the OTHER big screen TV. I'd patiently gone through every channel on the downstairs TV, writing down which ones had English with Spanish subtitles, what the programming appeared to be, and so on. I went upstairs, and lo and behold, it appears to be a completely different system, which took me quite a while to figure out. At first all I could get was MTV type music videos.

Michael came up, and we watched Filadefia (Philadelphia, with Tom Hanks) with Spanish subtitles. I like that best, because I can keep an eye on the Spanish, and learn a little, without losing the story entirely.

We are sleeping well, because it's cold outside & cool in the house; what the Bordeaux family always refers to as "good sleeping weather". When we woke up at 7, it was still dark; lazed around a bit before getting up. Michael is has his lectures prepared for Thursday and Friday.

Once I got up, I headed for my computer, and for a change, acted in a somewhat disciplined fashion: putting devotions first. I resumed a process that I'd started last fall: I go to The Upper Room, and read it in Spanish:

Using various resources, I read the text of the scripture in Spanish, then English. I also listen to it in Spanish. Then I read the devotional in Spanish & then I discover what I was reading! Every day the author is a reader of The Upper Room, and there are readers all over the world. Me gusto (I like it)

Today's devotional was about patience, and I had to laugh because I had just been "chatting" with my cousin Kitty in New York State about that. If you'd like to read the text in English, you can find it on my new blog:

Here's an excerpt, which made me laugh:
PATIENCE is a virtue but not one of mine. When I was young, I heard a minister say that if we pray for patience, events will come to teach us patience and help us mature. I determined not to pray for patience so I would never have to wait in long lines, be delayed in travel, or deal with difficult people. For the record, that plan did not work out. -- Amy Pease (Illinois, U.S.A.)

Well, now it's nearly 10:30, so it's time to find out if Quaker Oats in Argentina taste the same as at home.