The Weekend Buzz: Olympic Torch Edition

5 Comments Print

Protesting the Torch

Thanks to Frankenspock for This Photo

Though it’s quickly becoming a running theme for The Weekend Buzz, what a better way to start your weekend, once again, than with protests and controversy. This time, it’s over the parade of the Olympic torch. As you may or may not know, the torch made its way through Buenos Aires on Friday on its only stop in South America. Security was high due to massive global protests over China’s presence in Tibet, and the city braced itself for demonstrations. So in honor of the spirit of the Olympics, this weekend is the perfect time to try some of BA’s international fare.

Go to Chinatown and celebrate the Olympic host nation’s culture with good food and knick-nack shopping for pointless toys that you MUST have. For food, your best bet is called Comida China, on Arribenos street. Now, there is a real name to the place, but it’s in Chinese, so I go with the Spanish name. This can be confusing because many restaurants say Comida China out front. The trick to finding this one is that it’s next to an outdoor Argentine grill, and there’s a woman who sits outside selling spring rolls. Also, look for the hanging ducks in the window. Entrees are in the $9-$15 peso range, and there are three funky gift stores directly across the street, so have a ball.

Chinatown is small, so don’t expect to spend the day there. It begins at Belgrano Central Station, which can be reached by the Linea Mitre train from Retiro, or by a variety of buses (check your “guia T”), as well as the Juramento stop on the Linea D in the Subte. It’s also a cheap cab ride from Palermo or Nunez if you’re already there.

Go Out for a Middle-Eastern Dinner Show at Al-Shark in Palermo. This rustic, yet ornate building houses the city’s best Syrian/Lebanese food in the city. It has a massive dining area, and serves moderately priced food with an extensive wine list. Some of the biggest Middle-Eastern musical acts perform here as well. Performances are nightly on Fridays and Saturdays, and reservations are recommended, as it fills up quickly. Al Shark is located on Av. Raul Scalabrini Ortiz 1424 in Palermo. Call for reservations at 011-4833-6933 or book online.

Visit the Japanese Botanical Gardens in Palermo. Staying with an Asian theme from earlier, why not spend the afternoon in the meticulously structured park, tucked peacefully away within Tres de Febrero Park. Known as one of the world’s largest Japanese botanical gardens, this park draws thousands of tourists on the weekends, and is big enough to spend an afternoon there. There are over 150 species of plants there, all brought directly from Japan. There’s also a man-made lake in the center. Take the Subte to the Plaza Italia stop on Linea D, and you’re only a few short blocks away.

Go to an International Film Festival. Thousands of directors, actors, writers, and producers from all around the world have converged on Buenos Aires for the 10th Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente, or BAFICI, if it’s too much of a mouthful. There are nine venues in total throughout the city, so check online for show listings and times. Don’t speak Spanish? Don’t worry. There will be films presented in dozens of different languages, so you’re sure to find a few flicks in your native tongue. The festival has been running since Tuesday, and will continue through April 20.

Well folks, that’s it for this week. Show your nation’s pride, or explore a new culture you’ve yet to experience. It’s better to rejoice in our differences rather than to fight over them. And hey, who wants to protest China on an empty stomach. If you’re Tibetan, or you just want to show your solidarity for their struggle, here’s a list of vegetarian restaurants to check out. Om.


elly on April 12, 08

BA has been peaceful, so far. The MSM has reported that a crew of about 100 protesters petered out in one of your main plazas. Is this typical of Argentine passion for peace or is it an indication that the world is finally world weary of protests against China?

[…] Pre-Olympic exhibition matches continued yesterday when the third-ranked United States played sixth-ranked Argentina at the University of California, Irvine. While the United States is already guaranteed a spot in the games because of their win over Puerto Rico, Argentina still needs to secure their place. They will have a chance to do so this weekend at the Olympic qualification tournament in Tokyo. According to the Associated Press sports writer, Argentina came out strong at the beginning of the game but began to lose ground by the second set. Their star player, Marcos Milinkovic, is still out of competition and is expected to remain so this weekend because he is addressing family matters. Use me: Print this Post Add to Favorites Share me! […]

[…] problems his injured ankle gave him in this year’s NBA playoffs, he expects to be fine for the Beijing Olympic games. In the 2004 Athens games, he helped lead Argentina to the basketball gold medal, scoring 16 […]

[…] of the amateur athletes headed to this year’s Olympics were honored by the Argentine government on Tuesday in Buenos Aires. According to the China View, […]

[…] world power in field hockey. Both the men and the women will soon have to defend that claim in the Olympics. Their next game is today against […]

What Do You Think?