Thursday, February 26, 2009

Our House ...

These are some pictures I've taken since we got here. We've moved things around a bit since I took these and we're expecting four enormous crates of our own furniture and decorations (and clothes, blessed clothes!!!) to arrive on a ship next Friday. I'll have to post more pics, or the requested video tour, once we get things all set up.

After living in a studio apt. for a year, I am most amazed at the fact I can go a whole week or more without going into some rooms. Also, as much as I love Neil, it's nice to have some space and room to do our own things if we want. It's really weird to "lose" him in the apt., calling him and hearing his voice, but not sure which room he's in.

There are a lot of things I could say about Buenos Aires. Our neighborhood, Belgrano, is mostly nice apartments and some beautiful old mansions tucked between. There are several embassies (but not the U.S. Embassy, that's about 10 min. away) around us (usually in the big mansions) and it is a very upscale neighborhood. It does have a very "European" feel to it -- lots of cafes, lots of people dining out, lots of people enjoying the parks -- Argentines sure know how to use their parks, they LOVE any park space -- LOTS of people walking dogs. EVERYONE has a dog, and there are several common breeds: mini poodle, maltese, Yorkie, beagle, Lab and Golden retrievers, cocker spaniel, Weimeraner, German Shepherd, Bernese Mountain Dog ... OK, that's more than a few types, but really it seems like a limited amount of breeds here. I mean, I've never seen a pug or a dalmation here. People also don't clean up after their dogs, so the sidewalks can be filled with land mines. Fortunately, the "porteros" or porters (?) who manage the buildings are out every morning washing the sidewalks. I mean, our portero takes a squeegee to it after he washes it. This is unfortunate for water conservation.

Pics now, more about B.A. later.

This "park" is directly across the street from our building. It's really just on a street corner, and there are a couple benches right at the corner, behind the lady walking her dog, which seems like a very awkward place to actually sit and hang out, but there are ALWAYS people of all different ages talking, kissing, playing guitar, drinking (yes, you can drink in the streets) etc. in this "park." They LOVE their parks here.

Here is our building. There is one apt. to each floor in our building. Our apt. is the 5th floor.
Sorry for the redundancy, but this is so you can see the cobblestone street.
Here's the lobby. There is always a portero at the front desk, or standing outside in this case, who unlocks and opens the door. Always. 24/7.
The elevator goes up to our floor and opens to a little vestibule with our front door.
Immediately inside the front door to the left is the powder room.
Here's the living/dining room. Neil has been using the floor space to take private breakdancing lessons twice a week. Luckily he goes to a gym for his jiu jitsu class. And he has Spanish lessons at the Embassy. He has really been taking advantage of this situation, which makes me happy.
Past the living/dining room is the kitchen and eating area -- currently the intensive Spanish study area.
And then the kitchen. The big box was our air-shipped stuff. For future reference I will send more stuff that way -- it got here within 1 week!
The kitchen goes out to a back balcony, adjoining the LAUNDRY ROOM and the "maid's quarters." I am SOOOOOooooooooooo happy to have my own washer and dryer after a few years of not having one in my apt.

Neil arranges the fruit all the time into interesting configurations. That phone on the wall is a video intercom to the front door outside the building.The back balcony by the laundry/maid's room. OK, we don't seriously have a live-in maid (she just comes once a week ;) but even if we did, I wouldn't make her stay out here.
Looking out to the buildings behind ours.Looking down to our building's patio.
The "maid's room," which is occupied by the washer and dryer.
The "maid's bathroom." There is actually a shower in there, almost over the toilet.Heading back in through the kitchen. We have this thing called a "dishwasher." I still haven't used it. Old habits die hard.The guest room. We've since switched it with the office, since this room is where the internet hookup is.
The office, now the guest room. There is a balcony, beside the laundry room balcony, that runs the length of these two rooms.
The hallway looking out from what is now the guest room, toward the master bedroom.
The hall bathroom for the guest room.
OK, SO I DIDN'T TAKE ANY PICTURES OF OUR ROOM YET but I will. It's basically a big square with some dressers, a chair, bed and nightstands in it. It has a separate area with built-in closets. It has a normal bathroom with an Olympic-sized garden-style Jacuzzi tub. Seriously. You don't believe me. I'll post pictures.

This is the front balcony that runs the length of the building, outside the living room and our bedroom. The table and chairs are outside our bedroom. There are sliding glass doors and these nifty, pull-up wooden shade things.

Sometimes we eat outside! Buen provecho!


Brianna and Byron Putnam said...

WOW! you guys look like you are doing great!! Okay, so I must be a bad friend because I have absolutely NO idea what you are doing in Argentina... PLEASE fill me in when you get a chance! love you girl

mel said...

umm.... LOVE the house, LOVE your glasses... can I come visit this summer, for reals?!

Fearless Leader said...

OH MY GOSH!!!!!!!!!AHHHHHHH HAVE YOU RAN AROUND!!! HAVE YOU PLAYED HIDE AND SEEK!! That looks like an awesome place for DANCING!!! LOVE IT! WoW! What's your favorite part so far? least? How's the food? Do you feel Safe? how do you get around? WoW ! JuS tt WOW!!!

rachel said...

I love the balcony best. an Olympic-sized garden-style Jacuzzi tub! your place is amazing....

Brooke said...

The house looks seriously nice. You have definately moved up in the world! I LOVE the balcony and the view. I would just watch people on the street all day. Neil, like the fruit arrangments.

Tara said...

fancy fancy fancy. i want to come!!! and sooo jealous of your 1st anniversary celebration. awesome place you stayed at!

Z. Marie said...

You probably know this, but most of the Foreign Service furniture is the same worldwide. We have all the same furniture (except the kitchen table and chairs, which I don't think our post has). But your apartment is WAAAAAAY nicer than our house. Especially the floors. Those are awesome.
Always send as much as you're allowed UAB. Heck, have a few kids to increase your UAB allowance. (When we packed out to come to Trinidad, I joked I needed to borrow someone's kid for the additional hundred pounds we'd get. I didn't know I'd end up with my own additional kid!)

Taralyn said...

Talk about royal treatment! You aren't gonna want to come back to the states. :)

Travelin' Tracy said...

So very exciting...I definitely would love to make a visit...what are you doing for work? Oh, and the place is huge!

Sasha said...

In one word...jealous!

What a fun opportunity!!

modestmuse said...

Not sure if responses are worth posting here/if they'll be read, but:

Bri, I will have to call you! I'm working down here. Love you, too!!!

Melinda, PLEASE come visit! Seriously! I forgot to say that -- visitors are more than welcome.

Aly, you are so funny! Hide and seek, great idea! My fave part of Argentina is the weather. Least favorite is getting frustrated with my crappy Spanish. The food is TOTALLY overrated!!! That was a surprise. I feel paranoid, but safe (they give you TMI and scare you in security briefings). I walk or take a cab everywhere. Sometimes the Sub-T (train).

Rachel, the balcony is one of my fave parts of the house, too. I will have to post pics of our ridiculous tub!

Thanks, Brooke! The view is starting to look less city to me and more familiar neighborhood. Does that make sense? And yes, people-watching is endlessly entertaining.

Tara, maybe we can do a house swap!! And while you're here, you can decorate for me!!! :)

Zoe, I had to laugh when we first got to our house, because I'd seen the furniture on other FS blogs! I can't believe our place is nicer, but thanks. And THANKS for the tip on UAB. Who knows, I may just pick up an extra weight allowance here in BA, too ;)

Taralyn, it is nice, but not like owning our own home! You go, girl!! And then we can stay with you when we do come back :D

Tracy, you must live up to your blog name. PLEASE DO come visit us! And bring that sweet husband of yours!

Sasha, you guys should make the trek, too. You'd love it. And Josh would have so much fun -- I'm sure he's always wanted to stay out till 6 a.m.!

Lincs and Ali said...

OH MY GOSH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS IS THE NICEST APARTMENT I HAVE EVER SEEN IN ARGENTINA!!!! I can't believe you went from a Studio to THIS!! Wow. disregard anything I told you about Argentina. You have a washer and dryer!! You have a dishwasher!!! Seriously, way nicer than even the Doctors apartments that I went to when I lived there. I can't wait to visit you in person in Agosto!