Monthly Archives: April 2008

The 34th Annual International Book Fair of Buenos Aires

Today is the first day of the acclaimed book fair in Buenos Aires. I’ve been to book fairs all over the world and this is by far the best. Held in the massive La Rural, the fair goes from April 24 to May 12.  The Argentine author Ricardo Piglia will speak at the innauguration today. 

Book Fair

The book fair is not just a place to blow a stack of cash on hard-to-find books in various languages. It’s the speakers, the lectures and discussions, the cultural events, and the sheer magnitude of the 20 days that draw in the crowds.

Among the international literary figures scheduled to appear this year are: Naomi Klein (Canada; speaking today at 20:00 hs in Sala J.L. Borges), Tom Wolfe (U.S.), Almudena Grandes (Spanish), Juan Villoro (Mexican), Gioconda Belli (Nicaraguan), Luis Baez (Cuban), Jorge Fornet (Cuban), Eduardo Mendicutti (Spanish), Barbara Cassin (French), Alberto Guerra Naranjo (Cuban) and Nelida Piñon (Brazil). For a complete listing, go here

New to the fair this year is a gourmet section called “Placeres y Sabores” which I plan to spend a lot of time at. Invited authors and chefs will prepare dishes and cocktails for the public. The schedule is here.

Marking the 100th anniversary of the folklorist Atahualpa Yupanqui‘s birth, the fair will pay tribute to this Argentine legend on Sunday, May 4. It will be a day filled with music and dance and one not to miss!

Atahualpa Yupanqui

You can check out the full program here

Entry fees are $8 from Monday-Thursday and $10 Friday-Sunday. The fair goes from 14:00 to 22:00 Sunday – Thursday and from 14:00 – 23:00 Fridays and Saturdays. On Wednesday, April 30, from 14:00-2:00 for the “Noche de la Ciudad en la Feria del Libro” which will showcase performances, cultural activities, book signings, and many surprises (according to the Feria’s website). 

Images courtesy of 34th Annual International Book Fair in Buenos Aires website. 

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No Fair Winds in Buenos Aires

Close your windows and stay indoors. Buenos Aires is under a black cloud of smoke brought in from the burning grass fields north of the city. The smoke is heading towards Uruguay and without any rain and little wind, it looks like we’re going to have burning eyes and scratchy throats for the days to come.

Map of Smoke Path

Airports, ports, bus terminals and highways have been closed. Firefighters are having trouble breaking through the cloud of smoke by helicopter or airplane to put the fires out that have spread over thousands of hectares. Once again the government and farmers are in disagreement as the government accuses farmers of illegally starting the fires to prepare their fields for grazing.

Polo Field in Buenos Aires

A little over a week ago, I headed up to the roof of my building to take some pictures of a polo match. It was a gorgeous day, very typical of Buenos Aires.

Polo Field Black Smoke

When I got up this morning, I couldn’t see the buildings just beyond the field.

River in Distance

On a good day, I can see the river behind the hippodrome and casino.

River in Distance

Today I could just barely make out the casino and the lights of the racetrack.

Buenos Aires Contrast

So I pasted the two shots together for a drastic comparison. Cough, cough.

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