New Digs… La Cupula!

It’s a holiday weekend and what weather we are having! I’ve just come back from a trip home to Louisiana where it was cooler than here in Buenos Aires today. I love it!

So, what have we been up to? Well, besides visiting the family back home, I’ve spent the past few months looking for an apartment, getting it set up and learning more than I ever wanted to know about the art of getting stuff done in Buenos Aires. By stuff done, I mean things like getting the Internet hooked up, heaters working (which we don’t even need yet), hooking up the hot water, sealing leaks in the roof, finding a technician to work on our fridge which was freezing everything… really fun stuff like that.

Long-term apartment rentals here don’t work the same way they do in the States. They aren’t painted and readied up for the new tenants. Your phone may or may not work. Your toilet may spray water at the wall when you flush it. It’s quite an adventure. I went through it two years ago in the last place I rented. And here I am again, spending my days on the phone with the operators of the various companies to see just when they think they may come by…

“You’re on the list.”
“Great, so they’re coming today?”
“They’ll call you.”
“But my phone doesn’t work.”
“They’ll ring the doorbell.”
“That doesn’t work either. This is why I’m calling you to see when they’ll come.”

We haven’t had Internet for about two months even though we placed the order the first week of April. Seriously! We’ve been waiting for seven weeks for the guy to bring us the modem. One day, they called us just to let us know that they would be calling. They didn’t call. Then we learned that you can actually pick the modem up yourself. Ah, but there’s a catch. If you’ve already ordered Internet and you’re on the list, you cannot come by to pick it up. You have to cancel your order and then order it again 72 hours later and tell them that you want to come to pick up the modem yourself.

Ok, I don’t have that much to complain about because I love the new place. It’s in the same building as the Loft and the Pad, the two apartments Natalia, Gonzalo and I rent out. In fact, since we had no hot water and our fridge was freezing everything, we stayed in the Loft for the first week.

Here’s what sold me on the new digs…..we’re on the top floor and we have a dome! A dome! (On our Flickr site you can see our process–still ongoing–of making the Cupula a home.)

THE DOME!

JB hated the place when he first saw it, but I begged him to give it a chance. I mean, when will we ever live in an apartment with a dome again in our lives? It’s taken a lot of work to make it livable, but JB and I have hosted our first guest. His sister made her first trip overseas and we may have even convinced her to see if her company would transfer her to Buenos Aires. Now, that’s a successful visit!

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5 Comments

Filed under argentina, buenos aires, culture, customs, san telmo

5 responses to “New Digs… La Cupula!

  1. Pingback: Daily News About Argentina : A few links about Argentina - Saturday, 23 May 2009 20:08

  2. The new place looks cool! We’ve been keeping busy with renovations here too. Right now my kitchen is a complete disaster.

    Good luck in your new digs!

  3. It’s a pretty odd place. Next time you’re in BA, you’ll have to come up for a mate below the cupula. We’ve still got lots to do and I’m a bit envious of your talented boyfriend 🙂

  4. tiffanyla

    Hey, I went to Buenos Aires last year and let me tell you that the Ecological Reserve and the Botanical Garden are one of the most beautiful places. After doing some research to rent apartments buenos aires I found one in Palermo which was near the zoo and also the downtown.
    I had a great time!
    Tiffany

  5. Hey Tiffany… thanks for commenting. I couldn’t agree more. The Reserve and the Botanical Gardens are gorgeous. It’s great that you found a cool apartment in Palermo. Lovely neighborhood! Packed with great shops and restaurants!

    Renting with a vacation rental company is as mixed a bag as is renting with an owner directly. I’ve had people contact me looking for a place that very day because they had arrived with all of their things for a long-term stay and even having booked, with a major online agency, a transfer from the airport to the apartment, they found themselves ditched at the airport, bags in tow.. They had to find a hotel at the last minute… in Congreso (not where I’d want to stay), then spend their first days looking at and for apartments. I guess at the end of the day feeling that you can really trust an agency or an owner means you need to do your research. I would have thought that agencies, because it’s their full-time business, would take their responsibilities more seriously (after all, they do charge additional fees for their services).

    I’ll write more about renting with agencies in an upcoming post, but since we do get a lot of people visiting our blog who are looking for apartments to rent (whether in San Telmo or other parts of the city), and since your comment almost reads as an advertisement for the agency you linked to, I wanted to be sure to be fair. It’s a mixed bag. To some agencies, you may just be a number. While to us here at San Telmo Loft, you are living in what was our home and we want to be sure you have the best vacation possible. We give our guests a cell phone to use to call when they’re out and about and looking for a good place to eat (give us a call and we’ll recommend a great place). We address any plumbing or electrical problems, or WiFi or whatever, right away. No need to figure out how to call the owner of the apartment and wait for someone who has outsourced their place to get around to fixing the problem. Let’s face it, if you’re here for a week and there is some sort of problem with the apartment you’ve rented… you don’t want to spend your time calling the owner (whom you’ve never met) or requesting a discount from an agency that likely will never come seeing as the owner has already been paid.

    It is wonderful that you had such a great experience. I’ll be putting up a website at our own domain (www.santelmoloft.com) in the next weeks. If your company would like to advertise, please feel free to contact us.

    All the best,
    Angela

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