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FixCam: The Fix Heads to Argentina

For the first time in the three years (or so) that we have been on this incredibly exciting and rewarding journey that is writing The Fix, we are going to go totally off the grid until mid-August.

Never fear. We've tasked our able editors as well as post.com wunderkind Ed O'Keefe (commonly referred to in the halls of washingtonpost.com as "Cillizza 2.0") to fill this space during our absence. And, if either (or both) of the vice presidential picks are announced you can be sure we will find a cafe of some sort in Argentina from which to blog.

Speaking of Argentina, it's where The Fix will spending the majority of his time. And, that's where we need our loyal readers help.

* It's a long flight to (and from) Argentina. And, the Fix is easily bored. So, we are looking for your recommendations. Got a favorite book, movie or album (Hint: not "Moby Dick", "Napoleon Dynamite" or "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot". Been there, done that.) that could keep the Fix engaged for a few hours? Post it in the comments section below.

* Once we arrive in Argentina, we'll need to eat -- and Mrs. Fix will need to shop. If you've been to Buenos Aires or even live there, we're on the lookout for recommendations for where to go and what to eat. Any help is MUCH appreciated.

We'll be back sooner than you think. And then it's on to the two parties' conventions and the sprint to November!

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 31, 2008; 1:43 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Obama's Veep Vetting Enters New Stage
Next: Friday Line: Battleground States

Comments

Review: Video clips of Obama playing the RACE CARD during this year's Campaign.


Video Clips from all the major netwoks:


http://tinyurl.com/6gcstl


Video clips include Tim Russert directly calling out Obama on Obama's Playing of the RACE CARD in the Campaign in a Divisive and Extremely Shameful and Negative Manner.


.

Posted by: 37th&OStreet | August 4, 2008 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Review: Video clips of Obama playing the RACE CARD during this year's Campaign.


Video Clips from all the major netwoks:


http://tinyurl.com/6gcstl


Video clips include Tim Russert directly calling out Obama on Obama's Playing of the RACE CARD in the Campaign in a Divisive and Extremely Shameful and Negative Manner.


.

Posted by: 37th&OStreet | August 4, 2008 11:05 PM | Report abuse

There's a lovely Relais et Chateaux restaurant called La Bourgogne at the Hotel Aveleda (sp?)in the Recoleta. The food is absolutely amazing. It's definitely on my list of restaurants that I want to go back to... give it a try, Chris!

Posted by: Chuck | August 4, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

I have been visiting B.A. on and off since 1977 and recently from 4 to 6 months every year. My husband and I both recommend Las Violetas for breakfast and a great steak at El Mundo. For the first place we hit when we arrive in B.A. go to El Cuartito (Pizza). It is locatad on Talcahuano between Paraguay and Marcelo T. de Alvear.

Posted by: Joan | August 4, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Two recommendations for places to eat:
Las Violetas (either the architecture or the food make the visit worthwhile) to have sweet snacks (ask for an assortment, surtido in Spanish, of masitas) located at Rivadavia and Medrano, by the Castro Barros station of the Line A of the subway. For a good steak, go to El Mundo on Maipu between Lavalle and Tucuman, on the left side of the street as you walk from Lavalle to Tucuman.

Posted by: Henry | August 4, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse


37th&OStreet was way out in front on this issue:

From today's Washington Post:


By Juliet Eilperin and Jonathan Weisman
Raising a politically-explosive issue for the first time this election, Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) campaign accused Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) this morning of invoking the specter of race in order to bolster his electoral prospects.

The charge came in reaction to comments the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee had made at three separate stops in Missouri Wednesday, where Obama suggested Republicans were trying to scare voters away from him.

"So nobody really thinks that Bush or McCain have a real answer for the challenges we face, so what they're going to try to do is make you scared of me," he told voters in Springfield. "You know, he's not patriotic enough. He's got a funny name. You know, he doesn't look like all those other Presidents on those dollar bills, you know. He's risky. That's essentially the argument they're making."

McCain campaign manager Rick Davis countered this morning with a terse but harsh statement: "Barack Obama has played the race card, and he played it from the bottom of the deck. It's divisive, negative, shameful and wrong."

.

Posted by: 37th&OStreet | July 31, 2008 9:46 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | August 3, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

On the subject of EVITA, my dad said something that to me was pretty funny and true. Don't worry, CHAOS 45i, I'll translate it.

He said "Evita was like the 'SPRINGTIME FOR HITLER' song in 'THE PRODUCERS' but not like joke, like for real.'"

Going back to Bielinsky and "Nueve Reinas," it really was a cultural watershed in a lot of ways for those of us who are both Jewish and "Latino."

"The Official Story" is great but it's more empowering to be the aggressor than the aggrieved.

Posted by: DexterManley | August 3, 2008 1:53 AM | Report abuse

INDEPENDIENTE! 4-EVAH! Rooting for Boca or River Plate is like rooting for GM, wait a second that's not right -- LOL. Rooting for Boca or River Plate is like rooting for Microsoft.

REAL FANS SUPPORT INDEPENDIENTE!

Posted by: DexterManley | August 3, 2008 1:48 AM | Report abuse

Go antique shopping on Sunday in San Telmo and see tango dancers performing for your american change.
La Chacra is the place for traditional Argentine parilla (hope it's still there, Avenida Cordoba), although Las Lilas is good and Puerto Madeiro is trendy & fun if you're into that. Don't go too early.
Order chicken ravioli when you get tired of steak
Recoleta is great for lunch/shopping/seeing the cemetery.
Definitely partake of the best ice cream EVER at any heladeria.
Do tea at any non-trendy-looking confiteria in the microcentro - ask for masitas & un cafe & watch the world go by.
Leather goods at Casa Lopez.
Shop in Palermo.
El Tigre is worth doing if the weather's good.
Bookstores on Avenida Correo.
Go see the Congreso which usually has something negative re: los yanquis sprayed somewhere on it. Check out the old confiteria El Molino alongside it.
Lived there for four years ten years ago and would do anything to go back - forever. Beautiful country & the best friends I ever had.
You will have fun no matter what.

Posted by: lisac | August 2, 2008 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Alright Mr. Fix. I hate you! (no seriously) I wish I could go to Argentina -- I spent my Junior Year abroad there in the mid 90s and it was totally awesome. Its Cold there (July is Winter). Bs As is nice but you should venture into Las Provencias like Santa Fe, Corrientes, Tucuman, Cordoba . If you can afford it I would go to Bariloche (Better skiing then Colorado - iChe Por Supuesto!.

Here are my top pix for the Fix in La Argentina

*Cafe Tortoni (the Art work is awesome)
*Bar O bar or Barbaro (one night it was jazz, the other Argentine Rock, and then flamenco this place is unperdicable)
Alto Palermo (Ritzy shopping place think Tysons Corner - if you feel home sick),
La Recoleta (Peron!, Peron! - Evita!) hey this is Politics right?

Finally try to see a good soccer game preferably River Plate versus Boca Juniors (leave your wallet a home.. I had a friend who had his wallet, Keys and cell phone stolen from his front pocket! no joke!) Other than enjoy (Buenos Aires and Argentina is a great place) -- While you are at try and visit Chile and Uruaguay.. I am J-e-a-l-o-us Man! Enjoy!

Posted by: Sunnyside | August 2, 2008 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Yes! Watch "Cold Comfort Farm"
Read "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime"

Posted by: jonidee | August 2, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

Las Lilas is a great choice. The last commenter's review was right on.

Posted by: Plil Friedman | August 2, 2008 6:14 AM | Report abuse

I lived in Arg for 10+ years, until 2005. I visited most recently in April of this year.

The food, the shopping, all wonderful.
Althought... Olsen is a Nordic restaurant/bar and Unicenter is so far away from the city and not the safest choice (stick to Alcorta, Alto Palermo).

Chris -- go see a soccer game. The season starts first week of Aug, and River Plate (one of the most popular clubs) has a home game on Aug 17. (Boca is the other big name, but it's probably further away from you and a bit more intense...) It will be an experience!!!

Posted by: MK | August 1, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Buenos Aires restaurants? Ate twice at Cabana La Lilas in Puerto Madero and it was probably the best steakhouse I've even eaten at. Although more expensive than other local establishments, it's still cheap by American standards. Here's a link to a review. I think many consider this one of the best restaurants in the country.

http://www.vinography.com/archives/2006/04/restaurant_review_cabaa_las_li.html

Posted by: Anonymous | August 1, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Something fun to watch on DVD for vacation: Cold Comfort Farm.

Posted by: David | August 1, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

This could be a great Dennis Kucinich "teachable moment" for Chris. I think he should read anything he can find by Jacobo Timerman and/or Ariel Dorfman and then think real, real hard if maybe GITMO and McCain's whole set of ideas isn't a lot like the "dirty wars" in Argentina and Chile.

He will also find on this trip the same degree of affection for Obama in Argentina that the Germans and French showed Obama.

Perhaps, this trip will take some of Chris's love for "the maverick" away and maybe open his eyes a little on some racial and cultural issues.

Posted by: DexterManley | August 1, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

@ CHAOS 45i:

I love Spanish. I love English. Both are great languages. I feel a little guilty that I don't know as much Hebrew, Russian and Yiddish as I should.

I don't know enough about the issue you describe because I've been to Chicago once in my life and don't follow its politics too closely. I know Rush is a representative. And Blagojevic is the governor of the state. That's it.

But off the subject of Obama and McCain, I have to confess to something I've found very weird about America. I've been over and over on this here but I can't really reach anyone on it. I'm Panamanian but my ancestors are Russian Jewish and my skin is darkish but WHITE. I went to college and grad school in the United States. I speak unaccented English. And I "passed", not that I hid anything or that anyone cared.

Maybe I'm sensitive. Maybe it's Lou Dobbs. Maybe it was the campaign but I self-identify as all of those things including this weird word the US uses "HISPANIC." To me it sounds like "colored." Also, the general bigotry in the US we find pretty weird.

It's very mixed racially and ethnically here and there's no tension at least in the capital. There's more tension between people in the interior and people in the capital. Black and White skins are irrelevant.

I'm surprised actually in reading the comments and recommendations on this post how many people know Argentina well. Based on what I've heard from Lou Dobbs and read on some blogs I assumed that in Bush's America people couldn't make the distinction between an Argentino and a Mejicano. Un Guatamalteco ni mucho menos!

But whatever was going on with Obama in Illinois, the Democratic Party has always had a great relationship with our PRD. Hillary Clinton in college dated the former President "Toro" Perez-Balladares, who also uses the same personal attorney as Obama does.

Bill Clinton's affirmation of the Carter-(Omar) Torrijos treaty really made things great here. But at least as far as we're concerned, there's so much animosity towards all Republicans that there's nothing that could put us off Obama. The wounds run very deep. It's one thing to do some lying and hand-waving with a discrimination ordinance and I don't think that's trivial at all. I have much love for all Spanish-speakers in the US.

But the assassination of Omar Torrijos and Operation "Just Cause," are BEYOND. Americans got these cute pictures of American soldiers playing Classic Rock loudly at the church where Noriega was holed-up. And it was all a big joke.

The truth of it is that Powell bombed a densely populated urban area, killing 10,000 civilians and making 100,000 homeless. And the Classic Rock thing was staged for the media. The US soldiers were runnning all over the capital defacing churches. I'm Jewish. I don't even go to church but that made me sick.

Besides, Noriega was difficult but the laws under him were more lax than the laws under Bush now are. So, as long as Obama's a Democrat, it's fine. McCain is really disrespectful. I don't even like Alvaro Uribe that much but for McCain to try to show him up as an invited guest to Colombia was pretty gross.

The arrogance and self-importance of the USA and disrespect toward immigrants and Spanish-speaking immigrants especially is awful. In the end, it only hurts the USA.

Because of all of the changes since Bush took over that have caused immigrants and even naturailzed citizens so many problems, places like Panama and Canada now have asset-posting requirements of all US immigrants and they're really high. Whereas we had relatively open borders during Clinton. Now, an American has to post $350,000 in cash, marketable securities or real property to prove that they're not tax cancers on the country.

There's even talk of making it retroactive, so a lot of the White retirees who came here and live apart in gated communities whose houses are not really worth that much, may be required to post more equity or be deported.

Bush has really created a lot of ill will that was either absent or dormant before.

Posted by: DexterManley | August 1, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

I recommend reading, if you have not yet, "Wild Swans," by Jung Chang. This is one of my favorite non-fiction books. The author writes about three generations of women, her grandmother, mother and herself in China. Great as social history of modern China. The vivid description of how Jung Chang's family suffered during the Cultural Revolution helps explain her recent vendetta biography of Mao.

Posted by: Independent | August 1, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

"Fortunes of War," 1987 BBC miniseries starring Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson, Rupert Graves. Brits adrift in Romania, Greece and Egypt in early years of World War II. Seven episodes, runs nearly seven hours. Exceptional bargain on DVD, less than $15.

Posted by: allbetsareoff | August 1, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

I think John McCain will benefit from Michelle Shaniqua Obama's "whitey" tape due for release in October. Undoubtedly is will show her ranting from the pulpit of Trinity Church punctuating each rant with a fist bump.

Posted by: Dianne72 | August 1, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

For Reading Try W.E.B Griffin;s Presidential Agent Series it is set in Buenos Aires For Food Try Kansas Restaurent Avenida del Libertador 4625
Belgrano, Buenos Aires
Have a great Time

Posted by: Brian,Timmins Canada | August 1, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Mr. and Mrs. Fix,
I´m from Buenos Aires, but I`m currently living in the US. Most of the things you cannot miss have been posted before.
I will add a few personal favorites:
You cannot miss:
Sights:
Take a boat trip from Tigre to downtown.This is new, and it takes locals to work so as to avoid traffic. It`s beautiful. The boat is called ¨Lancha Colectiva¨.
There is a small train that takes you along the river shore starting in Olivos. It´s called ¨Tren de la Costa¨. You can get off at San Isidro Station and have a glimpse of San isidro , my hometown, which is very small, Colonial, and residential.
Food: Steaks and wine! Asado. Try all the things they give you, it`s our traditional barbecue!
Medialunas con Dulce de leche (kind of croissants)
Milanesas con pure (breaded meat with mashed potatoes)
For dessert try ¨Flan con Dulce de leche¨
You cannot miss Dulce de leche , we eat it with everything. Try alfajores as well!
Shopping:
20 minutes away from downtown you will find the best mall in the Northern area: it´s called UNICENTER. There you`ll find absolutely everything you want, great brands, leather,etc
In PAlermo Viejo, go to Plaza Serrano on the weekend.
You can also shop along Sta. fe Street. Florida is the touristic street...don`t go there...bad quality and expensive stuff
Well I could go on forever...
Argentina has a large number of places to visit, so if you have time take a flight to any location north , south , east or west and you`ll love it!
Good luck!

Posted by: Luz | August 1, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

A friend told me this one is good too:

"Appropriation As Practice: Art And Identity in Argentina" Arnd Schneider

Posted by: Mexican admirer of The Fix | August 1, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

To understand Buenos Aires, you have to read some Jorge Luis Borges. A good selection is in "Borges: Selected Non-Fictions" (in English). If you read Spanish, start with "El idioma de los argentinos"

Posted by: Phil Harman | August 1, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Chris I would say the Nueve Reinas commenter


Bielinsky's film...

I don't want to offend but...

well It's a little ...it's a reach for a vaca...

Interesting but experimental in a way that may put it past the enjoyable place unless you are a filmmaker...

I agree with Dexter...Tarantino of Argentina...

but think about it...Tarantino...storyline...in Argentina... it's fun...but a little like a really intricate painting...that you kind of have to work at...it may get to the point of a Pollack if you have a couple of glasses of really good Argentinian wine in ya.

so if you are in that mindset...

it's like an 8 course meal...when on vacation I tend to like one course of their native food...you know?

but if you have the time...Dexter's right...it is a piece of cool art.

but I still would go with Puenzo's
"La historia oficial"

"The Official Story"

because it is a subject matter that I would guess would be of great interest while you are there.

Posted by: dl | August 1, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Oh my GOD-- tune that GUITAR!

Posted by: Matt | August 1, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

If you want to kill about 45 minutes and get a few dirty looks as you laugh out loud, I would recommend downloading "Dr. Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog" off of iTunes. Co-written and directed by Joss Wheedon, staring Nathan Fillion and Neil Patrick Harris.

Posted by: FS | August 1, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

THUNDERBOLT & LIGHTFOOT

Posted by: steve | August 1, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Hey Chris,

I've lived in Buenos Aires. Here are some suggested restaurants.

Cabaña Las Lilas: Some of the best beef I've ever eaten, and a not-to-be-missed dining experience.
http://www.guiaoleo.com.ar/list.php?strsrch=Caba%F1a+Las+Lilas&srch=TRUE

Miranda: A nouveau parilla w/ great steaks and salads and a good atmosphere, and much more reasonable than similar eateries.
http://www.guiaoleo.com.ar/detail.php?ID=1099


Zadvarie: Think Peruvian-inspired Argentine fusion, served up in a locale most tourist guides won't point you to.
http://www.guiaoleo.com.ar/detail.php?ID=704

Posted by: MattinSanFrancisco | August 1, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

You deserve this vacation!
I love your blog and I will miss it.
Definetly you have to read something written by an Argentinian, I thinkt that complements the journey a LOT!
Rayuela or Bestiario of Cortázar has been already reccomended, But something of Borges. This book is also very nice:
El Velo de la Ilusión. Apuntes para una biografía argentina of Garzón Valdés.
http://www.literatura.org/escrfr.html

You HAVE to visit a Tango show. Wonderful."La Cumparsita" is a lovely tango.

Eat alfajores!

Go to El Tigre.

Puerto Madero´s restaurants and Bars are really nice.

Just infront of the Teatro Nacional, you cross the incredibly wide avenida, and there you are at the shopping center. There are many malls and in Recoletos you can also find nice shops. Argentinians dress really nice and you (well Mrs Fix) can find nice stylish clothes there...
Also in the city center you can find leather jackets and stuff for nice prices.

Music? well already told you Tango, and of course never forget the wonderful Soda Stereo, they don´t play toghether anymore, but they were a classic for the 80´s generation:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGhwJs_DRHg

Well that´s all that I can remember now. Buenos Aires is wonderful. Have a great time there...

Posted by: Mexican admirer of The Fix | August 1, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

keep your day job, chris.

have fun in argentina.

Posted by: L.A.l. | August 1, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Buenos Aires is very nice to walk around, but don't wear your best shoes ... there is dog poop everywhere! Try to take a few days to go to Iguazu Falls, and stay at the Sheraton inside the Park.

As for the flight, I got an Archos 604 last year and it's been a great companion on long flights. It has a 30 GB drive and a 4" screen. Get some noise canceling headphones and you'll be set.

Enjoy the steak!

Posted by: Hari | August 1, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Chris,
If you want to kill time on a long flight, go with DVDs of 'The Wire.' It will hook you from the beginning. Each season is about 13 hour-long episodes, so it will be a good time-killer.

Posted by: Mikepcfl | August 1, 2008 7:47 AM | Report abuse

One of my favorite cities in the world. Be sure to stroll Florida Street for shopping and people watching. And also the waterfront for causual eating and all around pleasure. There's a great flea market on Sundays at the park and cemetary entrance in Recoleta. Fun to look for local crafts and gifts. And don't forget to tango. Have fun. Sure that Obama and McCain will wait for your return to announce anything important. I'm envious.

Posted by: BJLeone | August 1, 2008 6:38 AM | Report abuse

8/1/08

Dear Chris:

Have a wonderful trip and traveling there you and Mrs. Fix must speak the language.

I have never had the pleasure but would look forward to visiting some time in future.

I recommend the book called "Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell and a book by Howard Wimer called "Inner Guidance and the Four Spiritual Gifts."

Malcolm Gladwell is truly brilliant and many have the gift which he describes.

Enjoy and have a great time and we will all be awaiting your safe return.

Diane M. Newman-Gregerson
Julian, Ca

Posted by: Diane M. Newman-Gregerson | August 1, 2008 5:25 AM | Report abuse

Have a great trip! We were there in April. It is an amazing country. If you get a chance, take the day ferry to Montevideo. There are many good restaurants in Buenos Aires. A few to recommend: La Cabrera and El Trapiche in the Palermo section; Juana M in the Recoleta section is also excellent. The Havanna coffee shop chain is also worth checking out (try their alfajores). Buenos Aires is easy to walk around and cabs are inexpensive if needed. If you get a chance, venture out of Buenos Aires to Salta (great colonial architecture) or Purmamarca for some great hiking. We also went to Patagonia which is also a treat.

Enjoy!!

Posted by: RickJ | August 1, 2008 5:04 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: 1kk76mq3tj | August 1, 2008 4:34 AM | Report abuse

FILMS: THE USUAL SUSPECTS, FEAR & LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS, QUILLS

Posted by: CRAZY JUSTER | August 1, 2008 4:13 AM | Report abuse

Have I got as couple of books for you? The Assassins by Oliver North is a thriller you won't be able to put. Evan Sayet, who never reads novels, picked it up at my place when he got bored. Once he started reading, he was unable to put it down. It takes the events of post 9/11 and starts several years in the future. A future where, Iran makes a play to take over the world. First all but one of the Saudi family is murdered. He then takes the reader on a world wide conspiracy involving a South American dictator, Russian ex-KGB, and other fanatical and greedy people.

The other is also concerned with current issues. The Life and Religion of Mohammed the Prophet of Arabia, by Rev. J. L. Menezes ( a Pakistan priest)is the best source of information on Islam for the general public. First published in 1912, the first few pages of the book are not easy to read as it goes through the lineage of Mohammed (so and so the son of who is the father of and related to by marriage to the first cousin him) but then begins the fascinating history of Islam. This is one that you will not want to put down either.

Both are available on amazon.com.

Best Regards

Vladimir Val Cymbal
vcymbal@socal.rr.com
213/327-4249

Posted by: Vladimir Val Cymbal | August 1, 2008 2:44 AM | Report abuse

I know it's weird to get Indian food in BsAs but Bangalore in Palermo has great Indian food.

Don't expect a vacation from hearing people complain about their president.

Posted by: BIrchbeer | August 1, 2008 12:30 AM | Report abuse

I second the suggestion of One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Also, load your iPod with tango music. And if a Veep is announced, you can think, "takes two to tango!"

And you ARE going to bring us an Argentina-themed Fix t-shirt when you return, aren't you?

Posted by: Tom J | August 1, 2008 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Anh Fix oi,

Here are some recommendations from my buddy who lived in Buenos Aires for a year (he also works at the biggest independent Latin label in the US, so his music recommendations are legit.. incidentally, his boss just took a leave of absence to work for the Obama campaign as National Field Director of Latinos For Obama [DNC Hispanic Caucus-endorsed grassroots organization]):
--------
Music:
1. artist: babasonicos - album: jessico
one of the most important argentine rock bands of the past decade.
2. artist: jorge drexler - album: eco
he's uruguyan but that's close enough. without a doubt, my favorite modern "latin" songwriter. he's a singer/songwriter type with really intriguing electronic influences.
3. artist: bajofondo - album: mardulce
one of the best new music genres out of buenos aires is electronic tango music. sounds kind of weird but it's amazing. this band does it best.


Book:
Rayuela (hopscotch) by julio cortazar - incredible short stories. it's a classic. http://www.amazon.com/Rayuela-Hopscotch-Julio-Cortazar/dp/9682200466


Restaurant:
La cabrera (5099 avenida cabrera)
great steak bistro. amazing food and relatively inexpensive (like the rest of the city...)
--------------

Enjoy the trip! I went to Argentina for 3 weeks in 2005, so I don't have too much to recommend myself, but if you have time to get to Mendoza, it's amazing.

Best,
Misha

Posted by: Misha | August 1, 2008 12:10 AM | Report abuse

How about: No books and No music.

Let your brain purge itself of the toxins it inevitably assimilates from these posts.

Turnoff the Blackberry, and no WaPo online or hard copy. Washington will manage to survive nicely. Especially now that the Congress wil be gone for five weeks.

Try talking to Mrs. Fix.

Argentina in the middle of Winter? See what The Fix has done to you already.

Posted by: No. Virginia | July 31, 2008 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Either "The Deed of Paksenarrion" or "The Speed of Dark" by Elizabeth Moon. "Deed" is actually a trilogy, you could start with "Sheepfarmers Daughter" and then find out if abebooks can deliver to Argentina when you decide you want to read the 2nd and 3rd parts.

Posted by: NMAIF | July 31, 2008 11:54 PM | Report abuse

DEMOCRACY DISCARDED: EXPOSE STATE-SUPPORTED
"VIGILANTE INJUSTICE SQUADS" OPERATING IN
CITIES AND TOWNS ALL ACROSS AMERICA

• Congress: probe unlawful targeting of American citizens by vigilantes hiding behind government-funded volunteer programs

• "Extra-legal control mechanism" said to resemble the KKK, the Stasi and the Nazi Gestapo

• A cause of the crisis in the mortgage and credit markets?

• When will McConnell, Chertoff, Mukasey, Mueller, Gates and Paulson take action?


A virulent form of "domestic terrorism" is destroying the rule of law in America.

Victims of so-called organized "gang stalking" or "community stalking" charge that the rule of law has broken down nationwide at the hands of state-supported vigilantes -- operating under the cover of citizen "volunteer" programs and various "service" corps.

Organized groups of private citizens, funded by elements of government at multiple levels, are the backbone of an "extra legal" control mechanism that its victims say is denying citizens their constitutional right of due process under the law. Victims of this extra-legal network maintain that these vigilantes are functioning outside the legal system as judge, jury and executioner -- meting out various forms of harassment and abuse. Victims call it "domestic terrorism" and they allege that their human rights are being violated.

Those who have been targeted by these organized groups say this vigilante militia is patrolling the streets, stalking and harassing, inflicting physical harm upon persons targeted by this extra-legal control mechanism. Some victims have moved to other cities and towns to escape the extra-legal persecution -- but they say the vigilantism reoccurs in their new locale.

"It appears to be a nationwide network that attracts right-wing extremists as well as law and order types and people connected to public safety such as firefighters, police auxiliaries, retired police and military officers and even their family members," says one victim, who says he has been "gang-stalked" for several years. "I doubt it could exist without some people in positions of power looking the other way."

Even some regular, uniformed police are reported to have been intimidated by this network of extra-legal control, using volunteer citizens as the "street muscle."

Victims say that in addition to being physically harassed, their property is being vandalized; their privacy is being invaded; their mail is intercepted, financial accounts and billing statements altered, family finances decimated; and their physical well-being has been compromised using hi-tech instruments such as "directed energy weapons" that emit silent bursts of radiation -- lasers, microwaves, x-rays, even sonic frequencies -- that can disable, main, induce illness or even kill.

"This is torture that's happening right here, in American cities and towns," says one alleged victim. "But it's like pre- World War II Germany; people refuse to believe that such abuses could happen in a civilized society. But it is happening. And I'm convinced that local and federal authorities not only have knowledge of this extra-legal targeting, but are providing funding and direction.

"I know the FBI knows about it, because I've been down there several times over the past two years to report it." He says he knows of no formal investigation, despite his offers to cooperate.

"I'm not saying they know of the worst abuses, such as using microwaves on targeted persons to degrade their health and make it impossible for them to earn a living. But they must know that these citizen patrols are doing a lot more than just cruising around the neighborhood. "

Citizens who have reported abuses say their complaints are often discounted -- or that authorities insinuate that their claims are figments of their imagination, or are a manifestation of a mental illness such as paranoia.

"That appears to be part of the M-O," says one victim. "You haven't done anything wrong, so they can't charge you with a crime. So they attempt to make it look like you're crazy. That's how they marginalize people who don't fit in with their world view."

This victim believes the vigilante network is a convenient way for those in power to dispense with persons they simply don't like, or whose political or social views do not hew to what they regard as the established order.

Victims also believe that a network of federal, state and local government programs and agencies works in tandem with the citizen-based extra-legal control system to destroy their financial security. They allege that the crisis in the mortgage and credit markets may have been worsened by these programs, which they say are sapping the financial well-being of individuals and families without benefit of the right of due process.

Some victims wonder whether these extra-legal programs didn't create those financial crises in the first place. "We haven't had these kind of widespread financial woes for sixty years," a gang-stalking victim said. "You have to wonder if these rogue programs of personal destruction weren't a blueprint for an ideologically-motivated purge."

Some of the agencies looking into the mortgage and credit market problems may have had long-standing knowledge of these programs, according to victims, who are calling on Congress to investigate.

"The issue of state-supported vigilantism and extra-legal control represents an assault on our judicial system that makes Watergate look like the third-rate burglary that it started out to be," says one gang-stalking victim. "Since government agencies appear to be involved in funding these programs, it's up to Congress to investigate, to use its powers of oversight to ensure that democracy and the rule of law prevails -- and not the law of the jungle."

President Clinton often talked about "the politics of personal destruction." Hillary Clinton warned against the "vast right-wing conspiracy," a concern she reaffirmed, albeit in milder descriptive language, in her autobiography, "Living History."

The network of programs and policies that are allegedly circumventing the judicial system, violating constitutional rights and meting out vigilante justice, might collectively be termed the MECHANICS of personal destruction.

I wonder aloud whether Bill and Hillary Clinton weren't trying to warn the rest of us about an evil that even the power of the presidency could not keep in check.

The entire electoral process is being marginalized, relegated to little more than window dressing, as true power is stolen away by a neo-fascist element that has found a way to seize the reins of power and authority. It is analogous to what John Dean called "a cancer" -- not just on the presidency, but on the entire body politic.

Amazing as it sounds, this powerful apparatus appears to exist under the radar of most elected members of Congress. Those who should know, perhaps they believe such programs exist to target "terrorists," so-called enemies of the state. They naively refuse to believe that these programs, over time, appear to have morphed into a vast system of extra-legal vigilante control not unlike the East German Stasi, the KKK of the old South, the Gestapo of the Nazi Third Reich -- and that these programs effectively deny innocent American citizens their constitutional rights.

This appears to be nothing less than neo-fascism under the guise of "national security" and "keeping America safe." And liberals and progressives, who arguably are represented among the targets of these programs, naively insist that "it can't happen here." Only the Libertarians seem to perceive the threat.

Whoever is elected the next president will inherit these programs. That person, if he learns of such programs, is likely to be told of their necessity and propriety -- that such an extra-legal control mechanism, employing citizen vigilantes and extra-legal programs targeting financial resources, can co-exist with democracy.

In fact, this extra-legal control mechanism is destroying our democracy; much damage already has been done. Individuals and families are being slowly destroyed. Some call it a "silent holocaust" due to its clandestine nature and the use of silent, invisible directed energy technology.

Below are links to the articles I've written about this imminent danger to our constitutional democracy. I urge lawmakers and congressional committee staffers to do some research, and start asking some tough questions, starting with the Department of Homeland Security:

"Mr. Chertoff, are you aware that many Americans believe they have been the victims of so-called community or gang stalking, possibly perpetrated by persons equipped and trained by federally funded volunteer programs under your charge? Have you heard of such reports, and are you investigating to ensure that these programs and their resources are not being misused?"

That would be a good place to start. I believe it goes much deeper; but the curative process must begin before more Americans are seriously damaged by this descent from the rule of law to the nihilist rule of the jungle.

A FINAL NOTE: My communications and my blog page are subject to persistent disruption and tampering by unknown hackers. I would appreciate it if Fix readers would forward the links below to people you know at the ALCU.org, CCRjustice.org, or any other group that could help. I can't do this alone; and I have put myself at some risk already.


http://www.nowpublic.com/world/get-political-vic-livingston-opinion-expose-state-supported-vigilante-squads-doing-domestic-terrorism

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/zap-have-you-been-targeted-directed-energy-weapon-victims-organized-gang-stalking-say-its-happening-usa-1

OR search www.nowpublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener | July 31, 2008 11:53 PM | Report abuse

I don't see how anyone can still joke or, give "The Fix" book recommenations after reading this entire blog. I hope Wapo does not have a place for a sleazeball like "The Fix" when he does come back. Chaos45i, I don't know what you are saying is true but it deserves to be exposed if it is!

Posted by: Anne of Green Gables | July 31, 2008 11:49 PM | Report abuse

If you like mysteries try anything by Laurie R. King. Her books are some of the best written mysteries I've ever found. If you like Sherlock Holmes, try her Mary Russell series (starting with "The Beekeeper's Apprentice" and "O Jerusalem"); if you prefer contemporary novels, try her Kate Martinelli series (starting with "A Grave Talent" and "To Play the Fool") or some of her stand-alones ("Folly," "Touchstone," or "A Darker Place").

If you're a lit nerd with a good sense of humor, you should read "The Eyre Affair" or anything else by Jasper Fforde.

Audiobooks are also a good option: all the benefits of reading without the glasses or motion sickness.

Good luck!

Posted by: katm5225 | July 31, 2008 11:43 PM | Report abuse

read "A Suitable Boy" by Vikram Seth. It's really really long, but vibrant and fascinating as well.

Posted by: Christopher Eldred | July 31, 2008 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Dextor McCain is not the issue. Obama does not deserve to even be a Senator. I think you know are current events as well. Alaska's Senator is being asked to step down for less. Covering-up anything seems to be a crime still in America. And Obama was arrogant enough to send me an official letter from his senate office doing just that. You may turn this into a McCain verses Obama thing if you like. As a Hispanic in Illinois being discriminated against I have no time for politics. All I know is McCain is not currently doing this only Obama!
And Thanks again for understanding about the language thing. Spanish is a beautiful language though isn't it...

Posted by: Chaos45i | July 31, 2008 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Fix--on the off chance that you would truly relish leaving all this madness behind, how about "Thank You, Jeeves."? I have yet to encounter the vacation that could not be improved with Wodehouse--and the fact that it has nothing whatsoever to do with any reality you are connected with can only make you appreciate the beauties of Buenos Aires more!

Buen viaje!

Posted by: DCH | July 31, 2008 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Gotta agree with bonjedi, Fleet Foxes is definitely the jam right now. Also, flownover is on to something recommending "Dub Side of the Moon." It's by a band redundantly named Easy Star All Stars, they also have a great OK Computer tribute titled "Radiodread" if you're into that kind of thing. As for me, I recommend you check out "I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your A**" by Yo La Tengo.

As for books, David Sedaris' new work is excellent as always.

In cinema, check out "King of Kong," an absolutely fantastic documentary about arcade enthusiasts that plays out like a perfectly-scripted film.

Posted by: ashburndem | July 31, 2008 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Tom Wolfe's novels

Bonfire of the Vanities, shows how you can go broke on $980,000 a year

A Man in Full, 90's, gives a complete explanation Stoic philosophy

I Am Charlotte Simmons, for anyone who would really rather work at a university

Posted by: anticlimacus | July 31, 2008 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie

One of the best books of the last 50 years.

Posted by: wotto | July 31, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

@ Chaos 45:

Believe it or not, buddy, I not only agree with you in principle, I made similar arguments in support of HRC against Obama during the primaries. I read absolute lunacy from some Obama supporters that like the Gangster Disciples or La M were going to rape their TVs and steal their wives.

This was a campaign tactic on Obama's part because Spanish-speaking people in the US were an identifiably good voting bloc for Clinton. It's obvious why if you know anything about recent South American history. Bill Clinton is considered the "liberator" of Panama, Argentina and to some degree Peru. He's a God down here.

It got nasty no doubt.

But I just don't see how Spanish-speaking Americans other than Cubans can support McCain. I'm not saying Obama is marvelous on your issues. McCain's original "liberal" immigration reform plan involved temporary deportation, fines and levies of all sorts, and then some weird guest-worker thing that had all kinds of anti-union provision. Now, playing to his base, he's gone into Tancredo-land. He's into this Berlin Wall thing.

As for Spanish-speaking people outside the US, Obama has the 90-10 edge on McCain because we're all sick and tired of this lone superpower BS and all of the interference and lack of respect for sovereignty.

The anti-Latin prejudice in the US whether on Obama's or McCain's or just gringos' parts is absurd because instead of keeping immigrants out they should be letting immigrants in. There is going to come a time sooner rather than later when Mexican Peso-based salaries because of Purchasing Power Parity are going to be better than the pay Mexican immigrants can earn in the US.

Then, whichever party is in charge will be begging Mexicans to come and it will be too late.

Posted by: DexterManley | July 31, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Check out a Spanish-language film called The Orphanage. It's in the horror category, but it's more of a suspense thriller, if you're into that kind of thing. It's excellent.

Posted by: Kenny | July 31, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse

To DexterManley: To be fair to others on this board that do not understand spanish please use english as this is happening in America not Panama where english is the recongized language.

Talk is one thing actions are another. Obama has been placed on repeated notice that Americans who Happen to be Latino/Hispanic in Illinois are being denied the same race discrimination language and rights non-Hispanics enjoy as a matter of record in Illinois. He does not mention this publicly and if he did it would not be 90% anywhere!
Thanks

Posted by: Chaos45i | July 31, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

A great read.

Posted by: ncracin' | July 31, 2008 10:29 PM | Report abuse

btw, can I borrow your Ovation while you're gone?

Posted by: FlownOver | July 31, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Chris: you should enjoy reading David Sedaris's latest collection of shorter pieces, "When You Are Engulfed in Flames."

If you can find it, give a listen to "Dub Side of the Moon," an all-star reggae rearrangement of the Pink Floyd classic. Both new and familiar at the same time.

Vaya con Dios, amigo.

Posted by: FlownOver | July 31, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

37th&OStreet was way out in front on this issue:

From today's Washington Post:


By Juliet Eilperin and Jonathan Weisman
Raising a politically-explosive issue for the first time this election, Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) campaign accused Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) this morning of invoking the specter of race in order to bolster his electoral prospects.

The charge came in reaction to comments the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee had made at three separate stops in Missouri Wednesday, where Obama suggested Republicans were trying to scare voters away from him.

"So nobody really thinks that Bush or McCain have a real answer for the challenges we face, so what they're going to try to do is make you scared of me," he told voters in Springfield. "You know, he's not patriotic enough. He's got a funny name. You know, he doesn't look like all those other Presidents on those dollar bills, you know. He's risky. That's essentially the argument they're making."

McCain campaign manager Rick Davis countered this morning with a terse but harsh statement: "Barack Obama has played the race card, and he played it from the bottom of the deck. It's divisive, negative, shameful and wrong."

.

Posted by: 37th&OStreet | July 31, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

37th&OStreet was way out in front on this issue:

From today's Washington Post:


By Juliet Eilperin and Jonathan Weisman
Raising a politically-explosive issue for the first time this election, Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) campaign accused Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) this morning of invoking the specter of race in order to bolster his electoral prospects.

The charge came in reaction to comments the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee had made at three separate stops in Missouri Wednesday, where Obama suggested Republicans were trying to scare voters away from him.

"So nobody really thinks that Bush or McCain have a real answer for the challenges we face, so what they're going to try to do is make you scared of me," he told voters in Springfield. "You know, he's not patriotic enough. He's got a funny name. You know, he doesn't look like all those other Presidents on those dollar bills, you know. He's risky. That's essentially the argument they're making."

McCain campaign manager Rick Davis countered this morning with a terse but harsh statement: "Barack Obama has played the race card, and he played it from the bottom of the deck. It's divisive, negative, shameful and wrong."

.

Posted by: 37th&OStreet | July 31, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

@ CHAOS 45i:

Senor, expliqueme la vaina esta, porfis. Cierto que la campana entre Clinton y Obama era super-dura y aunque no soy estadounidoense, me caen muy bien la familia Clinton. Bill Clinton es heroe por todos lados pero aqui en Panama Obama lleva la ventaja de 90% a 10% en las pruebas.

Sin duda unos fanaticos de Obama decian tonterias y tal durante las primarias pero el nunca decia nada mal de nadie. De acuerdo que hay mucho prejuicio contra cualquier pueblo latino en los EEUU salvo los cubanos si maldigan del gobierno cubano y no importa quien sea el presidente. Pero me da asco todo esto de la valla grandisma que quisiera hacer McCain.

Que se yo? Es su problema, no es la mia! Una lastima pa' ustedes pero asi es.

Posted by: DexterManley | July 31, 2008 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I thought something was fishy about this sudden break during an election this historical. Chris just please say it isn't so?

Posted by: Bugs | July 31, 2008 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Oy gevalt! 100 Years Of Solitude takes place in COLOMBIA! Paulo Coelho is BRAZILIAN! What are you doing to poor Chris? I've been months trying to get him to dig that every country's different.

The main men of literature in Argentina: JORGE LUIS BORGES and JULIO CORTAZAR.

Bielinksi is the Tarantino of Argentine cinema. "Nueve Reinas" with Gaston Pauls rules.

If you only eat red meat like once a year, make sure to do it on this trip. I think the mixed grills are fantastic and don't be afraid of eating kidney. It's excellent. Italian food there is great. German food there is great; make sure to get a side of spaetzle. Jewish deli is OK. Not as good as New York or LA.

Horse racing at La Plata, San Isidro and Palermo is as good as anywhere in the world.

Futbol: Boca Juniors are like the Yankees. River Plate are like the Sawx. Independiente is like the Mets and it's the Jewish and leftist team. Newell's Old Boys is the NAZI team. If you've decided on Obama, get an Independiente strip. If you've decided on McCain get a Newell's Old Boys strip. If you're neutral, Boca or River Plate strip.

The women are gorgeous but a little snobby. Good thing you're married. And you'll hear the most bizarre version of Spanish you've ever heard in your life. They speak Spanish as if they were speaking Italian.

Commenter "Kelly" is right. Palermo's cool.

Fernandez de Kirchner is NOT a "loony-liberal" no matter what Broder tells you. She's a responsible, center-left, pro-business President.

Posted by: DexterManley | July 31, 2008 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Sure Chris, Leave just when things get to negative for Obama on your blog. Just remember you can run off to buy Obama more time this election but I'm still the poster that has proof Obama is racist to Hispanics in Illinois and that he(Obama) has used his office for an official cover-up of his and IDHR & EEOC wrongdoing. I bet when you do come back mid-august registration will be back in place. Lets hope I'm still able to post my updates (Ongoing Notices and complaints of this Racism sent to Obama and others) then. As an American who happens to be Hispanic I know being denied the same rights as other non-Hispanics is still against the law in this country. Even though you and Obama may not agree it still is discimination.
All of my past postings all over this great internet have enough details and information so that a good unbiased reporter could get to the bottom of this but you enjoy Argentina.

Posted by: Chaos45i | July 31, 2008 9:18 PM | Report abuse

37th&OStreet was way out in front on this issue:

From today's Washington Post:


By Juliet Eilperin and Jonathan Weisman
Raising a politically-explosive issue for the first time this election, Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) campaign accused Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) this morning of invoking the specter of race in order to bolster his electoral prospects.

The charge came in reaction to comments the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee had made at three separate stops in Missouri Wednesday, where Obama suggested Republicans were trying to scare voters away from him.

"So nobody really thinks that Bush or McCain have a real answer for the challenges we face, so what they're going to try to do is make you scared of me," he told voters in Springfield. "You know, he's not patriotic enough. He's got a funny name. You know, he doesn't look like all those other Presidents on those dollar bills, you know. He's risky. That's essentially the argument they're making."

McCain campaign manager Rick Davis countered this morning with a terse but harsh statement: "Barack Obama has played the race card, and he played it from the bottom of the deck. It's divisive, negative, shameful and wrong."

Posted by: 37th&OStreet | July 31, 2008 9:10 PM | Report abuse

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez - put you in the mind frame of South America

Posted by: txajohnson | July 31, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

I second La Cabrera. There are many good places to eat in Palermo Viejo. Another is Cafe Paradiso. While in Palermo Viejo, stop in at Mark's for coffee. You can take your computer and hang out as long as you like while your wife shops. Also in PV, go to Plaza Serrano on a Saturday for shopping local crafts, art, etc. Great people watching at outdoor cafes around the plaza.
Visit the Malba which is the museum of modern art. Watch for exhibition openings and go as great people watching there also. I think they are usually on a Thursday night. If you know someone who can direct you to a milonga, it is there you will see the locals dancing the tango and that is much more authenic than a commercial show. Of course the action barely begins by 2am. :) Go to Once which is blocks of small cheap vendors. You might not want to buy anything but it is fun to wander there. If you want to get away from Recoleta , Florida, PV areas go to Belgrano where there are not so many tourists but is nice. And this is touristy but go to an estancia outside BA.
These are just off the top of my head and I could come up with more. Our daughter is married to a porteno and lives in BA so have been there several times. She knows the milonga scene since she dances the tango. While there you should take lessons.

Posted by: Mary | July 31, 2008 8:45 PM | Report abuse

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez - out you in the mind frame of South America

Posted by: txajohnson | July 31, 2008 8:44 PM | Report abuse

CC-have a safe trip, you have been going full steam for the last 2 years. take it easy bro.

if you want a few recommendations
graphic novel- i would agree with watchmen, also if you ever had a chance to watch the dark knight(a excellent movie) pick up Batman:year one,the dark knight returns, and the long halloween.

music-again not a fan of your music, but pick up coldplay's new cd. havent heard anything bad,also anything with the white stripes.jack white is a douche but im assuming its along the lines you listen to.

movies or tv series-30 rock or arrested development. if you want something political, get john addams, give you a little perspective on whats going on now.

books-dunno rainbow six,the bear and the dragon, were excellent tom clancy books. if your up for a little sci fi, then pick up the thrawn trilogy from star wars(i consider that the final 3 movies, any thing after that throw in a bonfire)

hope to see you soon for the democratic convention!

Posted by: jay spartan | July 31, 2008 8:28 PM | Report abuse

"What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848" (Oxford History of the United States) by Daniel Walker Howe. Excellent history of the least know period in America, when much of the political groundwork was laid. Or I always found Robert Ludlam good on long flights, because they're easy to put down and pick up.

Posted by: frb2749 | July 31, 2008 7:42 PM | Report abuse

"What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848" (Oxford History of the United States) by Daniel Walker Howe. Excellent history of the least know period in America, when much of the political groundwork was laid. Or I always found Robert Ludlam good on long flights, because they're easy to put down and pick up.

Posted by: frb2749 | July 31, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

FILMOGRAPHY FOR THE POLITICAL BLOGGER

Chris:

If you want to understand the genesis of what's happening to the rule of law in America, go to a movie rental store and get the 1998 movie "Enemy of the State" starring Will Smith and Gene Hackman.

The movie reveals that some of the programs responsible for the erosion of our constitutional rights began well before 9/11 -- under the same pretense as the "War on Terror," which didn't officially begin until post-9/11.

Also, rent the classic Ingrid Bergman movie, "Gaslight." That flick illustrates the techniques used by today's state-assisted "gang stalkers" to terrorize American citizens outside of the bounds of the law.

(Then Google the term "gaslighting" for a more detailed picture of the term as it applies today.)

To complete the motif, rent "A Face in the Crowd" with Andy Griffith. That 1957 modern classic portended the rise of TV media meglomaniacs such as Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, and, on the left, Keith Olbermann.

Then think about the political import of that cinematic triple feature. It's a lesson you won't hear in any Poli Sci class or think tank seminar.

(And don't forget to check out "Los Gauchos" when in the Argentinian outback or Pampas I think they say. "Ole, Cabballeros!")


WILL THE ELECTION EVEN COUNT? NOT WHEN
STATE-ASSISTED "VIGILANTE INJUSTICE"
USURPS THE RULE OF LAW IN AMERICA:

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/get-political-vic-livingston-opinion-expose-state-supported-vigilante-squads-doing-domestic-terrorism


Posted by: scrivener | July 31, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Have a great trip!
Books to read and laugh out loud while reading: Catch 22 and its sequel Closing Time(This book's Prez could have been modelled on "W" and it was written in the 70's-very funny) a few laughs will make the time pass quickly!

Posted by: ahw | July 31, 2008 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Heladeria Cadore has some of the best gelato I've ever tasted. It's in the movie theater district at Avenida Corrientes and Rodriguez Pena.

Posted by: mmcwenie | July 31, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Film/novel (either or both): "Imagining Argentina"

Music:"Cambalache" sung by Carlos Gardel.
Be sure to get a translation of the lyrics if your "lunfardo" is not totally "macanudo".

Posted by: thenaz | July 31, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse

I Highly recommend El Palacio de la papa frita
(http://www.elpalacio-papafrita.com.ar/).

Great steaks. Wonderful puffy fried potatoes. Great prices and non-touristy.

Posted by: SunsetKid | July 31, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

There is nothing on Kos about this. what is a moonbat troll to do?

Posted by: drindl | July 31, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse

If you are looking for an entertaining graphic novel with a political angle, you could try Ex Machina. Mitchell Hundred is a failed ex-super hero who unmasked and became the mayor of New York. He's a bright, civic-minded, ordinary guy who is finding that, in either occupation, trying to build a better city often gets caught in the messy details of reality. In the first story line, a killer is murdering plow operators during a horrible snow storm while an art exhibit (city-funded of course) features a painting that uses the N-word.

Posted by: bri | July 31, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Enjoy the time away. If you are looking for some good plane reading, check out a two book historical fiction series by British author David Downing -- Zoo Station and Silesia Station. Both follow a British freelance journalist living in Berlin in 1937/38. It's a great glimpse into the culture of German before the invasion of Poland. I found them to be fascinating but still realistic.

Posted by: jslotterback | July 31, 2008 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Don't read

"Heart of Darkness" or or watch Apoccolypse Now

you're on vacation from Bush's America.

Just ask for emercency row seating if you need to strech out on a full flight.

Posted by: landknelson | July 31, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Argentina? We are starting to note a pattern here! Does, by chance, Mr. Fix fly fish?????

Posted by: mibrooks27 | July 31, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

"Mumford" is a very funny, smart movie. It was recently on TV late night - I hadn't thought about it until I caught it again then. Any book by Bill Bryson (mostly travel-related) makes me laugh. Have a wonderful time - I am looking forward to going to Argentina in the Spring.

Posted by: JLF | July 31, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Chris - First off, big fan of the site. Thx for all of the diligent reporting and astute observations.

I was just in Buenos Aires for the first time last December, as part of journalism fellowship program (yup, I'm a fellow scribe, sorry to say). We ate lots of steak while there. In fact, you can't help but eat lots of steak there. To sum up: Lots. Of. Steak.

It's almost all quite good. But there was one place that stood out to me, and to the group as a whole (and it wasn't Cabanas Las Lillas, which is vaunted, but in my humble view a bit touristy and overrated).

The place I'm referring to is called La Estancia. It's address, I believe, is LaValle 941. It's in the downtown area, quite close to the Obelisco landmark, which any cabbie can find. That steak was one of the best, most beefily succulent, I've ever had (and be sure to use the chimichurri sauce they put on the side). The whole meal, including sausage, bread pudding, potatoes and salad, was incredible.

(Note to La Estancia owners, on the slim chance you'll ever read this: I'm a journalist, so you may never use this as an endorsement.)

So, that's my recommendation. Have fun on your break!

Posted by: Las Vegas Sam | July 31, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

and guest is right too a graphic novel might work for the flight (that;s pretty simple too ...probably why I like it...lol)

Again... The Watchmen ...just to see what the hype is about.

Posted by: dl | July 31, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

For albums, I'd suggest either Evil Urges by My Morning Jacket, or anything by the Hold Steady (esp. their last two albums, Stay Positive and Boys and Girls in America).

I just finished Yiddish Policeman's Union and I'm awfully fond of it as well.

Sean

Posted by: Sean | July 31, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

and bondjedi

I read team of rivals and I liked it...but then again I like stuff that seems simple sometimes...
Keeper of Lime Rock is probably overrated pop too...(that's about one of the women lighthouse keepers that didn't stand up wiht the suffragists but she saved a few soldiers -in full victorian dress garb from the rough wintry seas ...and received the congressional medal of honor... kind of a libe by example book...but simple...and probably seems like it was written "by a 12th grade AP student"..lol)

Look at how I write for goodness sake...lol

Posted by: dl | July 31, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Book:
Mountains Beyond Mountains - the quest of Dr Paul Farmer

Movie..well not really a movie, but anyway
Other Side of the Mirror, Bob Dylan at Newport 63-65

Posted by: DR | July 31, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

and I agree...would give Robert Duvall's "Assasination Tango" thumbs up too...

simple but not so simple... if that makes any sense...

and you know I just realized a decade ago...I went to a party once and he was there at a little house south side of LA and he "Tangoed" in the kitchen the whole time with I think the director Randa Haines....

I never put two and two together but it probably came from when he filmed that movie in Argentina... so ... sorry total side track but a movie that may put you in the frame of mind

but lose the get up before you go...

Posted by: dl | July 31, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Chris - Let's hope you don't arrive in Argentina looking like THAT.

I'm sure Ed will keep us all entertained and blowing our collective tops daily...

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: matt | July 31, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

OVerview of everything:
Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Diamond - Guns, Germs, and Steel

Collected [short] Essays:
Cook, Peter - Tragically, I Was an Only Twin
Eco - Faith in Fakes

Soon to be recognized classics:
OBrian - the entire Aubrey/Maturin series, beginning with - Master and Commander
Mailer - The Castle in the Forest
McCarthy - The Road

pop icons

Lois - Ali Rap
Edwards, Bob - Edward R. Murrow

history/biography
Reynolds - in Command of History [Churchill Fighting and Writing the Second World War]

pure escapism
any Spenser detective yarn by Robert Parker

Posted by: MarkInAustin | July 31, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

never ever do that again! I've heard that the definition of a gentleman is someone who knows how to play the guitar, but chooses not to. So I suppose that makes someone who plays even though they can't, the opposite..

That said, I highly recommend "Gilead", by Marilynne Robinson. It's all about the relationship between religion and politics, about fathers and sons, about Iowa (and places like it). And the prose is exquisite. Also, on Sen. Obama's facebook account it's listed as one of his favorite books.

Posted by: Olov | July 31, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: john | July 31, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Hi Chris,

A good book is: Island at the Centre of the World. It is written by Russell Shorto and it is about the Dutch (and therefore early) history of New York and the influence of the Dutch on the place and the wider US. It reads like a thrilling detective and it is fascinating. Have a good holiday!

Ivo

Posted by: DutchStudent23 | July 31, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

"The Best Man" could end up being the storyline of the Dems' convention, if there's a huge October surprise waiting to be sprung on Obama. But could the proud Obama also be noble like Henry Fonda? (I'm getting a feeling that I've said this before; but definitely a "must see" for Chris if he hasn't already...).

Posted by: scrivener | July 31, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

We are distraught to lose you, but I am elated that you're headed to the second most beautiful country on Earth. You MUST have steak and malbec at Cabana Las Lilas in Puerto Madero. A full 3 or 4 course steak dinner for $20. The best steak I have ever had, in the world. Head to the falls of Iguazu if you can, see the vineyards of Mendoza, and bundle up. It's winter down there!! ;-)

Disfrutate!

Posted by: Eric M. | July 31, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Have a nice trip!

Posted by: Bill | July 31, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Alistair Campbell's "The Blair Years" is possibly the best political memoir I've ever read (even if it is British politics)

Posted by: mgturn | July 31, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Don't know if you've seen it, but "The Best Man" (1964) is a great movie about a theorized Democratic convention fight in 1964. It is great political theater and stars Henry Fonda among others. Buy the DVD, it's great.

Posted by: Adam | July 31, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD:

It is "eerily civil" because the paid disinformation trolls are beyond their pay grade with this topic...

... although over on my blog one of them posted the dialog from "A Few Good Men," the part where the Jack Nicholson character defends his disobeying of orders and violating his oath to uphold the Constitution.

So Chris chased them away from here with erudition. If only that's all it took.

Posted by: scrivener | July 31, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

La Historia Oficial, yes, definitely... clearly I'm procrastinating at work by reading everyone's posts...

Posted by: Gabi | July 31, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

"Team of Rivals" is overrated pop. Two Goodwin books that were good reads were "The Fitzgeralds and The Kennedys" and "No Ordinary Time." Maybe the reason they were such good reads was that she boosted some of the material in them, and she didn't write them so much as she supervised a team of grad students.

Appreciating that Abraham Lincoln was a great president and his rivals were talented men, Goodwin takes 700 pages to tell us what we already know, and does so in the style of a 12th grade AP student. Whenever I hear someone say it's a good book, I suspect they haven't really read it and are just passing on a blurb from the latest Book of the Month club mailing.

Posted by: bondjedi | July 31, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Wow, this is eerily civil.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 31, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Five years ago my wife and I rented an apartment for 10 weeks in Buenos Aires, and felt like we'd only scratched the surface. Warning: you may not want to come back.

For movie viewing on the way down, you might try Robert Duvall's Assassination Tango. Not the greatest movie I've ever seen (one reviewer on IMDB calls it "quirky" and "slow"), but it will give you some atmosphere and a sense of the role tango plays in Argentinian culture.

While making the movie, Duvall reportedly hung out at La Biela, the legendary cafe along the side of the Recoleta cemetery. It's a great place to go for people-watching after the mandatory visit to Evita's tomb. There are also a number of excellent restaurants in the same block along the side of the cemetery; our favorite was Munich Recoleta, one of the less-touristy parilladas. But there are many other excellent choices; you will have no shortage of opportunities to eat beef. If you like sweetbreads, try barbecued mollejas, often available as an appetizer or side dish. You will also find a lot of excellent Italian food. Empanadas, in numerous flavors, are great street food. And ice cream emporia such as Freddo's are everywhere; if you like dulce de leche, you've come to the right place. In general, like New Orleans, it is difficult to get a bad meal in Buenos Aires.

Absolutely, take in a tango show; there are hundreds of possibilities. You can also pay tribute to the king of the tango, Carlos Gardel, at numerous locations; e.g. while strolling up Avenida de Mayo from the Casa Rosada to Congresso, stop in at the legendary Cafe Tortoni (www.cafetortoni.com.ar) and follow the custom of leaving a smoldering cigarette beneath his bust.

Above all, Buenos Aires is the greatest walking-around city I've ever been in. Take a pair of comfortable shoes, get National Geographic's durable, plastic-coated city map (the street layout can be a little disorienting), and go out exploring the different barrios like Recoleta, Palermo, San Telmo, La Boca, and all around downtown. There is something around every corner. Avenida 9 de Julio and Avenida Santa Fe (with its incredible Al Ateneo bookstore) are two particularly great thoroughfares. Cabs and the excellent subway are both super-cheap if you find yourself tired and too far from home.

A lot of good advice in other posts. I saw one recommending that you steer clear of politics, but I doubt that you will find that possible. In the downtown area, you will encounter demonstrations almost daily. If you don't speak Spanish, the English-language BA Herald is a useful resource.

Enjoy.

Posted by: craigkl | July 31, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Two wonderful books, The Great Upheaval by Jay Winik. History of the period from 1788-1800 from three perspectives, the US, France and Russia and what was happening in each of them and how they were connected.

The second, The Great Experiment by Strobe Talbott. History of the efforts to create world governance and cooperation.

A third but older book is Winik's April 1865. Best Civil War book I have read.

Posted by: Sean | July 31, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

You could pick up a graphic novel. I find that they are the perfect length for a long flight because you can finish the entire thing by the time you arrive. Specific book titles? Whatever. Go to any place that has a good selection and see what grabs you.

Posted by: guest | July 31, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

the movie "Brazil", a nice pre-take on terrorism. Book, well just finished Maeey's tome on Peter the Great, but for you, I'd suggest something more topical... "Into the Wild", which is about a 3 hour read and semi-interesting inthat it captures something of the in-between world of nature and life in the bedroom communities.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | July 31, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

must read is doris keerns goodwins' lnclon cabinet chronicle, TEAM OF RIVALS awesome book on history and the inner workings of the executive branch and how it functioned during the civil war

Posted by: andy from bc | July 31, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

oh Chris if you have the time Luis Puenzo's

"The Official Story" La historia oficial

all about Argentina's Dirty war...first film from the "new wave" out of argentina to win the academy.

Posted by: dl | July 31, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

A great book detailing the corruption and racial poilitics in 1970s Georgia... Praying for Sheetrock... a must read.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Chris -- Tony Horwitz's great new book "A Voyage Long and Strange" is terrific and would hold your attention for the flight.

Posted by: Jon H | July 31, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

and Jason's right about Mendoza

Posted by: dl | July 31, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

I spent a semester in Argentina, and my favorite place by far to eat was the Desnivel, located at Defensa 855 (near the intersection of Defensa and Independencia). My favorite thing there was the provleta, which is a hunk of provolone cheese coates in oil and herbs and spices and grilled.

Also, you and the Mrs. want to stay in one night, try calling La Tucumanita, which does some of the best empanadas I found while in the city. There website is here: http://www.latucumanita.com.ar/ventas.htm

Enjoy Argentina...it's a fantastic place, and Buenos Aires is amazing!

Posted by: Eric | July 31, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

and itunes amos lee's , gnarls barkley's newest and this new guy Brendan James...awesome...and Marc Broussard...

and don't forget some tango music

Posted by: dl | July 31, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Ave. Florida is a must for shopping. All the latest styles and remember that leather goods are top products of Argentina where cattle is supreme..Leather luggage, shoes and mens/womens clothing at prices not seen in North America. Latest styles in clothing from Europe up and down Florida. It wasn't a pedestrian "mall" when I lived down there but quite a wide street.... One block over from the main street that has what is referred to as the "phallic" at the downtown end ( a slur) and running parallel to this main street is a pedestrian walkway. Loads of restaurants and quaint shops line it on both sides. Dinner hour started at about 10 p.m. when I lived there.
Too bad you can't fly on down to San Carlos de Bariloche, 2 hr flight or so. Its winter in Argentina now and skiing at Bariloche is worth the visit, if you like the sport.

Posted by: Rick | July 31, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Books


1776, Team of Rivals,

The Keeper of Lime Rock

just a Jodi Foster vehicle waiting to happen

"The Artist Way" if your looking to brush up your artisitic chops.

Pick up the graphic Novel "The Watchmen" to see what all the hype is about

Movies

In America

Lars and the Real Girl - make you really like Ryan Gosling as an actor.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington - hey it's always nice to dream

The Women - Rosalind Russel version to see the film they are probably going to screw up in September with Meg Ryan

Persepolis (probably be in the theaters down there still)

The Autumn Heart

Kaidan - visual masterpiece...Japanese scary ghost stories won at Canneds back in the late 60's

"When a Stranger Calls" (the original) but skip the middle...the beginning and ending scariest scenes ever...no matter how many times you watch.

or the really creepy Japanese film
"The Audition" and

I'm a filmmaker so my books tend to be either non-fiction autobiographies or screenplays that haven't realized they are screenplays yet.

Posted by: dl | July 31, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

I second "The Omnivores Dilemma" and add "The Botany of Desire" both fresh looks plants and how we use them and make society wide food decisions.

Posted by: Mike Hallett | July 31, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Book: _The Tango Singer_ by Tomas Eloy Martinez

Album: _Evil Urges_ My Morning Jacket

Posted by: against the DLC | July 31, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Chris:

Just back from 2 weeks in Argentina. Here's what I can tell you.

Buy leather at Silvia y Mario--trust me (custom made jacket $225 with 2 fittings in the course of 3 days)
http://www.silviaymario.com/

Eat steak one night at Cabana Las Lillas
(RW Apple's favorite steakhouse)

Don't miss the incomparable nightlife in Palermo

Be sure to leave BA, and visit Mendoza for an incredible wine tasting experience.

Posted by: Jason | July 31, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

No Fix! Please don't leave me! You're the only thing that has actually brought meaning to my summer holed up here in some lame Boston accounting internship.

I do wish you the best of luck, however, and encourage you to watch Charlie Wilson's War and read Dean Bakopoulos' "Please Don't Come Back from the Moon"- a fantastic portrait of a broken America.

Posted by: Alex K. | July 31, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

The Fall by Camus. Takes honesty/cynicism to a whole new level. Dark. Funny. Tragic. Brilliant.

Posted by: bensonbark | July 31, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

FILMOGRAPHY FOR THE POLITICAL BLOGGER

Chris:

If you want to understand the genesis of what's happening to the rule of law in America, go to a movie rental store and get the 1998 movie "Enemy of the State" starring Will Smith and Gene Hackman.

The movie reveals that some of the programs responsible for the erosion of our constitutional rights began well before 9/11 -- under the same pretense as the "War on Terror," which didn't officially begin until post-9/11.

Also, rent the classic Ingrid Bergman movie, "Gaslight." That flick illustrates the techniques used by today's state-assisted "gang stalkers" to terrorize American citizens outside of the bounds of the law.

(Then Google the term "gaslighting" for a more detailed picture of the term as it applies today.)

To complete the motif, rent "A Face in the Crowd" with Andy Griffith. That 1957 modern classic portended the rise of TV media meglomaniacs such as Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, and, on the left, Keith Olbermann.

Then think about the political import of that cinematic triple feature. It's a lesson you won't hear in any Poli Sci class or think tank seminar.

(And don't forget to check out "Los Gauchos" when in the Argentinian outback.) "Ole, Cabballeros!"


WILL THE ELECTION EVEN COUNT? NOT WHEN
STATE-ASSISTED "VIGILANTE INJUSTICE"
USURPS THE RULE OF LAW IN AMERICA:

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/get-political-vic-livingston-opinion-expose-state-supported-vigilante-squads-doing-domestic-terrorism


Posted by: scrivener | July 31, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Book:
In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex

http://www.amazon.com/Heart-Sea-Tragedy-Whaleship-Essex/dp/B0016BSWAW/

Posted by: Druid73 | July 31, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

I second the Kavalier & Clay recommendation. Great, great book.

Although no YHF, "Boxer" by the National is fantastic.

Posted by: lex silia | July 31, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

All I can say is, don't pack anything depressing or heavy -- once that plane lifts off I predict you won't have a lick of interest in it and I hope you'll forget about us and poltics, too. (We won't hold you to that absurd workaholic idea of blogging about the VP pick. Forget about it! We want you tanned, rested, and ready on your return.)

Have you tried Terry Pratchett? Social commentary concealed in brilliant, funny, absurd page turners, and there are easily 30 of them, widely available in paperback. I'd recommend Thud!, Going Postal, The Truth, Guards! Guards!, but most of them are good and just right for long plane flights.

Posted by: Fairfax Voter | July 31, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

A good movie to watch is "Missing." (Ha ha) Also good is "Wonderland."

Fleet Foxes is the joint to listen to. They are opening for Wilco this summer.

I would imagine that His Fixness is well-acquainted with Theodore White's "The Making of the President" series, but if not, they are still relevant. The best one - 1964.

Posted by: bondjedi | July 31, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

If you like sci-fi or fantasy (this particular being from a "historical" POV) Theodore Judson's Fitzpatrick's War is very interesting and has a not-so-subtle commentary on our own time in history.

Also--Chuck Pfarrer's Killing Che is immensely enjoyable and as Che was Argentinian it would help build atmosphere. :)

PS--I have not recieved my FIX T-Shirt from winning the WV Primary Predictions--FYI.

Posted by: chadibuins | July 31, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

absolutely eat at "casa saltshaker". go to its webpage to read menus and make a reservation. done on weekend nights in a private home. it was a highlight of my recent trip. the upscale shopping mall on ave. florida is wonderful and has a kiosk where you can get the paperwork for the tax refund available for purchases in a shop of over 70/80 argentina $. also, high tea at the hotel alvear. it is a meal trust me. if you need a tour guide i can highly recommend Marcelo at info@ciceroneba.com.ar as he has a degree in tourism, is very knowledgeable about ba as a native. he does one-half or whole day walking tours generally. finally the terrific crafts fair in the park outside the cemetery in the recoleta area where eva peron, etc. are buried. the fair occurs each weekend as far as i know. have a great trip, i did. ba is wonderful.

Posted by: leear | July 31, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Chris:

It's been many years, but the best steak I ever ate was at La Cabana.

Of course, we who remain in the good ol' USA have plenty to beef about and chew on right here right now---namely, the incredible rise of a an empty shirt with an ego stuffed more than my belly ever was after that memorable meal in BA.

I refer, of course, to B(H)O whose incredible rise makes me worry about the future of our great Republic. Reminds me of the Pied Piper. And if this is the next Hamelin, Chris, enjoy your days South of the Border.

Meanwhile, if it seems I've lost my heart, I can heartily also recommend the hearts of palm at the eatery above.

They were as good as the meat.

Hurry home...if for no better reason than to keep reminding the alleged front runner that we all want to know: "Where's The Beef" in a campaign highlighted by Michelle, Wright, Rezko and now, sadly, Ludacris.

Posted by: jayjay9 | July 31, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Try listening to the four disc set by Gas, titled Nah Und Fern (Kompakt). Four albums made by Wolfgang Voight in the 1990s of totally immersive ambient techno. A far cry from Wilco, but perhaps not too far. Great for movement and travel.

Posted by: PJB | July 31, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Chris - Enjoy your vacation - will miss seeing your commentary on MSNBC. Reading suggestion: Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcie Marquez - a lyrical love story set in a fictional zone not unlike the one you're visiting.

Posted by: loratora | July 31, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

does anyone else think it's weird that this man refers to himself by the name of his blog? especially since the name of his blog is "the fix?" this dude's more presumptuous than obama could ever hope to be.

Posted by: um, hello | July 31, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Was just in BA in Feb. We stayed at the Home Hotel in the Palermo district. It was GREAT.

Places to eat: La Cabrera was great. The steaks are ridiculously good - better than nearly anything you'll eat in the States. I would compare it to going to Peter Luger's, except the beef in Argentina is better, the portions you'll get are enormous, and you'll only pay $25 for the meal - including wine.

I ate steak every dinner I was there, but for a change of pace we went to Olsen one night and it was great. It is Scandinavian in BA. Really.

The shopping down there is awesome, especially in the Palermo area. Once you get to the neighborhood pick up a map of the area at a shop.

For leather goods I bought a great pair of shoes at Lopez Taibo in the Recoleta neighborhood. They were $200US, but would have been $600 had I bought them here. You'll also find good deals on clothing down there. My wife bought a few dresses.

Some more advice:
Avoid the newly developed area near the river. It is the corporate part of the city.

Do drink as much Malbec as you can handle. We liked Azul and O Fornier, but all of the wine is good. The Argentines also make a good white wine - Torrentes. I also had an amazing Manhattan when I was there. Don't know how the bartender learned that, but there you go.

Do try to score tickets to a Boca or River match. It will forever change your perceptions of what 'home field advantage' means.

Do go to the Sunday market in San Telmo, but watch your wallet.

Do go to the Recoleta cemetary to check out the tombs and Evita's burial place. Think about the fact that, had Hillary won, we would be comparing Peronism to Clintonism. Word to the wise, don't bring up politics while you are there. They are touchy about it.

Do try to do a walking tour of the capital area, e.g, the Pink Palace. One interesting fact is that the Catholic churches in BA have had deep drops in attendance ever since Juan Peron said the Catholic Church was aligned with the military.

Nevertheless, the Catholic churches are good to see. The Franciscan Church looks like it is about to cave in. There is literally a crack that runs from the front and extends into the ceiling.

Here is another funny story. At the main Catholic cathedral they have buried the man who is, essentially, their George Washington. When you walk in they have an honor guard at the tomb. What was funny was that when we walked past the guards I looked up at one of them and his eyes were not staring straight ahead. Instead he was bird-dogging my wife. I had to laugh. I can't imagine an honor guard at Arlington standing there, his eyes drifting back and forth over the ladies as they stroll by in their summer dresses.

Have a good time. The people are great, the city is beautiful. If you spend more than $40 a day on food you must be eating in the wrong place or trying to get fat. If I was 20 years younger or 20 years older I never would have left.

One more interesting note. Argentina is the only country to have had 'First World' status and then lost it. At the rate we are going we might be next.

Posted by: Kelly | July 31, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Book: Confederacy of Dunces
Music: Check out The Whigs Mission Control CD.
DVD: If your on American, you should have a dozen episodes of 30 Rock on your tv set.

Posted by: Kelly Garrett | July 31, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

read "loving frank". excellent book!
watch "the west wing". seasons 1-4 are the best.
watch "veronica mars". an excellent show as well. don't be scared of it being about a girl. there is not another show with such snappy writing, interesting stories and great acting.

Posted by: definitely | July 31, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Yea, a post that "kingofzouk" may just ignore!

"The Nine" by Jeffrey Toobin ought to make the flight go quickly.

Even though it's winter down there, if you like wine, try to get to Mendoza for some of the best wines in the western hemisphere.

Vaya con dios!

Posted by: DCH | July 31, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

In my opinion, one of the best resto in BA is Olsen.

Posted by: Chris | July 31, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Fix:

Albums:
Sonidos Gold by Austin, TX based latin funk band Grupo Fantasma is great. (Oh. Prince is a huge Grupo Fantasma fan). The album will get you really pumped for your trip.

Reckless Kelly's new album Bulletproof is a nice traveling album. It also has two very political songs. American Blood about Iraq vets and God Forsaken Town (co-written by legend Robert Earl Keen) about post-Katrina New Orleans. The rest of the album is rockin' rootsy, Americana.

Hayes Carll's new release Trouble in Mind is songwriting and storytelling at its best. And his song "She Left Me For Jesus" is really sharp and witty.

Austin's The Mother Truckers are awesome. The new album Let's All Go To Bed is rockin.

Alejandro Escovedo's new album is also great.

If you haven't read any of Kinky Friedman's mystery books they are perfect vacation reads.

Posted by: owlsfan | July 31, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Reading suggestion: "The Alechemist" by Paulo Coelho (originally in spanish so good for the region?)

Posted by: sfcpoll | July 31, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

As for the reading part of this request I'd recommend anything by D.H. Lawrence, The Sun Also Rises by Hemingway or if you're willing to venture way out there Ovid's Metamorphoses and The Art of Love, because he's incredibly witty and brilliant.
Music... I'd say Wilco's latest album 'Sky Blue Sky'
And once in Argentina... all I know is their specialty is beef, and yes, Milanesas are the way to go.
Diviertanse Mucho!

Posted by: Gabi | July 31, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

My advice ?
Don't wear that shirt and that hat.

Posted by: Michelle | July 31, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

Obviously, for food, some of the best recommendations will come from WaPo -- "Postcards from Tom" http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/travel/daily/graphics/postcard050607.html

For reading, either the "Guns, Germs, and Steel"/"Collapse" duo or the first two of Rick Atkinson's WWII trilogy ("An Army at Dawn", "The Day of Battle") will keep you thinking and busy.

Posted by: mnteng | July 31, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Exxon Mobil today broke its own record for the highest-ever profit by a U.S. company, with net income this quarter rising to $11.68 billion. While Exxon officials regularly tout the company's investment in alternative energy, ABC reported today that Exxon spends only 1 percent of profits on alternative energy sources. Watch it:


"They're probably spending more on the advertising than they are on the research," noted an oil analyst contacted by ABC. BP invested the most out of the big five oil companies, at 2.9 percent.

Digg It!

UPDATEAccording to a new study from the Center for American Progress Action Fund, their U.S. profits from the last 12 months were the equivalent to $236 from every single person with a drivers license in America.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Movies to get away: Rushmore, The President's Analyst, The Reluctant Astronaut

Books: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, The Omnivore's Dilemma, Suite Francaise

Posted by: James White | July 31, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

If you can't tear yourself away from politics, read The Great Derangement by Matt Taibbi - my favorite political commentator (other than The Fix of course 8-)

Posted by: Dav | July 31, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Seasons 1 & 2 of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" could keep you occupied for a while, and could be picked up for under 30 bucks.

Posted by: Jon | July 31, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Mr. and Mrs. Fix -
I am from Argentina. I would recommend that you go to Puerto Madero or Recoleta to eat. In Puerto Madero you will find excellent restaurants. I don't recommend one because they are all very good. Recoleta has more informal cafes, all offering great meals. You must (MUST!) have some "empanadas" as an appetizer. I would recommend "milanesas" or "arroz con pollo" for your meals. Those are my favorites.
As for the shopping - you can try Avenida Florida - it's a pedestrian mall. Very nice and very traditional.
Also, I hope you visit La Boca - it's the neighborhood by the port where you will see tango on the streets.
Have a good time - I'm jealous that you get to spend time there!

Posted by: nicolasny | July 31, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

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