I need you to be quiet.

Shh.

I can hear you making that terrible grunting noise, every time you come out of a pose.

I know this is billed as a Beginner’s Class, but we all know the truth. This is hard work, intentional work, and it’s not a secret. The way you’re giving the room a dirty look every time you come out of a sit up isn’t helping anyone, including you.

No one forced you in here, I believe you signed your name on that little clipboard just like everybody else.

So I’m going to need you to breathe, all quiet-like, not in that terrible, exaggerated, “somebody-save-me” way you have been.

The teacher, the way she’s trying to help us all along by talking us through? Hear the way she’s guiding your breathing by saying “in through your nose, out through your nose”?

DO THAT.

Because your way isn’t working.

I can feel your panic.

Stop it. Thanks.

Namaste.

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Floreria Atlantico

October 13, 2013

From the dawn of the 19th century until the second decade of the 20th more than four million people from Italy, Spain, France, Russia, Germany, England, Portugal and Switzerland disembarked. They arrived from countries that would never again be as they were in those years, from a world in which time existed in distance. Buenos Aires found them, saw them leave and return, get lost and get found.

They came to become Buenos Aires and Buenos Aires never again was not a part of them. In that fragile and voluptuous city, bars were ports in a port, docks where one could quench a thirst,glasses where they mixed beverages that crossed the Atlantic.

Bars lit the nightlife of the city on fire. North American bartenders arrived as did gin loved by the English, Andalusian sherry and Italian bitters, the rum of Cuba navigating the Atlantic and the pisco of Peru from the Pacific, the master German beermakers and brandy from the Turks, the green fairy and champagne from France and the generous wine of the Portuguese.

Another thirst arrives. Other histories, other pasts, other futures.

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So is the intro to the menu for Floreria Atlantico, a “hidden” speakeasy type cocktail bar I spent some time in this evening.

Here’s what it looks like from outside, just a gorgeous flower shop that seems to be open unreasonably late. Oh, and there are shelves with bottles.

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I didn’t have a reservation, but after a quick exchange with the hostess/flower shop keeper, I was led over to what appeared to be a door to a cooler. Instead, there were stairs:

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…which led to this wonderful place underground, a controlled, contained but still vivid display of city nightlife.

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I had a wonderful conversation with the bartender, who could not have been older than 23 or 24. She first celebrated the fact that I was there on my own, not waiting for anyone, just having my own time. We talked about what brought me to Buenos Aires, and I told her I’d always wanted to spend time here, and that I finally just decide to do it and get myself down here,

She got a knowing smile on her face. “It’s funny”, she said, “we spend so much time looking up that way, (toward the United States) that we don’t realize some of you are looking down this way.”

And isn’t that always, or at least often, the way? We sometimes consider our wonderful lives to be mundane and ache for “elsewhere”, and all the while someone wants to be right where we’re standing.

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I travel for the…

October 6, 2013

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Staring off at La Tour Eiffel
Paris, June 2012
(Photo by Florent Ferrasse)

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N.B.: Fathom Away has an awesome questionnaire they often post by different people. I decided to fill it out, because I’ll do anything to avoid packing.

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Hometown: A sum of my historical locations: New York, Washington, D.C., St. Louis, and Chicago

Favorite destinations: New York, San Francisco, Madrid, Paris

Dying to visit: Marrakech, Istanbul, Cuba

In-flight relaxation regime: Sudoku, This American Life podcasts, Melatonin

Always in carry-on: Headphones, kid-type snacks (applesauce, fruit leather, nuts), pen, notebook, iPad

Concierge or DIY? DIY!

See it all or take it easy? See *everything*, time naps for when smartphone needs a recharge.

Drive or be driven? Be driven, and mass transit forever.

Weirdest thing seen on travels: On a bus in Lima, a lady with a chicken in her handbag. Cannot decide if it was her pet or her dinner, but I can guess…

Best hotel amenity: A powerful blowdryer, a big bathtub, free bottled water.

I dream about my meal at Quimet y Quimet in Barcelona. That cheese plate!

Everywhere I go, I check out the local food market, and the snack aisle in the grocery store.

When I arrive in a new place, I learn the lay of the land by Google Maps with stars I’ve been placing in that city for who-knows-how-long.

I always bring home a piece of jewelry, and some honey.

If I never return to Florida it’ll be too soon because it’s the land of strip malls and chain restaurants.

I travel for the new way, and the fresh perspectives.

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Double-fisting juice at the Mercat de la Boqueria
Barcelona, September 2012
Photo by Angie Faralli

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“Kissing” Gaudi’s Casa Batllo
Barcelona, September 2012
Photo by me! Had to get just the right angle…

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The start of a new way.

October 3, 2013

Finally home after an 18 hour day at work, which makes it about 53 hours for the week so far. So many changes in this air, so much warmer than it should be for early October.

The start of a new way.

An important project wrapped up today. We, as a group, will await a response, an approval, a nod forward. I’m looking for the same nod, but in a somewhat different direction. I’ve been listening for the click of things falling into place, and I’ve heard the first few. 

Just have to keep still for a moment, keep listening.

For tonight, I’m glad to be home, glad for nights with the window open, glad for crisp sheets and warm kittens. I’m going to sleep until I wake, no alarms for me. Much to do from tomorrow through the weekend.

It’s been nonstop lately, powering through even bronchitis last week. Sure hope I don’t forget to go to Argentina on Monday.

What’s new, Buenos Aires?