“It is extraordinary that whole populations have no projects for the future, none at all. It certainly is extraordinary, but it is certainly true.”
– Gertrude Stein
Buenos Aires – Yesterday was a good day. The theme of the day turned out to be new projects, and the culmination of others. I had meetings with the editors of two different local magazines and will be starting some new ventures with them – more about which as they get firmed up. I met with a winery owner and will be working on helping him sell his wines; and later attended an interesting wine tasting with one of the owners of another winery – I’ll get my thoughts on his wines written up some time this weekend. Plus, the Casa S dinners are filling up fast, I’ve even started getting reservations for more distant dates in October and November!
In terms of the projects that came to fruition – the new edition of Time Out Buenos Aires is out, and I have both a feature article (edited to change my New York humor style to a more British one, such is life), and half a dozen restaurant reviews in it. Preserved, of course, for posterity on my own site…
I also have a new feature on mate, the more or less national drink here, that just came online at What’s Up Buenos Aires?, though that will gradually scroll off their site as new features are posted, so a copy is also up on my site.
I found myself in the Centro area, and I’d been hearing about a new wine shop, called Buenos Aires Gay. All sorts of odd thoughts came to mind after hearing about it – Chanteuse Chardonnay, Mincing Malbec (as one of my editors put it), Bondage Bonarda… okay, I’m getting off track. I dropped in at the shop, at Maipu 995, to check out what the story was. It’s a beautifully designed shop, with an excellent selection of wines. The prices are a trifle higher than in many shops here, but not by much, and probably not for the location (right off of Plaza San Martin). It’s on the upper floor of a two story building, which is a little odd, although they’ve designed a nice entrance and downstairs display to attract attention. The only thing gay that I saw was a rainbow flag in the downstairs display, a line of wine bottled for the shop under the name “Pilot Gay Wine”, apparently one of the owners is a pilot, and some various brochures for gay activities on the checkout counter. [This shop closed up within a year.]
I asked one of the people there about the name and concept, and the response was that none of the owners is gay, nor the staff, but that, and I’m going to paraphrase with a touch of cynicism here, the gay community, especially tourists, have so much money to spend that they thought they’d capitalize on it and see if they could make some money off them, or, as the same editor put it, going after the pink peso. After all, Buenos Aires has recently been being touted as the gay capital of Latin America. The owners do, of course, have many gay friends, I was assured, and they even “let” a gay architect design the space. She also assured me that the Pilot Gay Wine is the first wine to ever have a direct connection to the gay community – I referred her to Rainbow Ridge… just for a start. I have to admit I came away feeling like a commodity – whether it was just the attitude of the woman I talked to, or the real vision behind the shop, I can’t say it thrilled me.