I was born and raised in San Telmo, living in the fourth floor of a historical building just in the corner where Buenos Aires was founded for the 2nd time. My room view was the Lezama park with the statue of founder Pedro de Mendoza "giving wisdom to the indians", and the National History Museum. In the roof, where I tried my first guitar chords and always spent my time off, the view was more of the park, even to the cancha de Boca, the Boca stadium. Down the house, the Británico café, where Borges and Sábato used to spend time and write, and its weird, 24-hour activity. Its typical galizian waiters, lots of interesting, bohemian characters. People came and went through San Telmo, some I still see, some I´ve never seen again. I also came and went, but always came back. I am a musician, and a free lance journalist. And I am finishing my degree in Fine Arts at the IUNA (National Universitary Institute of Arts), attending my 9th year. I also compose, play and sing rock music. I do, too, graphic design and video editing for a living.
I also do some volunteer work, most of it related to animal rights. I sometimes paint, and right now I´m recording my 2nd album with my duet, Aneeta & Juan Placenta. I studied Sociology (University of Buenos Aires) in my early twenties, but got fed up with theory and abandoned it. Then traveled and wandered around. I´ve been in touch with San Telmo visitors forever, because people would always ask me how to get somewhere or where to go to a regular bar, etc. So I helped people like me, who got to Buenos Aires, find their way around the city.
Sounds familiar? Well... in a different way: I try to help people know the facts that the huge majority of tours won´t probably tell them about. And, as it is obvious that getting to know interesting people is something I´m very fond of, now, I organized it better and started offering my best hand to the city, in a more proffesional level. In each case, we choose the best way to get there; walking, biking, taking the bus and the subway and getting into those places the mainstream won´t take you to. I’m not interested in taking you to expensive places neither!
I´ve had my share of travelling through the world myself, and all around this country, since I was very young. I visited Europe several times, both as a worker (helping out a group of students), and on my own-- a backpacker with little money and no interest in spending my time and my bucks on any expensive touristic thing whatsoever. The first time I went to Barcelona, I decided I would someday get back and spend as much time as I could there, and I did it: two years later, I was back, to live there half of a year
As a huge, sick Beatles´ fan as I was, I managed to get to the "MECA" of rock and roll: Liverpool, England... twice. And crossed Abbey Road street: that was it for me! What else could I ask for, after taking the lovely train from London, getting to THE Cavern Club to have lunch, silently eating an apple on Penny Lane, riding across Menlove Ave. watching John´s and Mimi´s place --oh yes, the very same street where Julia Stanley was hit by a drunk policeman--, and sitting quietly while observing the gates of Strawberry Fields, by myself, when I was 19 years old? I also been to New York in my late teens.
Then afterwards I took my bag and just went on a long trip starting in Traslasierra, Córdoba, ARG --where I stayed for a few months, and worked in the country, taking nuts-- and southern Brazil (bicycle included), an originally local trip that ended up in the Matto Grosso jungle. I financed these trips with my craftworks too, and I somehow made it to survive. The best experiences I´ve had, the best people I met, and the most interesting places I discovered, didn´t involve buying a package for tourists, but walking the streets, chatting with the locals, stopping by in silence, observing anything and breathing the place. And most of all, just facing reality. Why not doing the same for others, I asked myself. And that’s what I’m doing.
Hopefully, we´ll meet one of these days at San Telmo, smack in the center of BA.