When I sat down the other day to write my new year´s resolutions (better late than never), one of which was to stick more to my celiac diet in a place where some of the main food groups are empanadas, pasta, and pizza, I decided while I was at it to also make a list of all the things I want to do here.  How very un-Argentine, the admittedly obsessive list-maker that I am, but time flies when you´re having fun and it´s more so that I remind myself on weekends to leave my rooftop pool every so often and get out and do things.

The list went something like this, in no particular order:

– Salsa lessons (tango was just too slow and rigid for me)
– Inter-cambio with locals once a week
– La Boca soccer game (in the ¨loco¨seats)
– See a performance at Teatro Colon
– Drink mate with locals (hoping with more practice I will acquire the taste)
– Visit Tigre (suburb)
– Polo match
– Photograph the train station
– Visit an estancia and experience gaucho life
– Visit Punta del Este
– Rose garden and Japanese garden
– Eat at and photograph La Boca neighborhood bodegones
– House of Xul, small museum of surreal art
– Drink a coffee at Alvear Palace hotel
– Visit ¨provincias¨(what Porteños call cities anywhere outside the center of their universe, Buenos Aires)
– See a cheesy touristy tango show
– Get a tailor-made leather jacket

Being a Mahattanite, it has always been an important part of my life to do cultural things that interest me, in no matter the city I am living. My long list of interests and hobbies and inability to sit still is one of the reasons big city life suits me so well.  There is always something new to do or people to meet.  But  I find that only after I have started to really get to know a place and its people , fully immersing myself in daily life, that I start to learn about all these other hidden gems that were unknown to me before.  It´s what has led to my obsession of living in new cities around the world, because I know as a tourist or even long-term visitor you won´t have a chance to experience a place in that kind of intimate way.

The other night I found myself at an Andy Warhol exhibit at the MALBA (the closest thing to the MOMA here, but about an eighth the size and logically more focused on Latin artists).  I saw some less popular Warhol art that I´m not sure I was interested to see, like the framed polaroids of him in drag (which when I thought about it, made me glad I packed away my Polaroid camera back in New York rather than getting rid of it).  But nevertheless it was interesting to people watch and practice my Spanish reading the captions and biography.  Though I was a bit bummed to go alone after friends bailed, you just never know who you may meet or what the experience may inspire you to learn about yourself or another culture.

While I can now cross the exhibit off my mental list where it had been for quite some time,  I know this list will undoubtedly get longer rather than shorter as more time here opens my eyes to new things.