From the Pacific Northwest to Buenos Aires
May 3, 2011 6:30 PM   Subscribe

I am moving to Buenos Aires in July. I'm looking for advice, stories, and friends.

So, I'm really doing it. I've bought my plane ticket (one way), I've put in all my work/apartment notices, I'm planning my going away party, I'm buying the luggage from which I'll have to start a new life.

I'm moving for a few reasons, but mostly just to do it. I'll be enrolling at UBA (studying Spanish as a foreign language, first), I'll get a job, and I'll be renting a room in an apartment. I'm also bringing down my Gibson Flying V and a bunch of pedals and a mic, and I'll be starting a band once I get settled.

Perhaps I'll want to live in San Telmo. I'd like to pay 250-300 USD (900-1300 AR) per month rent, and I would prefer to live with other artists or musicians.

I play grunge, goth, experimental noise. I know these scenes exist in BA, and I'd love to have a jump start on how to start making friends in them. Clubs? What about house shows? What's the really underground experimental stuff going on? It doesn't have to be grungey... I'm just from the PNW so that's what I'm used to.

I'm vegetarian. I like gardening. I've heard BA has a big urban agriculture scene. I'd like to do guerilla gardens... grow quinoa on abandoned plots, reclaim underutilized green space for food production. I know BA is the land of the steak, and that's cool, perhaps I'll eat meat in future, but I'd love to find out about how to live a veg friendly lifestyle.

I'm also a big freaking nerd. I read comics, fantasy and sci-fi, I play Rifts sometimes. I also read classic literature - my current reading list is Cerebus, Snow Crash, and 2666. I write a lot of code; recently I've been doing CV experiments in openframeworks. I know all the major languages, and I can get work as a programmer when I need it. But I prefer to make drinks; booze and coffee. I am a very professional bartender and barista. I take food and drink very seriously. About as seriously as I take an incoming Death's Head Transport.

So in a sense, this question is both a "Hello (soon to be) fellow PorteƱos!" as well as a call for advice. Where should I live? What are some things I should know about?

And will you be my friend?
posted by special agent conrad uno to Travel & Transportation around Buenos Aires, Argentina (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I've been living in Buenos Aires for the last couple of years, but don't know much about the grunge / goth scene or the urban agriculture scene I'm afraid - I do know a couple of people who might though! As you say, being vegetarian is a bit of a struggle here, but I know several people who manage it without too many difficulties.

Your price range is about right (on the lower end) for a room in a share, especially for San Telmo, which I suspect will be where more of the things you are interested in will be, compared to somewhere like Palermo. You could try looking on the Couchsurfing Apartment forum or Craigslist.

I run a Free Walking / Public Transport Tour and a monthly Pub Quiz which gets a good crowd of locals and expats, so if you have any more questions feel free to drop me a memail.

And, for the being your friend thing, no problem!
posted by jontyjago at 7:34 PM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

Also I'm going to mark everyone who says they will be my friend as "best answer" because it is! hugs not drugs!

jontyjago, I'd love to do your tour and pub quiz. Where and when do you do it? I'll be arriving on July 6th. At 9:30 at EZE. holy hell i can't believe i'm actually doing this
posted by special agent conrad uno at 7:50 PM on May 3, 2011

You probably have time enough to deal with this so no need to panic, but regarding enrolling at UBA, have you found out you have the right paperwork for that? Depending on what kind of studies you want to do, and where did you obtain your high school diplomma (or equivalent), they can ask you for something that is acceptable under Argentine law. This might entail getting a lot of certifications on top of that diplomma, probably a certified translation too, and the usually unavoidable Hague Convention apostilles.

If you are serious about work, I hope you have checked the legal requirements. Unless you want to work in the, er, "informal sector" as they say, you need a work visa to get into the tax and health systems as a worker.

Haven't been back since I moved away a couple of years ago, but I'm sure there's still lots and lots of second hand bookstores for you to raid once you get better at Spanish. For instance the many stalls at Parque Rivadavia always have some good used copies of fantasy/sci fi books, and comics.
posted by Iosephus at 9:18 PM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

I've said it in AskMe before, but Couchsurfing is a great way to meet people where you live or move to and also a wonderful way to get to know your new city better than you would otherwise.

So far, I've used it for 3 international moves and I hear the Buenos Aires community is really active. If my experience in other places is any call, you'll meet a good mix of internationally-minded locals and foreigners, many of whom have interests in line with those you cite.
posted by whatzit at 3:00 AM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

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