May 1st 2014

good bye from me, Argentina

Comments: 3 Topics: , ,

Last week, Bobby McAlpine, Ray Booth, Susan Ferrier and I were invited to attend the annual summit of the Leaders of Design Council.
IMG_2323Every April, top Architects, Interior Designers and Landscape Architects meet at an exotic locale think tank to discuss how to further our professions and better serve our clients. Previous gatherings (documented on this blog) have occurred in Marrakech and Berlin. This year, the site chosen was the Paris of Latin, America – Buenos Aries, Argentina.

What’s new Buenos Aires?
I’m new, I wanna say I’m just a little stuck on you
You’ll be on me too

My impressions of this vast, bustling city were varied. It certainly has shadows of Paris cast about – the ornamentations of the Colon Opera house, the sidewalk cafes and the wide, expansive avenues definitely lilt with a French accent. Their beef bourguignon, however, ┬ácomes peppered with distinct Spanish spices. One need only wander the famed La Recoleta cemetery to see elaborate monuments to death that only Latin cultures know how to celebrate. Meanwhile, throughout the city of the living, splashes of color and rich gusto were rampant in every corner I turned.

Fill me up with your heat, with your noise
With your dirt, overdo me
Let me dance to your beat, make it loud
Let it hurt, run it through me.
Don’t hold back, you are certain to impress
Tell the driver this is where I’m staying

What touched me most was the absolute graciousness of the Argentinian people. Before the conference began, we had two opportunities to touch base with “friends of friends”. These phone numbers were but flimsy threads of contact, but we promised we’d at least ring to say hello. One, an architect and his lovely wife, the other a glamorous octogenarian, immediately insisted we join them in their respective homes to commune for dinner and champagne. These welcoming hosts were delighted to roll out their singular red carpets to us, visiting strangers. We were outsiders no more; our new friends offered gracious harborage that would rival any stateside Southerner.

Take me in at your flood, give me speed
Give me lights, set me humming
Shoot me up with your blood, wine me up
With your nights, watch me coming
All I want is a whole lot of excess
Tell the singer this is where I’m playing

The national dance of Argentina is the Tango, a sultry dance, at once poised, lusty and energetic. It’s no surprise that the word “tango” means “touch”. The people and their city embrace deeply, both in heart and mind. I departed energized, certainly by the inspired dialogue with my peers but also by the vivacity this city exudes.

Stand back, Buenos Aires
Because you oughta know whatcha gonna get in me
Just a little touch of star quality

The following photos are but a bit of the beautiful allure my eye captured. My heart and imagination was captured fully.

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Faithfully,
Greg Tankersley for McAlpine Tankersley

Lyrics (in italics) by Tim Rice from the song “Buenos Aries”, Evita.

3 comments

  1. Susan S says:

    Now you’ve sparked my interest and I may have to put it on my bucket list. Oh, and nice shirt, Mr. Tankersley!

  2. Inge Cahill says:

    Oh, thank you so much for this vivid blog about your visit in Buenos Aires.
    It seems like a ” Tango ” of colors, spicy and sweet hospitality and grandiose architecture.
    I am intrigued.

  3. Tom green says:

    Greg,
    Thanks for sharing your terrific pis of BA.
    It looks like a beautiful and inspiring place
    to have a convention. I’m going to Europe soon and I need to upgrade my camera for taking good quick pics. If you don’t mind could you tell me what kind of camera and lenses you used to take these super photos.
    Thanks for your great site it is one of my favorites.
    Tom Green
    PS I’m the realtor who sold the building on perry street to joe Perkins. The old sable mansion.

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