Saturday, February 20, 2016

Buenos Aires safari

Last night I just had to go with some fellow philosophers to a wine bar named after Heidegger's Being and Time.

This cartoon on their menu suggests that oenophilia is a way out of technological captivity.

Good thing that "we are not what we eat, we are what we love." Otherwise I would be a pile of loaded fries and the greater part of a milanesa (imagine a pizza where the dough has been replaced by breaded veal).

This typewriter on display in the milanesa restaurant is a puzzle. Have you ever seen a manual IBM? Or an IBM that is, at the same time, a Remington 33 L?

If you look up images of this Brazilian-made model online you'll see that the brand logos are missing on many examples. Some have an R where the IBM logo is on this one; others have nothing. I'm sure IBM never authorized this!

The next morning I headed for the Mercado de las Pulgas (Flea Market).

The Buenos Aires subway costs 5 pesos per ride (about 35¢). The trains, which are perfectly comfortable, look like they date from the 1940s. The system began operation in 1913.

The interior of a "Subte" car reminds me of a classic American diner.

This shop near the flea market specializes in old radios.

The market is a big but not overwhelming collection of stalls that sell everything from antique furniture to ... what do you think?

This is the kind of antique shop I like.

Tony's stall shows plenty of individuality. When I stopped by, he was wearing the same hat he has on in the portrait.

There were plenty of old office machines to be seen, although in most cases I wouldn't want them or couldn't carry them back on the plane.

I found one real antique, but it was pricey — 2900 pesos (about $200).

I passed up the Standard Folding. But there was one machine I couldn't resist:

And they have great ice cream here, too. No matter whether you are what you eat or you are what you love, I am now officially a raspberry-mango shake.


  1. $57 for an Olivetti Valentine? Now that's the deal of the day, isn't it?

    1. Too bad it's missing the orange ribbon spool retaining nuts. (3D printing project, anyone?)

  2. Congratulations on the Valentine! Best price I've heard for one of those.
    The buildings in Buenos Aries are really interesting. The entire city looks beautiful. To ride those old subway cars must be an great.

  3. Thanks for the updates, what a great trip.

  4. Looks like you're having a good time down south! But there's a pressing question still unanswered...
    . . .

    Do typewriter ribbon spools turn counterclockwise in the Southern hemisphere? XD

    1. No, but sometimes typewriter names run backwards (see my next post).

  5. Love the subway train. Enjoy the rest of your trip!

  6. aah, the Valentine - as beautiful as those carriages. One of the biggest puzzles in the universe is where those really quite big and you would think not easily mislaid spool nuts go. I suppose, along with all biros, there are in that great typing and scribing pool in the sky where innumerable monkeys are producing the works of Shakespeare - though Borges, the patron saint of Buenos Aires writers, said you only need a single monkey - it just has to be immortal. BA looks gorgeous - you must be having a wonderful time and thank you for sharing.. no country needs a tourist board, just a visit from Richard.

  7. W o W
    A Valentine with a square type style... Like my giant Olympia SG 3!
    I wish my Olivetti Lettera 31 could have such a type style...xD

    Good Winds, Argentine... Nuh! That's nothing! You should come to Oaxaca City. We seem to live trapped in the eighties (although you shall be able to find Olympia SG 3 and lots of Olivetti Letteras only). And our markets are more interesting. Our antique stores and thrift stores are fullfilled with very true treasures normally at ridiculous prices...xD

  8. wow, beautiful Valentine and an amazing price!! I am thoroughly enjoying seeing your photos and hearing about your adventures in this lovely country. :)

  9. talking of Valentines, they often have key tops missing - I discovered the keys on the Lettra DL are the same fit so worth getting a derelict DL to cannibalise.

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    1. The font on your Valentine looks to match the one on my Olivetti-Underwood 21. Pages 55 and 56 of this paper name it "Cubic":