Today we are booked to travel from Buenos Aires to Montevideo, Uruguay. Our mission is to visit two addresses associated with my friend’s father, who lived there for a short time and a photo studio where he had photographs taken just after World War !!. His journey to this US country via several countries is an interesting one, that only she can tell. The address of these places were gleaned from family records. Fortunately Google Maps indicated that the addresses were active, even after six or seven decades.
We boarded a medium sized,but luxurious, ferry boat, called the Francisco, at the docks in Buenos Aires. Uruguay and Argentina share the widened mouth for the river called Rio del Plata which empties into the ocean. It transforms from a long winding river through jungles into lake sized waterway. Although we were going just for the day to another country, it required passports, and luggage checks like any airline. The boat had 2 levels of passenger seating and a lower level for the cars. One of the curiosities for us passengers was being required to put plastic covers over our shoes to keep the carpets clean. The floors we covered with pale azure colored carpets and management will not allow them to be dirtied by us passengers. It reminded me of my aunt who would make us remove our shoes before entering the house, and where we sat on plastic covered living room furniture. See the photo:
I found it humorous to see everyone from suited businessmen to small children walking around the boat in these clumsy surgical boots on during the two hour boat ride..
After landing in Montevideo, people began thowing the plastics boots on the floor, and in the trash, if they were thoughtful enough. We had booked a city tour and lunch before beginning the mission to find the addresses. The tour group consisted of 5 people when we started but every had offloaded in different places in town before the tour ended.
The tour bus stopped at a little park to allow picture taking. There was this enormous statue of a stage coach wagon being pulled through out of the mud, obviously, depicting some great Urugauyian historical event. Later after tiring of walking around I decided to talk to ann elderly couple. They were street vendors. They were offering photo ops with cardboard cut-outs of tango dancers. I went over to take a picture of the colorful cutouts. Since they were largely being ignored, I a dropped a buck in their little bucket. Suddenly it cued loud squawky tango music and they began to tango dance with real passion and joy.
The next stop on our tour was downtown for the obligatory shopping venue. I am not a shopper so I wandered the shopping district for anything I could photograph. I stood there forever ignoring this street mime dressed like the mythical hero, Zorro. He stood there forever with his sword at the ready. I suddenly remembered the Disney character, “Zorro”, that I watched on TV in the 1950’s. He was played by a guy named Guy Williams. Mr. Williams was Italian by descent, but in those days there were few Hispanic heroes. I do remember the other fictional cowboy hero, the “Cisco Kid”, played by Duncan Renaldo, one of the first real Hispanics playing a real Hispanic. Anyway, after a minor television career, he retired to Buenos Aires, and lived in the Ricoleta area until he died. He was revered as a great TV actor by the people of Argentina for his portrayal of Zorro.
This street mime seem to relish his role as Zorro.. So, I took his photo and did a short video in black white like and old TV show. Notice all the swords he has.
Here is a shot of a local outdoor restaurant. The enormous red umbrella cast an eerie light on everyone.
By the time we had lunch there were only 4 of us. The two others were associates in business. One of the two was Italian but spoke Spanish and French and English and the other fellow spoke Italian and Spanish. After lunch we all parted ways to finish our agendas.
Luckily we were able to find the residence to my friends father. The building was still being lived in after more that half a century. Much of the interior lobby had not be changed. Luckily residents allowed us into the building lobby to see for ourselves. The shots show the charming elevators which were getting constant useage.
We were not as luck with hold photograph studio, although the building seemed in tact.
The last shot is the dock at sundown on our return to Buenos Aires.