Sunday, August 31, 2008
There isn't much worse in life than being on a jam-packed subte with people coughing all around you.
And I don't think I've ever been as uncomfortable as the time I rode the subte during rush hour and was forced to stand with my crotch firmly pressed against a 65-year-old, 4-foot-9-inch woman's chest for 30 minutes. However there are a lot of great elements of the subte that make it worth the ride downtown every day.
Here is my collection of the trill elements...
-- First and foremost is Casimiro (pictured above) who rocks my subte stop every weekday afternoon. To say that Casimiro inspires me and gives me hope for humanity would be an understatement.
I was first impressed with Casimiro when I saw him for the first time after I moved out to Palermo and began using the Ministro Carranza stop. I really liked his voice and he could carry a pretty solid tune, from the 30 seconds I listened to him every day. It's also great to watch him happily bop around the staircase playing his guitar with such emotion for hours a time, every day.
While trying to describe his style to my friend all I could come with is: "It's everything you like and nothing you don't."
After hearing him a couple of times I decided I should buy his cd, but for one reason or another I didn't end up buying it until four weeks later.
Finally I bought his cd and gave him some extra money just because I admired his incredible work ethic as much as his musical talent. It's also great because now I have my subte stop soundtrack forever.
Although I highly recommend catching his live shows because his acoustic guitar sounds great with the acoustics of the staircase, you can check out his MySpace.
Better yet, watch him sing my favorite song "Prefiero tu sonrisa (I prefer your smile)" and don't miss his interview and footage of him singing in the subte.
-- Although Casimiro is the best talent in all of the D-line, some times I'm treated to other acts, such as a saxophonist and an inferior guitarist. If I'm lucky I'll get two different sets in one day. And if I'm really lucky I get the Ministro Carranza all-stars, which is what happens when all the musicians come together to jam together (this amazing moment is captured in the video above), although I've never had the privilege of seeing the rapper.
-- The city tries to provide its own entertainment, but it ends up falling way short of Casimiro. But I do appreciate the "Mas cine en el subte" campaign just because it reminds me of the Ruffenach cinema series of Tucson.
For those of you who don't know about the Ruffenach cinema series it's an exclusive summer movie series put on by my family-friend Dr. Ruffenach, who from my understanding runs every hospital in Southern Arizona. Dr. Ruffenach spends all year thinking about which films he wants to showcase, then has his close friends over to watch the movies.
Then during the most crucial moment of the film Dr. Ruffenach will talk over the film to state an incredibly obvious fact, such as the bad guy from 10 minutes ago is the same guy whose on screen now, he's just wearing a different color hat.
Somehow this actually enhances the viewing experience.
Ministro Carranza's cinema series isn't as epic as the Ruffenach's, but it is nice that every day at 19:00 you can watch a some great film fragments.
-- When the subte televisions aren't playing classic film fragmentos they are normally playing this show which features the creepiest digitally animated elves I have ever seen.
--Other subte things that make me happy:
---- Getting a free newspaper every day.
---- Knowing that most of the time the newspaper will have topless Argentine models.
---- The day I read an article about Mike D'Antoni, whose name was spelled D'Antony for some reason. The article also called D'Antoni/y "el hombre con el bigote (the man with the mustache)."
---- I believe that I'll be immune to every South American common cold after living here for five months.
-- My final favorite part about the subte is seeing Utah Jazz powerforwad/center Mehmet Okur's tag everywhere. It was pretty sneaky move to purposely misspell his name, but fortunately I'm really good at detecting Turkish professional basketball players' tags.