Dec 4, 2006


Friday after the review we took the day off to lounge around and enjoy ourselves. Aldo, Saori, and I rented bicycles down by the botanical preserve in Puerto Madero and we spent an hour just biking around the place. The botanical preserve, as I mentioned before, was an artificial island built partially from the rubble of the city that was torn down to create the massive freeway. The original purpose of the island was to be the site of a military city, a new seat of power for the ruling military government. The funds for such a massive undertaking were never secured, and by the time the military rulers were replaced, the island had become overgrown and inhabited by a wide variety of local flora and fauna. One of my professors believes that in the unusually permissive and liberal atmosphere after the military government, the government allowed the site to become a national botanical preserve to show its progressive democracy to the enviornmental groups. I get the impression from all my professors that its current use is a massive waste of land, which I disagree with. What is known is that occationally fires are set on the island, perhaps by developers with hopes that by incinerating the park, it would be turned over to them.

I did see a lot of plants and animals biking around, including a strange sort of rodent with no tail, which looked like an enlarged hamster, and a massive lumbering lizard which resembled a gila monster. The beaches around the island are post-apocalypic, totally made of concrete peices and building rubble, eroded by the waves and sand. Massive chunks of conrete with warped iron rebar poking out, strange brick wall boulders worn round, beach glass, tile fragments, all eroded. It struck me that this is what it would look like if New York was destroyed twenty years ago.

Biking around more, we took a overgrown narrow path towards the edge of the park, and stumbled across the secret mating grounds, a secluded area totally covered with used condoms and wrappers. Back to the main trail.

After we'd returned the rental bikes ($3 for 2 hours) we went to the omnibus terminal to buy shoes for Aldo. The terminal is a fun place to be anyhow with all the people traveling around. He picked up his shoes there and we poked around for a bit before deciding to head home. Instead of taking the subte, we caught one of the trains just for a change, and rode the train all the way to its first stop a few blocks from our apartments. Emily, Molly, Saori, and I then ordered sushi for dinner.
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