¡Qué Quilombo!

I like the word. Even though it’s Lunfardo, you’re supposed to further distort it in polite company—bolomqui—or something like that—because although it pretends to translate to “warehouse,” the actual translation is “whorehouse,” but it’s used to indicate a “shitstorm”—or plainly—What a mess! Yes, most Lunfardo is that complicated . . . and you thought you…

Recoleta Cemetery

At 1800 hours the bell tolls and the gate to La Ciudad de los Muertos is closed. They lock up the dead. They put chains and padlocks on the door to each eternal home—to keep . . . someone . . . from getting out—or . . . someone . . . from getting in.…

Argentina’s Black Roots

You’ve seen her at a milonga: brassy, bottle-blonde hair. Between too much sun, too many cigarettes, and too much plastic surgery, it’s difficult to determine her age—maybe 50 leaning toward 70 trying to look 30. She’s wearing, shall we say … something “memorable” (although you can’t remember exactly what now) and it reveals her tucks…