No Need for Crying in Argentina

Writer David Luc Nguyen traveled to Buenos Aires for the International Gay and Lesbian Football Association's world championship tournament and discovered how lucky Evita was.

BY David Luc Nguyen

October 30 2007 12:00 AM ET

Since Argentina
is world-renowned for its fantastic steak and wine, I
thought I’d put that reputation to the test.
Heeding the recommendation of the staff, I tried a
2003 Terza Volta Malbec, which is produced in the
province of Mendoza. The full-bodied red wine had a
raspberry aroma with a very subtle and smooth taste. It
really complemented the taste of my amazingly tender
12-ounce steak.

The dinner had
only one slight hiccup: In Buenos Aires, don’t assume
salad comes with lettuce. Making that assumption, I ordered
tomatoes, cucumbers, and carrots, and that’s
exactly what I got. The waiter did, however, ask me if
I would like my lettuce-less salad tossed with olive
oil, but I politely declined. For dessert I ordered a flan
confection that was topped off with homemade whipped
cream and a spoonful of caramel on the side. It was
amazingly sweet but delicious. Total price for the
three-course meal (including wine) was 39 pesos, or $12. No
wonder this restaurant is a local favorite.

After loading up
on calories and destroying our diets, we walked to one
of the most famous and beautiful parts of Buenos Aires,
Plaza de Mayo. The square is constructed so that you
can stand in the middle of the square and turn 360
degrees looking up corridors that give you glimpses
of parliament, the national cathedral, monuments like
the Obelisco, the national library, and other
buildings of national importance. Many of the office
buildings surrounding the square are stunning, resembling
the Plaza Hotel in New York City.

The crown jewel
of the square is Casa Rosada. It sort of resembles the
Barbie dream house my sister had growing up. Any wonder
Buenos Aires is so queer-friendly? Instead of a White
House, the president of Argentina lives in a "Pink
House." More importantly, as every good queen knows,
it is where Madonna filmed Evita and sang
“Don’t Cry for Me Argentina.”

It was a far
different scene at the stadium where the finals were played.
Hundreds of rowdy fans, family members, activists, and
eliminated team members filed in to watch the bronze
medal match between the West Hollywood Eclipse and the
London Titans. West Hollywood pulled out an exciting
5–4 victory in a penalty kick shoot-out.

In the
championship match between Los Dogos (Argentina) and
Stonewall FC (England), the Argentina club won,
1–0. And even though my hometown team, the
Seattle Rain, didn’t do as well I had hoped, there
were definitely no tears shed in Argentina.

Tags: Travel

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