A disgruntled librarian packs it up and leaves fabulous New York City behind,
going on random global adventures,
while simultaneously promoting literacy
and spreading the love of the written word.

Monday, July 19, 2010

la boca ... BOO!

scary, scary, scary la boca!

la boca is a very colorful neighborhood in Bs As that has sadly gotten a bad rap for being dangerous.  and the more you read about it, the more alarmist people seem to become.  now, i've never walked down any dark alleys at night there (you know, because i'm not an idiot), but every time i've been there it has always been fine.  i actually like the neighborhood a lot.  however, it is a neighborhood of a lower economic class, so you know if you walk around flashing your wallet and your iPhone you could get mugged.  kinda like every nyc neighborhood i've ever lived in or worked in.

la boca is probably most famous for it's brightly painted houses, but it is also famous for being the home of the Boca Juniors, our favorite futbol (soccer) team.  while many people support the opposing BA team, River Plate, we support la boca, viewing them as a sort of underdog team of ragtag misfits, not unlike the Brooklyn Dodgers or the NY Mets (if the Mets didn't suck so much).

anyhoo, my beloved bolshvik has already begun adorning himself with a variety of la boca hoodies, jerseys, scarves, etc.  and taking a day off from my various jobs, i decided to join him on a little tour of la bombera (the chocolate box), the famed stadium where the boca juniors play.

being my mother's daughter the first thing i did was peruse the gift shop.  there is so much we can learn from gift shops!  for instance, who knew that dulce de leche (much like wheaties) was the breakfast of champions for futbol players?  well, it must be because they sell coffee cans filled with special Boca Juniors dulce de leche.  i am a dulce de leche fan and all, but this seems like a hell of a lot of liquid caramel goodness, even for me.

on the tour, we were allowed to walk around the empty stadium and take lots of pictures.  we were even given the option of paying an extra 30 pesos to pose on the field while holding a replica of the world cup.  although tempted, i passed on this photo op.

apparently, psychological warfare is a big part of futbol stadium design.  we learned that the away team enters the field through a very small door, so small that they actually have to watch their heads in order to get through it.  while the home team gets to  enter through large grandiose type doors.  but my favorite is the area for the away fans.

in a stadium that seats 50,000 people, there are only 2-3 thousand seats for the away fans.  and no, they cannot mix with the boca fans.  they must be kept in their own separate area.  for their own safety, the away fans are penned into this sort of futbol interment camp where they are fenced in by barbed wire.  according to our guide, this section also has the worst view of the field, AND is at such a steep angle that fans are often afraid of getting too rowdy up there for fear of falling.  nice!

the bolshevik was quite anxious to try to become members of the Boca Juniors club, so that we could get tickets to games.  apparently, there are about 100,000 members and of course there's only half that number of seats.  so we asked around and were told there is a waiting list to become members.  ok, fine.  we'll be here for several months, we can be on a waiting list.  but when we finally found the proper representative to talk to, we learned that the waiting list is EIGHT YEARS LONG!  yup ... you could probably get yourself on a shorter waiting list to adopt a child than you can to get membership to the Boca Juniors.

but fear not dear blog readers, supposedly there are still ways for us to get tickets either the day of the game or from scalpers.  so we may be sitting in the stands eating from a tub of dulce de leche just yet.

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