As almost everyone has heard over the past couple days, South Carolina’s Republican Governor Mark Sanford went AWOL several days last week, ostensibly hiking the Appalachian Trail, before being met at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport by an inquiring reporter from the Columbia daily The State. In reality, Sanford had just returned from a spontaneous trip to “exotic” Argentina where, he said, he drove the coastline alone.
Many observers have suggested, some with great hilarity, that to reach that coastline, the governor would first have had to drive at least four or five hours through hundreds of miles of pasturelands, on short mid-winter days, before reaching the scenic coast of southern Buenos Aires province. If not, his best alternative was the Avenida Costanera (pictured here), which runs past the Buenos Aires city airport Aeroparque before dead-ending a few miles north.
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Anyone who’s been to Buenos Aires since the political and economic meltdown of 2002 is aware that the city has become the top gay travel destination in all of South America, and one of the most important in the world.
A recent issue of the Economist provides a good summary of BA’s gay appeal, with its vigorous nightlife (including a gay milonga or tango dance club), Latin America’s most liberal domestic partnership laws, the arrival of gay cruises, and even the five-star “hetero-friendly” Axel Hotel on the edge of San Telmo.
Another of Argentina’s attractions, for all sexual orientations, is the country’s wine. As far as I know, though, Buenos Aires is the only city in the world with an openly Gay Wine Store, near Plaza San Martin in the upscale barrio of Retiro. Personally, though, I’m bewildered as to what constitutes gay wine, and would appreciate it if anybody could clue me in. Red, white, or rosé?