It’s amazing how many interesting expats I’ve met here in Buenos Aires. A great number of them came on a holiday and just stayed, some came for work or came here after quitting their jobs, others moved here to support their spouses and family. I am particularly impressed by the number of women who have started their own businesses and/or are working independently. There is Meghan, who started Buena Onda Yoga and runs a vegetarian closed-door restaurant called Jueves a la Mesa; Jess is a freelance writer (and a wonderful yoga instructor) who recently wrote for the New York Times (awesome!); Emily followed her passion for art and now has a screen printing and textile design company (GAZPACHO Design); there are many many more amazing women I’ve been lucky enough to meet here.
One such talented fashion designer and entrepreneur is Leslie, whom I sat across at Casa Mun a few weeks ago. While we were dining there, she kept raving about a vegetarian restaurant called Artemisia, and was kind enough to invite me out for a meal. Leslie, like me, had lived and worked in New York but decided to leave everything behind to start something new. She came to Buenos Aires on an extended holiday and it changed her life. We met up at Artemisia in Palermo Hollywood for have lunch and chat.
She and her porteño fiancé are not vegetarians but frequently eat at Artemisia – I always think it’s a good sign when non-vegetarians love a vegetarian restaurant. She told me she always gets their ensalada del día and on this day, she ordered her usual. It was a giant salad with quinoa, carrots, beetroots, avocado, black olives, etc. I had the daily special which came with a chilled soup, a plate of mixed salad and veggie patty, and a hot apple pie with vanilla ice cream for dessert. They even threw in a fruit juice to boot!
Leslie told me how she came here without knowing a soul or speaking a word of Spanish, but she just went for it. She worked with a Spanish tutor she found on Craig’s List, made friends, and even worked for a cosmetics company (she’s always been in fashion & beauty), but in the end she decided to do her own thing. And she did! She designed a line of capes and launched her own label just a few weeks ago. Her Buenos Aires trunk show was a big success and she’s having a trunk show in New York this weekend. I’m really tempted to add to my wardrobe and get one of her gorgeous capes myself…