“It’s Complicated”

by Lena

bar-sur-elena-levon-tango-alejandro-buenos-aires-argentina-off-the-beaten-path-best-tango-best-bars-buenos-aires - 12

…That would be my online relationship status with Buenos Aires.

This colorful city is full of lovers, one-of-a-kind artists and a couple of assholes…

I got to experience them all…

Yes, when you actually live in a city for a month or more, you will be forced outside of your box and your rose-colored glasses will be stripped off.

To really live and breathe a city, a traveler needs to actually rent his own place and walk into that old coffee shop around the corner, where the waitress will already know “his or her usual”. I chose to live in the oldest part of Buenos Aires – San Telmo. Rented my French apartment from CASA SAN TELMO – they are incredible and have a place for all possible budgets.

Even when Mr. Bond visited for a few days for his Birthday, he said “Wow… you’re not a traveler anymore… you really ARE a resident here… it feels like you lived here for a long time” Yes, I was. You could see my Argentinian flag proudly waving at you from the second floor of my stunning colonial building and it didn’t cost me an arm and a leg, either. If Antiques shops had heaven, it would be San Telmo. This neighborhood IS a Time Machine!

Architecture is simply breathtaking and graffiti is boldly unique.

I have a love/hate relationship with Buenos Aires… life here is different. It’s not easy. It’s chaotic and sticky. It fills you with all kinds of tastes, sounds and feelings. You can not just love or hate it… if you do, you haven’t really lived here. Saw a lot of poverty and corruption. However, I did manage to tango my way through the “blue market” and get myself a 12 pesos per each dollar deal. I would go to Florida st, passing all the annoying people, yelling “change” from every corner and like a slick black cat, sneak into my trusted “Cave”. (“underground” place where you change dollars to pesos) Without a single word gave my cash to now, a familiar and friendly face, took my pesos and with just a nod, sneak right out.

The fact that dulce de leche is served for breakfast, lunch and dinner without judgement, is one of the reasons why I’m really in love with Argentina. The fact that Buenos Aires is truly a city that doesn’t sleep is yet another. Only in this crazy city, you’ll be able to find a “25 hr supermarket”. Yes, there is such thing as “25 hours” ~ Welcome to Buenos Aires…

I can honestly count on one hand, how many days I was sober in one month of my life here. Taking a nap at 8 pm, so I can last until 12pm of the next day, became a norm on a weekend… Buenos Aires swallows you whole… don’t resist it… ride the wave… going against it will make you crazy. Want coffee at 9 am? First, why the hell are you awake this early? Better have a coffee machine. Want to get your shoes back from a repair place at 3 pm? Have you gone insane? Haven’t you heard of a 3 hour siesta? Oh, so you reserved your cab ride online 2 days prior?.. How very naive of you to count on them to be at your doorstep… better have a “plan b” in case they don’t show up, its pouring rain and you need to catch a ferry to a different country.

I would be lying if I said that Buenos Aires knows what customer service is… maybe only in Four Seasons Hotel and a small number of other upscale restaurants, other than that, they have a lot to learn. A lot!

Buenos Aires is a “she” to me.. and like every female, is full of contradictions and absurdities… you can’t hate her though… she’s one hell of a LOVER…


This city is full of lovers. You see it everywhere; Teenagers passionately kissing by the bus stop, an old couple dancing through life and tango on cobblestones of San Telmo or an awkward silence of that first date, right next to your table, at an old and rustic bar. At a bar, that is soaked with love stories, passion, perfumed lace of ladies of the night and even murders of unfaithful Argentine wives.

Love has no color or gender. In Argentina, Love Will Always Win!

 I always wanted to visit a swingers club. I thought Buenos Aires is a perfect city to explore that in, so I “swung by” Anchorena. Mr. Bond and I love visiting strip clubs in different countries… Buenos Aires wasn’t an exception. We decided to go to “Black” on 9th of July – Mr. Bond’s Birthday, Argentina’s Independence day and the night Argentina finally made it to finals in World Cup in more than 20 years.

Little did we know, that “Black” is just a brothel… it’s interesting… in Argentina, you’re not allowed to see tits, but more than welcome to spend a fortune on an overpriced hooker. The owner of the club told us, that there used to be strip clubs, but now country made new rules that forbid that. We left unsatisfied to say the least. I told Mr. Bond, that my decision of visiting a swingers club by myself hasn’t changed. So on Saturday I went. Solo ladies go in for free, participation is strictly optional. I didn’t want to participate, at least not on my first time, so I just watched. Let me tell you, it’s sexy as hell and “no” means “no”… everyone is very respectful of your space and “no, thank you”. I walked between five floors of one big orgasm… it was intense. They even had a dance floor… so when “Purple Rain” song came on, of course I started rocking to it, but something was weird… no one was dancing… they were all turned towards the stage – where a stunning pair of guys and a gorgeous blonde woman were having a very hot threesome… My god, “purple rain” will never sound the same to me… ever.

I went home horny, but happy ~ Unfortunately, I’ll never get to work with Kubrick and “Eyes Wide Shut” is my favorite film… So you see, kids, you can spend a tons of money in a Brothel and not get to see even a nipple, before you pay even more money to take the gal to an hourly motel or spend ZERO (if you’re a solo woman) and see EVERYTHING…

This is Buenos Aires… it’s rough, smooth, slow and fast at the same time. But she is one hell of a lover…


Buenos Aires has countless artistic geniuses… and I got to work with a few of them. Did several photo shoots with extraordinary photographers and danced Tango at one of the oldest tango bar – “Bar Sur”   

Horacio Di Renzi and Jeronimo Cerimedo are one of the most talented photographers I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.

Artists in Buenos Aires leave their whole soul in all of their creations.

Life in a city would be pretty boring without a few assholes… every big city has them.


It was incredible to celebrate with thousands of Argentine souls on 13th of July… But a few assholes spoiled it for the rest of people who were celebrating with their families and friends and I saw a young girl almost die because of teargas attacks.

I was the only non news photographer on the scene and even managed to get photographed by AP on the scene where police were arresting “assholes”.


Reporter, Ms. Levon in the background… reporting from the “hot spots” ..

 It was especially sad for me seeing the people I thought were my friends, in reality were just a few assholes… I won’t go into details and won’t mention any names (you know who you are) assholes don’t deserve their names to be mentioned…

Those “friends” were lucky cops showed up and my sexy Buenos Aires lawyer…. cause I would have burned their dive bar to the ground. Wanna fuck with a Russian/Armenian/American ?? Are you fucking high? (by the way, it would be a “yes” for a lot of people in Buenos Aires…) Don’t do it. Just don’t. We’re fucking crazy. We have no breaks. We don’t give a shit. I’m nice to everyone… but if you try to hurt me or my loved ones… I’d pray and run, if I were you… simultaneously. I wouldn’t think twice about going to jail… been there, done that. Dear Assholes, try to be nice to me… If I ever look at you like that –

elena-levon-early-photos-hollywood-kurt-andrews-eddie-rouse-philip-dubois-los-angeles-photoshoot-02 RUN! Fast!

And if WE ever look at you like that –


RUN! Faster!



After an incredible photo shoot with one of the photographers, I decided to go for a walk. I felt so light and full of creative high, because I got to work with an absolute genius… I sat on a bench on Plaza de Mayo. My eyes caught a girl running towards her friend, whom it seemed she hasn’t seen a very long time. Hot tears of joy ran down their cheeks, they embraced each other and tears turned into laughter. I haven’t heard such honest laughter in a long time. A child near me was feeding pigeons and sunset was kissing his face. A toothless homeless man was joking with his friends on the grass. I just sat on a bench and watched how these wild, free and unattainable souls, walked, zoomed, smiled, cried and kissed, right by me…

And then, once again, I was in love with this city.

And for a split moment,

I think, it was in love with me too…


The woman behind complications …

The Muse

 The Artiste


The Author