We had bought the apartment almost two years' previous, and begun the renovation process (long distance from Austin, Texas) in July 2007. A long punch list remained, but the critical elements were done: new wiring and plumbing installed, all woodwork stripped and refinished, original parquet floors polished, walls plastered and painted, kitchen and bath gutted and new fixtures and accessories installed.
Our first month here has been a mix of paperwork and housework. Finalizing the residency papers, delivering required documents to the customs broker for our modest shipment of mainly photo albums and personal effects, ordering new furniture, overseeing installation of the heating and cooling device, cleaning up excess grout and similar renovation detritus, polishing doorknobs and plates that some said were beyond such attention, and much more.
But we've also had time to enjoy some of the many amenities of Buenos Aires. Free concerts by the national symphony at the Law School, a 20-minute walk away, and by guitar and organ maestros at the metropolitan cathedral, a short subway ride from the apartment. Not to mention great food, marvelous and inexpensive wines, and the architectural richness that abounds. We are more convinced than ever that the decision to escape to Buenos Aires was a good one.