Saturday, May 21, 2016

A Look, Taste, + Feel of Buenos Aires, Argentina

a fountain in a Palermo park
Buenos Aires, with her gigantic open green spaces and beautiful architecture, reminds one more of a European capital than any South American city; most of which are best viewed by the blind.

The Palermo area contains vast, well kept parks featuring small lakes, towering sculptures, rose gardens, huge old trees, and as much space as you dream of for outdoor dance classes, rollerblading, running, and cycling alike.
The nearby Japanese gardens, zoo, and casino are additions denizens of Baires consider themselves fortunate to have. (well, perhaps not the casino)
I pedal a bicycle past the parks and embassies down Avenida del Libertador, a street as wide as most oceans but taking longer to cross.
the beautiful parks of Palermo

obelisk, Buenos Aires (BA)
I stop and gaze obligatorily at the Obelisk, an Argentinian national monument, whose phallic shape was once covered by a giant pink condom to commemorate World AIDS day in 2005.

the National Theater- architecture reminds me of the Swedish Royal palace
Casa Rosado

The buildings in the city's center are quite pleasing to the eye, and smaller parks continue to populate the avenues as I veer off to search for Casa Rosado, the executive mansion and office of the President of Argentina.
Nearby, tourists crowd around to watch the changing of the guard, and veterans stage a small rally so that their contributions (and minimal monthly benefits) are not forgotten.
changing of the guard

monuments + nice architecture of Buenos Aires

I ride through a green light, a car screeches it's brakes, skidding to a stop, nearly plowing into me, in an what was no doubt an effort to help the Portenyos (denizens of Baires) keep their long-held crown as the world's most asshole drivers. Rest assured they're in no danger of losing their grip on the title any time soon. 

Prices in Argentina, and specifically Buenos Aires, are far higher than the rest of South America. Aside of rent, the city is almost on par with Los Angeles. Most people here struggle to make ends meet, and with corrupt politicians on both sides of the aisle combined with high inflation, it's no wonder there is so much political unrest. No one, not even the wealthy, have any faith in the system. 
a gay restaurant in San Telmo . What gave it away Rich?
The one uniting factor is soccer, the nation's passion. 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, "futbol" plays on TV. If not a game from Argentina, then Europe, or even Asia. Cafes and restaurants caught showing something else instantly lose their business licenses.
the streets of San Telmo
I stop by an expansive outdoor weekend market in San Telmo which covering several blocks, vendors and artisans hawking their wares hoping to attract, well, tourists like me. I become entranced with a sculpture of a tree branch, a hummingbird and butterfly adorning the wooden flowers. I purchase the exquisite piece for $100, without a word's negotiation.

The streets are alive, from outdoor asado (barbecue) restaurants which are of excellent value for the carnivores here, to outdoor dancing, both tango and rave.
No matter how dark or late it might seem, the truth is, it's still early. Argentinians normally start their weekends with a dinner at 10 or 11 PM and regularly stay out until dawn. They think I'm kidding when I tell them the last movies of the day start playing at 8 PM in Santa Barbara.
"Movies start at 1:30 AM here all the time," comes back the retort ... Good thing high quality coffee is sold on every corner.
So, yes, Buenos Aires is definitely worth the visit, with tons to see and do, streets alive with energy, and plenty of places to simply relax and watch the world go by. It's also far safer than most South American cities; provided you stay off the roads.
A taste of Argentine culture- the streets of Buenos Aires


Follow us + like us on Facebook as well --