Carlos Gardel

March 4, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Carlos Gardel: Argentina’s beloved tango crooner

Carlos Gardel is by far Argentina’s most famous Tango singer and is a nationally adored figure. They say that if you’re itching to get into a fight with an Argentine, just insult any one of their holy trinity of heroes: Diego Maradona, Evita, or Carlos Gardel.

Carlos Gardel Argentina Icon tango

[Photo credit: Alfredo Davies’ Flickr/ /CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]

Carlos Gardel was born Charles Gardes to single mother Berthe Gardes in Toulouse, France in 1890.  To escape the social stigma of having a child out of wedlock, Berthe migrated to Argentina, claiming to be a widow.  While we take these facts for granted today, Gardel’s origins were something of a mystery for many years: speculators argued over whether he was born in Uruguay, France, or Argentina.  This uncertainty only added to the mystique of the tango legend; similarly foggy are details of his love life and of his death.

Ms. Gardes and son, nicknamed Carlos, settled into the barrio (neighborhood) of Abasto.  As as a child, Carlitos worked in opera houses (Buenos Aires had five at the time, of which the Teatro Colon is the surviving example) organizing props, lifting curtains, and even rousing audiences as a professional applauder.  Inspired by the most important singers of the time, Gardel built his name singing in bars, horse races, and for private parties across Buenos Aires.  He was ultimately launched to fame by the fates of tango when he performed one of the first tango songs known to have lyrics, Mi Noche Triste (My sad night) in 1917.  The recording exploded across the Americas and established Gardel as tango’s original singer.

Gardel toured the world, and began filming movies with Paramount Pictures in Paris.  Fellow Argentine Alfredo Le Pera wrote tango lyrics understandable to a diverse Spanish-speaking audience for the films, breaking with the tradition of writing tangos in lunfardo (the slang dialect of Buenos Aires).  This duo is memorialized in multiple recordings of some of Gardel’s most famous songs, such as Mi Buenos Aires Querido (My dear Buenos Aires). Listen below:

Gardel’s tragic death and memorial

Gardel grave Chacarita

In 1935, Gardel and Le Pera were promoting their newest film, El día que me quieras, when their plane crashed during take-off in Medellín, Colombia.  Neither artist survived.  Gardel’s body was carried across Colombia, by steamboat to New York, Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo, and back to Buenos Aires. Huge street processions met the coffin in each city to mourn the loss of “Carlitos”.

Gardel is buried with his mother, in the Cemetery of Chacarita.  His grave, declared a National Monument by the late President Néstor Kirchner, boasts plaques of memorial from admirers around the world.  Taxi drivers are known pull up next to his grave, play a tango at full blast, and light a cigarette.  When the song is over, the driver places what’s left of the cigarette in the statue’s hand.   Fans also tuck a rose into the statue’s lapel, so Gardel remains ever debonair.  Since his death, Gardel’s memory persists such that there’s even a common saying, “cada día canta mejor”: he sings better every day.  It must be true, since in 2003, UNESCO declared Gardel’s voice to be Patrimony of Mankind.

Abasto: Gardel’s neighborhood

Gardel lyrics Pasaje Zelaya

Carlos Gardel was a true man of the arrabal, meaning a working-class neighborhood on the outskirts of the city.  In his time, Abasto marked the edge of the city, populated mainly by Italian immigrants, and life revolved around a market fair which brought produce from the country to the city.  Eventually, the Mercado del Abasto, a beautiful Art Deco building, was built to house the fair.  Though the building now contains a shopping mall, it’s a stunning jewel in Buenos Aires’s architectural pantheon.  Today, almost everything here is named after Gardel, from streets to cafes, and even newspaper stands boast the name of “El morocho del Abasto” (“The dark one from Abasto”).

Tango fans will find this part of town worth visiting.  Take a stroll down the Pasaje de Zelaya, a short pedestrian walk full of images of Gardel, and song lyrics on the walls and sidewalks.  Two of Buenos Aire’s best alternative theatre spaces are also on this walk: El Cubo and Teatro Ciego, the blind theatre company!  While shows at either of these venues are entirely in Spanish, they sometimes show dance productions or musical (and other sensory) works.

Gardel Abasto Fileteado

Turn the corner onto Jean Juares and enjoy houses decked out in fileteado artwork, the popular decorative art found on shop windows, buses, and sign posts around BA.  After one block you’ll find the Carlos Gardel Museum, which was the singer’s (and his mother’s) home.  The museum shows relics of Carlos’s life, and often hold events and shows.  If you’re lucky, you may stumble upon a tango lesson or music performance!  Then check out the Carlos Gardel pedestrian street, where you’ll find a statue of Gardel, posing under the Abasto’s arches, plus a tourist shop called “Regionales del Abasto”, worth visiting if only for the extraordinary fileteado artwork on the walls, as pictured here.

Note that even the subway stop for this part of the city is named Carlos Gardel.  Luca Prodan, another late Argentine music legend,  also lived in Abasto, and in the song Mañana en el Abasto, he sings about waking up in this ‘hood, sleeping in the abandoned Abasto building in the late 1980’s, then taking the subway from the Carlos Gardel station.

For more information on Gardel, listen to this piece on NPR or read on Rhythm Planet about a chance meeting between Carlos and Frank Sinatra!

Location and hours of Gardel attractions

Chacarita Cemetery:
Avenida Guzman 680 (between Elcano and Federico Lacroze), Chacarita
Sunday – Sunday: 8am to 6pm

Pasaje Zalaya:
Zelaya between Aguero and Jean Juares, Abasto

Carlos Gardel House Museum:
Jean Jaurés 735, between Zelaya and Tucuman, Abasto
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: 11am to 6om
Saturday, Sunday, Holidays: 10am to 7pm
Tuesdays: closed
Entrance fee: $1, Wednesday free

Carlos Gardel Pedestrian Street
Carlos Gardel between Jean Juares and Anchorena, Abasto

Abasto Shopping:
Corrientes 3247, between Aguero & Anchorena, Abasto
Open 10am to 10pm daily

Finding Borges

February 19, 2013 by · 10 Comments 

“A man sets out to draw the world. As the years go by, he peoples a space with images of provinces, kingdoms, mountains, bays, ships, islands, fishes, rooms, instruments, stars, horses, and individuals. A short time before he dies, he discovers that the patient labyrinth of lines traces the lineaments of his own face.” – Jorge Luis Borges

Centro Cultural Borges

Several of Argentina’s icons and leaders have permanent places here in Buenos Aires. The country’s liberator, Don Jose de San Martin, lies in a tomb at the national cathedral, guarded every day by soldiers in historical uniform. The Evita museum pays respect to the life of Argentina’s most famous female figure. Xul Solar, an abstract painter, has 100 of his paintings on display at his former townhouse, now a museum.

The list goes until Jorge Luis Borges, the literary giant who mused about labyrinths, eternity and felines. His short stories and poetry will undoubtedly be read, analyzed and admired for decades. When I flipped through tourist books, nothing notable is mentioned about a Borges museum, or a place dedicated to his legacy. Channeling my inner literary nerd, I sought out to find an homage to Borges.

Borges’ San Telmo Office

A helpful New York Times article on Borges gave me a general outline of places to visit (some places mentioned – like the Confiteria Richmond – unfortunately no longer exist). I first ventured to San Telmo to the former National Library, now the National Center of Music, where Borges served as its director in 1955. Located at Mexico 564, the old National Library seems out of place. The building appears too grand and too big for such a quiet street. When I walked in, the magnificent architecture immediately struck me. A place worthy of Borges!

National LIbrary

My hopes to see Borges’ old office and the library were dashed when the front desk informed me the museum was under renovation until February for a new exhibit. Borges is still very much a part of the building today. From October to December, French artist Christian Boltanski paid tribute to Borges at the library with his “Flying Books,” exhibit, where he suspended hundreds of opened books from the ceiling. Although I didn’t attend, the exhibit gave the building a surreal image.

National Library Inside

Next to the National Library is El Historico, an upscale Argentine restaurant housed in the former building of the Argentine Society of Writers. The restaurant was practically empty for lunch hour in January, which allowed me to look around. Walking through the first doorway on the right, I saw an old plaque of the Society’s board of directors, 1942-1944. A Sr. Jorges Luis Borges is listed a few names down.

Borges Plaque

I walked back to Avenida de Mayo and took the A Line, the oldest subway line in the Southern Hemisphere, which connects to the C line going to Retiro. I got off at Plaza San Martin, which is a short block from one of Borges’ old apartments where he lived intermittently for 40 years. Located at Maipu 994, and closed off to the public, I was only able to take pictures of the outside. The doorman informed me that Borges lived on the sixth floor. I asked if he knew of any places where I could find a good collection of Borges work, and he suggested the Centro Cultural Borges in the Galerias Pacifico mall. I was certain he was fooling me. A Borges center in a shopping mall? With too much time on my hands, I went with low expectations.

Centro Cultural Borges—A Pleasant Surprise

Upon arriving at Galerias Pacifico, bustling shoppers surrounded me on their way to the next high-end clothing store. Ugh. I asked an information desk about this “Centro Borges,” and the receptionist told me to go to the top floor. I continued on, certain I was wasting my Borges afternoon in a packed mall.

Evita

Opened in 2003, the Centro Cultural Borges is an incredibly pleasant surprise. It is the closest place Buenos Aires has to a museum for him. On the top floor of the Galerias Pacifico, which is in a beautiful, French-style building, is the Centro. It’s so quiet I quickly forgot I was in a mall. There’s a room dedicated to the life and work of Borges, and several other rooms that host paintings of famous artists and photographers. Painter Diego Torres currently has a collection of his brilliantly colored paintings of famous women on display (above, Evita). An impressive exhibit of photographs by Tina Modotti occupies another gallery room.

The room dedicated to Borges has a few original pages of the transcript from “The Aleph,” arguably his most famous work. Several of his famous quotes adorn the white plaster walls too. The front page of La Nacion, a respected newspaper, from the day Borges died is framed. He covered nearly the entire page. One wall lists many important Borges places in Buenos Aires – old apartments, offices, cafes he frequented – along with interesting facts. For instance, at his apartment Anchorena 1672, where Borges lived from 1938-43, he wrote the short story “Las Ruinas Circulares.” Although born in an apartment at Tucuman 838, Borges spent his childhood at his grandparents house in Palermo at Serrano 2135, a street that is now named in his honor.

Sitting at Borges’ desk

Jorge Luis Borges

[*Update April 2016 – Unfortunately the bookstore La Ciudad mentioned below has now closed. We are adding this note to save people from a wasted journey, but are leaving the original text below so as not to take away from the article*]

For my last stop, I went back to Calle Maipu to check out La Ciudad bookstore, a place Borges was a regular at, according to the New York Times article. Tucked into a small shopping gallery (the Galeria del Este at Maipu 971), La Ciudad maintains its antique atmosphere very well. A desk covered with old editions of Borges’ work welcomes visitors.

When I walked in, a bookstore clerk suggested I sit at the desk. Worried he thought I was buying a very expensive Borges book, I made it clear I only came to look. The clerk waved off my concern, pulled the chair out and asked me to sit. The old wooden chair wobbled and creaked as I lowered into it. I thought it might break. The clerk pointed to the picture frame on the desk. I looked closely and sure enough, it was an old, frail Borges sitting in the exact same chair. I smiled from ear to ear, completely ecstatic. However small, I felt some connection with him, sitting in his old chair.

Borges Apartment

I began my trek to find an homage to Borges with a simple narrative: there’s got to be one place out there where I can spend the afternoon admiring his work. The architect of literary labyrinths and infinite time probably shook his head at me from his heavenly library. Borges was known for aimlessly strolling around Buenos Aires. With a little imagination, it’s not difficult to picture him walking out of the National Library, La Ciudad or his apartment on Maipu.

In “The Aleph,” he describes an anonymous house on a random corner in the neighborhood of Constitucion where the Aleph resides as, “the only place on earth where all places are.” Such symbolism seems to have carried over from his fiction to his legacy. Infinity, and Borges, can exist anywhere.

Borges’ cosmic literary concepts cannot be held in a museum. Yes, the Centro Cultural Borges does a good job of commemorating his life, but it’s also a platform for other artists. To find Borges, I needed to weave my way through my own labyrinth, not only visiting scheduled places, but asking around, getting lost and discovering the city he loved.

Other places to visit on the Borges trail

  • Cafe Tortoni: oldest cafe in the city. It has a wax statue of Borges sitting in a chair. Located on Avenida de Mayo near the corner of Suipacha.
  • El Preferido: opened in the 1950s, Borges mentions it in one of his poems. Located on the corner of Jorge Luis Borges and Guatemala, it’s become a famous restaurant because of its ties to Borges. The place remains much like it did during Borges time (minus the English menu). It’s the pink building, which dates back to the 19th century.
  • Jorge Luis Borges International Foundation: Run by Borges’ widow, Maria Kodama, the foundation has several of Borges first edition books in several languages. But, you can only visit the foundation by appointment and its hours are 9:30am-2pm daily. Located at Anchorena 1660 in Recoleta.

Map with some Borges locations mentioned in this blog post

Recoleta: Best Cemetery Tour in the World

October 28, 2008 by · 2 Comments 

Recoleta Cemetery with Buenos Tours Best in the World

Great Press For BuenosTours!

As you might have guessed from the less regular of blog posts around here recently, we’ve been working hard giving lots of walking tours around Buenos Aires. And it’s certainly paying off, with some good press coming in from both traditional and modern publishing formats…

This weekend BuenosTours was recommend by the Guardian newspaper (one of the UK’s most widely read dailies) in their article on The Five Best Cemetery Tours, in which they listed BuenosTours and our tour of Recoleta Cemetery (plus surrounding areas) first – I guess making us the best cemetery tour in the world!

If you want to book the “best cemetery tour in the world” with us, click here for more information. The cemetery part of the Recoleta tour is also included in our private day tour of Buenos Aires.

And some Podcasting love too…

But the recommendations don’t stop there. BuenosTours also has fans living in the high-tech age. The podcast guys over at For Whatever Reason yesterday posted up their latest episode, including a long feature on the recent walking tour of Buenos Aires city center they took with us and how much they enjoyed it. Thanks guys! Just to quickly quote a few things they said about the tour in the podcast:

“This walking tour was possibly the best thing that we did on the entire trip”

“A great way to get a feel for everything and learn a lot about the area”

“Most people booked a tour of Buenos Aires, most of them booked a bus tour where they got on a bus and somebody with a loudspeaker talked as they drove through different parts of the city. The tour that we booked was actually a private walking tour and so it was just the tour guide, and me, and Tim… It was wonderful, we had a lot of one-on-one time, or two-on-one time, with him, we could ask questions without feeling like we were interrupting someone else’s tour, we didn’t have other people interrupting what we felt like was our tour, and having been on lots of tour type situations that’s always the case where… you just feel like the experience isn’t what you want it to be, where this was what we wanted it to be, and it was so perfect.”

“He was very knowledgable in history – he had funny stories, he had tragic stories, he had everything inbetween.”

“It gave us a great sense of comfort to walk around the streets… in fact I stopped him about 10 minutes into the tour and said thank you… because this is the first time I have done any kind of international travel… and you’ve helped me realize that this isn’t any different than home, it’s just a different city.”

You can listen to the episode here: For Whatever Reason on BuenosTours (the part about Buenos Aires and BuenosTours starts at about 16 minutes in).

(And stick around to listen to some more of their stuff, because it’s pretty cool, plus they have great radio voices! Also, check out their Buenos Aires photo album on Flickr, with photos from their walking tour, including a couple of rather unfortunate ones of yours truly…)

Finally, you can click here to book the private guided city center walking tour they took!

Now were just waiting on that long-promised Oprah endorsement, and we’re all set… 😉

[Second photo credit: Javier Kohen @ Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0]

Argentina Flag Day

June 18, 2008 by · 5 Comments 

Every Day Should Be A Holiday?

In Argentina, every day really is a holiday. Of sorts. But there are so many national holidays and assorted celebratory days here, that it’s not far from the truth. In Argentina, it seems, every dog has his day, or feriado. From conventional days like Love Day (Dia del Amor, 14th November) and National Tango Day (Dia Nacional del Tango, 11th December), to wild and wacky ones like Train Tracks day (Dia del Riel, 18th July) and Day of the Noodle Maker (Dia del Obrero Fideero, 22nd May), they’re all here.

Yes, it’s “National Flag of Argentina Day”

Pigeons in Plaza de Mayo enjoying the Argentine Flag
Argentine Pigeons are fiercely patriotic

Still, the streets are deadly quiet on the 20th June, as per most national holidays here. Everyone has the day off for Dia de la Bandera (National Flag Day, in Argentina), which always gets put on the third Monday of June, so that we can all enjoy a long weekend. Read on to learn a little more about the Argentine National Flag.

Manuel Belgrano, Creator of the National Flag of Argentina

Manuel Belgrano created the national flag of Argentina

Manuel Belgrano, born Manuel José Joaquín del Corazón de Jesús Belgrano, lived up to the grandiosity of his name. Born in Buenos Aires, Belgrano went on to be a successful lawyer, politician, economist. Belgrano was indeed a man of many talents, and national flag designing is just one of his many legacies.

His many accomplishments landed him a spot on the Argentine 10 peso note, an honor of great distinction.

Manuel Belgrano, how we love to spend you so...

Belgrano and the Dia de la Bandera de Argentina

Most importantly of all, Belgrano was a commander in the Argentine Wars of Independence, making himself a national hero in the process. It was during this time, in 1812, that Belgrano created the national flag of Argentina, for his troops to fight under.

Belgrano later died of dropsy on June 20th, 1820, which is why we celebrate the Dia de la Bandera here in Argentina on the anniversary of his death each year. Except of course, that the date is changed slightly to allow for a lazy long weekend. Manuel surely doesn’t mind.

Pablo at D for Disorientation also has a couple of great posts on Flag Day too, from the perspective of a Rosarino (Rosario being where Belgrano first hoisted his newly designed flag back in 1812).

BA Insider Magazine

September 30, 2007 by · 1 Comment 

The Who, What, When, How, Why & Where of Living in Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires Insider Magazine

Note – BA Insider is no longer going to press, but you can still visit their website to check out their archives and old editions of the magazine

If you are looking for some inside info on things to do in the city of Buenos Aires, check out  BA Insider magazine, an excellent little publication with up to date listings and suggestions for great places in Buenos Aires to eat, drink, explore, buy stuff and so on, mixed in with helpful hints and tips for expats living in Buenos Aires.

Alternative activities in Buenos Aires

Despite it being aimed at the expat crowd, and written with the idea of providing more ‘real’ alternatives to usual tourist haunts here, BA Insider should still be of interest to short-term visitors to Buenos Aires, who are perhaps looking to avoid those kinds of places too. For instance, each edition boasts a ‘neighborhood guide’ which will help you to explore off-the-map places like Barrio Chino (China Town).

Buenos Aires definitely calls out for a frequent and regularly published guide, so that people can get up to date listings and info on events in the city, and not have to rely on the potentially out of date information found in their guidebooks… so, help support BA Insider Magazine now, and hopefully the sleek and beautifully designed magazines will come out more often than the current bi-monthly schedule.

Hard copies are available in kiosks around the city, or you can browse the PDF versions on the BA Insider website, although it might be easier to email insider@bainsidermag.com for info on how to get hold of one.

I hate Buenos Aires when…

July 18, 2007 by · 19 Comments 

Sometimes Buenos Aires can be a bitch

Diva specifically requested that this photo wasn't rotated

With great honor, Diva, of Buenos Aires Through My Eyes (AKA Bitchtours) fame, is welcomed to the blog as a guest poster. She loves Buenos Aires, but sometimes, like all cities, it has its annoyances…

1. I order a dish from a menu and they don’t have it

This is not something unusual here, even in fancy restaurants. You spent 10 minutes deciding what you’re gonna have and when you order the waiter gives you this look like you’ve pronounced a forbidden word and then says: “I’ll check if we have that”.

How come? It’s on the menu, the only thing I would eat right now is that damn dish and you don’t have it? Give me a break.

2. I buy something in a kiosk and they give me candy instead of change because they don’t have coins

Mr. or Mrs. kiosk: I’m buying a pack of Lucky Strikes and a diet coke, do you think I really want candy? Maybe we should do what a friend suggested the other day: Keep all the candy in a jar and then try to buy my cigarettes with them.

3. The taxi driver tells me that he doesn’t know the street I’m trying to get

Taxi driver: Corrientes and Anchorena? Hmmm… I’m not sure where that is.

Me: That’s the Abasto.

Taxi driver: Abasto? Is that the place where there are horse races? Excuse me, but I’ve been driving this taxi cab just for 3 days and I don’t know the city very well…

That’s the oldest trick in the world, dude, at least in Buenos Aires. I know what you are doing. You are testing if I know where I’m going. I do know, and I also know the fastest way to get there so cut the crap and drive.

And then you are going to tell me that you’ve just started your shift so you don’t have any change. Don’t worry, I have lots of candy…

4. The TV in the subways

Oh my god, that’s annoying. Maybe you are visiting and you don’t have to take the subway like most of the locals do (anyway you won’t escape from the taxi drivers). They have these TVs all over the place repeating the same crap every 5 minutes. From stupid music videos to political propaganda, from fashion shows to a coach teaching people how they should dress in order to get a job. All kinds of uninteresting programs that last 30 seconds.

I would get a taxi cab if it wasn’t that they probably won’t know the address I’m going to.

5. Bad graffiti

Hey you, the guy that paints the walls in such a messy and ugly way: If you are going to damage private property, at least do it with some class. Haven’t you seen all those wonderful stencils around Buenos Aires? Those guys try to add something to the world, they carefully design what they are going to paint. What you do is just stupid. I hope the police caught you while you are damaging another wall. If you have things to say, go get a therapist, because nobody wants to know what you have to say.

And that’s it. I could go on and on, but this is not my blog so…

About me: Buenos Aires Through My Eyes

Dear readers, what do you hate about Buenos Aires?

Argentina’s talent to wane against Brazil?

July 15, 2007 by · 1 Comment 

A little South American football rivalry

Later today (Sunday July 15th, 2007), Argentina will take on Brazil in the final of the Copa America – the most important national football (that’s soccer, to all you Yanquis) team tournament in the Americas (team news here). As you might have guessed, there is something of a futbol rivalry between Argentina and Brazil. In fact, in the past things have got so heated that the two countries have even resorted to humorous advert warfare

Back in 2004, Brazil beat Argentina 3 – 1 in a World Cup qualifier, and shortly after, Tulipan, an Argentine condom manufacturer that puts out consistently funny and clever ad campaigns, came out with this provocative billboard of typographical genius:

Watch out, Argentina are coming for you, Brazil!
“WE’RE ALREADY PLANNING THE REVENGE”
(Ya estamos pensando en la revancha)

I don’t think I need to spell out exactly what Tulipan claimed Argentina would do to Brazil in their next match!

Not to be outdone, neither on the pitch nor in creative use of typography, the Brazilian football organization responded with the following ad:

Or maybe Argentina will get stage fright once more against Brazil?
“IT WASN’T THE FIRST TIME. AND IT WON’T BE THE LAST”
(No fue la primera vez. Tampoco la ultima)

Wow. Great comeback!

Vamos, Vamos, Argentina…

Anyway, Argentina have been playing great football pretty much throughout the Copa America (check out Messi’s fantastic goal against Mexico in the video below), so let’s just hope they can keep it up (ahem) this time against Brazil in the final.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdinFoS3cH8

Buenos Aires – The City that Fades Away

July 3, 2007 by · 3 Comments 

Abandoned buildings in Buenos Aires, and the past stories they hold

Jeff Barry, over at  Buenos Aires, City of Faded Elegance, has started what should be a very interesting series of posts about deteriorating and abandoned buildings in Buenos Aires.

He started the series with a post about an abandoned building on calle Bolivar in the barrio of Barracas, and tells an interesting story about the lives that would have once been led in crumbling buildings like these. It really is this type of deteriorating building and the stories within that gives a city like Buenos Aires authenticity and an interesting edge – we would be far worse off without these reminders of days gone by.

Jeff then invited other bloggers to join in the series by posting their own pictures of abandoned or deteriorating buildings in Buenos Aires, or indeed anywhere else. Tango Cherie has posted her own thoughts on run-down buildings in Havana, Cuba, that are in fact still very much lived in, despite their state of disrepair.

Joining in with the series, so here is a new photo entry:

Abandoned building on calle Alsina, Monserrat

Abandoned building on calle Alsina in Monserrat, Buenos Aires

This building is found on the 400 block of Alsina, just across the street from a favorite old cafes in Buenos Aires, La Puerto Rico (great coffee and pastries). It is also just a block away from Plaza de Mayo, so you would imagine it would be a prime location. However, despite that, it has been in more or less the same horrible condition over the past few years, the only changes being the extra foliage growing on its walls, the changing state of its crumbling old facade, and the different fly posters that adorn its boardings each week.

Some similar buildings further down the block (on the corner opposite the lovely old Farmacia de La Estrella and above that the Buenos Aires city museum) have a sign on them indicating that the Buenos Aires city government is planning to renovate them and create shop space on the ground floors – however it seems that the separate building shown in my photo might be ignored for a while yet. We’ll see…

***As of November 2009, this building’s facade HAS IN FACT BEEN RENOVATED by the Buenos Aires city goverment!***

[mappress]

Buenos Aires Expats – which are you?

July 2, 2007 by · 4 Comments 

Expat Life in Buenos Aires

A fun Buenos Aires blog called Exnat is well worth a read if you think you might be interested in “the existential crises of an expat in Buenos Aires at the beginning of the 21st Century”.

If you are more specifically interested in stereotypes, it seems Nathan is too – he, and his team of expert, expat researchers (i.e. anyone that comments on his blog), are putting together a list of the different types of expats, using generous helpings of stereotypical generalization as their main source of power.

So why not go over and contribute to this list of expat archetypes, and while you’re at it, stay around to read some more interesting expat commentary.

beer expat

[Picture credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/blmurch/2150088956/sizes/m/in/photostreamCC BY 2.0 ]

Buenos Aires Videos

June 15, 2007 by · 8 Comments 

Some Cool Online Videos Shot Around Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires Videos from Geobeats

For an inside look at the city of Buenos Aires, check out these online videos for many different travel destinations around the world, all compliled on a website called Geobeats. They have an excellent video section on Buenos Aires, with many videos from around the more famous barrios of Buenos Aires, including spots on hotels, restaurants and museums. All of the videos of Buenos Aires are very professionally done and pretty informative. There is only so much of an idea you can get about Buenos Aires or Argentina from the text and photos, so before you take the plunge and come visit, use the videos as a preview.

Standout Videos of Buenos Aires from Geobeats

Start out by screening a few of the more impressive visuals in Buenos Aires:

MALBA, in Palermo

The fantastic Museo de Arte Latinamerico en Buenos Aires:

El Ateneo, in Recoleta

The biggest bookstore in Latin America:

Confiteria Las Violetas, in Almagro

A stunning cafe with top-notch pastries:

Enjoy those videos of Buenos Aires! (and check out some more over at Geobeats when you can)

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