Buenos Aires to London by bus?

June 14, 2007 by · 2 Comments 

That’ll be a return bus ticket from Palermo to Islington please…

Red London bus in the Palermo parks, Buenos Aires

Fear not, you didn’t miss the news about a new transatlantic bridge from Argentina to England. Let’s face it, structural considerations aside, it’ll never happen.

So, if there isn’t a running bus route from Palermo to Islington, then what’s a traditional old red double-decker London bus doing in Palermo, Buenos Aires, of all places? Read on…

No one knows!

After a quick phone call to the cellphone number posted on the side of the bus (it’s for sale), no details have been revealed. The man on the other end of the line recounts that the bus has been in Buenos Aires for many years, since before he joined the company that’s now selling it. Other than that, he didn’t know too much about it’s background). It was uncovered that during its time in Buenos Aires, the bus has mostly been used for filming adverts or movies that need to look like they are set in London, and for other assorted events.

London Bus for Sale in Buenos Aires

In fact, it will cost you a pretty peso if you wish to purchase this fine specimen of British automotive history. The bus is listed as 110,000 pesos (about US$37,000, or approximately 18,500 of the Queen’s British Pounds), and you can drive it away today. Just think of the fun you could have racing it against the crazy colectivos in Buenos Aires.

UPDATE: If there really are any interested parties out there, you’re out of luck. **The bus is no longer there, and it appears that it has been sold.**

Buenos Aires: 6th Hottest Cultural Center

January 12, 2007 by · 8 Comments 

Sizzling Buenos Aires

Floralis Generica, Buenos Aires

Stan Stalnaker’s website Hub Culture has come up with a ‘2007 Zeitgeist Ranking’ for world cities, and our own Buenos Aires put in a respectable performance, sliding in at number 6.

The website states that Buenos Aires is…

“So hot! The Argentinian financial crisis has faded, but the incredible value of Argentina as a destination remains. This is fueling a buying boom in urban real estate as Europeans and North Americans establish summer homes and secondary residences here. Business remains slow, but BA is the hot spot of Latin America. Panama and Sao Paolo have heat, but BA sizzles. It’s the hottest “second city” in the world.”

The idea that a lot of rich North Americans and Europeans are buying property in BA because it is cheap to do so is not exactly something that makes for a cultural center, but the ranking speaks for itself. It is more likely that the slightly less well off natives and skint expats are using their creativity to make Buenos Aires a ‘hot cultural center’. Etiher way, getting this kind of ‘award’ has to be good PR for Buenos Aires, and is therefore not to be sniffed at.

Center of the Cultural Universe?

To get a little more idea about why Buenos Aires placed where it did, it is worth it to listen Stalnaker, the man behind the list:

“The idea behind the hub ranking is that at certain times in certain places, there is a veritable ‘center of the universe’ – a place where innovation, change and vibe combine to create the place of the moment. “The rankings are not about overt power or coolness, but that certain something that makes a place hot, on the verge, and really the place to be right now. It’s the place that later, everyone wishes they were at“.

That sounds a little better.

For a more concrete idea of why Buenos Aires is seen as hot right now, this Newsweek article provides an interesting picture of BA: The Capital of Cool.

And readers, what do you think makes Buenos Aires such a ‘hot cultural destination’? Please feel free to comment below…

[Top photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stuckincustoms/4007754192/ / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0]

Buenos Aires > Local Life, History and Culture > CultureBuenos Aires: 6th Hottest Cultural Center

Argentina Stereotypes

December 1, 2006 by · 17 Comments 

Argentina Stereotypes – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

mates stereotypes

Argentina, as a nation, is not overly concerned with being politically correct. If you have been here long enough, you start to realize that generalizing and categorizing are part of daily life in Buenos Aires. Although some may disagree, on occasion stereotypes are important generalizations, and it is only by generalizing the specifics of the world that human beings can continue to have constructive conversations.

Of course, stereotypes aren’t always true (sometimes quite the opposite) or helpful. But it is a fact that they are there. Sometimes they can even be funny, especially if accepted by the nation itself.

So here is a top 10 of supposed Argentine Stereotypes (more specifically regarding Buenos Aires), some accepted, some not:

The ‘Good’

  • The excellent beef and malbec wine
  • Everyone here loves Mate, and the whole ceremony around it
  • The people are very warm and friendly
  • The women are beautiful
  • A cultured society – interested in theater, literature, art etc

The ‘Bad’

  • Cheating at football (and then boasting about it)
  • Lazy – things taking a long time to get done
  • Vain and a little arrogant
  • Love a good disruptive protest

The ‘Ugly’

  • Mullets and 1980s music / fashion

Your Suggestions for Argentine Stereotypes?

No one is saying that any of the above are right or wrong. Just that they are widely circulated stereotypes. What are your views on these Argentine stereotypes? Please leave your comments below.

Can you think of any more common stereotypes about Argentina or Buenos Aires, good or bad? Again, please leave your suggestions as comments.

[Top picture caption: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pipistrula/53609363/sizes/m/in/photostream/ CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 ]

Buenos Aires – my, haven’t you grown!

November 22, 2006 by · 3 Comments 

Buenos Aires History

For those that have a penchant for the history of this great city, Google has recently announced that the latest release of their ‘Google Earth’ maps program has gone ‘4D’, by adding an interesting choice of new dimension – the past, as noted here in Spanish, and here in English. They have done so by adding old maps of certain cities as ‘layers’ over the satellite maps of the earth, so that you can compare past and present.

Luckily enough, Buenos Aires, Argentina is one of the historical maps included, with a version from 1892 being viewable over the current real-life BA:

Buenos Aires Map in 1892

Check it out by downloading the latest (free) version of Google Earth and installing it. To use this cool feature, go to the Layers panel on the bottom left, expand ‘Featured Content’, and then ‘Rumsey Historical Maps’, and select ‘Buenos Aires 1892’, to see how much the city of Buenos Aires has grown since 1892 – look at all that green space! 🙂

Fans of the history of Buenos Aires would do well to also check out Buenos Aires expat blogger Robert Wright’s excellent website, Line of Sight.

Argentina map

[Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thejourney1972/2663602520/sizes/m/in/photostream/ cc BY 2.0]

Buenos Aires Online Resources

October 24, 2006 by · 4 Comments 

For those of you that stumble upon my Buenos Aires blog out there in cyberspace, and can’t find the information you wanted, here are a few other online resources you may find useful…

computer and mate

Wikipedia

Always a good one if you are looking for factual information about the city, is Wikipedia Buenos Aires. The great thing about Wikipedia of course, is that if you don’t agree with something, or see an area missing that you know all about, then you can edit it yourself for the good of everyone. And don’t just stop after looking at the Buenos Aires page – there are many other interesting Wiki pages related to Buenos Aires, including the extremely thorough Argentina page, pieces on barrios such as Recoleta and Palermo, and this great article on Admiral William (Guillermo) Brown, the Irish-born seadog that effectively founded the Argentine navy!

If you really want to help out, you can also sign up to the Wikiproject Argentina page and start contributing to items on the ‘things to do’ list.

Other Online BA Resources

The Buenos Aires Government Tourism website weighs in with some very useful info and rescources too. They have some really good self guided tours, in text and audio formats, and lists of events etc that are going on in the city.

This guy has a nice page on nightlife in Buenos Aires. I would recommend checking it out when planning that night on the tiles in BA. And when we say night on the tiles here in Buenos Aires, we mean the whole night! Most Argentines actually only go out to clubs the same time that they would be closing back in my land of birth, the UK.

Of course, forums are a good place to ask difficult questions about Buenos Aires, and be assured of a rapid response from people that are in the know. The most active Buenos Aires forum is probably the one over at Tripadvisor.

The BA Blogospshere

Bloggers from BA also know A LOT about the the city. They probably wouldn’t have started a blog about their life in the city otherwise. Bloggers in Argentina has an almost comprehensive list of Buenos Aires and Argentina blogs for you to wade through. And don’t forget to ask us bloggers questions – we don’t bite!

Maps of Buenos Aires

Last, and certainly not least, there are the all important maps. Vital to finding your way around the city. But i’m not just talking about any old kind of maps here…I’m talking INTERACTIVE MAPS OF BUENOS AIRES! Dalton, over at “Oh! Buenos Aires”, has used his technological knowhow to produce some great ‘mash-ups’ (as we internet geeks call them) of maps for Buenos Aires, using Google Earth Maps and MSN Live Local Maps. Thus he has created a virtual tour of the sights of Buenos Aires, and something similar in more traditional map format. Check them out!

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