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La Poesía – A Great Place to Read, Drink and Relax

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Classic: Read some Borges at La Poesía

With its shelves stacked with books, soda bottles and photographs from years past, La Poesía is a bar beautiful enough to truly deserve its name.

La Poesia

The café was originally opened in 1982, to celebrate the end of the military dictatorship and provide a place for Buenos Aires’ intellectuals, authors and poets to congregate and discuss their renascent democracy. It was immediately popular, especially known for its sessions of Poesía Lunfarda, but the bar was closed after just six years. In 2008, the same couple who own Bar Federal restored the Poseía to life and helped reestablish it as a staple of the San Telmo scene.

I was in the place all the time, usually with a book. It has an atmosphere conducive to reading, with tango music playing softly in the background and a good selection of drinks. Unfortunately, the wait staff isn’t always the friendliest. One girl in particular always greeted my arrival with a frown and an attitude; I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what I’d done to her. And once, a waitress directed me to a table with a power outlet, watched me set up my computer, provided me with the Wifi code, then took my order. The internet didn’t work and when I pointed that out, she was like, “Yeah. It’s been out all day”. But, couldn’t you tell I wanted to use it? I even asked you for the access key! “Yeah. Well, you never asked me if the internet worked“.

Regardless of the occasionally brusque service, there’s plenty to enjoy at La Poesía. Leave your computer at home, and take a book. A book of poetry, if you must.

La Poesía
Chile 502
Location on our Buenos Aires Map
Coffee Culture

Bar Notable
Books Poesia
Cans
Cooking Cook
Facturas Buenos Aires
Salami Buenos Aires
Side Eye
Malinesa Sandwich Poesia
Cafe Con Leche
Hotels San Telmo
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May 3, 2011 at 8:48 pm Comments (2)

The National History Museum & Lezama Park

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The biggest park in San Telmo is Lezama, a giant green hill which fills up on weekends with sun-bathers, mate drinkers and chess players, along with some market stands. The park also is home to the Museo Histórico Nacional.

Pedro De Mendoza

Eager to deepen our understanding of Argentine history, we visited the museum on one of our first days in Buenos Aires. It’s small. We were done in less than 20 minutes and didn’t learn much about Argentina’s history. I was expecting a primer in the country’s story, exhibits about the key points in Argentina’s development, but it was nothing like that.

That’s not to say it was a disappointment. At one peso, the museum is basically free and boasts some extraordinary pieces of art, including giant canvasses of Argentina’s revolutionary army, and portraits of its presidents. The collection of artwork and objects might resonate more with Argentinians already familiar with the stories, than with foreigners.

Parque Lezama itself is awash in history. It’s here that Pedro de Mendoza founded the city, way back in 1536, and the explorer is honored in the park with an impressive monument. Today, Lezama is a typically porteño mix of beauty and destitution. The colorful amphitheater on the park’s northern side serves mainly as a clubhouse/bathroom/shelter for homeless people, and a lovely path lined with statues is kept strictly protected bars.

Sunny weekends are the time to visit Lezama. Bring a blanket, your matecito, and (if you really want to emulate porteños) somebody to make out with, and enjoy one of the coolest chill-out spots in the city.

Location of Parque Lezama on our BA Map
Everything you need to book your vacation

Lezama Park
Museo Historico Buenos Aires
Lion San Telmo
Lezama Mueseum
Bells Buenos Aires
Crazy Bird
Lezama
Protected
Naked Lady Run
Romulus-and-Remus
Sol Buenos Aires
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April 26, 2011 at 9:52 pm Comments (0)

Metropolitan Buenos Aires

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Go Digital with your Photography

Metropolis Buenos Aires

Groups of shouting Brazilians, skyscraper window cleaners, gallery-worthy graffiti, costumed kings and queens roaming the streets… you never know what picture opportunities are going to present themselves when you step out. Now that fall has begun, Buenos Aires has changed a little. Kids are back to school, and people are back to work… luckily for us, the city’s compelling beauty stays the same!

Art Buenos Aires
Abstract Buenos Aires
1887 Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires Hipster
Casa Catalan
Paradise Bird Argentina
Crying Prince
Fight Buenos Aires
Wine Festival Buenos Aires
Jean Claude Van Damm
Panda Art
Opera Building Society
Hoe Does Good Look Like?
Kiosco Buenos Aires
Laundry Buenos Aires
Magic Buenos Aires
Mirror Dude
Naked Woman
Oldmobile Buenos Aires
Pirate House Buenos Aires
World Cup Brazil
Posing Argentina
Plaza Italia
Republica San Telmo
Scary Graffiti
Trapped Bears
Teatro Buenos Aires
Sunset Buenos Aires

Learn about Modern Art

Mafalda San Telmo
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March 19, 2011 at 11:54 pm Comments (6)

San Telmo’s Sunday Antiques Market

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How to Buy and Sell Antiques

On any day of the week, San Telmo is the best spot in Buenos Aires to go antiques-hunting. Dealers hawk everything from chandeliers to ancient books in shops which blanket the neighborhood. But the Sunday antiques market in Plaza Dorrego has become a phenomenon; all San Telmo comes out to party along with thousands of visitors in a celebration of curbside capitalism.

San Telmo Market Fair

Walking around the antique vendors’ stalls in Plaza Dorrego is a treat, even if you’re not planning on purchasing anything. Old soda bottles, copper cookware, matecitos, vintage telephones and collector matchboxes are just some of the treasures on offer. The prices are fairly high, but the quality is top-notch. Because there are more antique dealers in San Telmo than stalls at the market, a weekly lottery determines who gets the right to set up shop. Organizers are strict about their rules, which dictate that all actually be antiques, and that the owners be physically present at the stands.

The antique dealers are confined to the plaza, but shopping continues for at least six blocks down Calle Defensa, where artisans and craft-workers hock on the curb to sell their wares. We’ve found a number of great gifts here, including a hand-crafted teddy bear for a niece and individually designed t-shirts. And the prices are so good, you’d feel guilty about haggling. Tango bands play on the corners, and everyone’s hanging out and talking, drinking mate and bumping into friends.

Proceedings become more festive as the sun goes down and a group of bongo-drummers begins to parade up and down Defensa, encouraging onlookers to join in. I must not have any Brazilian blood in me, because I’ll never understand the whole bongo thing. Anyone can play bongo drums, and sound somewhat competent. You don’t actually need dreadlocks. But it doesn’t matter that bongos are relatively ridiculous, because man do the girls love them! Once those rhythms start, control goes out the window. So, guys, if you really want to impress the ladies, forget nice clothes and expensive cologne. Just grab a bongo drum, skip the shower, and throw on a ratty Bob Marley t-shirt.

Meters from the makeshift parade, a popular milonga gets underway around 9pm in the plaza. With great music and an ample floor filled with dancers of all skill levels, it’s the perfect place to show off your tango moves.

Plaza Dorrego on our Buenos Aires Map
Great Hostels in Buenos Aires

Soda Bottles
House Numbers
Pink Phone
Pink Silver
Angel San Telmo
Antique Market
Hang Girl
Argentina Pharmacy
Argentinian Bull
Bombillas
Boxing Gloves
COCK Fight
Foxes
Match Boxes
Pillow Angel
Pots and Pans
Sugar Spoon
Watches
Wooden Shoe
Tango San Telmo
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March 17, 2011 at 1:20 pm Comments (6)

Hotel in San Telmo: Babel

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Buenos Aires Travel Guides

Hotel Babel

We walk down Calle Balcarce all the time, and have often noticed the colorful sign of Hotel Babel. After doing some research, I’ve decided this is the hotel that I would choose for a short stay in San Telmo. Not necessarily For 91 Days… for a longer stay, it’s better to rent an apartment!

Hotel Babel is perfectly located on a quiet street parallel to La Defensa (where San Telmo’s Sunday fair takes place) and just a few minutes away from Plaza Dorrego, the neighborhood’s heart. Many of BA’s main attractions can be reached by foot and the location is well communicated by bus lines, at the nearby Paseo Colón.

A short walk also takes you to Puerto Madero and Costañera Sur nature reserve… perfect to jog off the extra pounds you might gained while gorging yourself on steaks, pizza, pasta and that famous porteño ice cream.

And Hotel Babel receives an extra thumbs-up for letting pets stay free!

More info about the hotel:

  • 24 hour security
  • Free Wifi
  • 24 hour Bar and Room Service
  • Safety Deposit Boxes
  • Laundry Service
  • Airport Transfers (In/Out)

Link: Book Hotel Babel here
Location of Hotel Babel on our Buenos Aires Map

Babel Buenos Aires
Hotel San Telmo
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March 16, 2011 at 8:30 pm Comment (1)

The Face of Argentina

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Music from Buenos Aires

The Face of Argentina

Allow me to introduce Juan Carlos Balvidares, the “Caminante Argentino”, who’s been around the world, sharing his music beyond the borders of his native land. We met him in front of the Recoleta Cemetery, where he was performing. Finding out that I’m from Germany, he told me that he’s been there and also walked across the rest of the world, making money by playing his original songs on the streets. Usually, you can find him in front of the cemetery, but on Sundays you might run into him at the Antique Market in San Telmo. Visit his site to hear some of his music. And if you run into him on the streets, strike up a conversation! He’s more than happy to share his stories.

And here are some more random Buenos Aires pictures:

Buenos Aires Tower
Alley Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires Street Art
Face of Buenos Aires
Che
Court Yard Jungle
San Telmo Secret
Wind Buenos Aires
Parking Buenos Aires
Old Timer
Old Timer Buenos Aires
Not Trusting
Drink And Drive
Twin Workers
Prison Store
San Telmo
Happy Cloud
Indian Restaurant Buenos Aires
Tiles Buenos Aires
Weird Art Buenos Aires
Bar San Telmo
Flower Power
Fresh Juice
Kiosk Boy
Woman For Sale
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March 8, 2011 at 6:57 pm Comments (0)

Sebastián Rivas of Amici Miei

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Incredible Pasta Recipes

One of San Telmo’s most popular spots is Italian restaurant Amici Miei, where tourists and locals congregate in equal numbers to enjoy handmade pasta and a balcony view over Plaza Dorrego. We recently got to meet its owner and top chef, Sebastián Rivas.

Sebastian Rivas Proia

Sebastián perfected the art of Italian cooking while living and working in Parma, and decided to open his own restaurant upon returning to Argentina. He was lucky to find an excellent space in San Telmo. Four years ago, when the restaurant opened, San Telmo wasn’t all that touristy or popular, and Amici Miei has benefited greatly from the neighborhood’s recent resurgence. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the restaurant’s classically elaborated pasta, made with imported Italian products and served with a modern flair, is excellent.

The restaurant itself is unpretentious, adorned with a few paintings from local artists, and with perfect light spilling through the windows during the evening hours. An open window into the kitchen permits observation of the cooks stretching, pulling and cutting the pasta. Sebastián invited us inside, so we could watch him throw together some of his signature dishes, such as black truffle risotto with mushroom sauce. We had a few spoonfuls — it was unbelievable, and I kept waiting for him to leave us alone in the kitchen, so I could shovel the entire bowl into my mouth.

The plates he prepared were all classic Italian recipes with unique touches. For example, he serves the rotolo, a traditional rolled-up pasta, with three kinds of basil: fried, dried and liquefied. This fusion of the time-honored and modern is what Sebastián aims for at Amici Miei, along with a friendly atmosphere (the restaurant’s name means “My Friends”). He comes out of the kitchen to visit with guests, and there’s often live music on weekend nights.

Many of the restaurants on Plaza Dorrego are tourist traps, leeching off the popular Sunday flea market, but Amici Miei certainly isn’t one of those. Watching Sebastián at work in his kitchen was a fun experience; with a small staff and a head chef who’s clearly intent on serving high-quality food, this restaurant is worth a look.

Amici Miei’s Website
Defensa 1040
Tel: 11.4362.5562 (Reservations recommended on weekends)
Location on our Buenos Aires Restaurant Map

Amici Miei
Balcony Dining Buenos Aires
High Cuisine Buenos Aires
Restaurant Buenos Aires
Pasta Dough
Ravioli
Buenos Aires Kitchen
Fried Parmesan
Chef San Telmo
Parmasan Flan
Italian Haute Cuisine
Best Pasta Buenos Aires
Redondo Setas
Redondo
Truffle Risotto
Haute Cuisine Dessert

Great Restaurants in Savannah, USA

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March 7, 2011 at 2:58 pm Comments (2)

San Telmo Loft – Central, Stylish and Easy

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Finding an extended-stay accommodation in a city you’ve never visited can be frustrating, scary and dangerous. Without first-hand knowledge of the city, and unable to physically meet landlords or view apartments, putting money down for a security deposit is little more than a leap of faith. So finding people like Angela and John, who run San Telmo Loft, is a relief.

Short Term Rental Buenos Aires

They’re Americans from Louisiana who have been living in Buenos Aires for the past few years. Angela’s spent most of her adult life traveling the world, from Italy to Egypt and now Argentina. They’ve settled down, and begun renting apartments for short or medium-term leases in the burgeoning neighborhood of San Telmo.

Their apartments are stylish, and completely decked out — cozy furniture, high-speed internet, everything you’d need in a kitchen, and pet friendly. For English-speakers looking to rent, the lack of a language barrier is a breath of fresh air, and the minute you speak with them or visit their excellent blog dedicated to the neighborhood, you understand that you can trust them.

If you’re planning on a long stay in Buenos Aires, and are looking for a cool apartment in an awesome area of the city, check out these pictures of one of their places, The Loft, and get in touch with Angela and John. They’re legit.

Location on our Buenos Aires Map

Loft Rental San Telmo
Rental Buenos Aires
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February 28, 2011 at 6:55 pm Comments (8)

Taking the Bus Home at Night

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91 Days in Savannah, USA

Bus Call

Our favorite mode of transportation in Buenos Aires is the bus. But we already mentioned that. This weekend, we took a late ride home on the #64, after an evening exploring Palermo Soho. I started taking pictures out the window, to make the time pass faster… and man, did that work! BsAs is interesting enough by day, but at night the city gets even stranger and more wonderful. The following pictures were all taken during that one bus ride home.

Buenos Aires Rough Guide

Bus Curtain
Bizarre Buenos Aire
Biking Buenos Aires
Bachelorette Party
Dude
Face of Buenos Aires
Bus
Ice Cream Buenos Aires
Kiosk
Nail Work Buenos Aires
NIght Life Buenos Aires
Taxi Buenos Aires
Pedistrians Buenos Aires
Walking Home
Waiting For The Bus
Trash Picker
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February 27, 2011 at 9:14 pm Comments (2)

Buenos Aires’ Notable Bars – El Federal

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Coffee Culture

One of the best parts of moving to a new city is deciding upon your favorite new bar, the place you plan on haunting with a disturbingly constant presence. Buenos Aires has assisted newcomers on this all-important quest by honoring 60 bars and cafés with the distinction of Bar Notable.

Bar Federal

These places have been chosen for their long years of service, architectural flair, or famous patrons, and can officially advertise themselves as “Notable”. Most of them are found near the center of the sprawling city, and we’ve yet to visit one we haven’t been impressed by. That goes particularly for El Federal, on the corner of Peru and Carlos Calvo in San Telmo, which immediately established itself as a front-runner for the glorious title of my favorite bar.

Stepping inside El Federal is like stepping into back into the early 20th century, when Buenos Aires was in its golden age. The decoration is ornate, and well-stocked shelves hold antique soda bottles. The gorgeous wooden bar is over a hundred years old, and supports a large, fluidly carved arch, in which a defunct clock and stained glass are encased.

For being such a famous establishment in prime touristic real estate like San Telmo, the prices are amazingly reasonable. El Federal has a full menu, and we enjoyed everything we’ve tried; the plate of picadas (slices of meats and cheese) is an especially good choice. There’s both a smoking room and outdoor seating, but I always choose a table close to the bar, so that I can spend my time thirstily admiring the bottles of whiskey.

El Federal is the kind of place in which you’ll want to spend hours, and they don’t mind if you do. In fact, a small shelf of reading material is available in the corner. Digging into a well-worn copy of Borges’ Ficciones, with a strong cup of coffee on the wooden table in front of you, while the bustle of city life passes by in the window… that’s about as “bonarense” as you can get.

Location on our BA Map
List of Hostels in San Telmo

Entrada Bar Notable
Bar Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires Cafe
Bar Notable San Telmo
Jugendstil Bar Notable
Alcohol
Soda Buenos Aires
Soda Bar
Peanut Basket
Medialunas
Breakfast Buenos Aires
Bar Notable Mirror
Bar Notable Lamp
Bares Notables
Bar Notable
San Telmo Bar Notable
Bar Notable Moderno
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February 22, 2011 at 6:35 pm Comments (7)

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La Poesa - A Great Place to Read, Drink and Relax
For 91 Days