Buenos Aires Map
Site Index
Contact
Random
Our Travel Books
Advertising / Press

Iglesia del Santísimo Sacramento

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Travel Tea Bag

Near the Plaza de San Martín in Retiro, the skinny Iglesia del Santísimo Sacremento is not as famous or conspicuous as so many other landmarks close nearby. But as long as you’re in the area, it’s worth taking a quick walk through one of Buenos Aires’ prettiest places of worship.

Iglesia del Santísmo Sacramento

At the turn of the 20th century, Mercedes Castellanos de Anchorena had risen to the heights of Porteño society. Also known as (take a deep breath), Countess Pontificate Maria de las Mercedes Luisa Castellanos of the Church, she had the Palacio San Martín built as her family’s primary residence. The sumptuous living quarters must have nagged at her conscience; in 1908 she declared that, “If I live in a palace, then so should God!”, and ordered construction of the Iglesia del Santísimo Sacremento. Not bad. Someday, I’d like to be wealthy enough to condescend to God.

The great dame spared no expense. She hired French architects who outfitted the new church with Carraran marble, the world’s most expensive, three Venetian maiolicas in the altar, blue and white granite, and a group of statues carved from white marble. Stained glass windows display miracles throughout Christian history and the church’s crypt, which can be visited on request, holds the countess’s mortal remains. Apparently, she wanted to be God’s roomie.

Santísimo Sacramento is still known among porteño high society as the place to get married in the city. Little wonder: it would be difficult to imagine a more beautiful catwalk (or gangplank, depending on your point of view) than the church’s narrow and richly ornamented nave.

Location on our Buenos Aires Map
Get started with drinking Mate

Holy Angel
Buenos Aires Organ
Church Bench
Eye of God
Glass Art
Holy Carpenter
Sleepy Mary
Wood Art
Mirror Church
Stained Glass
Tiles Buenos Aires
, , , , , , , , ,
March 29, 2011 at 8:26 pm Comments (2)

Metropolitan Buenos Aires

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

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

El Gato Negro

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Coffee Culture Books

Found on Calle Corrientes, El Gato Negro is one of Buenos Aires’ sixty Bar Notables, and an institution in the city. It was founded in 1926 by Victoriano López Robredo, a Spaniard who’d spent much of his life in Sri Lanka and wanted to bring his knowledge of teas to Buenos Aires.

Cafe Gato Negro

Today’s “Black Cat” is a bar, a restaurant, a café and, most noticeably, one of the city’s best places to buy spices from all over the world. The counter and bar area resemble a pharmacy, with hundreds of jars sporting labels like tomillo (thyme) or romero (rosemary). A huge range of loose teas and ground coffee supplement the lineup. Nasal Sensory Overload.

We sat down for a coffee before catching a show at the nearby Teatro Premier, and watched the immaculately dressed waiters tend to their clients. An older woman at the counter wanted some sort of yellowish powder from a jar gathering dust on the top shelf. Next to us, a nicely dressed gentleman sat in silence, absorbed in his newspaper, only occasionally raising his head to glance the shop around suspiciously. While setting down the cake and coffee, our waiter addressed us deferentially as “los señores”. I loved it.

The second floor is a dining area which occasionally hosts concerts, but we kept to the beautiful main floor. With its location smack in the middle of the Theater District and air of easy sophistication, the Gato Negro is the perfect place to sit down with your friends, adopt highfalutin accents, order an obscure Sri Lankan tea, and engage in pompous pseudo-intellectual discourse about whatever play you’ve just seen. “Really, old chum! The existentialist indulgences of the protagonist’s soliloquy were frankly overwrought. Garcon, [clap clap] a touch more ceylon, please!”

Corrientes, Av. 1669
Tel: 4374-1730
Location on our Buenos Aires Map
Valencia Blog

Bar Notable
Waiting
El Gato Negro
Blue Kitchen
Gato Negro
Old Scale
Praising the Cakes
Spices
Coffee
, , , , , , , , , ,
March 18, 2011 at 10:09 pm Comment (1)

A Sneaky Exploration of the Teatro San Martín

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

On Avenida Corrientes, one of Argentina’s most important theaters hides behind an inauspicious 1960s glass facade. If you weren’t looking for it, you’d probably walk past by the Teatro San Martín without giving it a second glance.

Vida Sueño

But an enormous artistic complex lurks inside. The Teatro San Martín comprises three stages, a cultural center with art exhibits and workshops, a small cinema and a gorgeous salon. A huge variety of performances takes place every week, from theater and dance, to concerts, movies and children’s activities. When we visited, the hallways were being used for a photo exhibit called “24 Hours in Buenos Aires”. The lobby contains both a bookstore and a café. In short, there’s art everywhere.

After finishing up with the photo exhibit, we continued up a flight of stairs to a large salon outfitted with retro furniture. There weren’t any signs saying we couldn’t go up there, but we felt like intruders, since the room was devoid of any other life. No visitors, no guards, no signs of any sort. We lounged on the plush couches for a bit, just because they were there, then took our intrusion game up a notch. The closed door down the hallway wasn’t locked, and after opening it, we found ourselves alone in the gorgeous Sala Martín Coronado, the largest of the Teatro’s three stages.

Last night, we returned to the Sala under more appropriate circumstances: to watch La Vida Es Sueño, by Pedro Calderon De La Barca, one of the most important works of Spanish-language theater. It was an incredible show, and our attention was held rapt throughout, despite understanding approximately 6% of the verse. Murder, attempted rape, deception, naked old kings and a lot of shouting in rhyme. At just $50 (US$12), it was a great bargain for an entertaining night.

Teatro San Martín
Corrientes 1530
Location on our Buenos Aires Map
Buenos Aires Guide Books

Teatro San Martin
Tornado Buenos Aires
Waiting for the Show
Photo Exhibit Buenos Aires
Art Buenos Aires
Teatro Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
Muebles Teatro San Martin
, , , , , , , ,
March 12, 2011 at 11:55 pm Comment (1)

The Carlos Thays Botanical Garden

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Read about Carlos Thays

The most striking aspect of the northern barrios (Retiro, Recoleta, Palermo), especially in comparison with their less affluent southern counterparts, is the number of beautiful parks and green spaces. One of the most remarkable is the Carlos Thays Botanical Garden in Palermo.

Explore Buenos Aires

Found near Plaza Italia, adjacent to the zoo, the Botanical Garden is triangular in shape, and home to more than 5000 species of plants. Entrance is free, and upon stepping foot inside, you start feel all the stress of the city slowly fading away. Cars and trucks zip loudly down the bordering avenues, so it’s not exactly silent, but the garden still imparts a sense of isolation and peace.

The garden is nothing if not diverse. Walking along the paths, you encounter a number of different landscaping schemes, from perfectly symmetrical to untended wild growth. Usually, there are signs which indicate the type of plant you’re looking at, and its country of origin. Long paths lead along fountains lined by statues, and around greenhouses, one of which was shipped over from Paris after 1889 World’s Fair. A healthy population of feral cats roams the grounds, keeping a careful eye on visitors, most of whom are porteños enjoying a short break. When we went, almost every bench was occupied by people drinking mate and reading.

Carlos Thays perhaps did more than anyone else to beautify Buenos Aires. Born in Paris in 1849, he was invited to the city at the age of 40 as an expert landscape artist, and immediately set about improving what he found. Thays was responsible for developing a number of new parks, and redesigning existing ones. In fact, almost every green space in the city has felt his influence, from the Centenario to San Telmo’s Parque Lezama. Thays promoted the planting of trees along city boulevards and demanded more walkways and public plazas. But the Botanical Garden was his pet project, for which he petitioned the city for years.

Buenos Aires is hectic. Even if you’re not going far, getting from one spot to the next can be exhausting. And amid the unceasing horns and the shouting, the smell of trash and never-ending drizzle from overhead air-conditioning units, it can also be enraging. But before you snap and go all Falling Down, grab a book and take a long walk through the Botanical Garden. If that doesn’t calm you down, then fine, you can go shoot people. You have our permission.

Location on our Buenos Aires Map
Botanic Garden Books

Botanico Buenos Aires
Botanic Garden Buenos Aires
Aloe Vera
Ass Naked Woman Buenos Aires
Blossom Fall
Buenos Aires Mysytery
Buenos Aires Blog
Carlos Thays
Cat Nap
Don't Cry For Me Argentina
Drunk Statue
Father Son Love
Flower Pattern
Forbidden Fruit
Gato Buenos Aires
Green House Buenos Aires
Jungle Argentina
Lady Mc Gee
Nipple Munch
Out Of Control
Plants Argentina
Pussy Paw
See Rosen
Schrooms
Strange Plants
Tropical Flower
Wise Cat
Yerba Mate
Yerba
Hotels Buenos Aires
, , , , , , , , , , , , ,
March 10, 2011 at 9:54 pm Comments (5)

El Querandí: Dinner and a Primer to the History of Tango

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Great Hostels in Buenos Aires

There are a few ways to experience tango while in Buenos Aires. Milongas are probably the most popular option, where people of all skill levels join in the dancing. And there are recitals with excellent music, usually no dancing, but possibly the most authentic. Or, you can choose the full-on tourist experience of the dinner show.

Sexy Tango

We arrived at El Querandí at 9:30, and were promptly served dinner: salads, empanadas, steak and wine. While eating and awaiting the show, we met our table companions. Everyone in the restaurant was a foreigner; German, American, French, Japanese. That would usually be a turn-off, but not tonight. The crowd was happy and energetic, and besdies, you wouldn’t go to El Querandí if you wanted to be surrounded by locals. The show is an overview of tango’s history! Hardly a lesson most Argentinians would need.

Once the lights went up, idle chatter with our new friends immediately stopped: our attention was entirely captured by the show. Two hours of top-notch dancing and singing, with incredible music performed by an odd quartet consisting of a piano, violin, bass and accordion. Some of our favorite moments in the show were actually just the band playing by itself.

The initial acts were set in the outskirts of Buenos Aires in the late 1800s, when roughly-dressed workers and the immigrant women who worked in brothels were inventing a new art form. The way it turns out… and I had really suspected as much… and perhaps especially when it’s performed by young, skilled and beautiful people… and, yes, perhaps especially when they are dressed as rough-n-tumble dock workers and prostitutes… well, the tango can be … let’s just call it “passionate”.

There was singing as well, with a tribute to Carlos Gardel who popularized tango both at home and around the world. As the show moved into modernity, when tango found acceptance among all walks of Argentine society, the sets became more professional and the dress more genteel. The grace and timing of the dancers was amazing, and there were a number of beautiful moments. The dancers struck a lot of classic poses, which was well-appreciated since photography was permitted during the show.

Fine, it’s not the most authentic way to experience tango in the city, but El Querandí provides a wonderful evening of food and music. And anyway, “most authentic” doesn’t necessarily mean “most enjoyable”. We were amazed at how well-staged the show was, and how much fun we had. If you’re looking for an entertaining evening out, and a solid tango show, you won’t be disappointed in El Querandí.

El Querandí’s Website
Peru 302
Tel: 11 5199 1770 (Reservations Necessary)
Location on our BsAs Map
Travel Insurance

Tango Cena
Tango Salad
Tango Steak
Tango Singer
Music Buenos Aires
Tango
Tango Argentina
Tango Dance
Tango Classes
, , , , , , , , , ,
March 10, 2011 at 12:50 am Comments (3)

El Sanjuanino – A Rustic Recoleta Escape

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Parilla History Book

Immediately surrounding the Recoleta Cemetery, there are any number of restaurants with conspicuous English-language signs and inflated prices. Do yourself a favor and resist the bait. Instead, take a short five-minute walk to Restaurante El Sanjuanino on Calle Posadas, a classic in the area, with incredible food and excellent prices.

Argentinian Wine

We ate here shortly before visiting the cemetery, having done our research with the indispensable Guia Óleo: a popular restaurant guide for BsAs. I honestly doubt that better empanadas exist in the city. I doubt they could. There may be some just as good, but “better” isn’t possible. Emapanada-making, it seems, is an art that can be perfected.

In this well-bred, exclusive rincón of Buenos Aires, El Sanjuanino is an appreciated change of pace. It’s all wooden interiors, and you almost feel as though you’re visiting your grandparents out in the woods. There was a healthy mix of locals and tourists when we went, and the service was perfect: friendly but not hovering. Besides the flawless empanadas, freshly baked and enormous, we had homemade raviolis and matambre, a delicious rolled flank steak with vegetables and cheese. Locros and tamales are also favorites on the menu.

If you’re in the area and hungry for an excellent, filling and affordable lunch, El Sanjuanino has what you need.

El Sanjuanino’s Website
Posadas 1515
Tel: 4804-2909
Location on our Buenos Aires Map

Cozy Bar
Thinking of Wine
Cute Restaurant
Para Llevar
Empanadas
Raviolis Argentina
Rolled Flank Steak
Alfajor
, , , , , , , , , ,
March 9, 2011 at 9:20 pm Comments (13)

Sebastián Rivas of Amici Miei

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

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

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

Inside the Teatro Colón

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

50 Greatest Opera Hits

One of the world’s best opera houses is found in Buenos Aires. Built in 1908 at the height of the city’s Golden Age, the Teatro Colón is a grandiose testament to the rivers of money that once flooded the Argentine capital.

Teatro Colon

After a much-delayed renovation that had closed the theater for over four years and cost over 100 million dollars, Colón re-opened in May, 2010, and a tour of it was one of the first things we did in Buenos Aires. We were floored. The Teatro Colón is one of the most gorgeous buildings I’ve ever been in. Suddenly, and for the only time in my life, I’m dying to see an opera.

The French Renaissance building on Plaza Lavalle is impressive enough from the outside. But we were totally unprepared for the magnificent interior. Our English-language tour began in the theater’s foyer, with stained glass windows on the ceiling that depict allegories of music and mirth, antique statues and polished floors exuding pure elegance. Our guide pointed out the staircase, made of three different kinds of marble, and asked us to imagine wealthy turn-of-the-century ladies ascending to the theater, gowns flowing behind them while admiring on-lookers watched from the balconies. He described it well, and the scene was surprisingly easy to picture.

As awesome as the foyer was, the theater was even better. With five rows of golden balconies arched around the stage, it’s little wonder that the Colón is considered among the world’s most beautiful. It’s also said to have some of the best acoustics in the world. We sat for awhile, taking it all in, while the guide pointed out peculiarities like the President’s box toward the side (which provides the President with a terrible view of the stage, but the public with a great view of her). Also interesting was a row of seats hidden behind a black grate, beneath the lowest balcony, for recently bereaved widows. Not even mourning could hold the cultured elite away from their operas!

We plan on catching a performance of some sort in the Teatro Colón during our time here. If you have the chance, make sure to take the tour of the theater. Really, an incredible piece of work.

Location of Teatro Colón on our Buenos Aires Map

Opera Colon Buenes Aires
Buenos Aires Blog
Glass Teatro Colon
Colon Buenos Aires
Mozart Buenos Aires
Mosaic Buenos Aires
Porteña
Opera Buenos Aires
Architecture Colon Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires Travel Writer
Opera House Buenos Aires
Stage Teatro Colon
Inside Teatro Colon

Ireland Blog

, , , , , , ,
March 4, 2011 at 7:53 pm Comments (7)

Pizzería Banchero in La Boca

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Another great pizza place in Buenos Aires: El Cuartito

“Hey, what do you feel like eating?” Every time I’ve been asked that, every single time during the course of my entire life, the answer has been “pizza”. Even when it was 8am. Even when I was 18 months old. It’s the only honest response: there are other things I should eat, things which might even taste better. But pizza is what I want to eat. Always.

Serving Pizza

So you’re asking me what I want to eat? Well, I know we just had pizza last night, but there’s another famous pizzeria right across the road, there. We really should try it out. Everyone says we should try it out. Don’t look at me like that; it’s totally coincidence that we happened to end up in front of Pizzería Banchero at lunch time. I totally didn’t plan that.

Banchero is a classic spot in La Boca, established in 1932 by Juan Banchero, the son of a Genoese baker who had emigrated here at the turn of the century, along with thousands of his countrymen. The restaurant quickly became a hit, and a couple branches have even opened elsewhere in the city. It’s immediately apparent why Banchero is so loved among porteños — the prices are great, the atmosphere is casual and comfortable, and the pizzas are astounding. We ordered a fugazza, made with a crunchy, airy crust and topped with onions and mountains of cheese. Delicious. Plus, the service was great; our impeccably-dressed Paraguayan waiter was as friendly as could be, taking time to explain the pizzas to us and make recommendations.

If you’re in La Boca, and have survived the tourist hordes of El Caminito, treat yourself to a great pizza in a time-honored joint that locals love: Pizzería Banchero. And don’t worry about all that cheese. Diets are for later, and firm bellies are over-rated, anyway. That’s what I keep telling myself, as we continue to tick Buenos Aires’ “must-eat” pizzerías off our list.

Pizzería Banchero
Suárez 396 y Brown
Tel: 4301-1406
Location on our BA Map
The Art of Making Pizza

Pizzzaria Banchero
Pizza La Boca
Pizza Waiter
Fanta Buenos Aires
Beer Snack
Fugazza Pizza
Fugazza
Cheesy Pizza
, , , , , , , , , , , , ,
March 3, 2011 at 11:14 pm Comments (0)

« Older PostsNewer Posts »

Iglesia del Santsimo Sacramento
For 91 Days