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!
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.
Alright, it's a little late, but we've been so busy in this crazy city that we totally forgot to do our traditional "After One Month" questionnaire. Buenos Aires is nothing if not distracting. Here are some of our thoughts about Buenos Aires, after having had time to become acclimated.
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.
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!
After our great experience at El Querandí, we were all about tango. So the next day we decided to visit the Carlos Gardel Museum in Abasto. We showed up at the perfect time: a free tango class was just getting underway in the foyer of the museum. As we lumbered into the middle of the group, grinning from ear to ear and looking for pretty ladies, shrieks of terror echoed through the hall.
San Telmo is at no loss for great restaurants, and we recently stumbled upon another: Caseros, on the street of the same name, near Parque Lezama.
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.
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.
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.