For such a congested tourism hub, La Boca has a few wonderful places to escape the throngs. The surprisingly fun Wax Museum is one, and the excellent modern art museum Fundación Proa is another.
With its brightly painted houses and open air art, the southern immigrant neighborhood of La Boca is both enchanting and irritating. How much you enjoy yourself depends on when you go, and how allergic you are to kitsch.
Buenos Aires is Buenos Aires, and comparing it to other cities is probably a mistake. Still, it's hard to avoid. Many people have observed that BA is like a combination of New York and Paris, but I recognize other cities as well! Depending on the barrio I'm in, I can pick out resemblances to Berlin, Valencia, Hong Kong and even San Francisco. What cities do you see in BA?
Spend any amount of time in Argentina, and you're going to become familiar with mate, a drink deeply ingrained into the country's psyche. We first encountered it in Spain, when we saw a group of kids passing around a round container with a metal straw sticking out of it. "Argentinians", our Spanish friend explained. "That's all they do. Drink mate".
Argentinians are a famously literary people. In coffee shops, parks, on the bus and even while walking down city streets, their heads are often buried in a book. So it's only fitting that Buenos Aires can lay claim to one of the world's most incredible book stores: the Ateneo Grand Splendid.
Are 24 hours enough to become enamored of a new city? Well, Buenos Aires worked its magic quickly on us. After a long flight and a stressful process to get our dog through customs, we didn't get into our place until very late, with just enough energy to fall into bed. But the next day, we awoke to sunny weather and the stress melted away.
"What do you know about Buenos Aires?" That's the question posed to Barcelonan detective Pepe Carvalho at the beginning of Manuel Vázquez Montalbán's excellent crime novel Quinteto de Buenos Aires. Carvahlo's response mirrors what mine would have been: "Tango, desaparecidos, Maradona". I suppose I might have added Evita. Not much else.