TRAVEL

Buenos Aires

July 31, 2017

Month 6 of Remote Year has brought me to Buenos Aires, the capital and most populous city of Argentina. BA is amazing and frustrating all at once. You will find European architecture, fine dining, world-renowned nightlife, and a big emphasis on art and music of all forms. You will also find a ridiculous inflation rate, empty ATM’s, and sidewalks plastered with dog sh*t. Often called “Paris of South America” it seems more of a mixture of Berlin with Paris and then mixed with Madrid. After not loving really loving my first month in Córdoba, I felt much better my second month living in Argentina because Buenos Aires is a city that is full of life! I spent most of my time savoring the local food culture, exploring speakeasies and secret dinner clubs, soaking in street art, and sipping on Malbec all while mastering the two-hour lunch. I lived for the month in Palermo Soho. The barrio was very trendy, with bars, restaurants, and shops at all the doors. There are so many cafes with terraces where you can just sit and observe local culture and Porteños. Since we arrived in June, it was technically their winter but had the atmosphere of autumn. The trees canopied over the streets and shops in blankets of gold making it an idyllic setting.

I lived in a single apartment with a king sized bed and huge balcony. It was the nicest space I’ve had all year and I loved taking in more alone time. Per my usual routine, I found a spinning, yoga, and organic market right away in my neighborhood. The yoga studio was the most beautiful space that I’ve practiced in this year – full of natural light and positive energy.

How could you not be inspired after a yoga class here?

My first afternoon in BA, I visited the barrios of San Telmo and Recoleta. In fact, one of my favorite memories of the whole month was taking a walk through the famous Recoleta Cemetery. I think I took more photos here than any other place in the city. Recoleta was one of my favorite neighborhoods in the city, always with a new cute cafes and restaurant waiting to be found.

The cemetery was easy to get to via the subway. I was impressed with how clean and affordable the public transportation was in the city. When you get to the cemetery, you will find the graves of some of the most powerful and rich figures in Argentine history, including Eva Perón. It contains elaborate mausoleums in a variety of architectural styles, many adorned with intricate statues. Although Recoleta is small, it is easy to get lost as you wander through the sidewalks lined with the towering mausoleums. I was in awe with all the textures and angles throughout.

Each and every Sunday in San Telmo there is an artisan street market and antique fair, with live musicians, tango dancers, and performers. Close to the market, on the eastern side of Plaza de Mayo stands the Casa Rosada (Pink House), named for its distinctive color. Plaza del Mayo is a square that many of the famous avenues of the city begin. The square was buzzing with people from all walks of life and felt like the heart of the city.

Right in Palermo, it was easy to find a quick escape to green space. I often liked to walk around the massive 63-acre Bosques de Palermo. The rose and botanical gardens are in that space and are great for meandering through nature no matter the time of year.

Because Argentina is known for their empanadas and I signed-up for a cooking workshop to learn how to make them. I had a great time at Tierra Negra cooking class and both Veronica and her husband were very welcoming. Not only did I had fun making my own flan and empanadas, I loved tasting the different wines from all the wine regions of Argentina.

Teatro Colon is a magnificent concert hall with the turn of the last century grandeur. I “saw” a very good performance of the Tchaikovsky classic, Swan Lake that unfortunately had very poor sight lines and views of the stage from the two sides of the theater. Even though the show was a bust, I enjoyed getting lost in the architectural details.

Another beautiful theater to visit is called El Ateneo Grand Splendid. This historic theater is now one of the world’s most beautiful bookstores. I love when places from the past are repurposed into something new and unpredictable.

Besides a tango lesson and visit to the ballet, I even went to a full blown drum circle show. Every Monday night the drums sound and the hippies come out to play when the group, La Bomba de Tiempo takes the stage at the Konex Cultural Center.

Less than an hour’s ride north of Argentina’s capital city lies El Tigre. Tigre is a common destination for Buenos Aires day trips, for both locals and tourists. It is also surrounded by miles and miles of meandering waterways lined with lush greenery and charming houses. During my day trip, I rode (even drove) a boat on the channels and met a local entrepreneur using the agriculture of the region to make truffles and jams.

You can’t visit BA and not be inspired by the street art. Everywhere you look there is a colorful story being told or mural enhancing the door fronts. I even had the opportunity to meet Guille Pachelo, a contemporary artist, muralist, and Argentine painter. From sensitivity and optimism, he uses striking colors and simple strokes, his works seek to reframe the values placated in urban life by simply returning them.

BA was definitely one of my favorite months this year. I experienced so much in the city and was lucky to live alone and reconnect with myself more than ever.

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