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Buenos Aires

ARGENTINA | Thursday, 18 January 2018 | Views [422] | Comments [1]

Lovely flight on Aerolineas Argentinas completed, it’s time to enjoy all the things that I like in a big city: architecture, parks, restaurants and bars. BA has all of these things aplenty and is specifically known for great steaks, good wine and a club scene that doesn’t end until six in the morning. As a proper traveler and world citizen, I was obliged to dabble in all of this at least once...or twice.

At the recommendation of a couple people in Colombia, I booked my first few nights at Milhouse Hostel, which I was told had a party vibe and organized daily excursions. All true, but I can get into that in a bit. In terms of what all tourists choose to do in BA, it consists of exploring five or six different neighborhoods: Centro, San Telmo, La Boca, Puerto Madero, Recoleta and Palermo. Each has its own charm and character and I was able to explore all of them over the course of my six days via walking or bike.

Centro seems to be the hub for most travelers given its location near to the other neighborhoods and subway lines. It has big boulevards, beautiful plazas (Mayo and San Martin) and great people watching (especially along Calle Florida, the main shopping thoroughfare). Speaking of people watching, the locals seem to have a certain flair about them. People walk confidently, dress sharply and the rumors are more or less true; the women look good. Another rumor is also true, that Argentinian accent is damn hard to understand. Yikes!

San Telmo and La Boca are south of downtown and still have a working class vibe to this day. San Telmo has a more artsy feel with the oldest market in the city. I don’t really get into kitsch, but the cafe and leche I had there for my afternoon kick, was quite tasty indeed! La Boca was founded by poor immigrants from Italy and is the one ‘hood that even locals said to be wary in; however, it seemed pretty safe to me. It had all the tourists trappings of people selling junk on the street, people trying their damndest to get us to eat lunch at their restaurant and two people dancing tango for tips. This is the neighborhood where tango originated; however, the how it began is a good short story. Prostitutes used to show up at houses on request and would find themselves in a room with multiple men. To see who got have sex with the prostitute, the men would dance tango with each other, with the best of the bunch winning the lady for the night. Not sure who paid in the end, but you know she didn’t leave empty handed. Since tango began in this unseemly manner in a poor area, it wasn’t outlawed by the government until after it became popular in Europe. I hope you have learned something new today now. My hostel had some free tango lessons one night, but only 12 steps or so. It’s definitely a lot harder for ladies with all the twirling and fancy leg lifting. I liked it a lot. Something new to get into for sure.

Puerto Madero is at the eastern edge of the city near the riverfront and is much newer than the rest of the city. There are new office buildings along with restaurants and bars to cater that clientele; however, the best part in my opinion is a massive park along the waterfront with trails and little parks to waste away the day in. I hopped on the BA city bike and rode all around the trails one afternoon. A good way to work off a hangover and enjoy a lazy day.

Recoleta and Palermo are where the upper crust of BA live and have lived for a long time. For some reason Recoleta reminded me of Lincoln Park in Chicago with Palermo reminding me of Wicker Park, Lakeview and Logan Square. Both neighborhoods have amazing parks, good food and fun bars. Recoleta also has museums, is slightly more residential and has a cemetery for the city’s old, rich and famous. Each family or person has a massive mausoleum up to over 20 feet tall with ornate carvings and sculptures. I saw tombs for generals, doctors, statesman, but I couldn’t find Evita’s. It’s ok though, I’ve seen the movie. Well done Madonna.

Palermo is the where the young, hip people (of which I still consider myself to be a part of thank you very much) go out until the wee hours, drink at craft brew pubs and munch at old standby and posh new restaurant hot spots. Told ya it sounded like Lakeview, Wicker and Logan. So every night at my hostel, they would create the party atmosphere with music starting around 10 or 11 and then would take people to clubs at 2. Sounds insane I know but that’s what they do there. Probably helps when the party starts late and happy hour goes until midnight. Yep, midnight. One night I stayed out after in the Centro hanging and drinking until some time after three and the another night we took the ride out to Palermo and I came back some time before five. I didn’t make it to the sunrise, but that’s pretty damn good. So much dancing, so much drinking and so much tiredness the next day. When in BA!

A post about this city would not be complete without a little food recap. You know I talk about food more than your average Guy Fieri. The parrillas or asados are legit. These are the restaurants that grill up some real tasty meat treats. I’m talking steaks, pork, chorizo and blood sausage. I tried it all and it was all amazing and priced to move by American standards. A massive medium rare beef tenderloin (lomo), fries, empanadas, blood sausage and wine for each person split among three including tip was less than $30. Easily would have cost three times more in Chicago. I also had some good gelato, pizza, milanesa sandwiches and alfajores. Alfajores are tasty cookies sandwiched between dulce de leche and dusted with powdered sugar. This tasty little morsel is completely OUT OF BOUNDS! I don’t know why some place named Latino Sandwich had such a good one, but when in BA go there for the milanesa completa and an alfajore. You will not be disappointed my friend. When it comes to drinking, the red wine is cheap and good. Drink up some Malbec and Cab Sav. They also drink the Italian digestif Fernet Branca with Coke. The Coke is to mask the bitter taste with some sweetness. I really liked it and am looking forward to going to Cordoba where they apparently drink it a lot. First things first though, Iguazu Falls and Northwest Argentina. Ciao!



Love Buenos Aires with all my heart. Went there in 2015 and stayed in San Telmo. Ten days were not enough. Got to go back! Me gustan tus historias :P

  Carola Mar 4, 2018 10:09 AM

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