Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Buenos Aires - Arrival and Days 1-2

It just occurred to me...why do they call it Buenos Aires, which means "good air"? It's hot as Hades, and humid to boot. Linda and I are sweating through our clothing. It's mayhem - full of fast moving traffic on the streets, attractive people crowding the sidewalks, lovely buildings (both well maintained and crumbling) lining the streets. To me it resembles Manhattan's upper East Side in the 70's, before all the tall apartment buildings were built.
The street on which our small apartment sits is a pedestrian mall, lined with cafes full of young people, drinking and laughing. It's a good feeling!

A few door away we saw a motley group of young people with signs and T shirts saying "Speak English". Confusing until we figured out that they were advertising a language school.

We took a walk to the Plaza San Martin, a big plaza surrounded by monuments, shops, tall buildings and hotels.
We also discovered the Pacifico mall, full of restaurants, shops and more shops (mostly women's clothing and shoes). Also galleries and a theatre, where Tango shows were held (more about this later).

Like Mexico, there were beautiful churches, one of which (don't ask me which one) is shown below.

The streets were full of interesting and amusing sights, like this garbage bin...

and this amazing tree!
On our second day we took a tourist bus to get a feel for the layout of this huge city. Unlike most cities we have visited, the tour buses are not run by a private company, but instead by the city. Therefore, true to tradition, they run late, are crowded, and have headsets that don't work. They are double deckers - upstairs open air and downstairs air conditioned.

At Plaza de Mayo, a large main square, we descended for a coffee and a snack at....Starbucks! Note the view of the shoeshine behind Linda.

We saw many lovely buildings and monuments all over town.

We eventually got off at La Boca, an area by the River Plata (which we couldn't see at this point) where immigrants used to arrive early in the 20th century.
Apparently builldings were painted with leftover paint, so that they were multicolored.

Now, all the buildings are brightly painted with different colors to simulate that era. Very very touristy, but charming all the same. Nothing to buy here (a shock for me!). Seemed to be a poor part of town, except for the tourist shops.
Linda found a restaurant for lunch that looked cute, but mostly she liked the name...El Che Carlos! She stole a napkin with the name of the restaurant (shhh...don't tell). I'm sure it will soon show up in a piece of art or at a dinner party!
And tango was everywhere - demonstrations (where they were trying to sell tickets to shows)...

and these silly things!

although not the end of the day, this is the end of the posting, in order to move the blog along. See you soon.

1 comment:

mark said...

Hey! What type of beer is that you're drinking? Looks like a good time down there.