Friday, March 11, 2011
One of my favorite neighborhoods in Buenos Aires City is Palermo. Actually I used to live there. But why Palermo is so popular? What´s the big deal with this place?
If luxury and great international stores are La Recoleta´s signature style, its residential atmosphere and the wide cultural and gastronomic offer are the three most attractive features in the area of Del Libertador Ave., Las Heras Park and Alto Palermo. The swanky flats ranged along Del Libertador Ave. and the residential homes in Barrio Parque are, according to many, the most exclusive in the city. In Barrio Parque, designed by landscaper Carlos Thays in 1912, flourish many trees, native of the North of the country, such as "jacaranda", "lapacho" and "ceibo" varieties. In the area there are numerous mansion built by patrician families in early 19 th. century; today most of them house embassies or have become museums.
Such is the case of the Museo Nacional de Arte Decorativo which stands in the Palacio Errázuriz and holds, as its patrimony, paintings by Fragonard, sculptures by Rodin and imposing furniture of french style. Other dwellings turned over to the arts are the Museo José Hernández, devoted to showing Argentine traditions, and the Ocampo residence, current seat of the Fondo Nacional de las Artes. But the most prestigious works, for their validity and origin, are those displayed at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (Fine Arts Museum) - the foremost in the country - and the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA), of a more modern construction.
If willing to spend a day as a bona fide neighborhood dweller, the perfect plan is to have breakfast at one of the sidewalks tables on Del Libertador Ave., then, take a walk to the National Library , read some volume in the sun, at Las Heras Park, and then return walking down the same avenue, until midday arrives. Then, you might enter one of the ethnic restaurants in the area and cap the afternoon by having an ice-cream outdoors, and end the day walking around some of the shopping galleries.
Keys to moving round Palermo
Location: Between Pueyrredón Ave., Santa Fe Ave., Sarmiento Ave. and Figueroa Alcorta Ave.
Main arteries: Las Heras Ave., Del Libertador Ave. and Coronel Díaz Ave.
How to get there: buses 59, 41, 15, and Subway line D.
Best time to visit: Daytime, to wander down its long avenues.
Neighborhood corner: Del Libertador Ave. and Coronel Díaz Ave.
Accommodation: Buenos Aires Apartments, Hostel Buenos Aires