Sunday, June 26, 2011

Palermo Hollywood

The willful division of the neighbourhood has added the word "Hollywood" to this section of Palermo, due to the increasing patronage of celebrities, who, since early 2000, broke upon the first restaurants in the area.  Not far from Juan B. Justo Ave., on Bonpland, Fitz Roy streets and others bearing Latin American names such as Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador, it´s not strange to see groups of youngsters, dressed in retro, punk and pop styles, with apparent but well premeditated casualness.  Many of them are young television or cinema celebrities, who blend with the common public in trendy spots, either while dining or bar hopping.  Such is the case of "Unico Bar", "The Roxy" and "Acabar", which during evenings offer music, cool atmosphere and drinks.  The adult clientele has also found in the area many classy restaurants, where the youthful chefs are the stars who add their signature to original and unique dishes. "Olsen", of scandinavian origin; "Christophe", authentic french bistro and "Green Bamboo", with its vietnamese scents and flavours, are all cases in point of this particular style.  There are also quaint cafes such as "Oui Oui", with delicious sandwiches, which became the spot for neighbourhood dwellers Sunday afternoon meetings.  The same as in Palermo Viejo, clothing and furniture also have their place in the area´s creative scene, even though no larger than its gastronomic sector.  In this way, stores like "Divia", offering retro-hindu style shoes; "Fabrica de bananas", gathering clothes and accessories designers, and "Gropius Design", with its unique furniture, show us a panorama of all the creative proposals in the area.  Within this context, a huge warehouse seems to watch over the district´s identity: "El Dorrego".  Here, for the whole year, different multicultural activities, that combine art and fashion, give evidence of the lastest local trends, with the support and encouragement of the local city government.  Nightime appears as the best time of day in which to enjoy a walk, uncovering the varied palate pleasing experiences proffered by restaurants, always holding the chance of finding different alternatives.

Accommodation: Charlie´s Buenos Aires Apartments , Hostel Buenos Aires , Residencia Universitaria Buenos Aires

Friday, June 17, 2011

Important addresses for tourists in Buenos Aires

This are all the addreesses that can help you out when you are in a hurry in Buenos Aires City:

- Tourist information centres:  The Undersecretary´s Office of Tourism manages Tourist Information Centres (CIT) which offer all types of necessary material to move freely around the city (maps, guides, brochures, useful information):

  • Tourist Information of the city: Te. (54 11) 4313-0187. Mon to Fri from 7.30 AM to 6 PM. And Sun from 11 AM to 6 PM.
  • Florida st.: Florida 100. Mon to Fri from 9 AM to 6 PM; Sat and holidays from 10 AM to 3 PM.
  • Puerto Madero: Alicia Moreau de Justo Ave. 200, Dock 4. Mon to Sun from 11 AM to 7 PM.
  • Recoleta: Quintana Ave. 596. Mon to Fri from 10.30 AM to 6.30 PM; Sat and Sun from 11 AM to 7 PM.
  • San Telmo: Defensa St. 1250. Sat and Sun from 11 AM to 7 PM.
  • Retiro: Retiro Bus Station, shop N° 83. Mon to Sat from 7.30 AM to 1 PM.
- Tourist Police Office:  Corrientes Ave. 436. Te: (54 11) 4346-5748 / 0800-999-5000.  Its staff speack in English, Italian, French, Portuguese, and Ukrainian.

- Ezeiza International Airport: International Hall. Mon to Fri from 10 AM to 5 PM. Information: Te: (54 11) 5480-6111.

- Jorge Newbery Airport: Aerolíneas Argentinas Central Hall. Mon to Fri from 10 AM to 5 PM.Information: Te: (54 11) 5480-6111.

- Tourist Ombudsman´s Office: Pedro de Mendoza 1835. Te: (54 11) 4302-7816. Mon to Sun from 10 AM to 6 PM.

Accommodation in Buenos Aires City: Apartments in Buenos Aires , Hostel Buenos Aires , Residencias Universitarias Buenos Aires

Saturday, June 11, 2011

La Boca: A painters quarter

Benito Quinquela Martín
Just as Palermo can be regarded as a poets neighbourhood and Abasto as one of tangueros, La Boca is painters favourite venue. Together with Benito Quinquela Martín, the most popular name in the "Escuela de La Boca", a group of various artists assembled and in the 20´s made of this humble, sheet metal housed neigbourhood a little Montparnasse.

Alfredo Lazzari, Juan del Prete, Alfredo Guttero, Fortunato Lacámera, Benito Quinquela Martín, Eugenio Daneri, Miguel Diomede, Víctor Cúnsolo, José Luis Menghi, José Arcidiácono, and Miguel Carlos Victorica were some of the painters who live in La Boca at the time. Each of them portrayed on canvas in his own pictorical style: some, like Diomede, came from humble homes; others, like Victorica belonged to wealthy families; Lacámera and others never left the neighbourhood; Guttero arrived in glory from Europe... But all of them shared and enduring love of painting that went beyond the fads followed downtown. 
Benito Quinquela Martín
To understand the reason that led these artists to settle around the "Riachuelo" Victorica´s words may serve: "At this life loving place, everything unnecessary is held in contempt.  Everything is useful here. Instead of going to a bar downtown, I have a glass of wine at a "fonda" (inn), among thieves, and it is a marvellous experience, of unique and heart-rending notes". His art held no room for artifice: art was on those streets, among the brothels and their women of easy virtue, at the gin and "milonga" dives.The exquisite argentine writer Isidoro Blaisten best described this period: "And it is thus that what is known as the "Escuela de La Boca" is born, between lack of conventions and formal rigor: a sum of personalities that doesn´t result in a uniform whole. They all paint the same landscape, all look towards the same spot, but they all see different things.  La Boca artists were unique, they struggled against hostile surroundings and indifferent reviews. They were never slaves to fashion and always chose work over complaints. Some day someone will realise great part of Argentina´s best pictorial tradition stems from the "Escuela de La Boca", from those artists who live around the corner, those simple folks of dignified manners who inhabited a time both clean and gently paced".
Miguel Carlos Victorica

Accommodation: Buenos Aires Apartments , Hostel Buenos Aires , Residencia Universitaria Capital Federal

Sunday, June 5, 2011

How to travel in Buenos Aires

Here is a basic guide to show you how to get around in Buenos Aires City:

- Buses: Inside Capital City there are more than 100 bus lines.  They work 24 hours a day but during the night their frequency is reduced.  The ticket costs $ 1,10 (pesos) (not more than 3 km), $ 1,20 (pesos) (between 3 and 6 km) or $ 1,25 (pesos) (between 6 to 12 km).  You can ask the driver how much it is to the place where you are going.  You can only pay with coins.  Make sure you have them ready when you get on... argentinians are impatient.  "Colectivos" (buses) have a fixed schedule... But the hardly ever respect it.

- Taxis: They are black and yellow.  The price of the journey starts at $ 3,80 (pesos) and every 200 meters the cost increases by $ 0,38 (pesos).  You can also take a call-taxi ("Radio taxi") for the same price and for more security.

- Metro / Subway: There are 6 lines that go through the busiest areas of the city.  The ticket costs $ 1,10 (pesos).  You buy them in the ticket office inside the stations.  Even if you get one thousand tickets, the price per ticket is still the same.  The Metro works from 6.30 AM to 11 PM.  Its frequency is around 5 minutes, but if you want to have a comfortable journey and survive this mean of transport, the avoid taking it between 9 and 10 AM and 6 and 7 PM.

- Trains: Urban trains connect Capital City with the Greater Buenos Aires ("Gran Buenos Aires").  They work between 5 AM and 1 AM.  But try not to take them at night... It´s better to travel with some other means of transport.

- Long distance buses: There are lots of national and provincial routes spread throughout the country.  Long distance buses are fast and comfortable.  There are three different services differing in the number of stops and type of seats.  They are called "Regular", "Semicama" (semi-bed), and "Cama" (bed).  If you have a long journey the best is Cama (bed) as the seat similar to an airline´s first class.

Accommodation in Buenos Aires City: Apartments Buenos Aires , Hostel Buenos Aires , Residencias Universitarias Buenos Aires