Buenos Aires Journals

Bill in Argentina - BUENOS AIRES

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A September 2001 trip to Buenos Aires by billmoy

Caminito Pedestrian Street/La Boca District Photo, Buenos Aires, Argentina More Photos
Quote: Buenos Aires, the sprawling, bustling capital of Argentina. Buenos Aires is sometimes referred to as the "Paris of South America" because the city features buildings, monuments and parks that are reminiscent of the French capital.

Bill in Argentina - BUENOS AIRES

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Overview

Quote:
A huge white obelisk marks the heart of the metropolis. Because of the European immigrants who had arrived in the early 1900's, Buenos Aires can be described as a South American melting pot. Buenos Aires consists of many districts with strong individual characteristics. La Boca, for instance, is a working-class Italian neighborhood where the locals reside in wildly colored corrugated metal homes. The bright reds, greens and yellows of these buildings contrast sharply with the chocolate color of the sludgy Rio de la Plata which forms the shoreline of the city. Nearby is the famous soccer stadium where the powerhouse Boca Juniors club plays its home games. Palermo and Belgrano are more ...Read More

Marriott Plaza Hotel

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Hotel

Quote:
I was able to get a special low rate at the Marriott Plaza Hotel, which is well located in the heart of Buenos Aires. This is a grand landmark hotel designed by Alfred Zucker which opened in 1909, synonymous with the "good old days" in Buenos Aires. The lobby and public areas are elegantly appointed with a reddish color scheme. There was some renovation work in the hotel but it did not affect my stay at all. The Marriott consists of 9 floors and 325 rooms. My room was very comfortable, though my view was a mediocre one looking into a courtyard. Try to ask for a view overlooking the lush park of the Plaza San Martin across the street. The king bed had plenty of pillows, and the marble bathroom w...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 7, 2002

Marriott Plaza Hotel
Florida 1005
Buenos Aires, Argentina C1005AAU
+54 (11) 4318-3000

L'Alliance

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Restaurant

Quote:
This restaurant in central Buenos Aires has a French name for some reason, but in reality it is a typical Argentine parilla. The "all-you-can-eat" barbeque special, which is ordered by practically everyone dining at this place, features a selection of meats along with a decent salad bar (or you can order fries instead) and a dessert (I had the tasty bread pudding). The beverage is not included, so this would put your bill over the 10-peso level, which is still not a bad deal. You can choose from over one dozen meats, and your selections are served to you at your table. You can try typical meats (steak, ribs) or try more exotic selections like spicy chorizo or morcilla (blood sausage). ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 11, 2002

L'Alliance
Av. Cordoba 945
Buenos Aires, Argentina
+54 1 4327 3016

Convencion

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Restaurant | "La Convencion"

Quote:
This cozy restaurant in the San Telmo district has a dimly lit dining room that seems to be packed with local businessmen during lunchtime. Do not let this put you off, as the tables are fairly spaced apart so you do not feel crammed inside. I was half-expecting a cigar in my face, but nothing unpleasant like this happened during my meal here. The menu of La Convencion specializes in French cuisine. I enjoyed a set menu lunch special that was reasonably priced and efficiently served, although it seemed more continental than French. My cold appetizer of sliced ham was paired with a dollop of Russian salad; both were tasty. The main course was a thin slice of lightly breaded milanesa neapolitana,...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 4, 2002

Convencion
Carlos Calvo 375
Buenos Aires, Argentina
+54 11 4300 9246

Farola

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Restaurant | "La Farola"

Quote:
This Italian-style restaurant is located on a busy street in the blue-collar La Boca neighborhood. The interior has an appropriately simple decor, but the kitchen dishes out enormous servings of hearty Italian-Argentine food. I had wanted to order a set menu lunch, but the somewhat gruff waiter said that was not available (apparently the lunch specials are on weekdays only). Therefore I ordered something called "pollo calabrese", and it was delicious! I was served a quarter roast chicken with a heaping side of garlicky potato balls. The portion was tasty and enormous, perhaps from the largest chicken in Argentina. I did finish my serving of chicken, but not all of the potato balls. The style of...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 4, 2002

Farola
Avenida Almirante Brown
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Portenos (Los)

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Restaurant | "Los Portenos"

Quote:
The Recoleta neighborhood is well stocked with restaurants. Los Portenos looks and feels like a cozy neighborhood pub. The walls are decorated with various signs, photos, and memorabilia. The sign proclaiming the lunch special drew me into the establishment. My personable waitress looked like Penelope Cruz. Actually, half of the women look like Penelope Cruz to this observer. Anyway, back to my lunch special. The starter was a big bowl of garden salad with a light dressing, which could be a light meal in itself or a sufficient side for two diners. The main course was a decent portion of steak, medium-well done, juicy, delicious and not too fatty. The dessert was a slice of flan (one of my all-ti...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 4, 2002

Portenos (Los)
Avenida Las Heras 2101
Buenos Aires, Argentina
+54 11 4809 3548

Bonpler

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Restaurant

Quote:
This fast food establishment is modeled after a French cafe, as indicated by its name. It is centrally located along one of the busy pedestrian streets in Buenos Aires. You can clearly see most of the items on display and on the menu board. You can order from a typical selection of fresh sandwiches, soups, salads, croissants, and muffins. The clean-looking interior has two levels of casual seating, and there are a few newspapers for your reading pleasure. I ordered a cup of split pea soup, warm and thick if not the most flavorful soup around. The grilled chicken sandwich was served with cheese on a crunchy toasted baguette. This is not the most innovative or interesting place to dine, but it is...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 4, 2002

Bonpler
Calle Florida 481 at Lavalle
Buenos Aires, Argentina
+54 11 4325 9900

Puerto Madero

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Attraction

Puerto Madero Photo, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Quote:
Puerto Madero is a "new" mixed-use neighborhood that is being gentrified by the conversion of derelict warehouses into swanky offices, hotels, condominiums and restaurants. This area is just east of central Buenos Aires, but it has quite a different atmosphere. The meshing of land and water creates a special chemistry that is irresistible to visitors and locals alike, as the outdoor promenades are enjoyed by many couples and families. There is a convenient information booth with helpful staffers and colorful brochures. One of the marshy areas is being maintained as the Reserva Ecologica Costanera Sur, a large wildlife reserve within the city limits. I spotted ducks with bright red bills, float...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 8, 2002

Puerto Madero
Avenida Alicia Moreau de Justo 200
Capital Federal, Argentina 1007
Not available

La Recoleta Cemetery

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Attraction | "Cementario de la Recoleta"

La Recoleta Cemetery Photo, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Quote:
The Cementario de la Recoleta is a very exclusive cemetery where the legendary Eva "Evita" Peron, amongst a roster of rich and famous Argentines, is entombed. The irony here is that most upper-class Argentines frown upon the fact that she is entombed here. This cemetery, which covers over 13 acres of ground, contains an amazing cornucopia of grandiose tombs and mausoleums. It is said that the cemetery occupies the most expensive plot of land in Argentina, and this is reflected by the fact that many great political figures, war heroes, athletes and writers are laid to rest here. The clusters of mausoleums, shaped like classical temples and pyramids, are impressively enormous and form claustrophob...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 8, 2002

La Recoleta Cemetery
Junín 1790 Recoleta District
Buenos Aires, Argentina 1116
+54 (11) 4804 7040

Teatro Colon

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Attraction

Quote:
The Teatro Colon, dating from 1908, is regarded as one of the great opera houses in the world. The grandiose Italianate-French style building is prominently located near the Obelisk and the Avenida 9 de Julio. The seating capacity in the main auditorium is 2500 spread across seven tiers, and the standing capacity is 1500. A large chandelier (with a diameter over 20 feet in width) is the centerpiece of the theater. There is also a small museum in the lobby of the Teatro Colon, containing a collection of costumes, photographs, musical instruments, and other artifacts. Public tours of the museum and theater are generally available, mostly in Spanish or English. You can take a look behind the scenes...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 11, 2002

Teatro Colon
Libertad 651
Capital Federal, Argentina 1012
+54 11 43787132

Galerias Pacifico

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Attraction

Quote:
Galerias Pacifico, bursting with nearly 200 shops, is a posh emporium located along one of the pedestrian shopping streets in central Buenos Aires. The large complex, with three levels, occupies an entire city block. The original building was modeled after the fashionably famous Gallerie Vittorio Emanuele shopping complex in Milan. The building actually served as the headquarters for a railway, and was converted into a stylish shopping center in 1992. Its interior central dome has skylights and is decorated with some colorful fresco murals created by several notable Argentine artists in the "New Realism" style. Alas, most people are too busy to admire the artwork as they concentrate on their sh...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 11, 2002

Galerias Pacifico
Florida 787
Buenos Aires 1005
+54 (11) 55555110

Caminito Pedestrian Street/La Boca District

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Attraction | "La Boca - Caminito"

Caminito Pedestrian Street/La Boca District Photo, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Quote:
Home of a large Italian population, the La Boca neighborhood has an urban blue-collar attitude that is also credited as one of the birthplaces of the tango. The locals even have their own soccer team to root for, the blue and yellow side of Boca Juniors once led by World Cup star Diego Armando Maradona. The club’s stadium is the anchor of the neighborhood and features its own soccer museum and souvenir shop. A storefront across the way displays an adorable life-size wooden mannequin of Maradona. The tourist-friendly Caminito is definitely the most colorful area of La Boca. The cheap corrugated metal constructions of the Caminito are elevated to artistic prominence by boldly painted surfaces. The...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 11, 2002

Caminito Pedestrian Street/La Boca District
Calle Caminito
La Boca, Buenos Aires 1166

Plaza de Mayo

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Attraction

Plaza de Mayo Photo, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Quote:
The Plaza de Mayo is probably the most significant square of Buenos Aires. An obelisk stands in the middle of the centrally located plaza. The Plaza de Mayo is surrounded by the pinkish Casa Rosada (the Argentine equivalent to the White House), the main cathedral (Catedral Metropolitana) with the bank-like neoclassical facade, and other important banks and institutions like the Cabildo. The wide Avenida de Mayo connects the plaza to the grandiose National Congress (Palacio del Congreso) to the west. The spacious Plaza de Mayo is a frequent location for political protests. I witnessed a slew of protesters (September 2001) who had paraded down the Avenida de Mayo and then congregated in ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 11, 2002

Plaza de Mayo
Avenida De Mayo 800
Capital Federal, Argentina 1084
Not available

MNBA - Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes

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Attraction | "Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes"

Quote:
The National Fine Arts Museum is the definitive art museum in Buenos Aires. It is located in La Recoleta, near landmarks such as the Cementerio de la Recoleta and the National Library. The large neoclassical building, which was the city’s waterworks station at one time, was established in 1933. The original architect of the building was Julio Dormala; Alejandro Bustillo modified its design during a subsequent remodeling. The large museum has an interesting mix of artwork by European and Argentine artists from the last two centuries. The lower level features second-tier works by Renoir, Monet, Rodin, Van Gogh, and other European masters. The upper level concentrates on important Argentine artist...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 11, 2002

MNBA - Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes
Avenida Del Libertador 1473 Recoleta
Buenos Aires, Argentina 1425
+54 (11) 48030802

Palacio del Congreso

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Attraction

Quote:
The wide Avenida de Mayo axis visually and symbolically connects the Palacio del Congreso at the west with the Plaza de Mayo at the east. The distinctive silhouette of the Palacio del Congreso can still be spotted from the Plaza de Mayo amongst the traffic and the trees. This massive government complex is modeled after the US Capitol in Washington DC. Completed in 1906, the Palacio del Congreso is not quite as majestic as the US Capitol, probably because it is not based atop a "Capitol Hill". However, the neoclassical design of the structure is certainly grandiose enough. An elongated dome with a light green exterior caps its central rotunda. The granite steps that form the base of ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 4, 2002

Palacio del Congreso
50 Entre Rios Ave.
Buenos Aires, Argentina

I'VE BEEN SLIMED!

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Travelling around the world is great 99 percent of the time, but there is always that 1 percent where things can go wrong. The following incident falls into the nether region of that 1 percent, but it should not be used as evidence that a city or place is "unsafe." I had read about such a "sliming" scam in a guidebook ahead of time. One unseen person squirts/spills some substance on your back while a second person offers to wipe your stain. In reality, this person is actually body-searching you to see if you have any hidden valuables. When I faced this for the first time, I reacted in a clear and proper manner and thwarted the scam. I would like to inform you about this so that if you do become a TARG...Read More