on October 1, 2007
People living in Buenos Aires refer to themselves as "Porteños," recognizing thus the port vital role in the city’s life. Among the several neighbourhoods on Buenos Aires waterfront, La Boca is the most distinctive and colourful. The name means "The Mouth" and refers to it being the meeting point between the Riachuelo (a small stream of waste delimiting the city to the south) and the mighty Rio de la Plata.The port is not longer the main attraction but it still shapes the neighbourhood. La Boca’s wood and zinc shanty houses were built by the Italian immigrants who worked in the port and are coloured in a myriad of bright patches. The place looks as if a rainbow crashed on it. It is hard to imagine poor people living in a poor city of a poor continent spending so much on paints; actually, they got the colours free from ship repairs leftovers.Nowadays, La Boca is known mainly for three other things. Boca Juniors is one of the best soccer teams in Buenos Aires, and its stadium is here. Its blue and yellow logo is ubiquitous in the neighbourhood. The colourful quarter and derelict port created the perfect background for restaurants, souvenir shops and cafeterias catering for the many tourists reaching the area. Unluckily, these two activities attract huge crowds on a regular and predictable schedule. Combined with the area’s poverty, this created a heaven for thieves. Visiting La Boca is dangerous at all times, but especially at night. Precautions and care should be taken everywhere, but especially so around the Caminito and the Boca Juniors Stadium.While the main sights are available everyday, it is recommended visiting the neighbourhood on Sundays, just after a visit to the San Telmo Flea Market. Both places are close to each other and slightly off-center, hence such a tactic pays-off. Main Sights:Caminito Street. The most colourful street in the city is a daily artists’ outdoor exhibition open from 10am to 6pm.Historic Wax Museum: Del Valle Iberlucea 1261. Mondays to Fridays from 10am to 6pm; weekends from 11am to 8pm. Admission 5ARP. This is the South American version of Madam Tussoud.Vuelta de Rocha: Pedro de Mendoza Av. Corner Palos. The Vuelta de Rocha hosts the steamship La Carrera, a museum ship with a tourists’ information center and a handicrafts stalls base.Benito Quinquela Martin Fine Arts Museum: Pedro de Mendoza Av. 1835 Tuesdays to Sundays from 10am to 6pm. The museum is named after a painter that lived here and shows his works and studio.Proa Museum: Pedro de Mendoza Av. 1929 Tuesdays to Sundays from 11am to 7pm. A typical Italian house transformed into a beautiful contemporary art centre.Necochea Street. The old port canteens were replaced here by restaurants offering seafood and local shows.Boca Juniors Stadium: Brandsen 805 a must for every soccer fan, the place is known as "La Bombonera" due to its candy box shape.
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