Squares in Argentina. Places to meet and gossip

When you walk through the towns of Argentina it is inevitable that at some point you will come across a square. Our cities are born and built around them. Nearby are schools, churches, the town hall… but there are others, especially those far from the town centres, that rely upon the personalities and stories of those who visit them.

I don’t think I know anyone who doesn’t have a strong childhood memory of being at one. This is because Argentineans can find green spaces at squares, as well as various games for kids to enjoy. Hammocks, slides, seesaws, carrousels, all brightly painted and their sounds inviting kids to come and play.

Families gather at them on Sundays and during the summer holidays. Women with their deckchairs and mate, the little ones with their footballs and, if there´s enough space, a kite. There, friendships are made that last forever. But these places don´t only belong to childhood. During your teens they are usually the scene for flirting and your first kiss, and where you go if you want to share secrets with your friends. In this sense it becomes a space somewhere between public and private, because as time passes it continues being both, but at the same time at one with all its memories.

Squares in Argentina

The green spaces and the blue sky are a beautiful sight of Buenos Aires

And just as the seasons pass by in front of the squares, so does life. You go from a child having fun playing games, to a teenager being up to no good, to adulthood and bringing other kids to experience the magic you felt when you were young. (Most likely that when no one´s looking we´ll give into temptation and climb back into the hammock to feel like we´re flying again).

These places reflect the spirit of the community that surrounds them. Sometimes they are taken care of by their neighbours, who plant flowers and paint games or the walls with creative and colourful images. They are the home of various celebrations such as carnivals, championship victory parades, town anniversaries, cultural events and national holidays, amongst others.

By not being designed for tourists, but rather for the good of the community, it is where ´local colour’ is most genuine and evident.

Some of them include:

  • Parque Las Heras (Palermo), surrounded by the streets of General Las Heras, Coronel Díaz, Jerónimo Salguero and Juncal.
  • Plaza Jardín de los maestros (Recoleta) found between Marcelo T. de Alvear, Pizzurno and Paraguay.
  • Plaza Francisco Canaro, situated in Cochabamba between Combate de los pozos and Sarandí. It is home to murales of the celebrated Patoruzú and is open from 8am until 9am in the summer.
  • Plaza Conesa (Quilmes), surrounded by the streets of Conesa, Moreno, Lavalle and Colón.
  • Plaza Ameghino in Parque Rivadavia, surrounded by Av. Rivadavia, Doblas, Beauchef and Rosario.

These probably don´t appear in tourist guides like the famous Plaza de Mayo or Plaza Congreso, with their towering monuments and statues of important figures of the country´s past. However they are spaces that show off the part of Latin American culture that perhaps goes unnoticed by those who visit them regularly. What unforgettable memories will they leave you with?

Ice Cream, Pizza, and More! BA’s food surprises

Without question, Argentina is a meat loving country and for good reason.  Any meat-eating traveler would be amiss if they didn’t try Argentina’s famous grass-fed beef or experience an Asado–the traditional barbeque featuring numerous cuts of meats and entrails.  Most streets have a Parrilla every few blocks where hungry wanderers can satisfy their carnivore cravings.  Yet beef is not the only Argentine specialty.  There exist many other regional dishes and a few unexpected treats worth sampling. Be warned though, some are thoroughly addicting!

Empanadas

These meat, cheese, or vegetable filled pastries are the perfect snack when on the go or an ideal alternative for a full meal when in need of something fast and simple.  Compact and delicious, empanadas come in a variety of forms and with a variety of fillings.  Some favorites include carne (with either ground beef or whole cuts of steak inside), pollo (chicken), jamon y queso (ham and cheese), queso y cebolla (cheese and onion), or vegetales (vegetables).   Better yet, empanadas are cheap!  At around four pesos apiece, you can snack on empanadas all day without breaking the bank.

Pizza

If you were to discuss the great pizza capitals of the world, you may not think to mention Buenos Aires.  However, pizza is as widely consumed here as anywhere, and like New York or Napoli, its preparation is considered an art form.  Thanks to a large population of Italian immigrants (Italian is the second most spoken language in BA behind Spanish) pizza has not only found a new home in Buenos Aires but a new style as well.  Unlike sauce-based pizzas, it’s all about the cheese in Buenos Aires.  Here, pizzas come with fresh slices of tomato and green olives placed upon mounds of mozzarella cheese.

Helado

The ice cream of Buenos Aires is simply superb.  From quality to presentation to the vast variety of flavors available, Buenos Aires makes gelato of unrivaled delight… dare we say it may even be better than Italy’s?  Heladerias (ice cream shops) are everywhere, and they provide the best place to cool down on hot summer afternoons.

Medialunas

Medialunas (literally half moons in Spanish) are sweet croissants.  Eaten for breakfast with coffee or as an afternoon snack to quell hunger while waiting for dinner, they are as delicious as they are useful.  Sample these and other facturas (sweet pastries) at any café or panderia.

Alfajores

Argentines really can’t get enough sweets.  Case and point Alfajores.   These ubiquitous packaged treats are sold in every street side kiosco, and will cure the most severe of sweet cravings.  An example is Conitos, a cone shaped piece of cholcolate filled with dulche de leche, a sugary caramel-like spread, and more chocolate.

Dulche de leche

This rich confection is perhaps Argentina’s signature treat.  Like Nutella, dulche de leche can be used as a spread to sweeten up most anything.  Additionally, it is also the main ingredient in most Argentine deserts and is even a popular ice cream flavor.

 

Rockin Towards the End of Summer: Buenos Aires hosts top rock groups and artists

Roger Waters in Argentina: Buenos Aires Tourism

If you’ve read a few of our previous posts, you’ll know that Buenos Aires is a hotbed of live music.  And this summer has proven to be no exception.  Two giants of British rock have graced BA with performances within a week of each other.

Just last Sunday, the enigmatic Morrissey (internationally loved signer and former front man of The Smiths) performed for a packed audience at Palermo’s Club GEBA rugby arena.  Four days later Roger Waters (former front man for the genre-defining Pink Floyd) took the stage at River Plate Stadium for the first of 9 shows that will continue this week.  Those who attended Waters’ initial show were wowed by the combination of pyrotechnics, enormous props and theatrics that made up the live rendition of his rock opera “The Wall”.  Waters will perform throughout this month, giving his last performance on March 20th.

However, it doesn’t stop there.

The music continues April 3rd when River Plate stadium hosts a rock extravaganza made up of some of today’s most popular groups.  Qulimes Rock Festival will feature two headliners, The Foo Fighters and The Artic Monkeys, and an all-star line of opening bands, including MGMT, TV on the Radio, Band of Horses, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, and many others.  The festival will last for four nights.

Don’t let the rock emphasis fool you, however.  Buenos Aires enjoys a vast mix of music, from rock to reggaeton to electronica to more traditional styles such as Tango and Salsa.  In fact, it is not uncommon to meet porteños who passionately listen to all of these styles.  Often bars or clubs dedicate multiple nights throughout the week to playing different genres of music.  Whatever your musical preferences are, you can find your taste of music in Buenos Aires, and not to mention, discover new styles to love.

 

Buenos Aires, A Favorite Student Destination

Buenos Aires Students

Buenos Aires has seen a steady increase in tourism over the years.  However, one group in particular floods into the city on a regular basis: Students.

More and more, university students flock here to take advantage of the city’s many colleges while getting a taste of porteño life.

In the past few years, Buenos Aires universities have become very popular among college students not only from South America but also Europe, the United Sates, and Canada as well.  Here students study many of the most popular graduate and undergraduate degrees of today–advertising, marketing, graphic design, and others.  This new wave of visitors will stay in Buenos Aires anywhere from 3 months, for a short study abroad program, to the 4 years of a complete university course.

Due to their longer than average stay, students have particular needs when it comes to looking for a place to live.  We consider students a very important part of our cliental and are familiar with the particular requirements their living situations demand.  From working with long time frames, to requiring specific locations within Buenos Aires, to the necessity of living on a budget, we are ready to help.

We encourage students, or travelers, to contact us and check out our selection of budget low rate buenos aires apartments.  Many of our apartments are eligible for a significant discount when rented for over a long period of time, allowing students to select the apartment of their choice for a very special low price.

If you are a current, former, or future student, please leave us a comment on your experiences or expectations about Buenos Aires.  We have helped countless students in the past and would love to continue this relationship.

 

Upcoming events in Buenos Aires

 

Buenos Aires Tourism

Tourism has blossomed in Buenos Aires, bringing visitors from all over the world along with some of today’s most popular artists and performers.  Currently, tourists and Porteños are rocking out to the likes of Green Day, Queens of the Stone Age, No Te Va Gustar, Rage Against the Machine, and many others at the Pepsi Music Fest—an annual rock extravaganza that lasts over a week.  The list of international artist to have performed in Buenos Aires is varied and wide ranging, from Rob Halford of Judas Priest to the Dave Matthews Band and the Jonas Brothers.

Buenos Aires is also the site of Personal Fest.  From dusk till dawn a lineup of big name international artists and DJs perform a mix of rock, pop, funk, and dance on the Costanera Sur, an ecological preserve on the banks of the Rio de la Plata river.  Electronica fans flock to Creamfields BA, the first Creamfields event to be held outside of England, where the festival originated.  Previous Creamfield artists include David Guetta, LCD Soundsystem, and Deadmau5.  This year’s Creamfield will take place on November 13th in the Buenos Aires Autodrome.

Besides music, sports are another main draw for Argentines and visitors alike.  Anyone familiar with the world of fútbol, or who relish a good rivalry, should attend the “Super Classico” that pits Boca Juniors against Rivers Plate—the two most popular soccer clubs in Buenos Aires.  Imagine a Red Sox-Yankees or Duke-UNC game on steroids, where for over 90 minutes 70,000 fans go crazy cheering for their team.

To get tickets for this upcoming buenos aires event please click here.  If you’d prefer to attend a slightly tamer game you’ll want to check out other soccer matches in buenos aires.

Other popular sports to watch include Polo, of which Buenos Aires is famous for, and tennis.  Tennis star Juan Martín del Potro hails from the city of Tandil, south of Buenos Aires.

A few other events to take place in Buenos Aires include:

- October 30th:  Latin America International Tourism Trade Fair

- November 3-7: ArtFutura at the MALBA (Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires)

- November 6th:  Buenos Aires Price: Gay Parade

- November 13- December 4: Argentinian Open Polo Tournament

- November 22-28: International Festival of Queer Tango Buenos Aires

- January 2-15 (2011): The Dakar Rally

To see a complete list of upcoming events in Buenos Aires please visit this website: http://www.whatsonwhen.com/sisp/index.htm?fx=events.location&loc_id=131837&cat_id=5926&sort=DATE

With all the great cultural events, sports, festivals, and sites, Buenos Aires is not to be missed!  And of course, should you want to stay in the comfort of your own apartment while in Buenos Aires, you know where to look: Buenos Aires Apartments.