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Showing posts from March, 2011

Shopping in Buenos Aires

Shopping in Buenos Aires can be sublime. At the Galerias Pacifico on Calle Florida, the frescoes in the central dome could be the destination more so than the expensive boutiques inside the mall. The frescoes depict the history of mankind and was painted by five well known Argentine artists in 1945. For a leisurely view of the frescoes, sit and order a drink at one of the cafés under the dome.


Calle Florida is packed full of shoppers and walking along this pedestrian only street is a slow crawl as there are so many things to check out and perhaps buy from the vendors on the street. There are toys, handbags and wallets, costume jewelry, clothes, socks, flowers, and an incredible assortment of goods.  There is free entertainment from musicians and tango dancers. If you take a picture with the tango dancers, you will have to pay for this privilege. There's something for everyone.


In the posh Retiro district, food shops like the one above in  the glass ceilinged Patio Bullrich and t…

Colorful La Boca

Of all the many attractions in Buenos Aires, I found the neighborhood of La Boca to be the most fun and interesting of the bunch. Though the conventillos (tenements) here are restored and freshly painted, this neighborhood is still one of  the oldest, the home for many Italian immigrants in the 1940's.


Colorful buildings shown above line the streets of La Boca. It is said that past residents of this barrio used remaining paint they found in the docks to coat their wood and corrugated zinc dwellings. This explosion of colors adds a festive air to the neighborhood.


Narrow alleys like this separate the conventillos in La Boca. Living in such close quarters, there's not much privacy in these tenements. The courtyards became the living room of residents and this is where the celebrated tango was performed by the immigrants who were said to have introduced the tango to these shores.


A whimsical mural in the Antiguo Mercado de La Boca reminds visitors that this barrio is the birth…

Cruising the Paraná Delta

Only 30 minutes from central Buenos Aires, the Tigre River is the jump off point for trips around the  Paraná Delta. State of the art boats ferry passengers through thousands of miles of waterways for a glimpse of life on the delta.


Summer homes, some elegant, others simple and basic, peek through lush flora on the banks of the river. There are about 3000 residents in the delta, more so during the summer months. It's beautiful and peaceful out here and there are many activities to indulge in or none at all, depending on your mood.

This grocery boat traverses the river bringing necessary food and supplies to delta residents. Garbage pick-up barges also ply the river. There is a chapel, a gas station, a restaurant (or two) on these waterways.  It's as if you're living on dry land.

Beach goers enjoy swimming in the brown waters of the delta. The existence of silt in the waterways explains why it is brown. To keep waters flowing, the delta is constantly dredged to remove the…

Japan Relief - Please help

There are many organizations collecting donations for Japanese quake/tsunami victims. But check carefully to whom you entrust your donations. Yahoo has a list of organizations working in relief and recovery activities in Japan. Check this link: http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_newsroom/20110311/wl_yblog_newsroom/japan-earthquake-and-tsunami-how-to-help

For U.S. residents, I found the fastest way to donate is by texting REDCROSS to 90999 and $10.00 is charged to your mobile phone bill. The American Red Cross has already contributed $10 million to the Japanese Red Cross for medical and relief efforts. It plans to make further contributions as recovery work continues. For more information check out their website at http://www.redcross.org/

You may also donate to UNICEF which helps with the special needs of children, particularly in Japan at this time. They have a "Text-to-Give" campaign and you may text JAPAN to 864233. $10.00 will be charged to your phone bill.  For more on t…

The Fascination with Evita

The memory of Eva Perón (Evita) is certainly in the minds of many travelers to Buenos Aires.  The former First Lady of Argentina had as many detractors as followers in her own country during her time but today, her international cult is flourishing, due in part to the financial and critical success of the Broadway musical and later a film version simply called, Evita.


Perhaps the best place to start following in Evita's footsteps is to take a guided tour of the Casa Rosada which is across from the Plaza de Mayo. It's a free tour (on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays) which leads visitors inside various rooms in the palace including the Scientists' Room where Evita's gold framed photo is prominently displayed on a desk, right beside the famous balcony from where she made public appearances from time to time, most notably in 1951 when crowds gathered outside the  palace waiting for her to accept the Vice Presidential nomination.


The Palm Tree Patio is an oasis in the cen…