Monday, November 6, 2017

The Paris of Latin America

From The Week:
Spend a week in Buenos Aires and you may feel like you've seen half of Europe, said Dina Mishev at The Washington Post. Home to "gorgeous architecture, a rich café culture, wide avenues to stroll, and narrow cobblestone streets to bike," the Argentine capital is for good reason known as the Paris of Latin America, though that may be selling its cosmopolitan charms short. An acquaintance once quipped that the residents of Buenos Aires are "Italians who think they're French and speak Spanish." In December, a friend and I decided that visiting a Paris that was sunny and warm beat flying that month to the darker and colder original. Walking into the Alvear Palace, our Belle Époque hotel, we knew we would be treated like European aristocracy — "at least for several days."

To get ourselves in the right frame of mind, we decide to walk to our bike-rental shop, a stroll that takes us from one of the city's "most European-feeling" neighborhoods to San Telmo, one of its oldest. Naturally, we run behind schedule — "because I can't stop taking pictures of the architecture." At one cobblestoned intersection, the buildings' styles range from Edwardian to brutalist, Beaux Arts, and art deco. Once we meet our guide, we spend the day pedaling along leafy avenues and one-way stone streets. Lezama Park, with its sculptures and large esplanade, feels "decidedly" French, though its jacaranda and rosewood trees "pull me back to South America." In La Boca, an Italian neighborhood, "the air smells like southern Italy — anchovies and olive oil." (Read more.)

1 comment:

Helen Davis said...

Buenos Aires is beautiful but many of the buildings are in disrepair.