Friday, December 30, 2011

The President and Patio del Liceo

My favourite new discovery in the city is Patio del Liceo and the little design, art and book stores within. I went to this place in search of the new store The President (photo above is the outside of the shop, the two photos below are from the inside and taken from their facebook page because they were not open when I went back for a second visit!).

The President is a tiny store that stocks basically a cool range of the owner´s favourite things from their native South Africa as well as Europe, including magazines, perfumes, fabrics and clothing. The interior of the store is entirely covered in paper leaves hanging from the ceiling and walls and printed paper covers the rest and the floor. I was rather excited because they stock some English language magazines like The Gentlewoman, my personal favourite that is not available anywhere else in Buenos Aires. You can read more about The President on this great write up by a local journalist here.

I also found an uber-cool little art bookstore called Purr that stocks lots of indie publications and I finally got my hands on the beautiful little locally made but internationally sold Correspondencia magazineIt is hand-bound and published in both Spanish and English (finally a local mag with an international voice!) and features some great photography and artists.

It´s refreshing to find some independent boutiques that I can actually afford to shop at and that are not only for the USD-carrying tourists, yipee!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Women´s Help Line

After an exhausting stint of Christmas shopping around the Plaza Serrano market in Palermo, I found this advertisement for a women´s help line run by the government. Brilliant.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Street Arte BA

Street Arte BA is an independent graffiti event in Buenos Aires. This year the focus is on "the art in the street vs the street in the art". They have decked out a huge space in the neighbourhood of Once where many artists have come together to make their art both on the walls and/or on a canvas for sale. This picture is from the artist DOTZ who has an awesome Flickr that shows off his work.  He credits graffitimundo with the photo who work with local artists and run graffiti tours in Buenos Aires. More details on the Street Arte BA Facebook!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Wall in the Suburbs

There´s nothing like a freshly sprayed wall in the suburbs! This mural came to life last Sunday after 12 hours of creative goodness in the neighbourhood of Nuñez. One of the guys involved is a friend who goes by the name of COF, check out some of his other work here. He said the locals really got into it and one neighbour even brought them snacks and refreshments :)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Street Corner - Palermo

Today I had brunch at Oui Oui in Palermo Hollywood, delicious! Scrambled eggs, pancetta, green salad, chunky cut potatoes and limonada, mmmmm.  Just a block away on the corner of Arenal and Amenabar I had previously spotted this little long-nosed creature and loved his style. Great colours too!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Bikes and Birds

There is a small bicycle revolution happening in BA. The government are building bike lanes all over the city and providing many stations where you can use them for free and then drop them off at another location.  And aside from that, more and more people are buying and riding their own bikes as a clean, healthy and more enjoyable alternative to the chaos of public transport.

However, I think you need to be almost bat-sh%$ crazy to take to these congested streets on a bike, where the bus drivers basically use you as target practice and wouldn´t give way to you if their lives depended on it. And aside from this, nobody wears a helmut! But anyway, nice bike art... and some birds too.

Friday, November 11, 2011

For the Love of Architecture

This first building is actually in Santa Fe but it got me thinking that one of the things I love most about Argentina, or more specifically Buenos Aires, is the complete mish-mash of architectural styles.  You have a beautiful old building from the 1800´s, and next to it there´s a strange 1970´s thing that was made as a cheap office building.  So these are some buildings that held my attention because they are interesting, beautiful, ugly and unique.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Puerto Madero Part 2

Yesterday I went to the HUGE natural reserve in Puerto Madero for the first time ever! I actually cannot believe that I had not been before, and I can also not believe that it is so big and refreshing and so close to crazy downtime Buenos Aires.

We walked all the way to the edge where the park becomes the Rio de La Plata river and like everybody else, sat on the grass and drank mate. It was like we had gone on a day-trip out of the capital, so quiet and natural. I think it´s going to be the perfect escape from the mid summer heat in January.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Puerto Madero

I have been to Puerto Madero more times in the past few days than in the past three and a half years.  I never really had a reason to go there before and I never really liked it much; it´s hard to access (which is not accidental), it´s expensive, touristy and there isn´t really anything there.  But I just started a new job that is based there, which has forced me to spend more time getting to know the neighbourhood.

In the space of one working week I have decided that infact I rather like Puerto Madero and it could possibly be the perfect place to work.  This is due to the following reasons:

  1. There is so much space, giving you a break from the noise and the hustle and bustle of the city.
  2. It is an easy bus ride straight down Avenida Belgrano and I have the choice of two buses to take.
  3. My workplace provides a catered lunch for their employees, so the fact that it is an expensive neighbourhood becomes irrelevant.
  4. Following on from #3, there are no shops around to spend your money in! (referring to mainly clothing stores, which was dangerous in my old office in the heart of Palermo).
  5. For a neighbourhood that is seemingly empty there are a suprising number of facilites, such as banks and kiosks.
The thing that I still find strange about the place is this kind of feeling that you are walking around in an architectural model that has somehow been built on a human-sized scale.  These photos are from a park just behind my office that has been built in between two groups of huge skyscraper builidngs.  It´s such a surreal feeling standing in the middle of the park and looking at these futuristic buildings towering above you.  Even more so because the typical architecture of Buenos Aires is a mix of 18th, 19th and 20th Century buildings, but here its just these new super buildings.

Now I´m not saying that I want to live in Puerto Madero, or that I agree with the idea behind the neighbourhood and it´s inherent exclusivity, but I don´t mind having it as my 9 to 5 home from Monday to Friday. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Apartment #7 - Saavedra

Nacho has lived in Saavedra his whole life, right on the edge of where Buenos Aires the capital becomes the province.  And because it is so close to the border it has a real sense of space and tranquility, a nice break from the hustle and bustle of downtown BsAs.  The suburb is also home to a huge park, just a couple of blocks from where he lives.

Nacho has been living in his apartment here for about a year, which he shares with his brother and two cats, one belonging to each of them.  It is the perfect house for two adventurous cats, as the back balcony opens up to a mish-mash of neighbouring walls and gardens ready to be explored.  The 1960s brown sofa and matching armchairs belonged to Nacho´s grandfather and go rather nicely with the peach coloured walls and patterned floor tiles.  Some concertina doors keep the 60s/70s vibe going and provide the option of separating the bedrooms from the living area and the kitchen.

Being so far away from the action makes for long bus and train trips every day, but Nacho wouldn´t have it any other way. The journey makes arriving home to the neighbourhood of his childhood even better.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Street Art Inside

Last night I went to a mixed-media event combining music and art, and it included a kind of performance art where a guy known as Cof (Marcos) did his stencils on a wall of the interior patio.  It was great to see and share the art process from beginning to end, and bring the sort of art that is usually done on the street, inside.