Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Apartment #1

My friend Murphy has been living in Buenos Aires for about 4 years, originally coming to practice the Spanish he learnt while studying back in the US where he is from, and like most people who come for "a  while", he has not yet managed to leave.  (If you have never been to Buenos Aires, it has this addictive attitude that is hard to shake).

He currently lives in a studio apartment in Barrio Norte, located between the neighbourhoods of Recoleta and Palermo.  There are actually two separate buildings that make up his address; the second and smaller building is home to his apartment and was originally where the servant´s quarters were located for the apartments in the front building.

There are some decorative and stylistic features that seem to place the architecture from the 1930s or 40s, such as the stairwell, the light switches, the wall motifs and the lettering on the doors.  The entrance to the building is quite open and grand, and a long way for Murphy to come to have to open the door for his visitors!

His apartment is a good size for one person, full of light and nice and quiet, thanks to its location at the back and away from the street.  There is even a shared rooftop terrace that he never uses but is a lovely place to dry washing or enjoy a sunny afternoon reading the paper and drinking the Argentinian tea mate.

Murphy´s favourite thing about his neighbourhood is that you can conveniently access almost anywhere in the city, with the D-line subway nearby as well as many buses.  Walking is always a nice alternative when the subway is packed and sweaty during the summer.  There is a Starbucks a few blocks away that is situated in a lovely old building they have maintained in its original state, and a trip there once in a while for a coffee is a nice reminder of home.

While Barrio Norte can be pretty busy on weekdays, the weekends are a different story. Children gather to play soccer in the many small plazas and the streets are empty of the traffic that usually congests them.  There is some cool street art that can be found around the place too.

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