Monday, August 29, 2011

Apartments 3&4 - Recoleta

Recoleta is where the old money is, and along with the money it´s full of beautiful old buildings.  The residents are mostly older too, lending a sophisticated air to the neighbourhood and it´s stores and coffee shops.

My Colombian friend Camila rents a room in the first apartment, which is owned by a young Argentine doctor who rents two of the three bedrooms to foreigners.  Her bedroom is the room that a mucama or live-in maid would have usually occupied, a small space with an even smaller bathroom, where the washing is hung to dry.  But despite the size Camila loves where she lives for the location and the friendly atmosphere of the shared apartment.  It can be quite difficult and expensive for foreigners to rent in Buenos Aires, as real estate agents require another property owner in the capital to sign your contract incase you default on the rent.  There are many share houses for foreigners but they are usually expensive, and there are often more people than bedrooms.

One of the apartment´s best features is the long balcony that runs along one side and has room for some chairs, some plants, and even a hammock.  In a city where outdoor space is premium, the balcony is a great summertime oasis.  The apartment has three toilets, quite a nice luxury when you are sharing with strangers, and a good sized living/dining room that is defined by two green walls and a speckled mirror above a chesterfield-esque couch.

This last shot is a view from the roof of the building and shows the typical Buenos Aires skyline.

Apartment number two is where Daniel lives, another Colombian residing in Buenos Aires.  He has been living in his studio apartment for a few months, after previously renting a room with an Argentine family. 

The distribution of space in the apartment makes it seems bigger than it is, and the strategic placement of a low bookshelf divides the space in two, providing a living and bedroom area. The apartment is full of light and he rents it with the furniture included. The space is uncluttered, and while the atmosphere is a little less bachelor than perhaps he would choose for himself, it´s practical and functional.

Two of Daniel´s favourite things are the location and convenience of the supermarket below his building, as well as finally having a space to himself.  

Daniel´s apartment building has a roof-top space with the all important Argentine parilla or BBQ that can be reserved to use for parties and general good bbq-ing times.  The view is great, and directly in front is the national library, a very iconic piece of architecture.