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.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sexy Serpent

This lady and her snake keep me company while I wait for the bus after work in Palermo...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Apartment #6 - La Boca

Gabriela has been living in her apartment in La Boca for about two years.  It is huge by Buenos Aires standards and quite a luxury that she only shares it with her boyfriend and not three or four other people as well (and this luxury was achieved by some serious Swiss planning).

La Boca meaning the mouth, is a port-side suburb home to Boca football stadium (la bombonera), the colorful Caminito tourist precinct and a whole lot of history.  The suburb has a reputation for being on the poorer and dodgier side of town, but it is a big neighbourhood and as always it depends on where you are and who you know.  Gabi lives close to the bottom of Parque Lezama and the neighbourhood of San Telmo, in a traditional and commercial area away from the tourists.  Her apartment is at the end of a long passage and up one flight of stairs.

Opening the apartment door, light fills the corrider that leads down one complete side of the building.  Along with light it is spacious, has a view from the living room to an immense garden next door, there is an exposed-brick wall in the dining area and most importantly, a rooftop terrace.

The apartment is her oasis in the city.

Gabriela´s favourite thing about the apartment is the rooftop terrace, complete with a parilla or bbq and views of nearby Boca Stadium.