Buenos Aires in Bloom

(Flower shop in Almagro. Photo by Gobierno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires)

The purples, reds, pinks, yellows, and greens that flower vendors sprinkle the city with are one of the many things that make Buenos Aires charming. Valentines Day is the perfect excuse to indulge in the fragrance and color of these delicate gifts from nature.

The local flower industry, which caters only to internal consumption, produces mostly in the Buenos Aires province and consists of family run businesses that pass on cultivation techniques from generation to generation, adding to the romance of the bouquet.

Vendors are everywhere and can be found at all times of day although there are two important flower spots in the city. One is in the Almagro area where the flower market used to be and where Acuña de Figueroa street is now lined with flowers. The other is where the flower market (founded in 1940) was finally moved to in Barracas. Both are interesting neighborhoods to explore, full of history, tangos and more.

(Traditional flower shop. Photo by ‘J’)

Almagro Tango Festival 2012

tango

(Photo by cernIO)

Throughout the week, until the 2nd of December, Almagro, one of the city’s most renowned tango neighborhoods will be hosting their 2012 tango festival. The event will include, tango lessons, live concerts, and more. Find the schedule for upcoming tango events below:

Thursday

7pm- Tango lessons by Soledad Fernández and Eugenia Della Latta at Almagro Tango Club, Medrano 688, Almagro.

9.30 pm- Live tango music by Duo Greco- Liberati with guests Guillermo Fernández and the Orquesta Típica Almagro, and Osvaldo Peredo.  Almagro Tango Club, Medrano 688, Almagro.

Midnight- Live tango music by Pablo Motta Quintet at Sanata Bar, Sarmiento 3501, Almagro.

Friday

9.30pm- Live tango music by Dúo Daniel Binelli – Polly Ferman and Quasimodo Trío at Almagro Tango Club, Medrano 688, Almagro.

Midnight- Live tango music by Julián Quinteto and Quinteto Tanguísimo at Sanata Bar, Sarmiento 3501, Almagro.

Saturday

9pm- Elvino Vardano String Orchestra and Juan Pablo Navarro featuring “Fantasía Contrapiazzolisimo” and Quinteto Viceversa featuring  “Tangos nocturnos”.  Special guest: Julio Pane. Almagro Tango Club, Medrano 688, Almagro.

11pm-  Negro Falótico and Anibal Corniglio´s quintet at Almagro Tango Club, Medrano 688, Almagro.

Midnight- . Amores Tangos at Sanata Bar, Sarmiento 3501, Almagro.

Sunday

Closing ceremony featuring free tango lessons from 3pm and live music by Violentango/Rock de Nylon, Orquesta Típica Ariel Ardit, Orquesta Típica Conciertos Atorrantes and singers Cucuza Castiello, Guillermo Fernández, Alicia Vignola, Osvaldo Peredo, Negro Falotico and Limón García at Plaza Almagro Sarmiento 3800, Almagro.

There will also be seminars and master classes for accordion players, tango dancers and more. More information here.

Whilst in the area don’t miss these great Almagro hotspots!

This Week in Buenos Aires

Monday

(Photo by jduvall71)

One of the architectural landmarks of the city is the famous Palacio Barolo. Construction of this regal building full of references to poet Dante Alighieri began in 1919 for what was to be the tallest structure in Latin America. Guided tours are available Mondays and Thursdays from 4pm to 7pm and evening guided tours on Mondays and Wednesdays at 8pm and Thursdays at 8.30pm includes tasting of an awarded wine and a national delicacy. Av de Mayo 1370 9° P. Esc. 249/52. Tel/Fax: (54-11) 4381-1885. info@palaciobarolotours.com.ar

In the evening don’t miss out on La Bomba del Tiempo, a percussion orchestra that has become one of the local absolute musts. Centro Cultural Konex Sarmiento 3131, Abasto. 4864-3200

For some great post dancing pizza, head to nearby Los Cocos and order a fugazetta pizza, an onion and mozzarella local specialty. Córdoba, Av. 3303, Almagro. 4963-0457.

 

Tuesday

(Photo by kevin dooley)

Lots of Mexican themed activities will be held in Buenos Aires throughout the summer. Amongst them is the exhibit on Mexican deities and rituals “Dioses, ritos y oficios” being held at Fundación Proa in La Boca. Av. Pedro de Mendoza 1929, La Boca. 4104-1000. info@proa.org

If you’re looking for a laugh don’t miss the Grin Go! Stand Up comedy Show starting at 9pm at the Absinth Resto Bar. Bartolomé Mitre 1695, Downtown. 4371-6486. Be sure to make a reservation by emailing gringo@comicosdepie.com.ar.

 

Wednesday

(Photo by Basilievich)

Whilst visiting the Casa Rosada (govt. Headquarters) area, don’t forget to stop by the Casa del Bicentenario where a special exhibit on Argentine folk singer Mercedes Sosa is being displayed. Riobamba 985, downtown. 4813-0301

Later on head to the Centro Cultural Konex for a unique experience of the senses at the Dialogo en la Oscuridad exhibit in which the audience is guided through a series of recreated situations, such as shopping or traveling in a boat, in total darkness. You can also stay for the after office and wine tasting in the dark afterwards.  Opening hours from 5pm-10pm. Sarmiento 3131, Abasto. 4864-3200.

 

Thursday

(Photo by reflectification)

Purchase an online PDF of Buenos Aires Domes (U.S $3.99) from Endless Mile and go on a dome hunt to discover these local architectural landmarks and the city while you’re at it!

Book your place for the Fierro Hotel’s Thursday wine tasting and sample some great Argentine wines, chosen by the president of the Argentine Sommelier Association Andres Rosberg and in-house Sommelier Martin Bruno. Tastings cost 25 USD per person and are limited to 7 people. Soler 5862, Palermo. 3220-6800.

 

Friday

(Photo by Chile con Karine)

Take a free tour of Buenos Aires with Jonathan, an Englishman in love with the city. Tours start every day at 11am at the center of Plaza Italia by the Garibaldi Horse monument and cover the areas of Almagro, Congress and the Plaza de Mayo using local transport to get around. More information here.

Later on don’t miss Fierro´s new happy hour special from 6pm-8pm where unique Argentine inspired cocktails (2 x 35pesos) and tapas (10 pesos) will be served in the restaurant and hotel garden. Soler 5862, Palermo. 3220-6800.

In the evening head to La Catedral in the Almagro area for a fun informal tango lesson starting at 9pm. Sarmiento 4006, doorbell 5, Almagro. 4342-4794.

 

Saturday and Sunday

(Photo by Gobierno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires)

 

Don’t miss brunch at one of these recommended venues!

Head to the stunning new Faena Arts Center in Puerto Madero, which is showcasing the centers opening Ernesto Neto exhibit, curated by the Tate Modern’s Jessica Morgan. Aimé Paine 1169, Puerto Madero. 4010 9233.

Feria de Mataderos- Coordinate transport with the hotel and check out some of the popular local traditions at the Feria de Mataderos. Every Sunday at Lisandro de la Torre Avenue.

On Sunday Mayer Hawthorne will be presenting his combination of retro soul sounds with rap on his How Do You Do tour at La Trastienda. Tickets here.

This Week in Buenos Aires

Monday

(Photo by J)

One of the architectural landmarks of the city is the famous Palacio Barolo. Construction of this regal building full of references to poet Dante Alighieri began in 1919 for what was to be the tallest structure in Latin America. Guided tours are available Mondays and Thursdays from 4pm to 7pm and evening guided tours on Mondays and Wednesdays at 8pm and Thursdays at 8.30pm includes tasting of an awarded wine and a national delicacy.

In the evening the talented flamenco dancer, Rafaela Carrasco, will be putting on a show at  Parque Centenario at 8pm.

 

Palacio Barolo

Av de Mayo 1370 9° P. Esc. 249/52

Tel/Fax: (54-11) 4381-1885

info@palaciobarolotours.com.ar

barolotours@gmail.com

 

Parque Centenario

Avenida Díaz Vélez 5463

4982 4252

 

Tuesday

(Photo by Quimbaya)

An exhibition on the storefront windows of the historic La Estrella pharmacy is being displayed at the Museo de la Ciudad.

In the evening head to traditional cafe Los 36 Billares for a live tango show with dancing staring at 9pm.

 

Museo de la Ciudad

Defensa 223, San Telmo

4331-9855

Open: Mon-Fri 11am-7pm, Sat-Sun 10am-8pm

 

Los 36 Billares

Av. De Mayo 1265, Downtown

4381-5696

 

Wednesday

(Photo by Valerie Everett)

A special exhibit of clothing and accessories related to weddings and family from 1870-1915  is being showcased at the Museo de Arte Hispano Americano Isaac Fernandez Blanco.

In the evening head to 878 bar in Palermo where renowned cocktail artist Tato Giovannoni will be preparing drinks thought the week.

 

Museo de Arte Hispano Americano

Suipacha 1422, Downtown

4327- 0228

 

878

Thames 878, Palermo

4773-1098

 

Thursday

(Photo by blmurch)

Explore the Tres de Febrero parks in Palermo. Between Av. Libertador and Lugones, and extending from Av. Casares in Palermo to La Pampa in Belgrano, this group of parks is composed of 25ha made up of 15 public parks and 21 private sport clubs and includes the “Rosedal”, an extensive rose garden, the Sivory Museum, the planetarium and the Japanese gardens.

Later on Book your place for the Fierro Hotel’s Thursday wine tasting and sample some great Argentine wines, chosen by the president of the Argentine sommelier association Andres Rosberg and in-house Sommelier Martin Bruno.  Tastings cost 25 USD per person and are limited to 7 people.

 

Fierro Hotel Buenos Aires

Soler 5862, Palermo

3220-6800

 

Friday

(Photo by capitu)

Experiment with your senses at the Centro Cultural Konex where the temporary exhibit “Dialogo en la Oscuridad” will guide you through a series of recreated situations, such as shopping or traveling in a boat,  in total darkness. The exhibit is held from 3pm-5.30pm

Afterwards stop for 5 o’clock tea at the stunning Las Violetas teahouse, which is just a few blocks away.

Also in the area is La Catedral where you can take an informal tango lesson at 7.30pm or at 9pm.

 

Centro Cultural Konex

Sarmiento 3131, Abasto.

4864-3200

 

Las Violetas

Av. Rivadavia 3899, Abasto.

4958-7387

 

La Catedral

Sarmiento 4006, doorbell 5, Almagro

Telephone: 4342-4794

 

Saturday and Sunday

(Photo by CateIncBA)

Check out one of the documentaries at DocBsAs, the annual documentary festival.  Program available here.

Sunday won’t offer much in terms of activities as it is Election Day, so it is a good chance to walk around the city to see architectural landmarks such as the Puente de la Mujer and the Cavannagh building. Restaurants will be open although alcohol will not be served on Saturday evening or Sunday.

 

This Week in Buenos Aires

Monday

(Photo by Luis Muñoz)

Head to La Rural in Palermo to check out Expotrastiendas Art Fair, organized by the Argentine association of art galleries.

In the evening don’t miss out on La Bomba del Tiempo a percussion orchestra that has become one of the local absolute musts.  For some great post dancing pizza, head to nearby Los Cocos and order a fugazetta pizza, an onion and mozzarella local specialty.

 

Expotrastiendas at La Rural

Av. Santa Fe 4201, Palermo

 

La Bomba del Tiempo at Centro Cultural Konex

Sarmiento 3131, Abasto

4864-3200

 

Los Cocos

Córdoba, Av. 3303, Almagro

4963-0457

 

Tuesday

(Photo by reflectification)

Take a guided tour in English at 11am or 4pm of the spectacular Congress Palace.

In the evening the centric and hip Le Bar is serving some of the best drinks in town, and also showcasing a interesting photography exhibit by Pix Talarico.

 

Palacio de Congreso

Hipólito Yrigoyen 1849, Downtown

Tours available Mon, Tue, Thus, Fri at 11am and 4pm.

 

Le Bar

Tucuman 422, Downtown

5219-0858

 

Wednesday

(Photo by Mellagi)

ANDA Responsible Travel is a tour agency that promotes social and environmentally friendly tourism.  One of the alternatives they offer is booking one of their experts to discuss in-depth economy, politics, history and culture of Argentina over coffee.  Choose one of the city’s historical cafes and get into context.  More information here.

In the evening get your dose of tango at Centro Cultural Torquato Tasso where orchestra Ojos de Tango will be playing at 21.30.

 

Centro Cultural Torquato Tasso

Defensa 1575, San Telmo

4307 6506

 

Thursday

(Photo by Luciano Belviso)

For those of you interested in economics and Argentine economic history, head to the Museum of External Debt where you can find out more about the economic evolution of the country. Audio guides in English are offered.

Later on Book your place for the Fierro Hotel’s Thursday wine tasting and sample some great Argentine wines, chosen by the president of the Argentine sommelier association Andres Rosberg and in-house Sommelier Martin Bruno.  Tastings cost 25 USD per person and are limited to 7 people.

Jazz fans will get a special treat on Thursday evening as the John Scofield Quartet will be playing at the Gran Rex Theatre starting 9.30pm. Tickets available here.

 

Museum of External Debt

José E. Uriburu 781, 1st floor, Downtown.

4374-4448

Open: Mon-Fri 11am-7pm

 

Fierro Hotel Buenos Aires

Soler 5862, Palermo

3220-6800

 

Teatro Gran Rex

Corrientes 857, Downtown.

4322-8000

 

Friday

(Photo by Jackie_oh)

Weather forecasts anticipate a warm sunny day, ideal for a walk in the ecological reserve in Puerto Madero where you can get the best view of the city!

In the evening head to aphrodisiac restaurant Te Mataré Ramirez where a free temporary exhibit of contemporary art is being displayed from 8.30pm onwards. Staying for a rather expensive dinner with an erotic puppet show is also an option.

 

Ecological Reserve

Av. Tristán Achával Rodriguez 1550

4315-4129

Open: Tue-Sun 8am-6pm

Saturday and Sunday

 

Te Mataré Ramirez

Gorriti 5054, Palermo

4831-9156

 

Saturday and Sunday

(Photo by capitanbar)

Head to the off the beaten path Caballito neighborhood where you can visit the natural sciences museum, a large market (Mercado del Progreso) and take a ride on antique trams.

10 Neighborhoods to Explore in Buenos Aires

1 Retiro: Full of movement and busy commuters going to and fro the central train station and bus terminals, this lively neighborhood is great for people watching and has wonderful sites too. The San Martin Park with its Malvinas monument, the Torre Monumental, The Kavanagh Building, the stunning Military Palace with its museum of arms, the Fernandez Blanco Hispanic art museum and the art galleries around calle Arroyo, make Retiro a great place to visit.

(Retiro train station by carlosoliveirareis)

2 San Nicolas: Next to Retiro, often know as downtown, this emblematic neighborhood is known for its many notable bars such as La Giralda and Confiteria Ideal, for the famous Obelisco and Corrientes Avenue where you can find Broadway like theatres, bookstores galore and the best pizzerias in town, and for its architectural landmarks such as Tribunales, the Palacio de Aguas Corrientes, and the stunning Colon Theatre.

(9 de Julio Avenue by puroticorico)

3 Puerto Madero: On the other side of San Nicolas, crossing the Leando Alem Avenue is Puerto Madero. This area, which is pierced by the river, is lined with renovated warehouses which were turned into hip restaurants. Modern and upscale, it is a great place to walk through, and lunch in. The elegant Puente de la Mujer, the Fragata de Libertad (a ship turned into a museum) and the Ecological Reserve through which you can get one of the best views of the city, are worth checking out whilst in the area.

(Puerto Madero by matt.hintsa)

4 La Boca: A well-known neighborhood in the turistic circuit because of its colorful houses and its historic relevance in the unique migratory patterns that defined the city’s identity in the early 20th century. Places worth checking out are Caminito, fundacion PROA (great art exhibits), the Quinquela Martin museum and the Boca stadium.

(La Boca by Paula Soler-Moya)

5 Barracas: This historic off the beaten path neighborhood was originally occupied by the emblematic families of the city who built beautiful palaces, houses and churches. An outbreak of yellow fever however scared these families out of their homes at the end of the 19th century and working class later populated it. A textile factory, and a chocolate factory amongst other were opened attracting more workers. These factories however closed in the eighties, and the construction of nearby highways impoverished the once rich neighborhood even more. This coexistence of classes and structures with interesting places such as churches, factories, pasaje lanin, and an underground meeting spot for secret societies make Barracas a very interesting place to visit. We do insist that you go with someone who knows the area as there are parts of the neighborhood that are very unsafe. Eternautas, for example offers a great tour of this area.

(Pasaje Lanin by jafsegal)

6 San Telmo: Another favorite on the turistic circuit, San Telmo is a colorful and lively neighborhood known for its antique fair on Sundays. Apart from its antique shops, it has many lovely traditional bars (El Federal, Bar Seddon, Bar Dorrego), a buzzing modern art and design scene (check out the MAMBA museum) and a lot of tango shows both on and off the streets.

(San Telmo antique fair by Paula Soler-Moya)

7 Monserrat: The historical and “political” neighborhood of Buenos Aires. Monserrat is where Congress and the government house (Casa Rosada) are set. Also in the area is Plaza de Mayo, Palacio Barolo, the subway line, which still keeps the charming old-fashioned wagons, Cafe Tortoni and Los 36 Billares and La Manzana de las Luces, an old jesuit residence dating back to the 1700’s.

(Cabildo by loco085)

8 Abasto and Almagro: (They’re really two neighborhoods but since they’re next to each other and have so much in common we decided to join them.) These buzzing cultural neighborhoods are considered to be tango epicenters as none other than Carlos Gardel was raised there. Consequently, the Carlos Gardel museum is in this neighborhood, as well as many tango bars and milongas such as La Catedral and El Bar de Roberto. Other places to visit are Confiteria Las Violetas, one of the most beautiful teahouses in the city, and the Centro Cultural Konex where original and lively shows are often staged.

(Pasaje Zelaya by mccopa)

9 Recoleta: the rich families of the city populated this luxurious emblematic neighborhood when they fled from Barracas due to the yellow fever outbreak. The lush parks and elaborate French architecture come to mind when Buenos Aires is referred to as the Paris of South America. The famous Recoleta cemetery is a must visit in the area, as well as the two art museums (MALBA and MNBA), the Duhau Palace, the Floralis Generica sculpture next to the national school of law and La Biela cafe.

(Floralis Generica by Evelyn Proimos)

10 Palermo: This extensive neighborhood has become the it place for dining, shopping and going out. Its lovely corners, gourmet restaurants, boutique hotels, unique design stores make it fun and lively. Its gorgeous 3 de Febrero parks with its rose garden, Japanese garden, Botanical garden and Zoo, and the racetracks complete this bustling areas appeal.

(Rosedal by claudioruiz)

5 Hot Nightspots in the Almagro Area

(La Catedral by Julie&Rebecca)

The Almagro neighborhood is one of the tango sources of the city that still keeps its nostalgic and colorful charm. The four blocks of flower shops, open day and night, around the area of what was once the flower market; the old typical Spanish style food stores; the intimate tango venues and bars, and a recent theatre boom make it a lively area where there is plenty to see and do.

El Bar de Roberto

Gardel and other tango passionates frequented this traditional bar, which was bought by a Spaniard from Asturias in the 1930s. Now a days it’s still kept as way back then,  with the same bottles adorning the walls and late night live tango sessions to charm the crowded audience.

El Bar de Roberto

Bulnes 331, Almagro

4862-0415

El Banderín

Another traditional spot in the Almagro scene, El Banderín is a place with a very personal identity.  This welcoming bar got its name from the many national and international football team flags (banderin), which are hanging from every bit of free space on the walls.  The flags were collected by one of its first owners so there is not only variety but also a few relics and the warm ambiance makes it a special place to visit and sit down for a few beers.

El Banderin

Guardia Vieja 3601, Almagro

4862-7757

La Catedral

This somewhat grungy alternative tango hall is popular amongst the younger more laid back tango crowds which start the night early with a tango class and then dance the night away into the dawn. Intimate live music shows are also put on. The ample space, the mismatched chairs, and the Carlos Gardel shrine add to its appeal whiles its vegetarian restaurant is loved by some and hated by others (eating can always happen elsewhere at the nearby Pierino for example, a family restaurant owned by Italians).

La Catedral

Sarmiento 4006, Almagro

155-325-1630

Centro Cultural Konex

The Centro Cultural Konex became increasingly popular thanks to its Monday evening super hit- La Bomba del Tiempo, a one of a kind percussion orchestra that slowly went building its public by word of mouth until the small crowd of enthusiasts became a packed event in the city week. The cultural center has a large open space and hosts quality art, music and theatre events such as the teatro ciego (blind theatre to experience with your other senses) and Medea Tango, which merges tango with theatre. A place to go to for good surprises.

Centro Cultural Konex

Sarmiento 3131, Almagro

4864-3200

La Salsera

Also in Almagro is the very popular salsa club La Salsera. The Caribbean feel of the place, the welcoming people and atmosphere have attracted many tourists looking for the warmth and rhythm of the Latin soul. Salsa lessons are offered here and other events and cultural activities focusing on Latin-American culture are also part of the agenda.

La Salsera

Yatai 961, Almagro

4866-1829 
info@lasalsera.com