5 Argentine Authors worth Reading that are not Borges

eterna cadencia

Eterna Cadencia Bookstore (Honduras 5574, Palermo) PH:aya padrón

If there’s something that Buenos Aires knows how to do, it’s books. The city is chock full with bookstores, publishing houses, readers and writers alike, and although Borges, and Cortázar are the names that usually come up when it comes to local lit, there is plenty more room to make on the bookshelf for Argentine writers. Below, a pick of five that are well worth the read, just as a starter.

Roberto Arlt: A contemporary to Borges, who belonged to the more “refined” Florida group of authors, Arlt was the greatest exponent of the antagonic Boedo literary group that wrote with more of a social focus. His novels, sometimes more straightforward, sometimes more complex, paint a gritty and unique picture of Buenos Aires and its strange characters.   His novels include Diary of a MorphimaniacMad Toy, Seven MadmenThe Flame-Throwers, and Bewitching Love.

Silvina OCampo: Another Borges contemporary, Silvina, sister to Victoria OCampo and wife of author Bioy Casares, wrote mostly short stories and poetry. She also studied painting and drawing and was one of the first Argentine women authors, alongside poet Alfonsina Storni and Alejandra Pizarnik, to receive recognition for her outstanding literary work. Her writing mostly fits into the fantastic and surreal, displays rich imagery and explores recurring themes related to childhood, mirrors and transformations. Some of her translated works include Thus Were Their Faces and Silvina OCampo (stories and poems) by Jason Weiss.

Rodolfo Fogwill: Sociology graduate and first a businessman, Fogwill began his writing career later on in life and was able to focus solely on it after his short story “Punk Girl” was awarded the first prize in a literary contest. His very famous and truly accomplished novel, Malvinas Requiem:Visions of an Underground War, was written while the war was going on, and rumor has it that it was written on a seventy two hour writing binge.

Juan José Saer: Atmospheres tainted by weather and landscapes contain the sinuous narratives that this master of the novel wrote during his life. Some of his works translated into English include: Shadows on Jeweled Glass, The Witness, The One Before, Nobody Nothing Never, and The Event.

Ricardo Piglia: Celebrated internationally, Piglia wrote short stories, essays and novels about truth and fiction, social and political issues as well as having been a well known literature professor both in Argentina and abroad. His novels include Artificial Respiration, The Absent City,  Burnt Money, Nocturnal Target and One Way Road. 

Buenos Aires Agenda: January/Enero 18-24

Monday/Lunes

tangueros

(Photo by Zabara Alexander)

Check out the new MALBA exhibit of Belgian artist Francis Alÿs’s poetic-political artwork. Av. Figueroa Alcorta 3415, Palermo. 

In the afternoon, from 5.30pm to 7.30pm, you can stop by the Fierro Hotel garden and grab a couple of cocktails at the UCO  happy hour! 3220-6800. Soler 5862, Palermo.

In the evening, at 8.30pm, catch the Argentina Tango Salón Festival closing night at La Milonga de los Zucca in San Telmo. Humberto Primo 1462, San Telmo.

El MALBA está exhibiendo una muestra del trabajo político-poético del artista belga Francis Alÿs. Av. Figueroa Alcorta 3415, Palermo.

A la tarde, desde las 17.30 hasta las 19.30hs., abre  el jardín de Fierro Hotel para ofrecer cócteles en el happy hour de UCO restaurante. 3220-6800. Soler 5862, Palermo.

A la noche, a partir de las 20.30, se lleva a cabo la milonga de cierre del Argentina Tango Salón Festival en La Milonga de los Zucca en San Telmo. Humberto Primo 1462, San Telmo.

Tuesday/Martes

photographer

(Photo by glasseyes view)

Sunny weather is perfect for taking a Foto Ruta Tour where you can get to know the city from a different perspective!

Later on, head to the Doppelganger Bar in San Telmo for some of the city’s best drinks and atmosphere. Juan de Garay 500, San Telmo.4300 0201.

El clima cálido y soleado es ideal para hacer un tour fotográfico de Buenos Aires con Foto Ruta y aprender a mirar a la ciudad desde otro ángulo.

Por la noche, Doppelganger Bar en San Telmo, es una buena opción para probar algunos de los mejores cocktails de Buenos Aires en uno de los ambientes más amenos de la ciudad. Juan de Garay 500, San Telmo.4300 0201.

Wednesday/Miércoles

eterna cadencia

(Photo by aya padrón)

Buenos Aires is a literary city, explore its bookstores or write someone a letter in one of the city’s traditional cafes

Later on, experience the music of Radiohead, Rolling Stones and Oasis in complete darkness at the Centro de Teatro Ciego. Tickets here

Buenos Aires es una ciudad literaria con librerías hermosas para explorar, y cafés tradicionales donde sentarse a escribir cartas.

Más tarde, el Teatro Ciego invita a experimentar la música de Radiohead, Rolling Stones y Oasis en total oscuridad. Entradas aquí.

Thursday/Jueves

aztecas

The international Human Bodies exhibit is taking place at La Rural in Palermo and is the perfect chance to get to know more about your own biology. Buy your tickets here.

If the weather is nice, at 8pm, you can catch an outdoor screening of Vivaldi’s Motezuma at the Plaza del Vaticano, right next to the Colón Theatre.

La Rural en Palermo está exhibiendo la muestra internacional Human Bodies que invita a un mayor entendimiento de la biología humana. Entradas aquí.

Si el clima acompaña, a las 20hs., se llevará a cabo una proyección de Motezuma, de Vivaldi, en la Plaza del Vaticano, al lado del Teatro Colón.

Friday/Viernes

food truck

(Photo by Federico Eduardo Ratier)

If the weather is nice, a day trip to Tigre is a must while you’re in Buenos Aires. You can try a water sport, stop by the Puerto de Frutos where you can purchase local goods, go on a rollercoaster ride, and even place your bets at the local Casino. Explore on your own or try a tour!

In the evening, from 7pm to 2am, the new night edition of the Buenos Aires Market gourmet food fair will be taking place at the Palermo racetracks!

Si el día está soleado, hacer una excursión al Tigre es una salida imperdible. Algunas de las actividades que proponemos incluyen los deportes acuáticos, pasar por el Puerto de Frutos para comprar artesanías, subir a una montaña rusa, o probar suerte en el Casino. Explora por tu cuenta o súmate a un Tour.

A partir de las 7 de la tarde y hasta la madrugada del sábado, se lleva a cabo la nueva edición nocturna de la feria de alimentos gourmet Buenos Aires Market, en el hipódromo de Palermo.

Saturday and Sunday/ Sábado y Domingo

dj

(Photo by Federico Eduardo Ratier)

Book your place at UCO´s delicious weekend brunch, with a great Irish version as well! 3220-6800Soler 5862, Palermo.

On Saturday from 7pm to 2am, the new night edition of the Buenos Aires Market gourmet food fair will be taking place at the Palermo racetracks!

On Sunday, if you want to keep dancing, head to the Picnic Electronic Music event that starts at 5pm in Punta Carrasco.

Hacé tu reserva para degustar el delicioso brunch de UCO restaurante que  ofrece también una variante de desayuno irlandés. 3220-6800. Soler 5862, Palermo.

El sábado, a partir de las 7 de la tarde y hasta la madrugada del domingo, se lleva a cabo la nueva edición nocturna de la feria de alimentos gourmet Buenos Aires Market en el hipódromo de Palermo

El domingo, quien quiera seguir bailando puede hacerlo a partir de las 17hs. en el Picnic Electronic Music que se lleva a cabo en Punta Carrasco.

Fierro Loves Hollywood: Cafés

Café culture is a porteño trademark, and the many gorgeous traditional cafés that are scattered around the city are proof that locals have thrived on cafecitos and medialunas ever since BA´s founding days. During the last few years, a new type of café has sprung offering a wider variety of pastries inspired by French and North American cuisine. In Palermo, cafés pop up every day, offering from scrambled eggs and bacon for a potent way to start the day, to the more understated and local caffeine and sugar combinations.

Best Coffee

Café Montenegro serves Lavazza coffee, and many a foreigner chooses this lovely spot at the corner of Soler and Arevalo because quality java is a guarantee. Arévalo and Soler, Palermo Hollywood.  4040.3783.

The Italian style In Bocca al Lupo café offers top-notch coffee and also delicious sandwiches, nutella filled croissants, and all in a spacey luminous setting complete with an outdoor patio.  Bonpland 1965, Palermo. 4774-3692.

Yummy cakes and Palermitan cozy feel

There is an overwhelming amount of cafés in the Palermo area, and the type that features flowery streamers and rustic atmospheres are the most popular. The most renowned and for good reason are the pioneer Oui Oui, Voltaire (lovely lighting and outdoor seating), Porota (passion fruit muffins!), and Pani ( famous for its sweet potato jam cheesecake). Of course, there are many others and if there’s one you’ve found that missed the list, please share with us!

Bookworm Heaven

Sipping on coffee and reading is the perfect match and Eterna Cadencia, our favorite neighborhood bookstore has tapped into this and also has a gorgeous café with natural light coming in from the rooftop windows. Honduras 5574, Palermo. 4774-4100.

Traditional

For those who want a real porteño experience then stopping by El Bar del Gallego is a must. This corner café belongs to Don Emilio, who despite being offered millions for his prized location sticks to his guns and continues serving the local classics, as well as the bars specialty- a baguette with prociutto, cheese and butter. The bar will soon be moving to the opposite corner and so will be closed during the first fortnight of November. Bonpland 1703, Palermo Hollywood. 4771-1526.

At the Buenos Aires Core: Av. Corrientes

Avenida Corrientes is one of the city’s most emblematic avenues and spans from Puerto Madero to the Chacarita cemetery. Known as the street that never sleeps, due to the many theatres and cafes that line it, it is full of history and local identity.

 

(Photo by ‘J’)

It’s hard to believe that the lively avenue was once a narrow dirt road, but that is how it started out in the XVIII century. When Domingo Acasssuso inaugurated the San Nicolás de Bari temple (where the obelisk is today and where the Argentine flag was first raised in Buenos Aires), the street began to acquire a greater importance and progressively expanded. It had many different names and finally settled on Corrientes in 1822 to honor the Corrientes province’s involvement in the Argentine independence.

During the early 20th century, the first theatres began to open as well as cafes and restaurants. Tango was acquiring a great popularity in the city and the Abasto area boomed with Corrientes Av. at its heart.

 

(Photo by Evandro Flores)

Today, Av. Corrientes is one of the cultural epicenters of the city where live music acts, film screenings and theatre are always on offer. The Revue and music hall are genres that have been locally accepted and their main attractions are scantily dressed feather clad vedettes (female singers and entertainers). The area is also known for its bookstores, traditional cafe’s such as La Giralda and Gato Negro, and pizza venues such as Las Cuartetas and Guerrin.

Bookstores for Anglos

(Photo by blmurch)

Buenos Aires is a city full of beautiful bookstores and avid readers. For English speakers there are a few specialized bookstores too, where you can get translated Latin American literature and books originally written in English, amongst others.

Walrus Books is a cozy bookstore in San Telmo that specializes in used books in English. Head there to find unique copies of beautiful prose and, if you wish, take your own books in English to trade or use to get discounts! Estados Unidos 617, San Telmo. 4300-7135

Eterna Cadencia is set in Palermo and has a great selection of books both in English and Spanish. Its warm lighting, and dark wooden furniture make this bookstore and publishing house an inviting place to browse. Their spacious cafe is a great place to sit and read or even to just stop by for a coffee break. Honduras 5574, Palermo. 4774-4100. info@eternacadencia.com.ar

KEL is a chain bookstore that specializes in English books. They have a very good selection and high prices to show for it. Find the closest KEL to you here.

SBS Libreria Internacional is an international bookstore that sells both online and in different stores around the city.  They also have a selection of books in German, French, Italian and Portuguese, mostly for language learners. Find the closest SBS here.

The Book Cellar is an online bookstore that buys and sells books in English. Browse their online catalogue here.

Gourmet Bookstores in the City

(Photo by Riverside Agency)

DAIN Usina Cultural is more than just a bookstore. Their main thing is to sell books, sure, but their aim is also to promote culture through live musical events, film debates, readings, art exhibits and all with the option of sitting down to enjoy a delicious gourmet meal with vegetables from their own organic garden!  Nicaragua 4899, Palermo.4778.3554. info@dainusinacultural.com.

Clasica y Moderna is one of the city’s cultural hotspots where books reign and live music colors the nights. Additionally it has a great restaurant with a few fixed menus which feature carefully prepared Argentine cuisine. Callao 892, Recoleta. 4812-8707.

Abulafia Libros is a space for book and wine lovers alike.  The Palermo centered bookstore, complete with a black cat and all, is a great place to buy a gift or to sit and enjoy the fine pleasures of life. They also host films screenings and intellectual evenings. Borges 1985, Palermo. 4833-9184.

Although not really a bookstore, the gorgeous Sociedad Argentina de Arquitectos is THE architectural hotspot in the city and has the added plus of a beautiful architecture library that is open to nonmembers for only 10 pesos. Also on the premises is Restó, a guaranteed palate pleaser specializing in French auteur cuisine. Montevideo 938, Recoleta. 4816-6711.

Find more recomended Buenos Aires bookstores here.

Romantic Outings in Buenos Aires

(Photo by al3jandra)

With Valentines Day coming up, finding the perfect spot to celebrate romance is an important task at hand. Our picks? Read on-

 

Watching the sunset or the sunrise is a romance classic and where better than on a boat floating down the river or up in the air in a hot air balloon?  Buenos Aires Outdoors offers romantic balloon rides over the countryside at Capilla del Señor (they offer transport to and from the city). Smile on Sea offers a special romantic sailing trips that depart from Puerto Madero,  and Soul Trips offer a similar service in Tigre although on a motorboat with lit candles, drinks and snacks.

 

Speaking of Tigre, this rugged location surrounded by streams in the heart of the Paraná delta is another great alternative for nature loving lovers who want to relax together away from the bustle of the city.  Rumbo 90° is a beautiful lodge and spa well worth staying in, and they will be offering a special Valentines Day candle lit dinner in their exclusive restaurant overlooking the river. Another option is the Delta Eco Spa. They offers special Valentines Day deals, including overnight and day passes for the spa, and special deals on massages and facials.

 

For those looking for something in the city the Rosedal is a classic go-to romantic spot with its blooming roses, pedal boats and Andalusian patio. Bookstores and traditional cafes also have a special romantic charm to them so a visit to the Ateneo Grand Splendid, one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world, is a nice option and as for cafes the classic Tortoni on Avenida de Mayo, Las Violetas– for a lavish 5 o clock tea in Almagro, and Confiteria La Ideal are all wonderful options, plus many are also tango joints, which brings us to our next suggestion.

 

Tango, of course, an obvious romantic activity in this city, and the great thing about Buenos Aires is that you can listen to it, view it and even try it out! Ruben and Cherie are popular tango teachers well worth taking a lesson with, also La Catedral offers tango lessons for beginner and intermediate levels and you can stay for the milonga afterwards. Other options include Lo de Roberto in Almagro (a small intimate bar with live tango music),  the aforementioned La Ideal, and Los Angelitos, amongst others.

 

Some bars and restaurants will of course be offering thematic evenings and special menus. The stunning Milion bar will be having a Valentines night, and the mysterious Frank’s Bar with its in-house sex shop is also an interesting option if you can get the password to enter. Hernan Gipponi will be offering a special Valentines Menu- more information here.