Buenos Aires Avenues: Leandro Alem

alem

PH:Marysol*

Named after the UCR political party founder Leandro Alem, this bustling avenue spans from Plaza San Martín to Casa Rosada (Pink House), where government headquarters are located, and is a lesson in Argentine political and economic history.

You can start the tour at Plaza San Martín  which is full of shady trees and also where the Monument to the soldiers fallen in Malvinas/Falklands is placed. The neighboring Kavanagh building is another important landmark, and in front of Plaza San Martín, in the Plaza Fuerza Aérea Argentina, is  the Torre Monumental clock tower  which is another of the city’s historical sites. Further on, a few blocks with skyscrapers and banks form part of the central commercial district of the city, and here you will find some emblematic skyscrapers such as Torre Catalinas Norte, named after Alem’s unrequited love, and others such as the IBM tower and the Alas building. In front of Catalinas is the Edificio Dinamarca, which on weekdays has a good Danish lunch spot, Club Danés, on the 12th floor with a great view of the river and skyline.

Crossing Corrientes Avenue (from where you can see the Obelisco), the Centro Cultural Kirchner, once the central post office of the city, is well worth the visit and offers a lot of interesting exhibits and cultural activities. Other government offices line Alem until reaching the famous Casa Rosada and Plaza de Mayo, where government headquarters are located. Don’t miss out on one of the weekend tours before losing yourself on the other side in the San Telmo district as you look for antiques and a nice place to stop for coffee

Buenos Aires Architecture: La Casa de los Lirios

(Photo by FJTUrban (sommelier d mojitos))

The Balvanera neighborhood is home to two stunning buildings, both designed by Eduardo Rodriguez Ortega. The first is a residential building with a façade reminiscent of Gaudí and is known as La Casa de los Lirios. The other is nearby and has a stunning cupola with an insignia in Catalan that says no hi ha somnis imposibles (which translates to “there are no impossible dreams”). And in fact, the beauty of the constructions illustrates this idea to perfection.

La Casa de los Lirios was built between 1903 and 1905. The facade is ornamented with leaves and iris flowers (lirios) that give the building its name. Crowning the ledge is a plaster face of an old man that is presumed to be either Poseidon or Aeolus, his son. The entrance and windows are decorated with fluid lines made of iron.

If in the neighborhood, don’t miss the chance to stop and admire these two examples of the gorgeous local architecture. La Casa de los Lirios is located on Av. Rivadavia 2027 and the cupola is on Av. Rivadavia 2009.

Yusuke Shibata at Centro Cultural Borges

(Photo by BoNoNoBo – Images à la sauvette de la vie)

The Centro Cultural Borges, set in the stunning Galerias Pacífico, is showcasing the works of Yusuke Shibata, a new generation Japanese artist who works with mixed media including sculpture, photography, video and installations. The artist’s pieces deal with themes such as the ambiguity of reality, the absurd, and the blur between fiction and fact.

The exhibition is taking place until the 5th of January, alongside another showcase that features a selection of upcomming Argentine artists.  Centro Cultural Borges is open from Monday to Saturday from 10am to 9pm and on Sundays from midday to 9pm. Tickets are 30 pesos.  Viamonte 500, downtown.

This Week in Buenos Aires

Monday

(Photo by TheFutureIsUnwritten)

The MALBA is showcasing a new exhibit until the 1st of July on the work of Grete Stern.  Avenida Figueroa Alcorta 3415, Recoleta. 4808-6500.

In the evening stop by La Peña del Colorado that serves traditional food and stages live shows as well as hosting folklore dances for the community.  From midnight onwards they also encourage the diners to play spontaneous guitar music. (They offer the guitars).  Güemes 3657, Palermo. 4822-1038. info@lapeniadelcolorado.com.

Tuesday

(Photo by PortalComic)

Take a private tour with Buenos Aires Historico Tours. Their guides are historians and other humanities graduates from the Buenos Aires University and they will show you a unique side of the city! 4307-8539.buenosaireshistorico@yahoo.com.ar

Polish your Spanish and make new friends at the Tuesday conversation classes organized by Bueno, Dale! Spanish School in different city bars. The hour long practice sessions are open for all levels and all one must do is show up from 7pm to 8pm with a 30-peso fee. The location of each event is announced via Facebook.

 

Wednesday

(Photo by :Antonio)

Take a walk down Pasaje Rivarola, a beautiful hidden street which appears to be stuck in time in the historical downtown area. Built in 1926 and characterized by its mirrored buildings on both sides, it is a regular location for film productions looking for an old fashioned feel. Whilst you’re there visit “La Chacarita de Los Relojes”, a small shop specializing in antique clock and watch restoration.

Later on stop by La Catedral in Almagro where you can take a tango lesson starting at 7.30 pm or 9pm. Sarmiento 4006, Almagro.

Thursday

(Photo by gdiazdeleon)

Book a special shopping tour with Creme de la Creme. Roam the vintage scene, find the perfect souvenir, get into local designers or discover the art scene in Buenos Aires.  More information here.

Book your place for one of Anuva Wine tastings and discover great Argentine wines.

Friday

(Photo by tomasfer)

Check out the newly remodeled A-line subway and stop at some of the city’s most emblematic historic landmarks including Plaza de Mayo and the Casa Rosada, Casa de la Cultura, Café Tortoni and 36 Billares, Congress, Las Violetas and Parque Centenario.

If you are a Beatles fan head to Boris Club de Jazz where Nube 9 will stage a live show at 10pm and interpret the White Album. Gorriti 5568, Palermo.

Saturday and Sunday

(Photo by Lumiago)

Remember to make a reservation for Hernán Gipponi’s unique must-try brunch, served on Saturdays and Sundays! Soler 5862, Palermo Hollywood. 3220-6800.  info@hgrestaurant.com.ar

In the spirit of Easter go on an easter egg chocolate shopping spree at gourmet chocolateries Vassalisa in Recoleta, Tikal in Palermo, and Compañia de Chocolates in Palermo and Recoleta.  We also recommed you try the traditional rosca de pascua.

PM Open air music– Outdoor live music, art and more merge in this new Saturday event which takes place in Palermo from 2pm to 9pm. Paraguay 4905, Palermo

Don’t miss the free concert at the Colón Theatre at 11 am on Sunday. Pick up your tickets in advance! Cerrito 628, Downtown.

On Sunday The Killers will be staging a live show at GEBA. Tickets here.

Find a ten-day weather forecast here.

Downtown Bar: Le Merval

(Photo by Magh)

Buenos Aires is well known for its upbeat nightlife and its variety of unique bars. Le Merval is no exception.

For those who are out of the stock exchange loop, the Merval is the most important index of the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange and it’s no wonder this downtown drinking haven has adopted its name. Defined as a Stockmarket Concept Bar, the busy locale determines its prices based on customer demand.  Every six minutes a plasma screen updates the drink-stock price until the next round.

Le Merval also hosts different theme nights and open bar night for a fixed price on Saturday’s.

Opening hours are from Tuesday through Friday from 5pm onwards and Saturday from 10pm to closing.  Viamonte 852, Downtown. 4326-0183

Downtown Bistro: Dill and Drinks

Set in the heart of the Buenos Aires downtown area, just blocks away from Plaza San Martín, Dill and Drinks combines welcoming decor, scrumptious food and excellent cocktails. The small bistro offers a special summer menu complete with gazpacho, ceviche, vichyssoise and more, and for those who want to stop by in the afternoon, a great selection of tapas. Their cocktails are one of their specialties and they also have a top of the line wine selection. Additionally, their bright 50’s style decor makes for the ideal setting to enjoy a quality meal, delicious drinks and a lovely time in an area where the culinary options are generally limited. If in the neighborhood visiting Plaza San Martín, viewing the Kavanagh building or roaming the Retiro area, then this is definitely a good option to stop for lunch, drinks or dinner.  They also offer cocktail workshops. San Martín 986, Downtown. 4515-0675.

Tina Modotti at the Centro Cultural Borges

(Tina Modotti, Workers Parade, 1926. dr jk)

Buenos Aires is brimming with art and one of the most interesting artists on display at the moment is Tina Modotti, a multifaceted Italian photographer with a life full of adventure. The talented artist was a Hollywood actress for a brief period. She was also an activist against fascism in Italy, and she participated in the Spanish Civil War, in the Communist Party in Moscow and in the Mexican post-revolution.

The exhibit showcases her photographs of Mexico where she befriended Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and David Siqueiros.  It is taking place in the Centro Cultural Borges until the 12th of February from Monday to Saturday from 10am to 9pm and Sundays from midday to 9pm. Tickets cost 30 pesos.  Viamonte and San Martín, downtown. 5555-5359, info@ccborges.org.ar

Special Gardel Exhibit at Casa de la Cultura

(Photo by Walküre.)

El Pibe Carlitos, Hombre y Mito, is the new Gardel exhibit that is being showcased at the Casa de la Cultura until the 30th of April. The exhibition features the largest tango collection in the world and includes new cinematographic material that has never been  screened before, and music by the famous Argentine artist that had never been published.

The exhibition shows Gardel’s life from his early youth to his years as the country’s most renowned tanguero.  It includes film footage, music and records, and a collection of objects such as a guitar, hats and more.

The exhibit is open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday from 2pm to 8pm until the 30th of April at the Salón Dorado in Casa de la Cultura. Av. De Mayo 575, first floor, downtown.

Top 5 Pan Dulces in the City

(Photo by Frabisa)

Amongst the glories of Argentine Christmas are the panettone in the city bakeries. Know to locals as pan dulce, this bakery specialty are a must on every Argie Christmas table.  Our favorites are from:

Abadía Santa Escolastica: The Benedictine nuns specialize in all things sweet for Christmas and they make fantastic turrones, fruitcakes, chocolate covered dried fruits, alfajores and of course, one of the most respected pan dulces in town.  They offer different varieties including chocolate coated and ice cream stuffed panettone; all worthwhile Christmas indulgences. Libertad 1240, Ground floor, store 19, Recoleta.

El Progreso: This traditional bakery is almost a hundred years old and is one of the city’s hottest pan dulce dealers. They are so popular in fact that they often run out of the seasonal delicacy, so better head there quickly, or otherwise stop by to try some of their other pastries.  Av. Santa Fe 2820, Recoleta.

Nucha:  A more modern option is this popular bakery with stores all around town. They offer both the Italian inspired panettone, which is flatter, and their version of  pan dulce, which is fluffier and higher.  Find a list of all their stores here.

Sugar&Spice: The great thing about Sugar&Spice is not only that their products are fantastic but that they are just a few blocks away from the hotel. Check out their cookies at the Fierro minibars and then stop for some more and one of the best pan dulces or German stollens in town at their nearby store. Guatemala 5419, Palermo.

Patisserie Française: This Palermo centered patisserie offers a great variety of French inspired pastries and for Christmas they make an excellent panettone, which granted is not French in origin, but is delicious just the same. Malabia 2355, Palermo.

Vintage Shopping in Buenos Aires

The vintage scene in Buenos Aires is perfect for quirky finds and retro gems. Although there are hidden vintage stores in almost every neighborhood there are some that have become emblematic for the city’s thrifty and hip opportunity seekers.

 

(Photo by Matthew Tichenor)

Galeria Quinta Avenida is a downtown vintage gallery. Because it is a whole gallery it is a perfect place to browse for hours in all its different stores. They specialize in 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s retro styles. Av. Santa Fe 1270, downtown.

Juan Perez is a place for pure fashion and has been around since the nineties. They have unique vintage, their own line of clothes, recycled pieces, collector’s items, local and international brands and more. Marcelo T. Alvear 1355 and MT Alvear 1439, downtown.

Vintage BA is set in the Galeria Promenade in the posh Recoleta neighborhood. It specializes in renowned international brands offering items from older seasons.  Galeria Promenade, Av. Alvear 1883, Recoleta.

Keak is in Palermo and perfectly represents the neighborhood with its colorful and quirky finds for adventurous and thrifty spirits. Costa Rica 5758, Palermo.