Long Weekend in Buenos Aires

(Photo by Pat McDonald)

Monday is a national holiday as the Battle of Vuelta de Obligado will be remembered and the “Day of National Sovereignty” celebrated. The battle was one of the most important fought by the Argentine Confederation and due to its aftermath effects, such as the adhesion of Chile and Brazil to the confederacy, and the lifting of the blockade by the French and UK, it was taken as a symbol of local autonomy.

Saturday

Hernán Gipponi’s unique must-try brunch will be served at Fierro Hotel. Book your place and indulge! Soler 5862, Palermo Hollywood. 3220-6800.  info@hgrestaurant.com.ar.

The Buenos Aires Market, which offers fresh natural products, and organic produce will be taking place at the Palermo parks this weekend. The Market also offers a large selection of vegetarian meals to try on-site, and a variety of activities and entertainment.  Av. Libertador and Av. Sarmiento. Palermo.

From 10 am to 1pm the stunning Japanese Gardens will be featuring some impressive Sumo Wrestling!Av. Figueroa Alcorta and Av. Casares.

Don´t miss the last day of Argentine Ice-cream week. Check in at the AFHADYA’s facebook page where they will publish where the Saturday Ice-cream tastings will be!

The Campeonato Argentino Abierto de Polo, one of the most important polo events of the year, is in full swing with tournaments throughout on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets here.

Don’t miss the Buenos Aires Jazz Festival that will take place until the 26th of November promising for swing filled days and many an outdoor show. Find the full program here. 

Sunday

Hernán Gipponi’s unique must-try brunch will be served at Fierro Hotel. Book your place and indulge! Soler 5862, Palermo Hollywood. 3220-6800.  info@hgrestaurant.com.ar.

The Buenos Aires Market, which offers fresh natural products, and organic produce will be taking place at the Palermo parks this weekend. The Market also offers a large selection of vegetarian meals to try on-site, and a variety of activities and entertainment.  Av. Libertador and Av. Sarmiento. Palermo.

A special origami exhibit will take place at the stunning Japanese Gardens on Sunday and Monday.  On Sunday afternoon there will also be a special Argentine/Japanese drum show starting at 5pm. Av. Figueroa Alcorta and Av. Casares.

The Campeonato Argentino Abierto de Polo, one of the most important polo events of the year, is in full swing with tournaments throughout on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets here.

Don’t miss the Buenos Aires Jazz Festival that will take place until the 26th of November promising for swing filled days and many an outdoor show. Find the full program here. 

Monday

A special origami exhibit will take place at the stunning Japanese Gardens on Sunday and Monday. Av. Figueroa Alcorta and Av. Casares.

Don’t miss the Buenos Aires Jazz Festival that will take place until the 26th of November promising for swing filled days and many an outdoor show. Find the full program here. 

More music will also be played at the kick-off of the two-day Buenos Aires Blues festival which will be taking place at La Trastienda in San Telmo starting at 8pm. Tickets here.

Monday’s are also the day to stop by La Peña del Colorado where tango peñas are held starting at 8.30pm. This Palermo-centered peña 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.

Also a Monday classic, La Bomba del Tiempo, a percussion orchestra that has become one of the local musts, will be playing at the  Centro Cultural Konex Sarmiento 3131, Abasto. 4864-3200

Also, don´t miss the Tracey Emin exhibit at the MALBA, the Giacometti exhibit at the Fundación Proa, the Caravaggio exhibit at the MNBA, the Franz Ackermann exhibit at the Faena Arts Center and the Spinetta retrospective at the National Library.

Fileteado Porteño at Museo de la Ciudad

(Photo by mccopa)

The Museo de la Ciudad showcases all kinds of different aspects of Buenos Aires including permanent exhibits of city doors, toys, musical instruments, advertisements and more. Last Saturday it added a new permanent collection that features a typical porteño style of painting called Fileteado Porteño.

This typical Argentine painting style dates back to the nineteenth century when it was first used as a decoration for horse drawn carts used to transport foods. It was progressively developed as a way of advertising and because big letters were taxed, the focus was placed on elaborate ornamentation to frame smaller letters. The style also became popular amongst the tango scene and many traditional tango neighborhoods feature ornamented filetes on their walls.  It has since been used as a decoration for accordions, buses, furniture, home fronts and more. A visit to the museum is a great way to learn more about this colorful painting style, as is the Fileteado Porteño Tour. The museum is also showcasing a temporary exhibit on hats.

Museum opening hours are from Monday to Friday from 11am-7pm and on weekends from 1pm to 6pm. Tickets cost 1 peso. Defensa 219, San Telmo. 4331-9855

This Week in Buenos Aires

Monday

(Photo by tanenhaus)

The stunning Palacio de Aguas Argentinas (Palace of Running Waters) is celebrating its hundredth anniversary with a special exhibit from midday to 8pm. Riobamba 750, Downtown. 6319-1104.

In the evening stop by La Peña del Colorado where a tango peña will be held at 8.30pm. This Palermo-centered peña 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 Concepciones Relativistas)

The Museo de Arte Decorativo is a gorgeous museum in Recoleta and it is currently showcasing a very special exhibit of Renaissance art.  We recommend you visit this architectural and artistic hotspot on a weekday as there are long lines during the weekend to see the impressive Italian paintings. Also, the museum cafe is a lovely place for a hot cup of tea and cakes.  Av.del Libertador 1902, Recoleta. 4801-8248.

The Colón Theatre will be staging a program of two one-act operas in the evening; Erwartung (Expectation) by Arnold Schönberg and Marie Pappenheim, and Hagith by Karol Szymanowski and Felix Dörmann. 22nd, 24th, 26th and 28th of July. Tickets here.

Wednesday

(Photo by Carlos Jauregui)

Comic art fans should check out the new Museo del humor that features works by Quino and Fontanarrosa, amongst others. There are also regular screenings of animation shorts.  While you’re in the area stop by the stunning ecological reserve, which is just around the corner. Av. de los Italianos 851, Puerto Madero

Unicorn Huset is the most promising new addition to the Buenos Aires night scene. On Wednesday’s their lille lordag (little Saturday) party brings trendsetters and world travelers together for some stylish upbeat fun! Open from Wednesday’s to Saturday’s from 9pm onwards. Honduras 5730, Palermo Hollywood.

 

Thursday

(Photo by jayhsiao)

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 and very informed side of the city! 4307-8539.buenosaireshistorico@yahoo.com.ar.

For a unique evening, book your place at 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, which include special tapas from Hernán Gipponi Restaurant, cost 25 USD per person and are limited to 7 people. Soler 5862, Palermo. 3220-6800.

The Colón Theatre will be staging a program of two one-act operas in the evening; Erwartung (Expectation) by Arnold Schönberg and Marie Pappenheim, and Hagith by Karol Szymanowski and Felix Dörmann. 22nd, 24th, 26th and 28th of July. Tickets here.

Friday

(Photo by PizzadeBarr)

Book your place for the full parrilla experience with Parrilla Tour. These filling excursions, which take place in San Telmo on Fridays, will surely leave you satisfied.

In the evening explore the city’s art galleries and museums with the rest of the crowd on the monthly Gallery Nights.

Saturday and Sunday

(Photo by Roger Schultz)

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.

Stop by La Rural, the annual agricultural and livestock show, and get a feel for the Argentine campo, where so much of the local identity and economy has been forged. The fair takes place from the 19th to the 31st of July at La Rural. Av. Sarmiento 2704, Palermo.

The Colón Theatre will be staging a program of two one-act operas in the evening; Erwartung (Expectation) by Arnold Schönberg and Marie Pappenheim, and Hagith by Karol Szymanowski and Felix Dörmann. 22nd, 24th, 26th and 28th of July. Tickets here.

The BAFICI animation film festival kicks off on Thursday and will be showcasing great animations until Sunday at the Centro Cultural San Martin. Find the full program here.

The Buenos Aires Port

(Photo by DMWyllie)

Do you ever wonder why people from Buenos Aires are locally referred to as ¨porteños¨? The answer is simple; it is because Buenos Aires is a port city. It was founded on the river where the port would be, and then it progressively expanded around it, as did the country. Thus, the historical relevance of the port is of great importance and also key in understanding the geographic and economic distribution of Argentina, and the cultural identity in some of its aspects.

In 1536 Pedro de Mendoza, a Spanish conquistador, founded Buenos Aires city on the banks of the Riachuelo (where La Boca is today), which drains into the Rio de La Plata river basin. Many other rivers drain into the basin as well and it was a straight access to the Atlantic ocean, so it was a key location. During this period however, it didn’t officially function as a port because the Spanish crown forbade it; its role was to be a strategic point from which to conquer the whole Rio de la Plata area with the benefit of having low tides and high riverbanks, which made it difficult for warships to approach.

It wasn’t until 1776, when the Viceroyalty of the Rio de la Plata was formed, that the area really began to develop.  The port, which was allready being used for clandestine commerce (and- it is suspected- to transport South American silver to Spain), expanded. At the same time, England was industrializing and was in need of raw materials and markets to sell to, so goods started to flow through the port. In fact, it was such a strategic location and was expanding at such a rate that many European powers were interested in occupying it.  In the early 1800’s the British invaded it twice, without success, as the locals defended their city, sparking a sense of national identity that would lead to the Argentine independence in 1810.

From independence onwards the port continued to grow and was a protagonist of the migratory currents in the 1850’s, promoted by the first Argentine constitution, and later in the post world war periods. Centralis (“Unitarian”) policies from the founding years, concentrated economic activities around Buenos Aires and the port; the nation expanded around it, with much of its immigration settling in the city rather than populating the rest of the country as had been expected.  Thousands of immigrants populated the port and surrounding areas where they lived in conventillos (tenements).  This moment in Argentine history defined the local identity and is reflected in tangos, in Quinquela Martin’s art and in literature.

For practical purposes, in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s the port was moved to where Puerto Madero is now. Later it expanded to Puerto Nuevo where the port operates today.

This Week in Buenos Aires

Monday

(Photo by ollarte.olie)

Literature enthusiasts will have a whole week to explore detective fiction at the Buenos Aires Negra festival which will feature book readings, films, theatre, and a fake-trial, amongst others activities. From the 11th-17th of June. Find the full program here.

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

 

Tuesday

(Photo by Sebastian-Dario)

Don’t miss the temporary exhibit on Jesuit missionary cultural activities in Latin America, being held at the Museo de Arte Hispanoamericano Isaac Fernandez Blanco. Tours of the museum are also available in English with prior booking at 4327-0272 or mifb_educativa@buenosaires.gob.ar. Suipacha 1422, Downtown.

In the evening don’t miss the special production of Rinaldo, an opera by Georg Friedrich Händel, which will be staged at the Colón theatre on the 12th, 15th, 17th, and 19th of June. Tickets here.

 

Wednesday

(Photo by blmurch)

Whilst touring Recoleta don’t forget to stop by the Palais de Glace where a special photography exhibit is being held until the 9th of July.  Opening hours: Tue-Sun midday-8pm. Posadas 1725, Recoleta.

In the evening head to the Abasto neighborhood for a taste of tango presented by the Orquesta Típica Fernandez Fierro at the Club Atletico Fernández Fierro. Sánchez de Bustamante 764, Abasto. caff@fernandezfierro.com.

 

Thursday

(Photo by Gustav’s)

Stop by Argentina’s national library and learn more about this historically rich site. Guided tours are available on weekdays from 10am-2pm with prior reservation at 4808-6025 visitas@bn.gov.ar. Additionally, the library hosts many exhibits and cultural events. Find a full program here.  Aguero 2502, Palermo. 4808-6040. contacto@bn.gov.ar.

Close to the library is the Museo del Libro y de la Lengua (the book and language museum), also worth visiting. Open from Tuesdays to Sundays from 2pm-7pm.  Av. Las Heras 2555, Recoleta. 4808-0090.  museodellibro@bn.gov.ar

For a unique evening, book your place at 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, which include special tapas from Hernán Gipponi Restaurant, cost 25 USD per person and are limited to 7 people. Soler 5862, Palermo. 3220-6800.

 

Friday

(Photo by Gobierno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires)

Visit the Feria de las Artes at the Plazoleta San Francisco on the corner of Alsina and Defensa.  Whilst you’re in the area don’t forget to stop by the Cafe Tortoni for coffee and medialunas (croissants).

In the evening don’t miss the special production of Rinaldo, an opera by Georg Friedrich Händel, which will be staged at the Colón theatre on the 12th, 15th, 17th, and 19th of June. Tickets here.

 

Saturday and Sunday

(Photo by fotosterona)

The best of contemporary Argentine design will be on display from the 14th to the 20th of June at Feria Puro Diseño in La Rural. Sarmiento 2704, Palermo.

Head to the Planetarium in Palermo for one of the special screenings of Journey to the Stars. You can also access the planetariums telescopes to get unique views of the sky. Av. Sarmiento and Belisario Roldan. 4772-9265

On Sunday don’t miss the special production of Rinaldo, an opera by Georg Friedrich Händel, which will be staged at the Colón theatre on the 12th, 15th, 17th, and 19th of June. Tickets here.

Also on Sunday, to end the Buenos Aires Negra festival, there will be a Venetian Party at FILO starting at 10pm. San Martin 975, Downtown.

5 Emblematic Women in Argentine History

(Photo by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com)

Cecilia Grierson – 1859-1934

Cecilia Grierson was the first female doctor in the country. She graduated from the University of Buenos Aires as a surgeon-doctor in 1889 and began working at the Ramos Mejia Hospital (back then, San Roque Hospital).  She founded the first school of nurses, the Argentine first aid association, and the institute for the blind in Buenos Aires.

She also traveled to London and became the vice-president of the International Women’s Congress and studied gynecology in France.

Rosario Vera Peñaloza- 1873-1950

Rosario Vera Peñaloza dedicated her life to education. She founded the first Argentine kindergarten in La Rioja. She was also a head mistress in many schools around the country.

In 1931 the national education committee entrusted her with the creation of the first national museum for primary education. Her date of death was declared the national kindergarten teacher’s day.

Alicia Moreau Justo- 1885-1986

Alicia Moreau Justo was born in London but moved to Buenos Aires with her family when she was five. She was doctor and political activist who fought for women’s rights.

In 1902 she founded the women’s socialist center and was one of the founders of the women’s pro-suffrage committee.

She was also married to one Juan B. Justo, an influential politician, journalist, physician and writer with whom she had three children.

Victoria Ocampo- 1890-1979

Victoria Ocampo was an Argentine writer and intellectual.

She was born into an aristocratic family and traveled from an early age to Europe, which helped form her cultural identity.

She was a part of the feminist movement and founded Sur magazine, which was the most important literary magazine of its time in Latin America. Authors such as Sabato, Borges, Cortazar and Camus were published in it, amongst many other prominent authors.

She also edited and supported an anti-nazi magazine during world war II.

In 1976 she was appointed the first woman member of the Argentine Academy of Letters.

She frequently received visits from internationally renowned writers, artists and thinkers at her residence, which is open to visits. More information is available here.

Evita- 1919-1952

Evita is the most iconic woman in Argentine history. Born in Los Toldos, in the Province of Buenos Aires, she was first an actress, and then a politician.

She married Juan Domingo Peron in 1944 and became the face of Peronism.

As a first lady she is credited with having played an essential part in obtaining women’s voting rights and organizing the feminine branch of the Peronist political party. She established and ran the Fundacion Eva Peron, dedicated to social work.

She died of cancer when she was 33 and it is estimated that over a million people assisted her wake.

More information on Evita is available at  the Evita Museum.

Buenos Aires Shakespeare Festival

(Photo by tonynetone)

Throughout the week, until Sunday the 19th, the city will be celebrating the famous English playwright at the 2nd annual Shakespeare festival. Free activities including calligraphy lessons, performances, workshops, and more will be held in different venues and theatres around the city. Additionally there will be a recreation of a medieval village in Buenos Aires Polo Circo (on Combate de los Pozos and Juan de Garay streets) where visitors will be able to enjoy Elizabethan designs, archery, dancing, cuisine, amongst other attractions. Information on activities and theatre productions during the Shakespeare Festival are available here.