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January 23, 2013 / JustinKays Porter

Lovely Palermo

Back in Buenos Aires, we settled into a new apartment in a new neighborhood. Home base for the next few days is a studio apartment in a tower (on the 11th floor, with great views of the city) in the trendy neighborhood of Palermo Soho. Our orientation included lots of role playing (tourists vs. pick-pockets), helpful tips about how to not get robbed, and lots of other overwhelming big city information.

The view from our balcony.

Our apartment building in Palermo

Palermo has become the hotspot for young travelers and young locals, with lots of parks, shops, and cafes to pass the daytime hours and lots of restaurants, bars, and clubs for after dark. We spent quite a bit of time just wandering around the streets of Palermo, admiring the eclectic sidewalks, antique doors, bright colors, and interesting graffiti that give the neighborhood a very boho-chic appeal. Palermo is trendy, classy, trashy, and fun all at the same time; an odd combination of superlatives that just seems to work for this neighborhood.

So shady and so green

Most of the graffiti in B.A. is ugly and gross. But some of it, like this door, is just so cool!

Our first night in Buenos Aires took us to the trendy parrilla Miranda. Located on a corner in Palermo Hollywood, Miranda is all concrete with soaring open ceilings and solid wood tables and chairs. Buzzing with Friday night activity, the tango music and sizzling sounds of the traditional indoor grill added to the ambiance. We slowly ate and drank our way through another lovely barbecued dinner. The best part about dining in Argentina: no one will ever rush you to leave the restaurant. You can slowly make your way through cocktails, multiple dinner courses, wine, dessert, coffee, and whatever else you can think to order. And when you're finished eating and drinking your way to oblivion, you can just sit. For as long as you like. In Argentina, you have to ask for the check. And there's no rush. It's wonderful!

Palermo by streetlight

On Saturday, we ventured out from the streets of Palermo into the parks of Palermo. I guess we should have expected this, but we were shocked at how many people were out and about in the parks: roller blading, cycling, jogging, paddle boating, wandering, laying in the grass, playing pick up games of soccer and roller hockey… people were everywhere! It was a beautiful Saturday morning.

The roads through the parks are closed on the weekends, and the streets become a mass of exercising humans. Yes, a mass. We wandering through the mass, feeling slightly guilty about our lack of exercise. But then we realized how epic the people watching was, and our guilt quickly evaporated. You can't feel guilty and highly entertained at the same time! We wandered through the rose gardens, laughed at a father rowing his family of eight in a tiny boat on a tiny lake, and discussed the techniques of roller blading (of which, there are many more than I ever thought possible).

The perfect people watching spot!

After a few hours of park shenanigans and copious amounts of sweat, we decided it was time for some air conditioning and headed to the one museum in Buenos Aires we had agreed to go to: the MALBA. The MALBA is the Modern Arts museum in Buenos Aires, equally famous for its interesting construction as for the exhibits it contained. We reveled in the air conditioning and admired the sometimes interesting, sometimes odd artistic talents of South American painters, sculptors, and photographers. Overall, it was a very nice museum, but paled in comparison to the museums of San Francisco and Chicago. Good thing the entry fee was less than five dollars.

Inside the MALBA

After more wandering, more cafes con leche, and more ice cream, we made it back to our apartment with a few hours to spare before our next adventure took us into new territory. We spent those hours lounging by the pool, reading, and siesta-ing.


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