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January 23, 2013 / JustinKays Porter

San Telmo: Antique Market, Impromptu Tango, and a Big Pink House

Today we ventured away from our shady oasis in Palermo. What drew us away, you might ask? A street market in another Buenos Aires neighborhood, San Telmo. How did we get there, you might ask? We took the subway. Yeah, we're that cool. And we didn't even get robbed!

The subway ride to San Telmo was actually highly uneventful. We arrived in San Telmo and upon emerging to street level, we checked another item off our Buenos Aires bucket list: we saw Casa Rosada. This very large, “pink house” was made famous by Eva Peron, and made more famous later as the stage for Madonna's performance of Don't Cry for Me, Argentina in Evita. While it was impressive to see, it was scarred with graffiti and under construction (like many other things in Buenos Aires) and not nearly as pink as I expected. Casa Rosada was more of a dusty rose color, not the fiercely bright pink I had imagined.

Our next stop in San Telmo was to pick up Taryn, an old friend of Justin's. She's living in Buenos Aires for the next month, taking a Spanish course, after having traveled through South America for the last three months. Taryn led us the end of the market in San Telmo, where we found a bar and traded stories over a bottle of cold white wine. We were pleasantly surprised by an impromptu tango performance in the restaurant before we parted ways.

The San Telmo market is held every Sunday, and draws equal number of locals and tourists. Items sold at the market include a variety of antiques, handcrafted leather, unique jewelry, fresh food, and all sorts of dorky touristy things. About 12 blocks of Defensa (a street in San Telmo) are shut down for this weekly market, and the street is lined with vendors selling everything you can imagine. I'm glad we started at the “end” of the market and worked our way back to the subway. It would have been exhausting to walk Defensa twice!

We wandered, marveled at the variety of objects and the variety of craftsmanship, and bought a few things. For some reason, we haven't been very good at shopping on this trip. Today wasn't much different, but we did pick up a few things we really loved. For example, we bought an antique glass soda bottle made in Argentina (like the ones below).

We also found a man selling hand-made leather maps. Justin and I both have a soft spot for maps, and we thought this was the perfect piece of art to take home. Not to mention, when we purchased it, the man offered to write something on the map for us. So we asked him to write “The Porters, 2013” and he did it right on the spot. It was so great!

San Telmo is a great neighborhood, definitely a must-see. It has a lot of history, being one of the oldest areas of the city. It used to be one of the most affluent neighborhoods, but a small pox epidemic drove the wealthy north in the 1920s. Now, San Telmo is a favorite hangout for the artists and young hip crowd in Buenos Aires. It has a lot of personality and was a great place to hang out for the day.



Leave a Comment
  1. Shemika Facey / Feb 19 2013 5:06 am

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  2. Roberto Provow / Feb 2 2013 3:59 am

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    • JustinKays Porter / Feb 5 2013 5:46 pm

      Hi Roberto, I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog! I’m new to the blogging world, so I haven’t ventured into any guest writers/posts yet. I will let you know if I do! Cheers

  3. In Chilen / Jan 31 2013 9:28 am

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    • JustinKays Porter / Feb 5 2013 5:46 pm

      I’m glad we could provide you some entertainment while bored at work!

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