14.12.2009 - 16.12.2009
Many say that Buenos Aires is the Paris of South America. I witnessed this first hand in that everyone smokes, the streets are originally designed for horses, and there is amazing archictecture everywhere.
After getting settled in my hostel that is right above a street that resembles the 3rd Street Promemade, I headed out directly to see the famed Obelisk erected to commerate the 400th anniversary of the cityś founding. This structure is in the middle of the largest throughfare in Buenos Aires. This road boasts 22 lanes in width (below).
When I first saw this emblem on the house of the governor, I thought that it was posted for the holiday season. My reasoning was that there is a hat that looks like an elf hat in the emblem. I later found out that it was the national symbol of Argentina - oops.
I have never held Christopher Columbus in high esteem, but judging by this statue, he is apparently a big deal in Argentina
This is the house of the government in Argentina, known as Casa Rosada (or "The Pink House"). In the mid 19th century, the Unitarians (represented by the color white) and the Federalists (Red) for many years. In an effort to unite the two groups, then President Sarmiento, painted the house pink to signify unity.
We have whooping cough, they have dengue
Okay, so I like to go into different McDonald's restaurants from time to time to see what the regional specialties are. I don't eat at the place, but it has influenced and changed numerous world cultures. The quarter pounder with cheese is called the Mic- Nifica. This is a clever advertising campaign in that, "magnifica" in Spanish means "magnificient" in English. I didn't test the theory...
This was the best steak I had ever had. I was initially spectualitve that Argentinian steaks were really that good, but it blew my mind. I can now understand why Argentinians eat 4 times as much beef per year as Americans. I´m going to be snobby here, you have not had a real steak until you go to an Argentinian Padillera.
Amazing pizza place in the heart of Buenos Aires.
This performance convinced me that I needed to witness the majesty of the professionals (below). It was not my original plan because I don´t find dancing that amazing. However, there is a certain elegance and grace that accompanies the Argentine Tango. This city has left me with a new found appreciation for both dancing and fashion.
I met these girls at my hostel during breakfast. When I found out we had the same plans, I asked to tag along with their group. We visited the Botanical Gardens, the Japanese Gardens, the MALBA and the Eva Peron Museum.
I really liked this sign. It was posted right in front of the Congressional building, and it serves as a reminder to the amount of violence in the world. It literally translates to "We need to live in peace." I was surprised by the amount of activism that was present in Buenos Aires. Many monuments have been defaced with political objections in spray paint. On Tuesday, I even saw protestors disrupt traffic on the widest street in the city. Supposedly, this happens each Tuesday by the "Mothers of the Plaza Del Mayo¨which protest the disappearance of their children during Argentina´s dirty war. I sometimes think activism is an isolated act of first world countries, but truthfully, I have seen more activism in South America and Mexico than in the U.S. It´s just a testament to the fact that we all have the same hopes, dreams, and fears, and as my friend Andre said, we focus too much on the differences between us which in reality are miniscule.
I am Iguazzu right now, and I´m going to the falls tomorrow. Photos to come!