The last stop on our Argentinian adventure was Buenos Aires– the city of love and tango.
We rented an entire loft apartment in the Soho neighborhood. It was truly a beautiful space and gave us a comfortable place to spend the remainder of our vacation.
Our neighborhood was full of interesting, colorful buildings and creative graffiti.
We walked through the botanical gardens. It was very lush and, much like NYC’s Central Park, provided some much needed respite from the city’s boisterous nature.
There was even a Yerba Mate plant, the very same tree from which the tea we have grown so fond of is produced.
I had three things on my agenda for Buenos Aires– eat good steak, see tango and shop for quality leather. It is a wonderful place to buy leather goods, but you have to know where to go. A lot of the best leather is exported. We found a well rated men’s shoe store for Evan called Terán and he got these beauties.
I was on the hunt for two leather products for myself, a nice purse and a leather jacket. I read about a popular Argentinian designer purse line called Prüne. These purses decorate the arms of many Argentinian women. They are made out of quality leather for an affordable price and have a modern design. I bought a few gifts for my close girl friends and my sister there and I found myself a beautiful, versatile purse that I use all the time. It is pictured below on the right, next to the smaller sling style purse I bought at the market in Mendoza and the sheepskin leather jacket I bought in Buenos Aires.
I bought the custom tailored leather jacket from Bettina Rizzi. She has leather jackets in all colors and styles. This one is super soft as it is made of sheepskin. I learned this is the second highest quality of leather one can buy. I paid a premium for it, but considering the quality and that it was tailored specifically to fit my short arms, it was totally worth it. The turn around time for the tailoring was only about a day. I use it all the time now in Colorado. It is perfect for three seasons and I think it will be timeless.
I definitely recommend Bettina Rizzi to anyone looking for a quality leather jacket in Buenos Aires. Be advised, however, that she only takes cash. Here she is pictured below with some of her jackets. Her granddaughter visited the store while I was there too, and I asked her if I could take some photos of her. She was precious.
Finally, we bought some lovely leather wallets for my nephew and brother-in-law as well as a belt for my sister to give to my brother-in-law for his birthday at Rossi & Caruso. For anyone looking for leather goods, this is also a wonderful boutique to check out.
The local women definitely have a different fashion sense than the US when it comes to shoes. So we enjoyed window shopping all over the city.
We quickly learned that the best neighborhoods to shop in are Palermo and Soho, where we got Evan’s shoes.
In Palermo, we found this great boutique called ISKIN. They specialize in jewelry, but also have other fun things in their shop.
I bought this sweet silver leather necklace and a cool decoration that we have up in our apartment in Denver. It comes in a box and it can be put together in whatever shape you like.
Also in Palermo there is a large flea market called Mercado de Pulgas. It has everything from depression era glass to old cameras. We enjoyed window shopping. There truly are some treasures here if you are willing to take the time to look.
Satisfied with our purchases, we spent a lot of time just walking the city, getting to know the neighborhoods, people watching, and exploring. I still think walking a city is the best way to get to know it.
It is definitely an interesting city. It is certainly a South American city, but there is a heavy influence from other cultures. It can be seen in the architecture and food.
We enjoyed a rooftop restaurant on our first night.
There is a notable cemetery there that is similar in style to the New Orleans cemeteries. The tombs are raised above ground and are very grand.
Also, similar to New Orleans and its oak trees, the city is known for its impressive trees. The roots are very intriguing, with substantial portions above ground.
On our second night in the city, we went to watch tango. We found a fun local spot where a milonga, a gathering of tango dancers, happens several nights a week. It was in a rough area, but it was important to us to see the real thing, not a touristy spectacle. We had a very nice dinner down the street from the venue and then went inside.
There was a live band and amateur and professional dancers alike from all over the world danced together. They spoke the common language of tango and it was beautiful to watch and photograph this passionate dance. I actually used to dance some tango in college with friends, so it was cool watching a dance that I knew something about. My feet were a bit swollen from walking around all day and I felt too rusty to get on the dance floor myself, but I enjoyed just taking in the atmosphere.
On our final full day in the city, we enjoyed a delicious breakfast in Soho and then ventured on to La Boca.
La Boca is a famous neighborhood in Buenos Aires. La Boca, meaning “the mouth” in English, is so named because it is situated at the mouth of the river Riachuelo.
We went to a modern art museum first and then explored the neighborhood.
La Boca is famous for La Bombonera, one of the city’s soccer stadiums, and Caminito, the colorful street filled with artists.
It is a touristy area, but it is still something worth seeing. We did see some touristy tango in the streets, which was far less satisfying than what we had seen the night before.
We bought a beautiful hand painted tree decoration made out of bent wires from an artist on the street. We also got one for my sister and brother-in-law and Evan’s parents.
The area surrounding La Boca is very poor. It is not advisable to walk around outside of the neighborhood. It was an interesting area to photograph, but some police officers did advise me to put my camera away.
I loved the pattern and colors in this apartment building. I wish I had had my longer lens with me to get a higher quality image.
The final area of the city that we walked through was the neighborhood of Recoleta, home to government and business.
This is Casa Rosada, the Pink House, Argentina’s version of the White House.
Argentina is a country with a complicated and often times dark history that resonates into the current day. With so many issues still needing to be resolved, it was no shock to see a lot of protesting and political signs all over the area.
The statue below commemorates the conclusion of the May Revolution of 1810, which was the first successful revolution in the South American independence process.
This is Teatro Colón, the main opera house in Buenos Aires.
After our long walk, we went back to our loft to shower and change. We had reservations at a traditional Argentinian steak house our brother-in-law had recommended. It was absolutely delicious.
After dinner, we topped our final night off with a speakeasy bar that had been recommended to us. Our bartender was superb. It was like watching an artist.
Alas, our Argentinian adventure had come to a close. We began our long journey home.
We continue to keep the memories we made in this unique country close to our heart and try to look at life with our new motto, Adventure Time, as often as we can. We even bought a souvenir coffee table book in Soho to help us remember. Thanks for the ride, Argentina. A la próxima aventura.