buenos aires: esquinas

Argentina, Buenos Aires, esquinas, corners

When I started writing a free PDF guide of the most attractive domes in Buenos Aires —sometime back in 2007— daily walks throughout the city made one thing obvious: corners (esquinas) offer the very best views. Buenos Aires had been founded on a tight grid plan used by the Spanish in all their territories, so street intersections gave light to cramped quarters. Future city planners widened avenues & crowned new corners with impressive domes as well as added the ochava… recessing ground level corners like the shape of a stop sign. No better place to show off brilliant architecture & give pedestrians some much-needed space.

The elite & social-climbing nouveau riche chose corners for their residences. Taking advantage of light & air plus an opportunity to show off old or new wealth proved irresistible:

Argentina, Buenos Aires, esquinas, corners
Argentina, Buenos Aires, esquinas, corners
Argentina, Buenos Aires, esquinas, corners
Argentina, Buenos Aires, esquinas, corners

Businesses of all kinds also wanted prime, corner real estate to attract customers. It works:

Argentina, Buenos Aires, esquinas, corners
Argentina, Buenos Aires, esquinas, corners
Argentina, Buenos Aires, esquinas, corners
Argentina, Buenos Aires, esquinas, corners
Argentina, Buenos Aires, esquinas, corners

Development has not reached all areas equally. With so much merchandise passing through La Boca (as well as very real threats of periodic flooding), many streets are wider than downtown & have great corner views… just walk away from the overly touristy Caminito:

Argentina, Buenos Aires, esquinas, corners
Argentina, Buenos Aires, esquinas, corners

Skewed 20th-century economics gave rise to multiple shantytowns throughout the city, although they tend to be concentrated on the fringe. Spontaneous growth still challenges Buenos Aires today:

Argentina, Buenos Aires, esquinas, corners

The 20th century also brought some questionable real estate projects along with the eternal debate “Is new necessarily better?” Not really in many cases 😉

Argentina, Buenos Aires, esquinas, corners
Argentina, Buenos Aires, esquinas, corners

These corner images almost became a photo book in 2012… & still may someday. As I reminisce about those years & revisit old photographs, I’ll continue to add content to this post periodically. A conversation I had with friends on Facebook sums up my feelings about why I love showing off Buenos Aires:

Robert: …Pero sabés qué? Me gusta mostrar BA así pq hay mucho lindo, mucho mamarracho y hay que ver el conjunto entero. Supongo que por eso me enamoré de BsAs.

Juan: Es como salir con la mascara del eternauta Buenos Aires, glamour y crap all together después de una crisis nuclear

Robert: …Es así, la ciudad que nos quedó. Es para hacer un estudio psicológico!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *