buenos aires

buenos aires: barracas revisited, divisions

Buenos Aires, Barracas, map

Barracas is big. It’s bulky. And this southern barrio has a reputation for being bad. But it’s one of my favorite areas of Buenos Aires. Hopefully this series of posts will dispel some of the misrepresentations about Barracas & encourage people to explore it. I walked just about every block in Barracas back in 2007 & recently returned to see what’s changed. Quite a bit.

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writing: prep for plaza de mayo

Endless Mile, Buenos Aires, Plaza de Mayo

I’ll never forget my first impression of Plaza de Mayo —the main square in Buenos Aires & arguably the most important public spot in all of Argentina. Important buildings, including the Casa Rosada (the presidential office) & the Cabildo (the old town hall), are located there… in addition, the plaza witnessed the birth of a revolutionary movement which expanded to all of Latin America. Expectations were high. But on arrival I thought to myself, “This is it??” Living in Spain & frequent travels to México had apparently spoiled me. I envisioned a large public space, a knockout cathedral & lots of colonial architecture. Instead, Plaza de Mayo delivered a few palm trees, horrendous 1970’s-era fountains, random patches of grass & the feeling that I was in a basin. Hmph.

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buenos aires: inside the kavanagh

Don’t be jealous… although you should be.

The Kavanagh is a Holy Grail to architecture buffs worldwide, & I scored a visit inside today. The building administration was adamant about not taking photos in public areas. Did I listen? We were chastised several times, & I wouldn’t want the person who granted us access to get into trouble. She lives there after all. But how could I resist?

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business: why once?

Buenos Aires, Once, Balvanera, dome, cúpula

Let’s clear something up. This isn’t the English word “once” but the mini-barrio known as Once in Buenos Aires. Say OHN-say… now you’ve got it.

A 12-block walk through the heart of Once will be the next release for Endless Mile, nicely ahead of schedule. Text & layout are already finished. The only big task remaining is to create a couple of graphics. The walk should be available soon! It’s a treat to show visitors a part of Buenos Aires that is centrally located (about the same distance from both Recoleta Cemetery & Plaza de Mayo) but rarely visited. Hopefully we’ll change that. Our introduction begins with the following text:

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buenos aires: parque de la memoria

Buenos Aires, Belgrano, Parque de la Memoria, 30.000, Nicolás Guagnini

Since verdicts were passed last night in what the local press called the “Megacausa ESMA,” it seemed appropriate to take a walk today around one of the newer parts of Buenos Aires I’d yet to explore: the Parque de la Memoria. ESMA is an acronym for the Naval Academy, the setting for some of the most brutal torture experienced by desaparecidos during the last military dictatorship. Trials against military personnel involved in those crimes were reopened in 2005, & bit by bit the more notorious figures are being given life sentences.

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buenos aires: identity & branding

Buenos Aires, emblemas

Recently the city government completed a major project that involved a massive amount of coordination: adopting an official coat-of-arms for each of the 48 barrios in Buenos Aires. Originating from a 1989 decree, a local committee was responsible for the selection of each design based on the following criteria: neighborhood history, ethnic groups, urban planning & prominent activities.

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argentina: viniflation, 2005-2015

Argentina, inflation, wine, graph, viniflation

Sure, I love to drink wine. It’s a well-documented fact. And I love learning about it… at one time I even considered enrolling in Argentina’s main sommelier school. But besides appreciation, the business of wine is also of interest, especially due to the boom in production & export over the last decade. Often along with tasting notes, I also catalog prices. This is the first time I’ve graphed some of the data, & there are a few surprises.

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