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buenos aires: los terrenos de rosas

Juan Manuel de Rosas, Wikipedia
● Juan Manuel de Rosas, image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Parque 3 de Febrero commemorates the Battle of Caseros where Confederate forces defeated Juan Manuel de Rosas in 1852. Ending 17 years of what many historians call Argentina’s first dictatorship, the victors forced Rosas to leave the country & confiscated his land. This singular act would transform Buenos Aires in ways unimaginable at the time. Technically, Rosas had lived outside the city limits (which only extended to Avenida Callao). In fact, the town of Belgrano had not even been incorporated… that would happen a few years later in 1857.

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buenos aires: monumento al cid campeador

Buenos Aires, Caballito, El Cid Campeador, Anna Hyatt Huntington

Nestled into the center of a busy intersection in Caballito, surrounding buildings dwarf a statue of El Cid Campeador by American sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington. Traffic noise also prevents any quiet contemplation of my personal favorite statue… but that can be avoided by going early on Sunday mornings for a look at this fantastic piece of public art, cleaned & restored in 2006:

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buenos aires: confitería del molino

Buenos Aires, Confitería del Molino, Francisco Gianotti

In the past ten years, Buenos Aires has come a long way in terms of preserving city heritage. New organizations have formed, especially on neighborhood level, keeping watch over the city’s buildings & blowing the whistle when sneaky developers try to destroy what makes BA so unique. That said, one particular building sums up everything wrong about the city’s attitude toward conservation: the Confitería del Molino.

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buenos aires: alejandro christophersen

Alejandro Christophersen, Bolsa, Buenos Aires, staircase, escalera
● Stock market, Buenos Aires – photo courtesy BCBA

Since I’ve become such a fan of Buenos Aires architecture, I’ll begin a series of posts about our best architects in order to highlight who have made BA such a joy to walk around. There’s no better place to start than the grandfather of all BA architects, Alejandro Christophersen.

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buenos aires: churches

Buenos Aires, Argentina, churches, iglesias, dome, cúpula

Being Easter Sunday, what better time to write about churches in Buenos Aires? Easter is probably my least favorite holiday of the year as it brings back memories of being dragged unwillingly to church… be it Lutheran, Methodist or Presbyterian. It never mattered much since we didn’t attend service any other day of the year. Seriously. However, after 12 years of extended stays in Spain & Portugal —plus living in Argentina for over 10 years— I may as well be Catholic by default.

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argentina: no soy muy tanguero

Tita Merello

I’m not an enormous fan of tango, but there are quite a few songs that I’ve grown to love. And before you ask, no… I’ve never taken a dance lesson. Far from being clumsy on my feet —I grew up in Memphis, after all— it’s one of those cultural experiences I keep saying I’ll do one day.

That day has yet to arrive, but I thought of something yesterday when Jeff & I were discussing the difficulties of translation. He’s done a very nice month-long series of posts about Borges since June 2006 was the 20th anniversary of his death. We had trouble agreeing on how to translate one simple line of poetry, so I decided to take the ultimate challenge… translating a tango song. I think I’m asking for trouble.

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trelew: one-day getaway

Argentina, Chubut, Trelew, Plaza Independencia, Teatro Español

Back at the Trelew bus station after a morning in Rawson, fatigue set in. Big time. I’d slept very little the night before & it finally caught up with me. After a few empanadas in Plaza Centenario, I decided that I hadn’t come all this way just to take a nap in a public park… nothing like forcing yourself to be a tourist. Free bus station wi-fi turned out to be helpful in deciding what to visit in Trelew… much more so than the woman at the TI booth who was having maté with her friend. At least she gave me a map.

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