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buenos aires: subway tiles

Buenos Aires, subte, subway, tiles, azulejos, Línea D, Estación Catedral

Several blogs exist which discuss current events related to the Buenos Aires subte (ongoing construction, union & concession problems, maintenance, etc.), but someone could easily dedicate an entire blog to the system’s tilework. A few years ago, I almost put together a guided tour of the subway just to showcase the variety, artistry, originality & modern interventions being taken underground in BA. This post is a taste of that, along with some personal favorites.

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buenos aires: subway my way

Buenos Aires, subte

[Digging through the archives again… originally published as “subway my way” on 11 Aug 2007. Was that really 4 years ago?? As always, I’ve updated a few items to reflect changes since then.]

There may not be much anyone can do about the slow pace of subway construction in Buenos Aires, but how we visualize the network can be easily improved. The firm Diseño Shakespear came up with the subte map used for most of the 00’s. With a black background, it was like some early-80’s vision of BsAs… a bit scary & not particularly useful:

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buenos aires: visiting the casa rosada

Buenos Aires, Casa Rosada

Buenos Aires has its share of iconic buildings & ranking near the top of the list would be the Casa de Gobierno, more popularly known as the Casa Rosada. Let’s just say it: either you like pink or you don’t… not much room for middle ground. In a previous incarnation of this blog, I chronicled the restoration of the building & will have to repost that info later. For now, suffice it to say that the Casa Rosada got a new coat of paint & a lot interior work during Kirchner’s term. For a fascinating & detailed look at the architectural history of the building, Pablo Juan Chiesa has done an amazing amount of research (in Spanish).

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buenos aires: election results 2011

Buenos Aires, elections 2011, mesas

Congrats to Mauricio Macri. The fight isn’t over yet, but Macri definitely won the first round with 47% of the vote… almost the 50% needed for a definitive win. That means a runoff will take place on 31 Jul between Macri & the second-place candidate, Daniel Filmus. Filmus received almost 28% of the vote with Pino Solanas coming in third with a respectable 13%. Not bad for a relatively new political party.

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buenos aires: jefe de gobierno debate 2011

TN, A Dos Voces, debate, Jefe de Gobierno

Since there are 6 candidates for Jefe de Gobierno this time around, TN divided the debate into two programs. Not sure I agree with that decision… the idea behind a debate is to listen to everyone, then compare & contrast. That’s more difficult to do with a week separating debates. During last week’s show, López Murphy didn’t show, Estenssoro rode the transparency bandwagon, Giudici couldn’t get from behind her party platform & Telerman thought the “you already know me” tactic would be good enough. It wasn’t. To his credit, Telerman was the only candidate to discuss saving the city’s architectural heritage.

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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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