Buenos Aires: Parks & Drinks & Recreation

First of all, we have the parks

Buenos Aires might be the best city for parks that I’ve ever been to, and London parks have motherfuckin reindeers and shit, plus Hyde Park is Hyde Park  and it has the Serpentine Gallery. Yet still, Buenos Aires parks during summer( which is northern Hemisphere winter), and perhaps largely due to the much nicer weather, add an element of greenery and vibrance to the city that make it incredibly sexy and livable.

Sexy because very good-looking and fit people flock to the parks in the early morning and evening to run, jog, do cross-training, look-fit, flirt, make you feel inadequate, etc, etc.

Livable because you have a ton of open spaces in which to wander, draw, write, read, listen to music, talk, have picnics, sunbathe, walk your dog, chill, chill with your dog, run, jog, do cross-training, look-fit, flirt, make others feel a little inadequate if you’re very successful at the jogging and have a pretty dog, etc, etc.

There are more natural incentives to stay healthy in Buenos Aires than there are in say, Mexico City, in my own experience. Proximity to parks just makes working out for a longer period of time, outside, and in sexier outfits much more a part of your routine. Add to this the fact that B.A. has generally good public transportation, a pretty chill society and daaamn fine people, and you got a recipe for temporary self-improvement, depending on how long you stay there, and granted that Buenos Aires’ equally lit bar and club scene doesn’t cancel out your fitness progress.

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Here I am in the Botanical Garden in Palermo. Check out that chill ass lavender and the sheer variety of trees.

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This is El Rosedal, which I would say is kind of on the border between Palermo and Recoleta. But what the fuck do I know, as you can see from my cap I’m clearly a tourist.

Some awesome Buenos Aires parks for your recreational consideration include:

  • All the parks in Recoleta, a fancy neighborhood, including the ones close to the also very pretty and famous cemetery.
  • The one with the huge silver flower called Floralis also in Recoleta, and the one across from it near the Museum of Fine Arts where I adored running around.
  • All the parks in Palermo. Theres the Botanical Garden, one that has a large, walled Japanese garden, and then general big expanses of green.
  • Lezama, Sarmiento & Centenario.
  • Not exactly a park, but Puerto Madero.

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Recoleta cemetery is also very nice, and holds a few interesting surprises. It’s both very charming and creepy, but oddly enough more on the charming side.

Now for the drinks section

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You will never ever run out of places to drink in Buenos Aires. There are excellent places splayed out all over the city, and a nice sampling of places concentrated in Palermo. It has stuff for beer lovers, spirit enthusiasts, and rogues in love with wine. Some beers to try include Patagonia, Salta, Quilmes (kinda like the Corona of Argentina, I guess), and some wines to try include all of them, but especially Malbec.  Now for the real specific and handy stuff:

My absolute favorite spot in Buenos Aires, and one of  the most exciting bars i’ve been to, is hidden behind a little restaurant called Nicky Sushi, and constitutes a perfectly recreated 1930s speakeasy. Few bars have this level of commitment in terms of their ambiance, music, lighting, and decor. Theres a whole thing you gotta do to get invited in (make a reservation at the restaurant, spend a certain amount of money at dinner, etc.) All very worth it, all very fun. Their old-fashioned (pictured sneakily below as pictures are not allowed inside the bar) is exceedingly delicious. They also have a very fresh drink with green apple and chamomile that tastes like spring, in case you’re into that sort of thing.

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And finally recreation, SO MUCH ROOM FOR RECREATION

SnapseedEl Teatro Colón is acoustically considered one of the five best venues in the world. It fucking rocks. If you have even a modicum of interest in theater or music, I highly recommend you spend some time here. The quality of their productions is nothing short of spectacular. A friend and I bought tickets to see Gerard Depardieu perform scenes from Cyrano de Bergerac with piano music interspersed in between. We were seated pretty high up and the music was so clear that it felt like listening to raindrops behind a very thin pane of glass. I cried because how could I not. Below are some pictures of the theater in all its glory. IMG_3971

After dinner, my friend and I went to Don Julio, an Argentinian restaurant in Palermo that we grew to love intensely, its expensiveness notwithstanding. After the show in Colón, we needed to celebrate, and ended up having dinner there, with Gerard Depardieu sitting behind us. Behold, the thespian himself stuffing his virtuosic face with mashed potatoes, and my drunken glee (Malbec  was involved in the making of this photograph):

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More great recreation is to be found at the Buenos Aires Ballet, I went to a free performance of Giselle in Centenario Park, and am still reeling about how I got to see that for free.

 

 

 

 

Also, not to be missed, B.A.’s super lit book scene, embodied in the bookstore El Ateneo (Grand Splendid) on Av. Santa Fe. I’ll just let the pictures do the talking:

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Other recreational wonders of Buenos Aires include touristy stuff like El Caminito, soccer and the soccer fandoms (my boss had a hierba mate cup that was Boca themed, which is a soccer team whose colors are yellow and dark blue), MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES GODDAM I COULD WAX POETIC ABOUT THEM BUT I WONT, BECAUSE IT IS 10 PM IN MEXICO, especially Malba and the Fine Arts museum, San Telmo market on weekends,  and finally, the beautifully minimalistic yet baroque ice cream store Rapanui in Recoleta. It’s like a pretty room in a Kubrick Movie where you can buy ice-covered raspberries, and banana ice-cream with dulce de leche swirls and pieces of elegantly thin sheets of chocolate.
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Some great Argentinian eateries include but are certainly not even a little limited to:

  • Don Julio.
  • La Cabrera in Palermo.
  • Siga la Vaca.
  • Did not have a single bad meal here.

 

 

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