Enjoy the following photo essay of forty-eight hours in Buenos Aires, the vibrant capital of Argentina and birthplace of the tango… Vamos! (Let’s go!)
Dinero. The official currency is the Argentine Peso. But, because the Peso is perpetually declining in value, Argentines try to accumulate American Dollars whenever they can. While these so-called blue dollars are officially illegal, dollars were freely and openly accepted everywhere I went. And, because the dollar is preferred over the unstable Peso, your change will always come in pesos.
In February 2014, the official exchange rate was around 8 pesos per dollar, but you could get 13 for 1 on the street and 10 for 1 at most establishments. This restaurant advertised 11 for 1 if you used a $100 bil. The rub isl…around 8 pesos per dollar, but you could get 13 for 1 on the street. Most establishments gave 10 for 1. This restaurant advertised 11 pesos per dollar if you used a $100 bill. It is not clear to me if spending dollars helps or hurts the people there. I suppose that, in the short-term, it helps those who get dollars and hurts those who don’t… but in the long term the answer is not so clear.
The Obelisk, centerpiece of the city.
The Pink Palace (Casa Rosada) at Plaza de Mayo…
A menagerie of pigeons like no other!
Air conditioners are taxing the energy infrastructure as the climate has become significantly hotter over the last few decades, apparently due to deforestation in the Amazon.
Sidewalk tango lesson.
The biggest one I have ever seen… the biggest McDonald’s that is.
Like the United States, Argentina is a country of immigrants. More than half of porteños (people of the port city of Buenos Aires) have some degree of Italian ancestry. As such, they are much more like outgoing Italians than reserved Peninsulares from Spain.
Anti-authoritarian messages like this are easy to find.
Not my job!!!
Remember the Falklands War? Despite the many visible signs of antagonism towards the British and her allies because of that 1982 conflict, most Argentines care infinitely more about rampant poverty at home and corruption in their own government.
Gato on patrol…
A guided tour of the Opera House (Teatro Colón) will surprise and delight you. (Hint: the best parts have nothing to do with music!)
The luxury high rise apartments in the posh Puerto Madero neighborhood are considered monuments to the legendary greed and corruption of the Argentine oligarchy…
… which are literally just blocks away from the impoverished Retiro neighborhood…
In certain quarters, bilingual means Spanish and Italian.
You absolutely must enjoy a drink at the elegant, but friendly and casual Café Tortoni…
Time to make the empanadas!
Empanadas y cerveza are hard to beat for a casual, delicious, and inexpensive lunch.
Not for vegetarians.
Chorizo y vino.
La Recoleta Cemetery, the final resting place of Eva Perón, is an absolutely fascinating visit…
The marvelously vibrant and gritty La Boca neighborhood…
Finally, no visit to Buenos Aires would be complete without experiencing the raw sensual energy of tango music and dance.