Buenos Aires

Another view of Buenos Aires

Time to move away for a while from the posts about writing failures, so here are some photos taken at various times around Buenos Aires, many from the La Boca barrio. Only a small part of this humongous city is sparkling and ritzy looking. A tiny part. Much of it looks like this … or far, far worse. Clicking on a photo enlarges it.

A slum next to the richest area of the city

The photo above shows makeshift housing thrown together amid some ruined, empty buildings, with a major highway just to one side. Continuing along this street, which has the river opposite, in less than 100 meters, you run into Puerto Madero, an area packed with high rise condo and offices, along with expensive restaurants — one of the most expensive places to live in the city.

Get your veggies and your car fixed - 1 stop shop

The photo above was taken through a not very clean car window in an area where you wouldn’t want to walk around all that much anyway. I like the juxtaposition of car repairs with a fruit and veggie market. The barrio is the lower end of San Telmo, on the way to La Boca.

Hi sailor, want to go upstairs?

A not atypical example of street art in the heart of La Boca, one of the oldest barrios in the city, near the original port and docks, where the original Italian immigrants, who came with the ships and to work the docks, settled. It remains one of the most interesting and original parts of the city, and, it must be said, one of the most dangerous outside of the fringing slums.

Water in La Boca harbor

The photo above shows the water in the old harbor at La Boca. This is across the street from the main tourist zone, and is surrounded by crumbling, leftover dock and warehouse structures. Do not throw a match into this, and certainly don’t scoop up some for your tea.

Street tango dancers waiting for tourists

Tango dancers in La Boca sometimes work as street performers, dancing with passing tourists for a few pesos. This particular lady was hot.

Typical sidewalk in La Boca

In this area, in fact, around much of the city, people live well behind the walls that front the sidewalks, and the doors one passes along sidewalks open up to long hallways into courtyards and living areas – some strikingly beautiful and compelling, others desperate and ugly. The one above opens into what you see in the photo below.

What's behind the door on the sidewalk

In the ritzy neighborhoods, these openings to courtyards are decorated with ceramic tiles and art, and open up to gardens and rooms with stained glass windows. In other areas, they lead from one decrepit scene to another.

What do they do in here?

Or here:

Umm ... what's this place?

Remember, you can click on the photos to enlarge them to full size. Hope you enjoyed this little respite from writerly angst. I did.

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2 replies »

  1. RE. 1st photo and your text.. I don’t know if this colourful rubbish looks worse that the shiny rubbish they’ve built in Puerto Madero… it’s a question of taste really, I appreciate the higgly-di-piggledy architect of the slums, although I’ve no experience of living there..

    Gemma (the English girl from the writing group!)

    • I remember you. I almost went again yesterday – I wanted to give a book to Cherie, and that is probably the only place we might come across one another – but something came up. Maybe next week.

      Yes, Puerto Madero is an eyesore. I also like higglydipiggledy, although I am too chicken to live within it. Here, it’s mostly not as bad as some of the “townships” around Jo-Burg, where people live in stapled together black trash bags, among other things.

      Thank you for visiting and making a comment; I hope you return.