Born in France but raised in Buenos Aires – and killed in a plane crash in Colombia at the height of his musical career – Carlos Gardel is considered the greatest tango legend of all time. Nearly eighty years after his death, tango enthusiasts from all over the world come to Buenos Aires to dance to the music Gardel popularized, and to make the pilgrimage to his childhood home in the neighborhood of Abasto, now known as the Museo Casa Carlos Gardel.
Buying art is intimidating. But there’s no better place to get started than the Argentinean capital. Buenos Aires is a breeding ground for creative types, and the city imposes few restrictions about where and how art can be displayed – which is why the quickly developing street art scene is one of the most exciting in Latin America.
Where to pick up a piece for your own collection? If money’s no object, of course, you can just go straight to the long-established art galleries of Retiro and Recoleta. But if you’re a first-time buyer, check out these modern galleries and art events with a youthful edge – offering excellent value on contemporary and small-format works that will likely fit right into your suitcase.
These days, porteños go to Abasto’s landmark building to catch a movie, shop at Nike or Zara, take their kids to the Museo de los Niños, or grab lunch at the only kosher McDonalds outside of Israel. But for nearly one hundred years before that, the building served an important function in Argentina’s rapidly developing economy – the Mercado del Abasto was the largest wholesale fruit and vegetable market in the city.
The fourth edition of the quickly growing biannual food event benefits the Buenos Aires food bank – and features fifteen new participating restaurants, Campari aperitifs, and a creative banana split with cognac that everyone’s talking about.
More than 40 restaurants are onboard for the current edition of Buenos Aires Food Week, running now through September 14th. The three-course menus run AR$140 for lunch and only AR$220 for dinner, not including tip or drinks – unless, of course, you’re counting the complimentary aperitifs offered at many restaurants. Cocktails aside, Food Week is a convenient opportunity to sample the cuisine at some of the city’s more prestigious dining venues. I talked to Anne Reynolds, co-founder of the event, about highlights of this year’s line-up.
New York City had the Baggage & Dormitory Building on Ellis Island; Buenos Aires had the Hotel de Inmigrantes near the port docks in Puerto Madero. Today, the old hotel contains an intriguing museum documenting the experiences of the great waves of European immigrants arriving in Argentina between 1911-53.
In winter, it’s quiet in Mendoza – temperatures drop, winemakers focus on protecting their grapes from occasional snowfall, visitors pass through on their way to ski resorts in the Andes. It’s the perfect moment for the region’s culinary talents to escape for a few weeks and bring their olive oil and Bonarda to the tables of Buenos Aires.
Case in point: Zuccardi at the Palacio Duhau. Starting this week and extending through August 24th, a pair of creative young chefs – one from Familia Zuccardi’s Casa del Visitante in Mendoza, the other of the elegant Gioia restaurant at the Palacio Duhau–Park Hyatt, perhaps the grandest hotel in Buenos Aires – team up to present a special four-course menu with wine pairings.
If you’re planning a trip to Argentina, do yourself a favor and explore part of its literary landscape beforehand. The following recommended titles, some by native writers and others by foreigners reporting back on their travel experiences, provide useful cultural context and set the stage for your own adventures.
In the Argentinian capital, the weather is cold – at least relatively speaking. July is the middle of winter in the southern hemisphere, the perfect time to seek out a cozy cup of tea and a little indoor entertainment.
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