Because we’d never been to the southern hemisphere we decided to travel to Argentina and Chile. We’ve been in Buenos Aires since Thursday, long enough to have a sense of where we are in the city, to travel the buses and subways, make dumb mistakes, and receive lots of friendly assistance.
The streets here throng with people, and the many, many cafes seem always full of people talking over a cup of espresso or cappuccino. There is a very rushed, chaotic feeling to the streets which are crammed with taxis, busses, motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians.
The big boulevards have special bus lanes, and bus service is great except at rush hour, when lines are ridiculously long, and the crush is exhausting. The pedestrians jaywalk like New Yorkers, watching traffic, not lights, and the drivers only yield right-of-way when they have to. As for the motorcyclists, they really seem to be continually risking their life. But people seem genuinely cheerful, if always hurrying.
A friend who lives in Northern Argentina told me he had turned down a prestigious job in Buenos Aires because life is too pressured in the city–too hard a place to raise a family. As a vacation destination, though, it’s fun.
Pizza is the hamburger of Buenos Aires, it seems like there is a pizza place every other block, and it’s a crispy, very thick crust version. We went to the “Best Pizza in the World,” at Pizza Guerrin, in business since 1932. Lively and delicious.
A chain we’ve seen all over is called Kentucky Pizza. But of course we haven’t tried it.
We’ve had one fabulous meal that I found through a site that offers private dinners–sort of pop up restaurants all over the world. This one was a very intimate, organic, farm to table restaurant that we went to by taxi.
At first it seemed like we’d come to the wrong place, but inside the nondescript facade there was a small, tasteful restaurant that served us multiple courses. My very favorite was one of the appetizers, asparagus with a salt-cured egg yolk that was a rich thick orange disk, and some little meringue flakes.
That’s half the egg at the end of the fork and half back on the plate. It was candlelight only, so sorry it’s so dark. There were many other delicious things, including an herb-crusted pork slow cooked in a clay oven.
We’ve been to a few museums, and I did see a Van Gough I’ve never seen before. A real beauty.
Today we went to a vast flea market in San Telmo, and ate at the Poet’s Cafe–adorable, but not great food.
As for the market, it has begun to seem like these are the same all over the world. We didn’t buy a single chatcha! There was pretty great music of several varieties that we stopped and listened to.
What is amazing to me, though, is how there are now apps that can guide you anywhere around the world, order you a taxi, and otherwise make navigating the world so much easier. We still got lost once or twice, but only for a very short time.