Wednesday, January 25, 2012

driving tour of the city

Presidente and I spent some time downtown Buenos Aires this week. It is a really interesting city. There is beauty everywhere and graffiti almost everywhere, probably because there are no laws banning it. Some people even come here to take graffiti tours!
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I love the stately old buildings. Most of them were built In the late 1800’s when new methods for chilling and the freezing meat, innovations in shipping and the construction of rail networks inaugurated the golden age of Argentina.
Today they stand shoulder to shoulder with their neighbors that arrived during the next century and are sometimes reflected in their shiny exteriors.
One of those building is the beautiful Aduana, or Customs House, that gives us so much grief. It was inaugurated in 1910 and was refurbished a couple of years ago.
Here is a side view of the Colon Theater. It is massive. The Pastores tour guide tells us that Buenos Aires is built on a grid, which is mostly, but not exactly true.
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There are fabulous statues all over the city, you can hardly look in any direction without seeing one or more. The cast of Rodin’s “Thinker” was spray painted pink and given an arm tattoo and green hair last year. The sad thing is that it was damaged even more severely by the cleaning that followed.
DSC00943If it is not a building and it is not a statue, then I guess it is a monument. In 1910, the British residents of Argentina requested to build a clock tower. Most of the materials came from the UK as did the designer. It used to be called the Tower of the English, but after the Falklands War and a series of vandalism, it was changed to Monument Tower.
I captured many of these photos from the car. Driving in the city is always interesting. Even in January when there is “hardly any traffic.” The lines on the streets and freeways are truly there only as a suggestion. We got delayed by a group that decided to do a demonstration in the middle of the street.

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There are big beautiful trees all over the city. I have mentioned the jacaranda trees before, but there are many different types of trees. They reach to great heights and actually make for very uneven walkways, but they also make for very pleasant and picturesque drives.

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