Saturday, February 14, 2009

Me Mude a San Telmo

Buenos Aires has a mosaic of eclectic neighborhoods. Apart from a two week stint at a backpackers in Palermo, I've been living in a muy alto neighborhood north of the city center, Recoleta. It has a few of the city's defining attractions: the cultural center, fine arts museum and cemetery (shrine) for its rich and famous. Along with a posh restaurant scene and some of the highest rent in Buenos Aires, Recoleta is aesthetically very nice. Going out there, though, you have to run a gauntlet of tourist traps and gimmicky bars. This gives it an insincere and almost contrived feel. There are also a disproportionate number of English speakers in Recoleta - I've had entire interactions where Argentinians refused to speak Spanish with me. In these situations, you just have to no-shame it and continue to deface their language while they get some valuable practice speaking the language of the world. Anyway, these are a couple of reasons I was in the market for a new place.

So last Thursday I moved to San Telmo. This hood's got soul yo. I'm a few blocks from Plaza Dorrego which hosts the city's largest artisans' fair every Sunday. It has outdoor tango shows most nights in a cafe-encircled courtyard, and the cobblestone streets all around are lined with restaurants and cool graffiti. The neighborhood has an ubiquitous artistic flair - both spontaneous and permanent. We're two blocks on the wrong side of the tracks (Autopista 25 de Mayo) where things start getting a little dodgy, but on a good enough street. I mean, there are police on every corner, so I guess that's a good thing?

The place has two floors. The top floor is a sun drenched roof terrace with just one room - my pad. Downstairs has 3 more bedrooms, a kitchen, living room, dining room and courtyard. To get to the bathroom from my room I have to walk down an outside staircase, so it'll be interesting to see how that plays out on nights of adverse weather/intoxication.

Cast of Characters:

(1 and 2.) I've known Josh and Julia since I moved down here in October, they were the ones told me about the place. (3.) Jessica is down here working part time for a magazine, a 5'4 blond hailing from sunny London. (4 and 5.) Two portenos in their late 20's. They are both great guys, and, on a selfish note, living and breathing Spanish lessons.

My room
Rooftop terrace

Julia and Alex...Courtyard

Living room

Dining room

There's also a hellion, un-neutered cat running around - MR. CHIMBA

1 comment:

Josh said...

I wish technology had evolved to the point where you could scratch the image of the patio area and subsequently sniff the smell of Chimba's piss. I tell you, it gives the apartment a really different ambiance, something you just can't get from pictures.