We are living in Palermo, a trendy area of Buenos Aires known for its beautiful architecture, fabulous fashion boutiques, and overpriced cafes. I am in love. We spent our first day touring the city, and I took about 300 pictures… about 250 were of the graffiti and the murals.
Palermo seems to be an eclectic mix of old and new, gritty and posh. I have never seen anything like it. The majority of the streets are still cobblestone, and are lined with beautiful trees which create a shady canopy over the road. The shops are in very old buildings, still boasting original moldings and detailed ironwork around their windows and doors. Everywhere I look there is brick, brick, BRICK and ornate carved wooden doors, and all these natural materials live in juxtaposition with colder concrete buildings and painted tiles in a seamless manner… and it just WORKS. The warm natural materials with the colder, more modern aspects make the city’s architecture so unique that I have to have my camera out at all times.
And then all of this beauty is tagged with graffiti, and streets are lined with garbage… and lots of “gifts” from dogs. (There’s your “gritty/posh” feel.) Most of the graffiti is senseless tagging, but some are political statements, and some are downright funny. Many are beautiful murals which give more life and color to the city. Here are some of my favorites:
I’ve tried to imagine the city without them, and I just can’t. It already seems like habit to scan the buildings as I walk past them, looking for the next random graffiti-ed statement about life in this country. And this city without its murals? It would be like a kindergarten classroom sans any decorations with primary colors: impossible to imagine!
And then there are the wines. And the wine stores. And the fantastic prices for unbelievable bottles. Argentines known how how to dine, and how to dine well. My only problem will be adjusting to the late dinners (meeting for a pre-dinner drink at 11pm?? Are you kidding me?!?!). But hey, there are tougher challenges in the world to meet than staying up late to dine on delicious food while drinking great wines!