January 21, 2012

Exploring Buenos Aires: Evita's Recoleta & Upscale Palermo

While I have been trying to go one by one through each of Buenos Aires' unique neighborhoods, this post in about both Recoleta and Palermo. For a few reasons actually, but mostly because they are geographically next to each other, very similar, and feature lots of museums. Which are awesome to see in person, but not via the internet. So less people pictures means less to blog about.

Anyway - to the north of downtown Buenos Aires are the fancy, high class neighborhoods of Recoleta and Palermo. We took the bus from San Telmo and spent an afternoon in each of them! They are both pretty accessible, although Palermo slightly more so since the Subte (metro) also goes there.

Our adventures in Recoleta took us to the Floralis Generalis, which is this cool sculpture with metal petals that open and close each day. The statue itself has become a well known icon of Buenos Aires, however we joked that they created it with all the coins in Argentina's currency because for some reasons we could never gather enough coins together to get on the bus...

The area between Palermo and Recoleta is filled with some of the cities most beautiful and spacious parks, including the Jardin Botanico, Jardin Zoologico and the Jardin Japones. We didn't spend a lot of time in them, but I liked the idea of having this very green part of the city to contrast with the area around downtown.

A pedestrian bridge over one of BA's many busy avenues.

 The underside of the bridge - cool, huh?

Floralis Generalis - where all of Argentina's monedas (coins) have gone.

 A Gossip Girl-esque shot on the steps on the Museo Nacional de Artes Latinoamericas.

The real star of the show in Recoleta is the cemetery - and not just the cemetery, but it's very well-known occupants. This cemetery is the resting place of some of Argentina's most famous people - including Evita. During our time in Argentina I learned a lot about Evita (Eva Peron). She is most famous for uniting the working classes of Argentina, together with her husband and president, Juan Peron. From what I gathered they must have been quite the power couple back in the day, and rightly so.

 Wandering through Recoleta cemetery with Stetson.

The entrance to Recoleta cemetery.

One of many inscriptions covering Evita's gravesite. 

Our last stop in Recoleta - the main store for Ateneo Bookstore. This giant bookstore is built in an old theater and features a coffee shop in the back on the old stage. So cool!!!

After enjoying all Recoleta had to offer us, we were off to Palermo the next day! This neighborhood further subdivides into area's named Palermo Soho, Palermo Chico and Palermo Hollywood...but I didn't really ever learn the difference. Basically if you are looking to go out to a place with lots of restaurants, bars and discos in the same place, then Palermo is the spot. It is also the spot for upscale shopping, and while all the transport in Argentina left me without the desire to spend many pesos, I did find a cute brown purse and just enjoyed wandering all the shops in general.

Our day in Palermo first began at MALBA, one of the cities most famous museums. Lucky for us, Stetson/Kelsi did their research and we went on a Wednesday and only paid half price for our otherwise $24 peso tickets. Win. We spent about an hour wandering the museum before making it to Mark's Cafe for one of our best lunches of the entire trip. A delicious deli/cafe/heaven in Palermo, Mark's cafe was a much welcome break from all the typical food of Argentina. My blue cheese salad with fresh fruit and toasted nuts was fantastic - you must go there if you ever find yourself in Buenos Aires. Sadly, there are no pictures of Mark's as we were all too busy enjoying the food and atmosphere!

MALBA - Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires

 Inside the three level museum.

A snapshot at some of the art to see in MALBA!

Taking a break from shopping in Palermo.

 ...only one more Argentina post to go! Downtown BA, here we come...

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