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Los Barrios de Buenos Aires
Thursday, 08 December 2011

Buenos Aires comprises of 48 'barrios' or districts. Before renting my apartment I asked some people about the best neighbourhoods of the city. I was told that Recoleta is the place to be. Following this advice I rented a place in Recoleta...

I wrote in my previous post that I have seen some signs of opulence in my neighbourhood. Well, that was my comment after the first few hours around here. Now, after one-week-stay, I got to know this area pretty well. It is indeed a very wealthy neighbourhood. Most of the buildings here (if not all of them) have a doorman, and some look 'muy rico' (rich). Some remind me of the buildings at the Fifth Avenue in New York City. About five blocks away is the Alvear Palace Hotel which is probably the most elegant hotel in Buenos Aires.

Alvear Palace Hotel

There is a number of boutiques around here with low inventories but high prices. Today, on the way from Recoleta Cemetery (more about it in the next post) I stepped into Polo Ralph Lauren shop located in a nice mansion. It is actually a small shop with a limited offer but with a large number os sales force and a doorman (who needs that shit!) I made a quick round checking the prices doing my best to stay ahead of the 'helpful' sales people . There was one nice shirt that I would buy if not for the price. It cost over 800 pesos, or about $200. Two years ago I bought a very similar shirt in Mexico for less then $20 (as far as I remember) except that it was without the Polo Ralph Lauren logo on it. Come on, I don't need that bull-shit doorman, just don't ask me to pay $200 for something that  cost you $5 and you added the bull-shit logo to it! I wonder how many empty-headed, vain people fall for that crap... There must be some, or otherwise the business would close. I need to point out that in addition to 5 or 7 people of the staff I was the only 'client' there. But one sucker an hour probably makes more than it is needed to run such a rip off place. I had a number of Polo shirts in my life and I never paid more than $30 or $40 for them, but there was NOTHING at this shop that would cost less than $100.

Looking for slippers I also dropped into the Recoleta Mall. Again, each floor houses just a few shops with limited inventories. One shop carried something close to what I was looking for. The problem was that the label cried for 380 pesos (over $80) while I have exactly the same shoes in Vancouver, which I know are made in China, and which cost about $20 in Vancouver. RIP OFF seems to be the name of the game in RECOLETA.

Two days ago I walked about 4 to 5 km one way to a neighbourhood called Palermo. I like walking, and this is practically the only exercise that I have here so I take the opportunity to walk whenever I can. This way I can experience much more of the city while at the same time soaking up the sun. Palermo is a bigger district and I specifically went to see Palermo Soho. According to my tourist guide Palermo Soho is a bohemian part of the district of Palermo. I didn't experience much of the bohemian ambiance as it only comes alive at night, with a lot of young people supposedly gathering, singing, celebrating (smoking pot? -- don't know, haven't seen it, it was only about 6pm when I was there). In spite of the name, the area reminds me more of the Commercial Street neighbourhood in Vancouver, rather than the Soho of London.

Palermo Soho

Rich and Poor

The garbage is each day put out on the street in front of the buildings. I have seen a few instances of poor people going through that garbage and taking all the valuable stuff out before it gets picked up by the city cleaners. On the other hand, as I was walking back home just an hour ago, I came across a big bag full of fresh French baguettes (probably up to 20kg) that was thrown away by someone. Was that a local restaurant, or just a stupid, rich fuck who couldn't use this stuff up at his birthday party? I guess I will never know that, I just hope that one of the poor folks will come across this bag...

Feel free to comment on the blog, it is possible now.  However, I will disable the commenting at the end of my trip in January.  Sadly, this is necessary so as not to allow spammers put up their nonsense here as it happened before...

Posted by J23
Friday, 09 December 2011
 I thought you were going to BA to see a new country. Going to Robson Street to shop would not have cost nearly as much!! O, you were going for the sun. Have you seen any? Never mind designer goods, prices and shops, what are the people like? what is the city like? Are you going to veenture out of the urban center? Telll us more.
adriaan  de vries  adriaand@telus.net


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