Buenos Aires, part II
Seven years ago I loved nearly everything about Buenos Aires. In 2007, I explored the city wide-eyed and with a big grin. I remembered a city that was vibrant, exciting and eclectic. It was Latin America, but not. I remembered walking for miles and finding beautiful parks and plazas of all shapes and sizes. I remembered getting a kick out of wine being served at breakfast, lunch and dinner. There was one restaurant in particular that stood out, Siga la Vaca, for it’s all-you-can-eat delicious cuts of Argentine beef. I especially loved the neighborhood of San Telmo. That time around, having come from expensive Brazil and being on a tight budget, I thought Buenos Aires was an incredible value. I remember being wowed by the wide avenues in this city like no other. The residents seemed so sophisticated and well dressed. I left eager to return.
Seven years later, the opportunity arrived. I was looking forward to returning but also hesitant to tamper with such fond memories from such a wonderful time in my life. So how’d it go?
To summarize, I didn’t love it nearly as much this time around. I saw the arrogance that Porteños are known for, perhaps worldwide but definitely within the Latin community. (Porteños = residents of Buenos Aires). The waiters in restaurants were particularly rude and service in general terrible. They acted as if they were doing us a huge favor by taking our order and bringing our food and beverage. Everything, seemed much more expensive and it is no longer a bargain destination. We had a few disappointing meals that were overpriced without the quality to match. We decided to return to Siga la Vaca to give it a try, even though we saw several recent negative reviews on Trip Advisor and it was the worst meal we’ve had on this trip.
So, Buenos Aires wasn’t as rosy and perfect as I remembered. My memories are likely a bit skewed having been a budget-backpacker long term traveler that time around. I’m definitely a different kind of traveler nowadays and looking for a different kind of experience than I was then. But things have certainly changed.
But, there was plenty I still enjoyed. It is still vibrant and exciting. The architecture is really appealing. I don’t know a thing about architecture and can’t tell a neo-classical from art deco from republican….but I can say that the buildings and how they vary so greatly from one street to the next really capture the eye. I still loved those wide avenues, especially the one that has the famous obelisk in the middle. I am still head over heels in love with the warm, melt-in-your-mouth medialunas (croissants) served with coffee. I still found the San Telmo neighborhood super charming and again found myself daydreaming about renting an old apartment there for awhile and letting life happen. And I really love the way the city comes alive in the twilight! Gorgeous.
The Mr was not impressed by the city much at all and was especially turned off by the Porteños we crossed paths with, but is willing to give it another shot when we have another 24 hour stop over through BA on our way home. While it will be a quick visit, we hope to spend most of our time enjoying the parks and weekend market scene and will do our best to have two good meals so that we can leave on a positive note!