Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Exploring Palermo in Buenos Aires

Picking where we stay really depends on how close it is to Scott's office. In Buenos Aires, his office is in the Palermo neighborhood which is divided into several subdivisions. It is the biggest barrio in the city with plenty of boutique hotels, hostels and apartments. Since Scott is here for an extended time, he decided to move into a furnished apartment and asked for my assistance. I have a couple "go-to" sites I always use and would highly recommend. The site I used for here was Airbnb. Other sites I use are VRBO and Roomorama.

 Palermo is also full of restaurants (casual and upscale), pubs, disco clubs and shops all surrounded by beautiful old colonial homes with balconies and huge trees. There is a lot of graffiti in the area, some good and some not so good, so the area also has some 'grittiness' to it. We are staying in the subdivision called Palermo Hollywood. It got its name in the mid-nineties when a lot of TV and radio producers moved into the area.

We live on Nicaragua street in a building that was formerly the Hollywood Suites and Lofts. Our area has all the necessities of the PorteƱo lifestyle - cafes, grocery stores, restaurants, laundry, fruit and vegetables stands and salons.
I can't get over how massive the trees are that line the residential sidewalks.
 Only appropriate that we live across the street from a pub. Not sure it is really an "Irish" pub but they have inexpensive drinks and it is close.
We also spend a good amount of time in Palermo Soho, another subdivision. In my opinion, this area is "trendier" and busier then Hollywood or other areas in Palermo. Restaurant prices are also a tad more expensive, but not too much.
Some graffiti around town.

There are numerous parks and/or gardens in Buenos Aires and we are fortunate to be close to many of them.

PARQUE TRES DE FEBRERO (February 3 Park)
This beautiful park is the largest and greenest park in the city. It is very popular for outdoor activities like running, cycling, or just walking around enjoying nature. Originally this land belonged to a famous military leader and governor of Buenos Aires, Juan Manuel de Rosas. On February 3, 1852 (hence the name of the park), he was defeated at the battle of Caseros and the civil war ended. The land then became public property.
Has a small lake where you can rent boats with paddles or pedals.
PASEO DEL ROSEDAL 
This garden is in the heart of Parque Tres de Febrero. I could spend a lot of time here just sitting at a one of the numerous park benches, reading or people watching. The garden is full of beautiful colorful roses, expansive green lawns winding paths and a small lake. Luckily for me, spring is the best time to visit Paseo del Rosedal although I am sure any season it would still be enjoyable. Apparently, there are over 1,000 different types of roses and more than 14,000 rose bushes.  


The Plantario is also located in the Parque Tres de Febrero and not hard to miss. Designed to be the planet Saturn, inside the giant dome is an auditorium that seats a few hundred people with regular shows displaying the night sky. Apparently, at night the entire building is lit up in blue and purple lighting. I have not walked over to actually see this but I might before I leave.
JARDIN JAPANESE (Japanese Garden)
Another garden in the area is the Japanese Garden and one of the largest gardens of its type outside of Japan. There is a small fee of 24 pesos ($3.50US) to enter the garden. It was a lot smaller than I anticipated but pretty nonetheless. The garden has a cultural center, restaurant, greenhouse with bonsai trees for sale, big pond with a lot of huge fish, and a cute little red bridge. Not sure it was worth charging 24 pesos but it was peaceful and a nice break from all the hustle and bustle of the city.
Feed me....
CARLOS THAYS BOTANICAL GARDEN 
Designed by Carlos Thays in 1902, the garden is roughly 18 acres and has over 5,000 exotic and local floras. Yet another tranquil place to relax. For me, I enjoyed all the marble, stone and bronze sculptures made by renowned Argentineans and foreign artists throughout the garden. 
ZOOLOGICAL GARDEN
Last but certainly not least is the zoo! I do enjoy going to the zoo but I probably would not have gone if I was here for a short amount of time. This is supposed to be one of the best zoos in Latin America. The day I went it was hot, 86 degrees to be exact, so the animals were not too active. Most of them were sleeping or hiding in the shade.
Orangutan seeking shade and reading the phone book! Hysterical.... 
 
 




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