March 1, 2010

A Day in Buenos Aires

February 28. Our day in Buenos Aires started with a good breakfast in hotel, following which we boarded a medium-sized tour bus for a four hour tour of the town. It was a good mixture of history, culture, rich neighborhoods, and poor. There seemed to be more enthusiasm for La Boca, actually. At least half of the tour was spent there, including more time on the streets than anywhere else. At least two people told me that La Boca was sketchy, but the tour took us there, dropped us in the streets for 45 minutes, and suggested that we return, if we left by 6:00 PM. There was certainly a big tourist focus there, and some very interesting buildings and museums. I'll return (if before 6).

We had our usual chaotic, waiter-crushing lunch at the Libertad Cafe on Santa Fe at Libertad. After that, we went our several ways. Four of us went to MALBA (Museo Arte de Latinamericano Buenos Aires), a very fine modern art museum. It's organized by decades, with a few European greats and a log of Latin Americans (including Diego and Frida) near greats. There was a lot of powerful and intriguing pieces. I regret that I can't remember any names, now, for there were some real beauties.

After that, Mike and I walked to the Museo de Belles Artes, which is a pretty comprehensive fine arts museum, with representation from European paintings and sculpture from the fifteen through the twentieth centuries, by which century the representation broadens. Overall, it is a very good collection, not great, but if this was your museum, you could learn a lot about fine arts by studying its collection. The greats were represented by minor works, but there were some very good paintings, contemporaneous to the greats, from painters I'd never heard of.

By that time, the day was ending, so Mike and I walked back to the hotel, slowed somewhat by my making a wrong turn, which caused us to have to backtrack several blocks. Mike was gracious about it.

We had dinner up the street at Torre Paris, where several of us insisted on steak (which was very good, and inexpensive), before we hit the sack for a very early morning the next day.

A full day, warm and muggy.

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