Monday, October 24, 2011

La Boca: bright colors and tango

We finally wandered on down to one of the most famous areas of Buenos Aires: El Caminito in La Boca.  La Boca is one of the oldest areas of the city.  It is also one of the poorest, but what they lack in financial disposition, they make up in character.  Well, at least the little section of El Caminito.  If you happen to find yourself in La Boca at night or across the river, you better be packin’ a shank or some brass knuckles because you’re gonna be in for a scrum with some local toughs looking to take advantage of naivety and relieve you of your tourist belongings.

El Caminito
But I digress, the area of El Caminito is small, but full of life, and the few hours we spent there were not enough (we’ll go back, perhaps with people who are coming to visit us…!!).  It’s built for tourists, no doubt, but camera-clicking fun is partly why we’re here, so we were happy to plunge ourselves into the deep end of BA tourism.  Every little nook or cranny you peer at has something to draw your attention.  

A colorfully painted wall (sounds lame, but it’s fun – the reason this area is painted so colorfully is because the people had a ton of left over paint a long time ago and rather than dumping it in the river, they painted their houses bright, random colors); statue-esque model people of local-types and famous citizens, standing on balconies and in windows waving at you (yes, Eva Perron and Maradona and Carlos Gardel are there); a mural depicting history or sports legends, mostly of their famed Boca Juniors Futbol Club; or just a small little alley with crafts and souvenirs all jam pack this couple block radius with curiosity and enjoyment.
ice cream stop

Yes, that's really us
dancing tango
Music, tango dancers, and street performers feed your appetite for Buenos Aires culture.  You can take a picture with a faux Mardona, pose with a tango dancer, or have an overpriced lunch and beer whilst being serenaded by folk music and dancers.  The performances keep your interest piqued and there is never a dull moment.
We meandered up and through alleyways, stopped off for some ice cream, and soaked up some Saturday afternoon sun.  It was a quiet, simple, and enjoyable afternoon as we got yet another glimpse into the world of Buenos Aires.

Maradonna, Evita, and Carlos Gardel

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