Explore Buenos Aires: A Virtual and Accessible Tour
This week we are heading to Buenos Aires, Argentina’s capital, to explore the city’s cultural artifacts, architecture, food, and more. While the city is home to much history, there are also intriguing contemporary elements that make Buenos Aires a wonderful place to experience. To learn more about the city, keep on reading this blog!
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Visit the Museums and Sites
Dating back to 1919, the El Ateneo Grand Splendid is a quintessential part of Buenos Aires’ past. The building started out as a beautiful theater turned cinema turned bookstore that still contains the intricately decorated stage from years ago. For more information about the bookstore, read the blog at the link here and watch the video at the link here. The video comes with subtitles.
The Casa Rosada, or the office of the president of Argentina, is probably the most well-known site in Buenos Aires, perhaps even all of Argentina. Painted in all pink, the building was given its name because of its distinctive coloring and is the current seat of the Argentine national government. To learn more about the Casa Rosada, use the link here to access a blog and watch the video at the link here. The video comes with auto-generated captions.
One of the oldest areas in Buenos Aires is the Plaza de Mayo, home to the Casa Rosada and serving as the main foundational site of the city. The Plaza de Mayo has also been the scene of many political events, such as the second founding of the city and revolution of independence. For more details about the city square, read the blog at the link here and watch the video at the link here. The video comes with auto-generated captions.
Though a bit macabre, the beautifully decorated Recoleta Cemetery is a must-see attraction in Buenos Aires. The cemetery is set up like a little city, with boulevards, avenues, and gardens teeming with vegetation. Each mausoleum is striking, giving the cemetery a feel of an open art museum then a place for deep grieving. To learn more about the Recoleta Cemetery, read the blog at the link here and watch the video at the link here. The video comes with auto-generated captions.
Caminito Street is a colorful street museum located in La Boca, a neighborhood of Buenos Aires. From live music to splendid wall art, El Caminito is a great place to experience the cultural impact of Argentine creativity in their homeland. For more information about the street museum, read the blog at the link here and watch the vlog at the link here. The video comes with auto-generated captions.
Of course, El Caminito is not the only place to get a feel for Argentine art in Buenos Aires. The Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes –– or the National Museum of Fine Arts –– is also significant, carrying both national and international works from the likes of Chagall, Van Gogh, and others. For more about the museum, read the blog at the link here and list through their digital collection at the link here. The digital collection has images from past and current exhibitions, as well as some information about each art piece.
Tune in to Shows and Movies About Buenos Aires and Argentina
Because of Buenos Aires’ captivating history, many films and TV shows have been set in the city, as well as the country as a whole. Since accessible films set only in Buenos Aires were difficult to find, we turn our attention more broadly to Argentina.
“Tango” is a dangerously interesting drama musical. After the wife of an Argentine theater director leaves him, the director decides to create a film centered around the tango. Conflicts arise, as the lead dancer and the director enter into an affair and the backers of the film disapprove of the movie. Issues pile up, and the director must do everything he can to get his film to the public. “Tango” is available to watch on Amazon at the link here, and has closed captions.
Based on a true story, “The Heist of the Century” is Ariel Winograd’s take on the robbery of the Banco Rio branch in Acassuso. In the film, a group of thieves come together to carry out one of the most notorious bank heists in Argentine history. The film is available at the link here, and comes with English subtitles.
An essential character of Argentina is Che Guevara, a revolutionary Marxist who became a symbol for confronting poverty and the fight against exploitation. “The Motorcycle Diaries” attempts to tell the story of a young Che and what events led him to become the rebel that he was. The film is available at the link here, and comes with English subtitles.
At the turn of the 21st century, “Okupas” details the struggles of a group of young men who become squatters at a house in Buenos Aires. The series delves into each man’s search for home and the terrors of a hostile city. “Okupas” can be found at the link here, and comes with English subtitles.
“El Marginal” is a crime show following an ex-cop who infiltrates a prison in order to investigate a kidnapping. Surrounded by felons who want him dead, he must be careful to never reveal his identity while also searching for justice. To watch the show, click on the link here, and the show comes with closed captions.
Get Lost in Books About Buenos Aires and Argentina
Both Buenos Aires and Argentina have served as the backdrop for many books due to their intriguing nature. As stated before, accessible books set only in Buenos Aires were difficult to find, so we had to turn our attention more broadly to Argentina.
One of Argentina’s most celebrated authors is Jorge Luis Borges, a creator of fiction works that changed Spanish literature and creative writing forever. In Borges’ “Collected Fictions”, we get a taste for his voice, his grasp on the fantastical, and his desire to explore the human psyche. To read the book, click on the link here, and there is an audiobook version.
Another well-rated collection of short stories is “Things We Lost in the Fire: Stories” by Mariana Enriquez. Offering her own take on horror in contemporary Argentina, Enriquez creates worlds that are both grotesque and yet hauntingly familiar. To read the book, click on the link here, and there is a Kindle and audiobook version.
Set in the Buenos Aires of the 1970’s, “The Secret in Their Eyes: A Novel” by Eduardo Sacheri follows the retired detective Chaparro, his obsession with a decades-old murder case, and a past love that continues to affect him. Sacheri uses Chaparro and his story to ask what justice means in Argentina and who it really belongs to. To access the book, click on the link here, and there is a Kindle and audiobook version.
“Evita: The Life of Eva Peron” by Jill Hedges takes on the story of one of Argentina’s most beloved and admired political figures: Eva Peron, the late wife of President Juan Domingo Peron. Starting her life in object poverty in rural Argentina, Eva Peron’s charisma and magnetic personality led her to a relationship with Juan Peron and an eventual massive rise in popularity among the citizens of Argentina. To read this biography, use the link here, and there is a Kindle version.
Another popular crime story is “A Crack in the Wall” by Claudia Piñeiro, which follows Pablo Simó and his mess of a personal and work life. However, when beautiful Leonor appears and brings light to a crime that happened years ago, Pablo’s world changes for good. To access the book, click on the link here, and there is a Kindle and audiobook version.
Bring Buenos Aires to Your Kitchen
Buenos Aires is a wonderful place to experience Argentine cuisine, like its inventive dishes and intoxicating flavors. Below, we have listed a few Buenos Aires vegan and gluten free recipes that you can make at home.
A popular dish in Buenos Aires is an empanada, which consists of a flaky dough wrapped around a filling of meat or vegetables. The dough is then pressed down on one side with a fork, giving the pastry its classic half moon shape. To make vegan and gluten free empanadas, use the link here and enjoy!
Chimichurri sauce is a spicy, easy to make sauce that serves to brighten up barbecue, grilled meats, or salads. It is traditional to both Uruguay and Argentina, but is enjoyed worldwide for its refreshing flavor. For a vegan and gluten free chimichurri sauce recipe, use the link here. Feel free to adjust the amounts of each ingredient to your own taste.
One of the most well loved desserts hailing from Latin America is flan, and it is extremely popular in Argentina. Creamy, rich, and oh so sweet, flan is a spongy custard covered in a salty caramel sauce. To make a vegan and gluten free flan, click on the recipe linked here, pick up a spoon, and eat up!
Where to Next?
Thanks for wandering Buenos Aires with us virtually. Join us next time as we explore Honolulu, Hawaii.