buenos aires

writing: prep for plaza de mayo

Endless Mile, Buenos Aires, Plaza de Mayo

I’ll never forget my first impression of Plaza de Mayo —the main square in Buenos Aires & arguably the most important public spot in all of Argentina. Important buildings, including the Casa Rosada (the presidential office) & the Cabildo (the old town hall), are located there… in addition, the plaza witnessed the birth of a revolutionary movement which expanded to all of Latin America. Expectations were high. But on arrival I thought to myself, “This is it??” Living in Spain & frequent travels to México had apparently spoiled me. I envisioned a large public space, a knockout cathedral & lots of colonial architecture. Instead, Plaza de Mayo delivered a few palm trees, horrendous 1970’s-era fountains, random patches of grass & the feeling that I was in a basin. Hmph.

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buenos aires: inside the kavanagh

Don’t be jealous… although you should be.

The Kavanagh is a Holy Grail to architecture buffs worldwide, & I scored a visit inside today. The building administration was adamant about not taking photos in public areas. Did I listen? We were chastised several times, & I wouldn’t want the person who granted us access to get into trouble. She lives there after all. But how could I resist?

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business: why once?

Buenos Aires, Once, Balvanera, dome, cúpula

First of all, let’s clear something up. It’s not the English word “once” but the mini-barrio known as Once in Buenos Aires. Say OHN-say… now you’ve got it.

A 12-block walk through the heart of Once will be the next release for Endless Mile, nicely ahead of schedule. Text & layout are already finished. The only big task remaining is to create a couple of graphics. So I’m pleased to announce that the walk should be available soon. It’s a treat to show visitors a part of Buenos Aires that is centrally located (about the same distance from both Recoleta Cemetery & Plaza de Mayo) but rarely visited. Hopefully we’ll change that. Our introduction begins with the following text:

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buenos aires: parque de la memoria

Buenos Aires, Belgrano, Parque de la Memoria, 30.000, Nicolás Guagnini

Since verdicts were passed last night in what the local press called the “Megacausa ESMA,” it seemed appropriate to take a walk today around one of the newer parts of Buenos Aires I’d yet to explore: the Parque de la Memoria. ESMA is an acronym for the Naval Academy, the setting for some of the most brutal torture experienced by desaparecidos during the last military dictatorship. Trials against military personnel involved in those crimes were reopened in 2005, & bit by bit the more notorious figures are being given life sentences.

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