Friday, April 11, 2008

The Colors of Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is a beautiful city. And if you look in the right places, also a very colorful city.

One of our first stops on a city tour was La Casa Rosada, The Pink House. It is the official government seat, the presidents palace. Many people have spoken from its balcony including Eva Peron and Pope John Paul II. This was also where Madonna sang 'Don't cry for me, Argentina'.

Another area of Buenos Aires that we visited is called La Boca, The Mouth. During the later part of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century, many immigrants came to Argentina. About 50% of them were Italian and a good number of those were from Genoa. As Genoa is a port town, many of these new immigrants settled at la boca, the mouth of the river. One of the old traditions in Genoa is to paint the houses with paint leftover from the shipyards and that is what they did in their new country.

But when writing about La Boca, one must also mention Benito Quinquela Martin. By the late 1950’s, La Boca looked nothing like it had in the early part of the century. The colorful housing was being pulled down and being replaced with blocks of flats. Quinquela, as he is commonly known, was an orphan who had been adopted by Genoese immigrants and grew up in La Boca. He became one of Argentina’s most famous painters. With the port of La Boca being his inspiration, he decided to do something to preserve the old barrio.

The result was the street of Caminito. This is a small street showing the way La Boca used to look, with brightly painted corrugated metal housing. On the weekends, this little street becomes a place for local artists to show their wares and where you might spot a couple or two doing the tango along the street.

And finally, this interesting mural which we just happened to pass as we wandered some of the side streets in Buenos Aires.

As Featured On Ezine Articles

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