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San Telmo Remembrance of Antiquity

San Telmo's bohemian air began attracting local artists after upwardly mobile immigrants left the area. Growing cultural activity resulted in the opening of the Buenos Aires Museum of Modern Art by critic Rafael Squirru in 1956, as well as in the 1960 advent of the "Republic of San Telmo," an artisan guild which organized art walks and other events. San Telmo's immigrant presence also led to quick popularization of tango in the area; long after the genre's heyday, renowned vocalist Edmundo Rivero purchased an abandoned colonial-era grocery in 1969,

christening it El Viejo Almacén ("The Old Grocery Store"). Soon becoming one of the city's best-known tango music halls, it helped lead to a cultural and economic revival in San Telmo.

San Telmo ("Saint Pedro González Telmo") is the oldest barrio (neighborhood) of Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is a well-preserved area of the Argentine metropolis and is characterized by its colonial buildings. Cafes, tango parlors and antique shops line the cobblestone streets, which are often filled with artists and dancers. San Telmo's attractions include old churches (e.g. San Pedro Telmo), museums, antique stores and a semi-permanent antique fair (Feria de Antigüedades) in the main public square, Plaza Dorrego. Tango-related activities for both locals and tourists are in the area. Known as San Pedro Heights during the 17th century, the area was mostly home to the city's growing contingent of dockworkers and brickmakers; indeed, the area became Buenos Aires' first "industrial" area, home to its first windmill and most of the early city's brick kilns and warehouses. The bulk of the city's exports of wool, hides and leather (the Argentine region's chief source of income as late as the 1870s) were prepared and stored here in colonial times. Their presence led to the first residential settlements in this area: that of Africans, slaves and free, alike.

Separated from Buenos Aires proper by a ravine, the area was formally incorporated into the city in 1708 as the "Ovens and Storehouses of San Pedro." The neighborhood's poverty led the Jesuits to found a "Spiritual House" in the area, a charitable and educational mission referred to by San Pedro's indigent as "the Residence;" the 1767 Suppression of the Society of Jesus led to the mission's closure, however. The void left by the Jesuits' departure was addressed by the 1806 establishment of the Parish of San Pedro González Telmo (or "San Telmo"), so named in honor of the Patron Saint of seafarers. The move failed to replace lost social institutions, however, and San Telmo languished well after Argentine independence in 1816. The Jesuit Residence, restored as a clinic by Guatemalan

City textures In their endless chatter they sit, bent with their difficult years, the Old Distaff, Spindle and Shears. The Three Fates wait in their safe detachment of walled convent, one spinning, one measuring, one cutting all life, as they catch the city’s song going by them on a breeze. The hum of trucks, buses, and diesel fume streak the streets while cars bite evening papers strayed from the overfilled newsstands. Yet each Saturday the ritual changes, the city reawakens with a new rhythm, the sweet smell of candy coated fresh roasted peanuts flood the air. The Three Fates approach the threshold between their quiet world of penance toward the passionate world of laughter and despair. The entire neighborhood gushes through the convent walls, like an open hydrant as they embark through intricate textures of the city. “Empanadas, empanadas, empanadas,” echoes around the fair from sellers armed with coolers filled with meat-filled treats. They hold each other close, their simple garments juxtaposed over the city’s patterns and colors, while seeking out their target. Crackling tango music plays on loud speakers stacked by the street corner, rainbows of antique glass bottles, polished jewelry, mate cups, vintage fabrics, collector’s curiosities, framed paintings, and souvenir trinkets fill all gaps and corners. They slowly approach the busiest part of the plaza, nearing their purpose. At their journey’s end, they locate an older gentleman in a dark suit and hat, dancing with an older woman in an elegant dress in the middle of the street. Their dance captures and mesmerizes the crowd, but they only dance for themselves, lost in each other’s daze, as they do each Saturday. As his thread of life appears before Atropos, he begins to feel the pulse of life pounding deep within him, as if he dances with her for the last time, yet this moment would be lived on in eternity. As the music dies down and the thunderous applause begins, the Fates turn back to their walled convent. Atropos looks upon her trembling hands where the uncut thread of life hangs, and a feeling of laughter and despair floods over her. “Perhaps next Saturday”, she says, but as it happens, we are doomed to never know.


Xul Solar- Xunquel

Robert Doisneau- En Alsace

Jorge Borges- The Garden of Forking Paths

La Paternal Labor of Industry

By end 1700, these lands belonged to the Jesuits, after they were confiscated by the state and in 1827, then President Bernardino Rivadavia founded the town of Chorroarín by bringing German settlers, but the idea failed. Then in 1833 it was decided to distribute farms to settlers who came from the Canary Islands, who were strong in agriculture. In 1855 he sold this land to the Administrator of the Chacarita since the time of Rosas, Juan Farias. Around 1900 began paved with granite cobblestones built in the middle of the road a bed of 8 meters wide, which then placed the tracks for trams Lacroze. His name was due to some, at the request of an insurance company "La Paternal", who owned considerable land in the area, where he built many houses for workers. Others believe that the name was given by a store, famous for it stopped the wagons that were to Luján through the "road to Moreno."

In 1885, the first train runs between Palermo and Mercedes stations, covering 107 km. Over time they were opening new sites due to the demand of development of the City of Buenos Aires and other cities that were growing along with the railway branch. Thus, in 1887, was inaugurated Chacarita Station, later named La Paternal in 1904.

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It's a great neighborhood taking into account their surface, but sparsely populated. In general the people are of Jewish origin and have in his synagogue area. Have been developed in various industries him that although they are very practical in the city, prevent their discomfort with the development of a residential area. Is a neighborhood of low houses, construction called "chorizo" typical Italian where it attaches great importance to the kitchen was the place where people spend the most hours and time. Almost all of them have a small garden in front and behind a green space dedicated to the garden and chicken coop. Today, in Álvarez Jonte between Terrero and Andrew Lamas, one can find houses that mostly lasted for more than 80 years. They generally are one-story buildings with garden to front and courtyard that divides the room.

Mechanical dreams I wait for him at the corner where moonlight angles through the east-west streets. The first day my autorepair shop opened on Warnes, this young man with unfocused eyes and gapped smile asked if I would be interested in second-hand scraps of automotive parts. Ever since, I wait for him weekly in the morning for new metal treasures. He is a man who gathers the day’s refuse in the capital city. Everything that the big city throws away, looses, despises, crushes, he catalogs and collects. I hear whistling. He comes biking with two friends, one whose bike has been reborn with a big fly-wheel mounted on the handlebars. He is a roving knife-sharpener; his whistle is a call to work, and the knives get sharpened right on his bike. His other friend has a coal-burning hot pan on the back of his bike, where he sells fresh roasted nuts with chocolate. Sometime if the weather permits, I wait for him on the rooftop. One can still see the remnants of stone ornaments, pilasters, lintels, carved by grandfathers, great uncles and second cousins of today on the adjacent chorizo houses, like memorials for that which was built to be torn down again someday, yet whose labor preserves a record of imagination, ambition, skill, greed, folly error, cost, story, so that a time before remains present within the bright careening now. We exchange a few pieces of advice, a few warm regards, and he moves on his way to whatever comes next for him. He knows I will make a profit from his low pricing, to give me a chance to live down the street of this sleepy neighborhood I call my home. Fastening, unfastening, and heaving. It topples some. Some others it will toughen. We come, we work, we get fired, and we worry later. I could have been that Cartonero, yet fool’s luck struck me. He reminds me to rethink value: the value of health, happiness, and the value of trash.


Xul Solar- Palacios en Bria

Robert Doisneau- Shantytown

Jorge Borges- The House of Asterion


ci(ty)metrical reflections

The Colegiales Athletic and Social Club is probably the neighborhood's favorite social venue. Located on 2860 Teodoro García Street, it was famous in decades past for Roberto "Polaco" Goyeneche's frequent Tango recitals there. Colegiales was also home to the city's first cinema, "Las Familias." The cinema was probably better-known, however, for the people who had it built than for its distinction as a historical first. Though now a distant memory, the colorful Anselmis entertained generations of locals with their namesake circus on Lacroze and Cabildo Avenues. The Argos Cinema (on 3455 Federico Lacroze Ave.) was long the most popular in Colegiales, however, as it had included a cinema, theatre, meeting hall (popular with evangelists) and a dance hall. Today, sadly, none of these establishments exist, as they either shut down or relocated to the more upscale Belgrano, to the east. Its cafés, many still open, are often not unlike pool halls, frequented by night owls and assorted "ne'er-dowells". Perhaps the best-known is the Argos Café (Federico Lacroze & Alvarez Thomas Avenues), which still boasts its period decor and billiard tables.

The history of Colegiales is the same as the barrio of Chacarita because it used to be called Chacarita de los Colegiales. This neighbourhood had chacras and quintas, where the Jesuits had land which they used to take vacations along with their students. When this religious people where expelled in 1767, the lands were expropriated by the Spanish Crown. Later during the government of Rivadavia, in a time of gold, workers and immigrants from Europe settled in the area thereby creating the two neighbourhoods of Chacarita and Colegiales.

Colegiales is one of Buenos Aires' smallest districts. Its main thoroughfare is Federico Lacroze avenue, where most neighborhood traffic and retail stores are concentrated. Alvarez Thomas avenue is a study in contrasts, lined with single-family rowhouses along one side and almost entirely with apartment blocks along the other. The avenue also separates Colegiales with its neighbor to the south, the barrio of Chacarita. The Pasaje General Paz (an "alley" or narrow street only for pedestrians) attracts visitors near and far, with its mature trees, bridgepath streams and ornate, balconied Andalusianstyle patio. Colegiales is also one of the city's "greenest" areas, being also home to Juan José Paso Plaza, Portugal Plaza, San Miguel de Garicoits Plaza, Colegiales Plaza and Mafalda Plaza -known for its whimsical art donated to it by renown local cartoonist Joaquin Lavado ("Quino")-.

Colegiales is a barrio or district in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is located between Alvarez Thomas av., Forest av., De los Incas av., Virrey del Pino st., Cabildo av., Jorge Newbery st., Crámer st. and Dorrego av. This neighbourhood offers a vast amount of contrast and opportunities. There are large and tall buildings that go from the Crámer street to Avenida Cabildo and traditional houses up to three stories. This district has become a busy one with lots of pedestrians and cars that go about on the streets. This neighbourhood is mainly residential, with some nonresidential areas like the classification yard in the north-east zone, the fairs in the south-west (where until late 60's there was another classification yard) and the UCA grounds in south-east. Some people call the south zone "Palermo Soho" though irrefutably the area belongs to Colegiales, not Palermo.

The hairline walkers Back and forth the office runs as the clock keeps ticking. It buzzes around in a swarm of conferences, ensuring exchanges of ideas about commerce, social causes and profitable public interests. I play my part then exit from the stage as I take a seat by the desk and look out. It is dawn, and down in the streets slow movement rises like the spent breath of the night, still silent. Roofs upon other roofs create a landscape of plateaus, marked with antennas from which laundry lines are tied, now exhibiting water beads instead of clothes. This landscape gracelessly encircles its newest center; the downtown which my building resides in. The tall scraper surmounts the thinning haze, sweeps upwards from a block-wide base, tinted glass, twenty stories tall. Against its skin hangs a window-washer’s line and plank; a nest from below on a frozen waterfall. Dawn suggests to ease into the city’s sounds and shapes, its diagonals and parallels, before it breaks and the morning breeze of life awakens. Day spreads through the small squares of parks and alleys with fire escapes as I straighten my gaze onto the distant clouds. The washers return to their nests as the sun breaks through the clouds. Hoisted well above the congested city, a high-edge balancer briefly glances upon his reflection as I watch him cleanse away the soot of existence; a daring laborer whose cyclical motions reveal a crystal clear panorama. As the three flock from one paneled glass to another and clear away the scenery’s suds, each transparent parallelogram becomes a portal to the skyscraper’s compound eye. I’m sure that when he sleeps at night, he peers into a mirror image, dreaming of himself as an oracle of spotless imagery, clean and pristine.


Xul Solar- Zigzags de Montes

Robert Doisneau- Sun Worshippers

Jorge Borges- A Lottery in Babylon

Caballito High Rise Modernity

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Roads of perception Lucas and Cynthia rise out of bed and suddenly, a viewport appears from their glass and concrete frame. They both look down their line of perception, upon the green mass of landscape. The only non-native object welcomed upon this plane is Bolivar, frozen in time, yet his prideful thoughts still fluid as the sea. He stands bravely as the concrete giants loom over him, and salutes them. Near the safety of the monument’s shade, they notice two people eating lunch, reduced to tiny colorful specks of dust yet looking familiar. Thirsty for a change in their perception, they begin their quest down from vertical city to green plane. They look for the couple, their first inspiration, but alas the pair of strangers already left, as if their presence never existed. Ritualistically, Lucas and Cynthia take their place and look through their new green viewport. They realize that Bolivar stands bravely saluting the sun, not the concrete giants. Indeed these are man’s creations of scraping the sky, but the nematodes mimic their natural counterparts from a distance. They are shriveled in their shadows, blackened at their roots, their sharp edges cutting the wild clouds. The clouds bleed down to the bottom, pooling at the border of concrete and leaf. As the couple stare at the reflection in the pool, they realize that this landscape has shaped the modern culture of habitation, and its edges are infinite, while the giants are only four. Bolivar anchors the two, keeping balance between rooted earth and adventuring sky. Out of the corner of their eyes, they spot their old line of perception up above, and notice a couple staring back at them. Never forget that without us, there would never be you.


Xul Solar- Ciudad Lagui

Robert Frank- New Jersey

Jorge Borges- The Book of Sand


Green Heart

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With the arrival of the railroad west, and the creation of the station Almagro (near Francisco Acu帽a de Figueroa), the district gained more importance.

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The soldier The old man looks outside at the battlefield ground as light begins to filter through the city. Outside he can hear the rhythmic breathing of the beast, racing back and forth impatiently. This used to be a home to men, in pursuit of the King’s dream, only to learn they had to suffer the wrath of one another. He preceded the battle with many into the darkness. By the next light stood nothing more than a mere foot soldier, returning home alone. The old man closes his eyes in remembrance of the remains that once was. The pendulum swings, he opens his eyes and stands with the victorious spirit of those before. “Long live the King� he echoes as he steps out onto the eight by eight field to meet his fierce opponents. Infinitive possibilities begin unfolding as the soldier moves one step at a time, capturing opponents transversely, never retreating. Intricate combinations, better positions, mating attacks, pins, swindles appear. He is winning in spite of the devious tricks of the opponent. The darkness recedes, trenches dissipates, the fence approaches! He enters just in time, leaving signs of a war no more, and sits at the table awaiting other soldiers. Here is the safe haven, a place of camaraderie, as well as a place where arrogance will always be humbled, conceit reprimanded, and foolishness educated. He announces Checkmate as he stands up and marches back home.


Xul Solar- Puerta del Este

Henri Cartier Bresson- Berlin Wall

Jorge Borges- The Garden of Forking Paths

M.C. Escher- Relativity 1953

La Boca

The Mouth

This working class area, originally populated by Italian dock workers, has bloomed into a colorful center of art, restaurants and the colorful metal houses which present a refreshing change from the rest of the city. The colors come from the brightly painted houses on the Caminito a pedestrian walk named for the tango of the same name and the waters of the Riachuelo stained by oil sludges. The painter Benito Quinquela MartĂ­n was a leading influence in the use of color and his home, now the Museo de Bellas Artes de La Boca, displays his paintings of dock workers.

Buenos Aires was founded in 1536 in the current day barrio(neighborhood) of La Boca. The center were the streets La Defensa and Humberto I. The city was given its name in honor of the patron saint of sailors, Virgin of Buen Ayre. At that point the so called city was a tiny hamlet of about 500 people.

Around 6 million foreign immigrants poured into Argentina between the years 1880 and 1930, in which time Buenos Aires quickly turned from small town to heaving city. About 50% of these people were Italian, and many of those were from the port town of Genoa, Italy.the majority of these Italian immigrants in La Boca worked in the port, just as they had done in Genoa. The Genoese proudly brought their unique identity to La Boca, and one of their old traditions was to paint the outside of their homes with the leftover paint from the shipyard – as nothing else was available or could be afforded.

La Boca is a neighborhood, or barrio of the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires. It retains a strong European flavour, with many of its early settlers being from the Italian city of Genoa. In fact the name has a strong assonance with the Genoese neighborhood of Boccadasse (or Bocadaze in Genoese dialect), and some people believe that the Buenos Aires barrio was indeed named after it. The conventional explanation is that the neighborhood sits at the mouth ("boca" in Spanish) of the Riachuelo.

Life imitated through Art The river appears. The Ghost of the port reminisces on its once-thriving mechanism. Its skeleton hangs on to the edge of the port, weakly anchored to a memory, waiting for its re-awakening. It is suspended somewhere between the fog of the pollution and the murky waters, unveiling itself as the original hub of imports and immigrants. Turning away from the mouth of the river, the Ghost looks over an open air market and forgets about the lonely waters of the Riachuelo, and sadly watches the temporary gathering. It enters a world of solid vibrant colors that its waters only hint upon with its reflection. The city has been transformed into an open-air stage, with a colorful backdrop for the artists to tango and imitate life, while onlookers pass by and watch. The stage of colorful buildings imitate their past history, while the Ghost helps tell the story of immigrants that once arrived. The buildings are silhouettes of the Ghost, memories of other fogs; they are the breeze that gently blow the onlooker’s scarves. The breeze whispers the skeleton’s name, its eyes do not see, yet its heart holds on to a glimpse from the past, patiently awaiting its return. Its heart unfolds possibilities of its own resurrection so it can once again thrive with its city, and imitate life through art.


Xul Solar- Alejandro

Henri Cartier Bresson- Harlem

Jorge Borges- The Garden of Forking Paths

Balvanera City Spleen

Until the 1860s, Balvanera was considered an outskirt of Buenos Aires proper. In 1836, a census set its population at 3,635. Most inhabitants lived in quintas (small estates), and the zone was known as las quintas. The Camino Real (now Rivadavia) was the main road from the city to the west. In the late 19th century, Balvanera had a strong political tradition, identifying first with Adolfo Alsina and then with UCR leaders Leandro Alem and Hipólito Irigoyen. By 1900, Balvanera was associated mostly with violently contested elections—and with the brothels in the Junín y Lavalle area where, according to Borges, the tango dance acquired its notorious erotic overtones. Natural growth and railroad development eventually assimilated the neighbourhood into the city. During the 1910s and 1920s, the area around Corrientes avenue became the center of Buenos Aires's Jewish community and the hub of the garment trade, which in turn attracted segments of the Arab and Armenian communities. A number of Jewish institutions are located in Balvanera, including the Gran Templo Paso and the AMIA community center (bombed on July 18, 1994, in the bloodiest terror attack ever on Argentine soil). The southern part of Balvanera is home to some traditional institutio

There are many theater and concert halls in Balvanera. The Liceo theater and the Ricardo Rojas cultural center are two of the best-known venues. For most of the 20th century, Once had a lively Yiddish theater scene; the IFT theater still stands on Boulogne Sur-Mer street, where mural paintings celebrate its rich history. Author Macedonio Fernández resided in Balvanera for most of his adult life, and held court, together with Borges, in café La Perla across Miserere Plaza ("Plaza Once"). In the 1960s, the same café was one of the birthplaces of Argentine rock, to the point that the early hit La Balsa starts with a reference to the washroom of La Perla (in author Tanguito's version). Many actors (such as Dringue Farías) lived in Balvanera within walking distance of the theater district. In the 1980s, Cafe Einstein was a hub of alternative art, featuring acts such as Sumo. Much of the Argentine cumbia scene of the 1990s revolved around dance halls near the Once train station. North of Once station, many former warehouses have been recycled into

Being close to the downtown district, Balvanera has access to diverse transportation options. [edit]Metro Balvanera has access to five out of the six Subte lines. The downtown area is a short subway trip from anywhere in Balvanera. During peak hours, inbound trains are usually packed with commuters, making the ride uncomfortable. All intercity train stations are accessible from Balvanera by Subte. [edit]Bus Many bus lines go through Balvanera, including the Colectivo 60 line, venerated by locals as el internacional, because its route passes many city landmarks. Other important lines include Colectivo 19, which has been the subject of a composition by Lito Vitale, and Colectivo 86, which links La Boca to Ezeiza International Airport. Around Plaza Once, numerous long-distance bus depots provide service to major locations in Argentina and neighboring countries. Since its opening in 1980, most longdistance and international bus lines have their terminals at the Retiro bus station, accessible via subte or bus lines such as Colectivo 6. [edit]Train The Once de Septiembre tra Balvanera is located to the west of downtown Buenos Aires (el centro, which comprises San Nicolás and Montserrat). The elegant northern neighbourhood of Recoleta (part of the area known as Barrio Norte) is located north of Balvanera, crossing Córdoba avenue. Most dwellers of Balvanera live in apartment buildings erected on small lots. Population density is very high, and the amount of green space is deemed insufficient. The meager green space of Plaza Miserere is usually taken up by illegal peddlers, people queuing for their bus, and preachers of all stripes. As in most of Buenos Aires, the streets are laid out in a checkboard pattern. All streets and avenues are one-way. The main streets of Balvanera are arguably Rivadavia, which crosses the entire city from East to West (North-South streets change their name when crossing Rivadavia), and Corrientes, which is the main thoroughfare of commerce and entertainment in Buenos Aires. The kilómetro cero reference, from which all Argentine routes count the distance to Buenos Aires, is marked by a monolith in Plaza Congreso.

Currently, more than 25,000 shops are registered in Balvanera, where zoning regulations favor commerce. Many apartment buildings host one or more shops at ground level. The plot of the 2004 movie El abrazo partido revolves around one of Balvanera's many shopping galerías (galleries). The block of Pueyrredón avenue across Plaza Once features a busy bazaar-like commercial area known as La Recova. The Abasto shopping mall is an impressive building that was the city's wholesale produce market until the late 1980s; its history is closely associated with the life and career of tango singer Carlos Gardel. The area around the market used to contain produce warehouses and low-rent housing for the laborers; with its conversion to a high-end mall, the area experienced a gentrification process from the mid-1990s that was slowed by the 2001 economic crisis; but has resumed at a record pace, since.

Hunting for Ghosts of a Memory that once Lived How slowly snakes the tardy bus through the cold and crowded streets. He paces through to the front of the line as it approaches, anticipating the ride back to his first apartment, the first memories he had with his wife. Cars stream along arteries of streets, streets that are filled with cracks and leaks, slowly showing the urban decay of this part of town. As it begins to rain, he catches the reflection of his wedding ring on the glass and a feeling of solitude grips his chest. He gets off at the only plaza near the apartment, the only space where life slows down among traffic. The city’s breath has blackened the trunks of trees, yet they still stand tall, looking like forgotten relics. He turns toward the apartment and with the rhythmic motion of traffic, he knocks on the door. She stares at him. “Why did you leave me, why did you leave the countryside? How can you stand it here?” he asks. She turns toward the rainy streets as three white buses cross her path. “Because,” she says, “ We must pass through solitude and difficulty, isolation and silence, in order to reach forth to the place where we can dance our clumsy dance and sing our sorrowful song. But in this dance and song there are fulfilled the most ancient rites of our conscience in the awareness of being human and of believing in a common destiny. This is what the city, and its fragmented memory of streets, crowds, shops, weather gives us. This is my only way to commute.”


Xul Solar- Muros Biombos

Robert Frank- London

Jorge Borges- Spinoza

Reflections of the Living City- Buenos Aires  

This is a short collection of photos, collages, dirty maps, and creative stories that illustrate 7 different neighborhoods in Buenos Aires,...

Reflections of the Living City- Buenos Aires  

This is a short collection of photos, collages, dirty maps, and creative stories that illustrate 7 different neighborhoods in Buenos Aires,...