COB on Calle Florida

It may share a name with a certain sedated, semitropical retirement home of a state to its north, but nowhere is the raw verve of Buenos Aires more palpable than on Calle Florida. In a city of Brobdingnagian boulevards, it’s as claustrophobic as an Istanbul alley. Whereas most of Argentina’s capital is a blend of […]

Foreign Interventions in (Calle) Honduras

You can tell you’re in Palermo by the names of the streets: Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica — every one of them running parallel to the Rio de la Plata a different Central American country. Together with the bright pastels and fluorescents of the buildings that line them, these calles give the Buenos Aires barrio […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Latin America, Politics by Christopher Szabla Comments Off on Foreign Interventions in (Calle) Honduras , , , , , ,

Au Café in Buenos Aires

San Telmo La Boca Palermo

Posted in: Latin America, Public Space by Christopher Szabla Comments Off on Au Café in Buenos Aires , ,

The Other Colors of La Boca

The rainbow-hued streetscape squats somewhere on nearly every postcard of Buenos Aires — those, that is, it doesn’t dominate — like some psychedelic, bizarro-world version of the city, a clownish counterpart to the stately Second Empire apartment houses lining the boulevards of Retiro and Recoleta. “The Paris of South America” this isn’t — La Boca, […]

Posted in: Art and Design, History, Latin America by Christopher Szabla Comments Off on The Other Colors of La Boca , , ,

Graffiti Republic

Splat! Before Greece erupted into riots against austerity measures, before the sit-ins that convulsed public squares across Spain, long before 2011’s tumultuous protests against world financial systems began “kicking off everywhere“, things had long since kicked off in Argentina. The 2001 protests that gripped the country during its madcap financial crisis offered a sort of […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Latin America, Politics, Public Space by Christopher Szabla Comments Off on Graffiti Republic , , , , ,

September 11th Street

Between Avenidas Juramento and Olazábal, Calle 11 de Setiembre — September 11th Street — is one of the most beautiful in the upscale Buenos Aires barrio of Belgrano. Its trees arch over the rooflines of multistory apartment buildings, meeting above the middle of the street to form a cavernous, emerald archway that resembles the nave […]

Looking for Life in Puerto Madero

The walk from the Plaza de Mayo, the political heart of Buenos Aires, to Puerto Madero, its redeveloped waterfront, begins inauspiciously. Cars barrel down multilane boulevards devoid of people; a weed-strewn lot slated to become a monument to the country’s deeply-loved former president, Juan Perón, lies unconvincingly fallow. Then there are the railroad tracks severing […]

Signs of Peace

San Telmo, Buenos Aires De’anmenwai Dajie, Beijing

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Latin America by Christopher Szabla Comments Off on Signs of Peace , , ,

A Contemplative Evening in Villa Freud

Of the two habits in which Argentines surely lead the world — psychotherapy and plastic surgery — it seems peculiar that the first, rather than the second, would boast a dedicated neighborhood in Buenos Aires. After all, the point of cosmetic surgery is to be seen, whereas therapy is a much more private affair. Maybe […]

Posted in: Latin America, Public Space, Society and Culture by Christopher Szabla Comments Off on A Contemplative Evening in Villa Freud , , ,

Street Signs and Street Art

San Telmo, Buenos Aires Palermo, Buenos Aires

This is Argentina Crying

“Everything you foreigners know about Argentina,” the older gentleman asserted, “you know from that Madonna movie.” We’re standing in Palermo Viejo, a trendy neighborhood miles away from the buildings and blocks that pencil in postcard Buenos Aires. If his statement — referencing Evita, the 1996 musical melodrama about Argentina’s most charismatic first lady — were […]

Posted in: Latin America, Politics, Public Space, Society and Culture by Christopher Szabla Comments Off on This is Argentina Crying , ,

When Street Art Comes to Life

Muto, filmed in Buenos Aires by the street artist Blu.