When you walk out of the domestic airport in Buenos Aires all you see is water, palm trees and sky. It only takes three steps onto the hot pavement to know you will have a great time here. The air is salty and crisp and there’s a swaying commotion as you drive through the city streets. It’s a huge city but it’s not super busy or hectic; the pace is like any Southern country, a little lethargic. Buenos Aires is the Milan or Madrid of South America; the European influences are instantly apparent. The architecture is a cool mix of colonial buildings, modern sky scrapers, rustic store fronts, colorful street art, treelined boulevards – the 9th of July Boulevard is the widest in the world! – and cobble stoned alley ways. You can find any kind of food, from fresh fruit smoothies to home cooked Italian. The Argentinians are especially proud of their “helados” (ice cream) and “alfajores” (a soft, double-layered cake with dulce de leche in the middle). They speak a funny kind of Spanish: “playa” becomes “plaja” and “paella” becomes “paeja”. Needless to say sign language goes a long way… The people are friendly, but not in an obviously overt way – they’re not rude, let’s put it that way. And it’s one of the only cities in the world where I noticed more boys than girls in the bars! Why would anyone want to leave??
Well… maybe because of the fashion… The vintage stores are great, and so are the artisanal, local crafts, but when you look at the overall picture of Argentinian fashion, it’s a bit the same of the same: bohemian, hippie, casual, especially in Palermo. The only brands that stood out to me are Ay Not Dead, with their New York influences, Maria Cher, which is a bit like Isabel Marant, Kukla, which reminds me of Karen Walker and Trosman, which is comparable to Rick Owens. So you see, Argentina gets inspiration from anywhere BUT Argentina but it’s a country on the rise, which is perhaps most prominent in the Opening Ceremony collaboration.
I would have loved to spend one extra day in Buenos Aires. Though I saw most of it, according to my guides, it would have been great to wander around and get lost, literally. I’ve come to the realization that I am a city girl. As much as I love sun, sand and sea, I love to immerse myself in a city, explore the nooks and crannies, watch and listen to the people, the language and the history, try the food, compare architecture and aim my camera at unexpected curiosities. Argentina is only a 40-minute plane ride from Uruguay but it’s an easy bridge to gap. And my Spanish sucks either way so why not?