|  Category: Culture and Curiosities

Nightlife in Buenos Aires
It was a sunny September morning in the great city of Buenos Aires. My friends and I were waking up from yet another night out on the town, Porteño Style. (NOTE- in this city people don’t go out to the bars and discotheques until two or three in the morning–afternoons are the new mornings). As we sipped our Cafe Con Leche, eager to embrace the fleeting day, we decided upon a plan of action: it was time to for La Boca. Unknowing of what was to come, we began our journey.

La Boca, or “the mouth” holds a very special place in the hearts of Porteños. In many ways, it can be seen as a symbol of Argentinean Culture. While you might be thinking that this barrio has been given such a name in honor of its inhabitants–a people characterized by rapid, loud, and incessant talking– this is not quite the case. La Boca is home to the opening or “mouth,” of the Riachuelo River, the first natural port in Buenos Aires. This water way offers a nice beak from the hustle and bustle of the city center. On a clear day you can catch local fisherman and their families taking antiquated sail boats for a ride.

Nightlife in Buenos Aires

But let´s cut to the chase, why do people really go to La Boca? Sure, old men fishing is a must see, but where is the pull, the appeal? The answer lies in El Caminito. El Caminito is the most famous street in La Boca. Named after a celebrated tango song, this little street is home to much beauty and excitement. Colorful buildings of red, blue, yellow, and green line the cobble stone paths. From the shop walls, to the street paintings, to the people themselves El Caminito is one great big piece of art: everywhere you look there is a different shade, a different tone.

Yet La Boca is not only rich in color, but in culture as well. On Saturday’s and Sundays the streets become alive with different performances from tango shows, to accordion masterpieces, to juggling clowns. Pose for a picture with the local Tango dancer, and maybe learn a step or two. Explore the winding paths of the street fair, and feast your eyes on the locally made artistry of the Argentines. I treated myself to a beautiful, handmade turquoise necklace for 30 pesos. (I still haven’t decided what is more handsome, the necklace or the man that sold it to me). If your thinking of the folks at home, this fair provides the perfect opportunity to purchase an authentic Argentinean gift, from Mate Cups to Team Boca T’s.

I don’t know about you but in my experience, the true test of a place lies in the kitchen. Why would my day in La Boca be any different? This time, though, instead of searching out the food, the food came to me. Brace yourselves, from the moment you step foot on El Caminito, you will be bombarded by restaurant advertising. Careful, not to be wooed in by the first persuasive Porteño that crosses your path, there is much to choose from; it is in your best interest to you take your time While there are many options– I myself enjoyed some tasty empanadas– I would suggest that, if you have not been to a Parilla yet, La Boca is the right place. Taste some traditional Argentinean Barbecue, (my favorites are Choripan and Lomo) for in this country there is no such thing as “a bad carne decision”.
After satisfying your more carnal needs round off the day with a tour of the Museo de La Pasion Boquense, to learn of the passionate and chaotic history of Argentine football. Just remember, in this neighborhood, team Boca is king. Before jumping on El Colectivo (buses 29, 64, and 152 run from the center of town), enjoy the last couple rays of sunshine with a cup of warm mate in your hand, a truly Porteño ending to the day.

(Note- Other parts of La Boca are not nearly as safe as El Caminito. If you stay away from the main fair, be sure you are in a group or with a local that knows the area).

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