Like the first time we booked into the Art Factory Hostel in San Telmo. Five nights for me, so I had more time to see the city. Palermo, San Telmo and La Boca, the Museum of Fine Arts, of Latinoamericano Art and of Evita; there was a lot to do.
In the last week the atmosphere between Flora and me got a little bit tense and now somehow we started going separate ways. First we wanted to go together to a dinner with Lucia and Elisa (the girls I had met in Uspallata), but minutes before we had to leave she changed her mind. So I grabbed two bottles of wine and went alone. I met the girls in Elisa’s apartement, a really nice place half an hour walk away from the hostel, we had a great dinner and wine and when I walked back to the hostel it was 4.00am.
The next morning, not very surprisingly, I slept in and just managed to get up before the breakfast was over. After a while I started walking (a lot of walking these days) to Palermo, a district in the north-east of Buenos Aires, where a lot of bobo-style art-galleries and restaurants and designer-boutiques have transformed an old run-down district into a hip tourist-place. The open markets kept me busy for a while and when I had enough I changed to the dozens of book-shops on Avenida Santa Fe and Avenida Corrientes. One of these shops (somewhere near Santa Fe – Callao) has to be the greatest bookshop on earth. Ok, the Guardian begs to differ, in their ranking it only came fifth, but come on, it’s a theatre that houses a bookshop! A theatre! Parquet, tiers and gallery are full of bookshelves, in the loges comfy seats invite to stay and read and the stage is turned into little coffee-shop. The best bookshop ever. Unfortunately all the books were in Spanish, so my visit was pure sight-seeing. Back in the hostel I fell asleep reading (boring I know, but did I mention the walking?) while Flora went out with a French girl that stayed in the dorm with us.
The next day I visited another bookshop, an English one this time, and then the famous San Telmo market. San Telmo is the oldest district in Buenos Aires and the market is full of antiquities, art and music. Running around taking pictures an old guitar-player noticed me and tried to tell me his life-story (and make me buy a piece of paper for 10 pesos). He jumped between English and Spanish and right after I finally made my escape an older woman started to tell me about her family. She had overheard that I am from Vienna and had to talk to me because her mother was from there. In the evening I visited the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, the best one so far, featuering mainly modern art. I also wanted to see the Evita-museum but ran out of time. Maybe I should take the bus or metro sometimes. On the other hand I found a great market walking home, wouldn’t want to miss that. On Plaza Francia, with more interesting hand-made stuff than anywhere else.
Flora’s French friend turned out to be half German, so I can actually understand her. Although they are still talking French all the time.
Two more days, more walking, more shops and more museums ahead. I actually start to like Buenos Aires.