Buenos Aires

STEPHEN CHRISANTHUS DIS­COV­ERS THE MAGIC THAT MAKES THIS CITY VIBRATE

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Those that love travel of­ten fall in love with ev­ery city they visit for a short spell. We trav­el­ers get drawn into cer­tain as­pects of a city and fall un­der its in­tox­i­cat­ing char­ac­ter­is­tics or en­ergy, whether it be the ex­hil­a­ra­tion of some crisp, snow covered peaks, the cul­tural elec­tric­ity of a bustling me­trop­o­lis or the breeze of a re­mote beach­side town that stirs up its his­tory and aro­mas. Sel­dom does one find them­selves in a mag­i­cal place that in­cites all of the senses at such a pri­mal level that it changes your per­spec­tive on things, and awak­ens you to such a de­gree you want to chuck it all and move there. I didn’t re­lo­cate, but Buenos Aires, Ar­gentina moved me. The daily flights on Latam Air­lines, Ar­gentina’s most re­li­able trans­port from Buenos Aires to the United States, seem to al­ways fill up so grab your busi­ness class seat early. The 9-hour di­rect flight from Mi­ami seems to be com­prised mostly of Latin Amer­i­cans and Euro­peans, leav­ing me to be­lieve this Shangri-La, south of Uruguay, is rel­a­tively un­known to most in the North.

Upon ar­riv­ing, the in­vig­o­rat­ing, herb scented air is the first thing to draw you in.

Just on the 30-minute ride into the city from the air­port you sense you are some­where spe­cial. The city it­self re­minds me of a Latin New York City built like Rome, Italy smoth­ered in Euro­pean in­flu­ence. The his­tory, ar­chi­tec­ture and en­ergy cre­ate a never-end­ing landscape of ex­cite­ment and ac­tiv­ity. With a pop­u­la­tion of over 3 mil­lion peo­ple and a greater met­ro­pol­i­tan area of around 14 mil­lion you get a bustling ur­ban area with a mix of cul­tures.

But even with such a large pop­u­la­tion, the ge­og­ra­phy is laid out in a way in which you never feel over­run with peo­ple. The only ob­vi­ous con­ges­tion, which tran­scends the en­tire area, is that of the roadways. Pa­tience is a must, but ev­ery car seems to be an Uber so you’ll have no prob­lem get­ting a ride. One you are in the bor­ough you seek I in­sist you walk, as it is the best way to let the charm of the city en­gulf and em­brace you.

With a sprawl­ing me­trop­o­lis of this mag­ni­tude you have no lack of op­tions for

ac­com­mo­da­tions. If you can man­age to se­cure a room at the 5 star Pala­cio Duhau Park Hy­att you’ll be in for a treat. The ho­tel and art gallery are gor­geous, and all the Palace rooms are suites with chan­de­liers and work­ing fire­places. The ho­tel has a de­li­cious glam­our to it that res­onates through its as­sort­ment of din­ing op­tions. The Duhua Res­tau­rante & Vinoteca of­fers so­phis­ti­cated Ar­gen­tinian Cui­sine and the most de­lec­ta­ble cuts of beef. Dine in the el­e­gant Gar­den Ter­race, and stop in The Oak Bar for a cock­tail. Af­ter din­ner or lunch sat­isfy your sweet tooth with a fa­mous sig­na­ture mac­a­roon from the Duhau Patis­serie which lo­cals reg­u­larly fre­quent.

For a more mod­ern feel with unique ac­cents, the Em­per­ador Ho­tel is another one of Buenos Aires best ho­tels. Steps away from art gal­leries and mu­seum district of the dis­tin­guished Reco­leta neigh­bor­hood, you can take in the fresh ocean air com­ing in off the Puerto Madero Har­bor. With ev­ery amenity one could de­sire, in the tran­quil­ity of an ur­ban oa­sis, you will en­joy the vibe and lo­ca­tion of this con­tem­po­rary gem.

Food, ah yes food. Buenos Aires will over sat­isfy your pal­ette and lust for tan­ta­liz­ing treats for the mouth. Just walk­ing the streets you could bop into enough mar­kets brim­ming with lo­cal meats and cheeses to trans­form the day into one long feed­ing, but there are a num­ber of eater­ies you should just not miss. The his­toric Café Biela is a must for lunch and peo­ple watch­ing. It’s a hap­pen­ing café with a rich list of fa­mous guests and a va­ri­ety of tasty se­lec­tions.

Kick back and let the af­ter­noon pass in the aro­matic af­ter­noon air, sip­ping on a re­gional wine and chat­ting with the lo­cals. Owner Car­los Gu­tier­rez will most likely be on site, snag him for a les­son on the his­tory of the

café and the area. When you are fin­ished walk across the street to one of the city’s most fa­mous at­trac­tions, the beau­ti­ful La Reco­leta Ceme­tery, and pay a visit to the rest­ing place of Eva Peron, set to the sound­track of live mu­sic res­onat­ing from the street.

Lunch just isn’t enough? I al­ways thought there should be another meal be­fore din­ner. Head to Tea Time in the Alvear Palace

Ho­tel. En­joy an amaz­ing ar­ray of as­sorted snacks while sip­ping tea in an at­mos­phere that will surely make you feel like roy­alty. When the tea runs dry, I rec­om­mend a short ex­plo­ration of the ho­tel and a stroll through the streets that sur­round it. If af­ter get­ting ready for din­ner you re­al­ize you’re early, and in Buenos Aires din­ner­time is late for most of us, take the op­por­tu­nity to go to

The Li­brary in the Faena Ho­tel. It’s one of coolest most fun places to get your night started in the city. The ho­tel it­self is makes you feel like your some­where ex­clu­sive. Lit in red light and abound with stylish lo­cals and guests, you’ll feel like the in-crowd.

The Li­brary has an amaz­ing drink and wine se­lec­tion and the ap­pe­tiz­ers could spoil your ap­petite, in that there are so many you’ll want to sam­ple. If that wasn’t enough they have great live mu­sic and an out­door area that you could chill at all night. Def­i­nitely go, but try not to miss your din­ner plans be­cause it’s ad­dic­tive!

The in­cred­i­ble op­tions for din­ner are count­less, and can be ex­pe­ri­enced a num­ber of ways. One of my all-time fa­vorite din­ing ex­pe­ri­ences was din­ner at Casa Coupage with owner Santiago Mymi­cop­ulo. Once in the cov­eted 4-ta­ble back­room you will be at the whim of this master chef and som­me­lier. Don’t in­ter­fere; he will un­leash a bar­rage of cre­ations and pair­ings that will leave you in dis­be­lief. It is a one of a kind ex­pe­ri­ence you will not soon for­get. Look­ing for chic, up­scale din­ing in a hip part of town, try din­ner at Casa Cruz. Dark wood and el­e­gant light­ing set the mood for a spe­cial oc­ca­sion or a night to feel fancy. Share a di­versely deca­dent se­lec­tion of ap­pe­tiz­ers, or split en­trees, ei­ther way you are in for a din­ner worth dress­ing up for. If you have a lit­tle pep in your step and want to try some­thing orig­i­nal to Ar­gentina there is another op­tion. Be­ing in the birth­place of the tango ob­li­gates you for a tango din­ner show at some point. There are plenty to choose from but you can’t go wrong with the Esquina Car­los Gardel. The dancers are amaz­ing, the wine doesn’t stop flow­ing and you are guar­an­teed a fun time.

Just run­ning around this great city you will come across enough at­trac­tions, events and ac­tiv­i­ties to keep you oc­cu­pied and en­ter­tained for a life­time. With beau­ti­ful parks, his­toric mon­u­ments and hap­pen­ing thor­ough­fares ev­ery­where, you get pulled around as if led by an in­vis­i­ble leash held by an aim­less wan­der­ing, ex­cite­ment filled master, which is Buenos Aires. One place you are sure to be led is the Teatro Colon, one of the most im­por­tant opera houses in the world, said by Lu­ciano Pavarotti to be the only one to have per­fect sound. Opened in 1908, it is a pride of Ar­gentina cul­ture and one of its most iconic struc­tures. Go for a bal­let, opera, clas­si­cal mu­sic con­cert, or just take a tour.

And speak­ing of tours, the Pala­cio Barolo Tour is di­vine for any­one in­ter­ested in

Ital­ian his­tory and Dante Alighieri. The Pala­cio Barolo was de­signed in ac­cor­dance with the cos­mol­ogy of Dante’s Di­vine Com­edy. There are 22 floors, di­vided into three sec­tions. The base­ment and ground floor rep­re­sent hell, floors 1-14 are the pur­ga­tory, and 15-22 rep­re­sent heaven.

The sky­scraper was con­structed to house Dante’s ashes by Luis Barolo who be­lieved “that Europe had be­gun drift­ing to­ward col­lapse” and wanted to house them as far away as pos­si­ble from the Con­ti­nent. The tour is in­cred­i­bly in­ter­est­ing; cul­mi­nat­ing in the roof top dome where you are wel­comed by mirac­u­lous 360-de­gree views of the city (as it was once the tallest build­ing in whole of South Amer­ica) ac­com­pa­nied by a live cel­list. You will truly feel as though you are look­ing down through heaven.

There re­ally is just so much to do and see. Catch a leg­endary foot­ball match or visit their world-class plan­e­tar­ium, the spec­trum and va­ri­ety of en­ter­tain­ment is vast. The city lends it­self to those who want to re­ally live an ex­cit­ing and ful­fill­ing life and it opens its arms to those en­light­ened enough to visit. The peo­ple are amaz­ing, the food ex­quis­ite, the landscape breath­tak­ing and the en­ergy in the air con­sum­ing.

Buenos Aires re­ally is a mag­i­cal place.

The Obelisco de Buenos Aires is a na­tional his­toric mon­u­ment and icon of Buenos Aires. Lo­cated in the Plaza de la República in the in­ter­sec­tion of av­enues Cor­ri­entes and 9 de Julio, it was erected in 1936 to com­mem­o­rate the quadri­cen­ten­nial of the...

Congress plaza and park

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