mailife - - Contents - Words & Im­ages by PRIYA DARSNI


Fiji and Ar­gentina strength­ened their al­liance in Jan­uary 2018 with a 90 day visa-free travel agree­ment for Fi­jians want­ing to ex­plore the cul­tural cap­i­tal of South Amer­ica. Eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble via a stop-over in Auck­land, Mai Life will be tak­ing read­ers on an ex­plo­ration of Ar­gen­tine food, tra­di­tions, places, peo­ple and land­scape in up­com­ing is­sues.

Ev­ery cap­i­tal city in a ris­ing na­tion has an area cor­doned off for the hip, edgy, mil­len­ni­als. Barcelona has El Born, Paris has Mont­martre, Lon­don has Shored­itch and Buenos Aires has Palermo. One thing all of these ar­eas have in com­mon is that be­fore the rise of the hip­sters, they were known as the rougher parts of town with low real es­tate val­ues and an ab­sence of chain stores. In fact, it was pre­cisely this low-key, vin­tage af­ford­abil­ity that at­tracted the mil­len­ni­als — and Palermo is no dif­fer­ent. To­day, Palermo is so pop­u­lar that even within the bar­rio, smaller fac­tions have formed. Of the main fac­tions, you have Palermo Soho which is home to Asian-Ar­gen­tine fu­sion restau­rants, bou­tique op shops, hand­made jewellery and tat­too par­lours; Palermo Hol­ly­wood has the most pop­u­lar bars and night­club strip of Buenos Aires; and Palermo Chico which is the most el­e­gant and ex­pen­sive slice of Palermo — this is where Blair Wal­dorf would buy an apart­ment in the Ar­gen­tine ver­sion of Gos­sip Girl.

No mat­ter where you are in Palermo, one thing is preva­lent and that is street art. There is a bustling air of care­less free­dom in Palermo where artists are en­cour­aged by the gov­ern­ment to sprawl their cre­ations across pub­lic walls. The mag­nif­i­cent artistry does not stop at pub­lic prop­erty though, there are many restau­rants and pri­vate apart­ment blocks which wel­come the tal­ented street artists and wear the paint with pride. Vi­brant colours rep­re­sent­ing the South Amer­i­can her­itage, mud­dled with mod­ern strokes of con­tem­po­rary vi­su­al­i­sa­tion add to the edge and charm of Palermo. Un­like other cities, the street artists of Buenos Aires are a tight com­mu­nity who work to­gether to build the fa­cade of their town. Walk­ing through Palermo, you will see lay­ers of art which have been built on top of ex­ist­ing pieces so that no one artist re­places an­other’s work — in­stead, each artist builds on what was there be­fore to cre­ate a stun­ning mo­saic of iden­tity and ex­pres­sion. A walk through Palermo with a cam­era is not to be missed on your visit to Buenos Aires — eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble from the city cen­tre via a short ten­minute ride on the metro, the street art of Palermo is quickly ris­ing to the ranks of grand his­tor­i­cal mon­u­ments in the cap­i­tal city of Ar­gentina.

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