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I’m Sierra. I live in the Boston area with my family.

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What To Do In Buenos Aires?

by Sierra on July 6, 2010 · 5 comments

in Uncategorized

So far, our days in Argentina have been all about getting our bearings. We’ve gone for long slow walks around the neighborhood. Played along the riverfront. Spent time with family. Taken naps. Shopped for a few essentials we neglected to pack, or discovered we needed after arriving.

It’s been exhausting, just landing here. We’re on such a long trip that it’s not exactly like vacation, where you just do what you will for a few days and then *flash* you’re back home in your workaday life. We’re here for a month. I need to work while we’re here. The kids need to sleep and learn and grow.

That’s meant resetting our personal rhythms to the pace of Argentine life. Beyond recovering from jet lag, I need to do the internal work of figuring out where in the day to put my writing time. When to settle the kids for their afternoon rest. How to socialize in a language I don’t speak. What to do with our time.

This afternoon as we wandered around his parents’ picturesque neighborhood, I likened it to learning to walk. There are a thousand little things I need to think about here that at home I just do on autopilot. It’s refreshing to be shaken out of my habits. Getting a chance to take a look at who I am when I’m out of context is one of the things I love about travel.

I’m also finding it tiring, here and now. I want to sleep a lot. Go to bed early, wake up late, take a nap in between.

I’m starting to wake up, though, and feeling my sea legs under me. I think we’ll start venturing out for day trips in a day or two, and maybe go on a longer journey over the weekend.

Where should we go? What must we see, here in beautiful Buenos Aires?

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  • Carol Covin

    We lived there in 1975-76. The zoo was great. If you want to do touristy stuff, look for a rodeo with gauchos, go to an Argentine asado/grill. As you start to take 1-2 day trips, some of the provinces are interesting, especially for wine and cheese makers, Mendoza. If you have time, highly recommend going to Iguazu while you’re there – spectacular falls on the border with Brazil. See them from both sides to really appreciate them. The Argentine side has some of the most spectacular, beautiful butterflies I’ve ever seen.

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  • Carol Covin

    We lived there in 1975-76. The zoo was great. If you want to do touristy stuff, look for a rodeo with gauchos, go to an Argentine asado/grill. As you start to take 1-2 day trips, some of the provinces are interesting, especially for wine and cheese makers, Mendoza. If you have time, highly recommend going to Iguazu while you’re there – spectacular falls on the border with Brazil. See them from both sides to really appreciate them. The Argentine side has some of the most spectacular, beautiful butterflies I’ve ever seen.

    [Reply]

  • keyne

    Take Spanish classes? :)

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  • http://www.beingshadoan.wordpress.com/ Rachel Shadoan

    If I were in Buenos Aires, I would go to the National Library to look in the stacks for the Book of Infinity. Let me tell you its story.

    There was a man in Buenos Aires who collected rare books. One day, a traveling salesman who had heard about this collector came to his door with a case full of books to peddle.

    “Surely,” the salesman said to the collector, “You would want a copy of this rare tome.”

    The collector shook his head.

    “I already have a copy of that one, signed by the author.”

    The salesman, undeterred, pulled another volume from the case.

    “What about this one? It's a second edition.”

    The collector barely glanced at it. “I have a first edition, this is nothing to me.'

    The salesman, at this point, was getting desperate–the last volume had been one of his very best! And he had children to feed, after all. So he opened his case all the way and removed all of the books from the interior.

    “I have one I know that you will not have seen. It is the only one like it in the world. In this one, you will be interested.” The salesman then opened a secret latch, releasing the false bottom of the case to reveal a large book, marked only with what appeared to be a sideways eight on the cover. “This,” the salesman said, “is the book of Infinity.” He handed the volume to the collector.

    “Open the book to the beginning,” the salesman instructed the collector. The collector did as he was bade, and opened the book to the beginning–or tried to, anyway. There always seemed to be one more page between the page he was on and the beginning of the book. He turned page after page after page, faster and faster and faster, and still, he could not reach the beginning of the book.

    “Now open the book to the ending.” The collector tried once more to do as he was told, but there was always one more page between the page he was on and the end of the book.

    “I'll take it!” The collector said, pushing money into the salesman's hand and ushering him hurriedly out the door.

    Once the collector was alone with the book, he began to read. He started as close to the beginning as he could, and read from there. Always, there was something more to read. He read late into the night, until he finally collapsed on top of the book to slumber. He woke the next morning, only to continue reading again.

    This continued for days, and those days turned into weeks, until he could take it no longer. The collector closed the book and shoved it under his mattress, determined to take his mind off the elusive ending to the book of Infinity.

    But even from under his mattress he could hear the book calling to him, whispering, “Just one more page. Just one more page, and you'll see how it ends.” He slept poorly, and the next morning he pulled the book out again, reading, reading, reading–trying to find the end.

    And he continued this way for months, sleeping fitfully on his mattress atop the book, and pouring over its pages during the days.

    Finally, one night, after hours of tossing and turning, he could stand it no longer. He yanked the book out from beneath his mattress, pulled on his coat and ran through the streets of Buenos Aires, in his slippers, carrying the book. He ran all the way to the National Library, breaking into the quiet hall with a clatter. Still he ran, deep, deep into the stacks. Selecting a shelf at random, he shoved the Book of Infinity between the other volumes, breathed a sigh of relief, and disappeared back into the night.

    And so, there the Book of Infinity can be found to this day. No catalog will lead you to it, but the determined searcher may find the book with no beginning, and no end, resting in the stacks of the National Library in Buenos Aires.

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  • Chubbuni13

    Tripadvisor.com and wikitravel are always great resources, although if your husband and his entire family are from Argentina, you shouldn't really have a problem finding places, Sierra. I'm sure that the recommendations for the best parrillada/ferias/gelato will be taken care of.

    If you get tired of beef, you might want to check out Shi Yuan, a surprisingly good Chinese restaurant in Barrio Norte. My wife is Chinese, and she said that their Peking Duck was as good as the stuff we find here in Los Angeles. Also, Bettina Rizzi by Calle Florida does a great job with the leather jackets for a very reasonable price. You can tell her that John (the Chino from Culver City) sent you. :)

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