(re)Discovering Buenos Aires

Whoever said that you never really know a city was right. I’m still discovering new aspects and parts of Buenos Aires, even though I lived there for over thirty years. Maybe that’s why there are so many places I haven’t seen: one tends to take one’s hometown for granted.

My birthday was in early November and since it was a big one (the dreaded four-oh), I decided to throw the mother of all parties in BA with friends and family. Two of our friends from Dallas, David and Kelly, decided to join the celebration. How kind and sweet of them. It was their first visit to the city and Sean and I acted as their guides, sort of.  It was thanks to them that I knew a little more about my hometown.

One day we decided to walk around San Telmo and meet at Plaza Dorrego (intersection of Humberto Primero and Defensa streets). We were early so we sat down to enjoy a coffee al fresco. Actually, I had coffee and Sean had a submarino, a tall glass of hot milk and a chocolate bar. You drop the chocolate bar in the milk (the submarine) and stir it until it melts. Predictably, a couple of tango dancers set up shop in the middle of the plaza and passed the hat around after their number. I must confess that this was my second tango show.

Our friends joined us and set off. We were walking along Defensa Street when I spotted a sign pointing to the Casa Minima.  I ran to see it. The Casa Minima (Pasaje San Lorenzo 380), as this construction is known, is the narrowest house in the city of Buenos Aires: it is only 2.5 metres (8.2 feet) wide. According to an urban legend, it belonged to a freed slave, who built in in the sliver of land his former master had given him. However, city records show that it was part of a larger house, converted to tenements after the yellow fever epidemic of 1871. Oh well, it was a romantic story anyway.

A very narrow house for very slim people

Then we walked along the Paseo de la Historieta, or Comic Lane, also in San Telmo. The local council decided to erect statues of the most popular and beloved characters from famous comic books and strips that delighted generations of Argentinean children and adults. It’s work in progress still, but I was able to take my photo with some of them: Mafalda (corner of Defensa and Chile), Larguirucho (corner of Balcarce and Mexico) and my favourite playboy, Isidoro (Balcarce and Chile).

Me and friends
Comic book related street art: Hijitus and his friends – San Telmo

The final destination of our walk, Plaza de Mayo, was awash in purple: the jacaranda trees were in full bloom, the loveliest sight in spring in this part of the world.

Plaza de Mayo turns purple in spring

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Hi, I'm Ana. I'm originally from Argentina but I'm currently living in Dallas (USA) with my British husband. I'd like to share my experiences as an expat and as a traveller.

12 thoughts on “(re)Discovering Buenos Aires”

  1. It looks like you had a lovely time, Ana. I so wish I could have been there, but I’ve been super busy with work as of late. It’s true that we often take our hometown for granted. When I visited Philadelphia last year at the holidays with Daniel, I took him to see sights that I hadn’t seen in years, like the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall.


    1. I’m sure we will have a chance to meet some time!
      I’m in Boston right now and immersing myself in the revolutionary period. Seeing the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall would be the perfect way to round the whole thing up 🙂


  2. Qué lindo recorrido! Es que Buenos Aires siempre tiene algo nuevo que te sorprende en cada visita… Ahi sobre Humberto Primero (creo que en intersección con Bolívar) viví yo 3 años cuando era chica. 🙂


  3. Sometimes it’s only when we have guests that need to be shown around that we discover and see more of our hometowns. It was true with me when my sisters’ families visited the Philippines last year, and it’s true now that I’m visiting them. (In my list of interesting spots and events in their cities are some that they haven’t even heard of — including some places in DFW that an expat from Argentina recommends. ;))

    I’m glad you got to go around BA again and found these charming corners to show us. I mean, how cute is Comic Lane! 🙂 And those jacarandas are uniquely beautiful.


  4. It’s years since I was in Buenos Aires, and your post has reminded me that I must go back again — and very soon! Some great areas that you’ve shown here, and the tango video is enchanting. Muchos saludos desde Santiago de Chile…


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