Friday, November 13, 2009

Avenida Alvear, or the discreet charm of bourgeoisie

There are few things to do in Buenos Aires more satisfying that walking down the sunny streets in a glorious Spring morning. And there are few streets more fascinating that Alvear Avenue if you love Architecture and want to explore one of the wealthiest neighbourhoods in town.

We had one hour to kill between appointments the other day, so we took our camera and began our walk. The weather was great--sunny and no humidity at all-- so we started at the intersection of Schiaffino street, right there where the huge and ancient rubber trees are located. Jacaranda trees are in bloom, and their purple flowers added a touch of unexpected colour in an otherwise monochromatic neighbourhood--most of the buildings are made of sand coloured stone or painted in that shade.

A great building by Alejandro Bustillo to the right, the Alvear Palace Hotel to the left...Hermes, Louis Vuitton, far away from Paris or New York, but still the same stores offering the same goods. After we crossed Callao Avenue, more upscale shopping and more fantastic buildings from the 40´s and 50´s. Then, after Rodriguez Peña street we found the only block that still has the original constructions intact: The Maguire residence, the Duhau residence--nowadays the Park Hyatt hotel--and the Fernandez Anchorena residence--that is, the Apostolic Nunciature in Argentina.

After this feast of classical architecture, we reached the Carlos Pellegrini square. Probably the most elegant park in the whole city, it features and impressive statue of former President Pellegrini and a fountain. This is where you can find the Embassy of Brasil, the Jockey Club and the Embassy of France.

At the end of our walk, exhausted and ready for a snack, we crossed the 9 de Julio avenue and ended up at the Sofitel hotel--just two blocks away-- for a quick lunch before going back to work.


  1. That is indeed beautiful architecture, but you got me on those Jacaranda trees! Amazing color!

  2. Dear hi-d: Jacaranda trees are the most wonderful thing! Fortunately, there are a lot of trees in the city so we find the purple touch everywhere

  3. I remember this! Loved this neighborhood. I need to go back to BA asap.

  4. Dear Photodiarist: Please do so. BA this time of the year is the BEST. Also, there are fewer tourists--crisis, anyone?---so there is definitely more room to breathe.
    Come down and we organize a show...

  5. So beautiful all this buildings!
    This week I saw on television a documentary of the Mexican flu in Argentina, especially in Buenos Aires! It was a totally different look as this you showed here!

    Have a nice weekend!

  6. Dear Greet: The flu here was really bad, but winter is gone and everything is sort of back to normal. Also it is good to know that Buenos Aires doesn't represent the whole country--this is Latin America after all--so contrasts are indeed a part of our reality.


We reserve the right to restrict comments that are mean-spirited, contain profanity or personal attacks, or intend merely to promote a personal or unrelated business.