Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
This is a particularly interesting event held every year at the Palais de Glace, a former ice skate rink built in 1910 that became an exhibition center later on. In addition to the art dealers from Argentina--a great number really-- this year there are galleries from seven countries showing the best works of their star photographers.
Buenos Aires Photo
Palais de Glace - Posadas 1727
From October 28 to November 1
Friday, October 23, 2009
We are on our way to JFK Airport. Our regular trip to Argentina is due today, so probably posts will be more scarce while we are in Buenos Aires.
We will be doing some work and researching for our followers-- so many of them already!-- that email us on a daily basis. Sometimes asking for advice, sometimes giving us some tips.
Thanks to all of you!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Few buildings in Buenos Aires generate more fantasies and myths than the Kavanagh. Located in Plaza San Martin--one of the most beautiful squares in the city--it was built in the 30's by a wealthy lady called Corina Kavanagh. She commissioned the award winning firm Sanchez, Lagos y de la Torre in 1934 to design the tallest structure in South America at the time. It was finished in 1936 after she sold two of her most profitable farms to finance the construction.
Legend says that the location of the building was decided by revenge...Apparently, one of Corina's daughters--from a well-off but sort of "nouveau riche" family--fell in love with a son of the Anchorena family (wealthy beyond description and extremely conservative). The Anchorenas--of course--did not approve the engagement. They lived in front of the Plaza San Martin in a magnificent mansion, and they had built a church across the square so they could see it from their house--a very catholic family indeed. Corina (furious!) decided to block the view and bought the land where the Kavanagh stands, right in front of that church...
Fiction or not, this building is one of the finest in the city. Stepping into its lobby is like going back in time. Nothing has changed in over 70 years. Luxurious materials everywhere: parchment on the walls--they say Jean-Michel Frank decorated the lobby...maybe another legend?--as well as marbles, Lalique crystal, precious woods and bronze make this place the most elegant and chic Art Deco room in Buenos Aires. No doubt about it.
Kavanagh building - Florida 1065
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes
Avenida del Libertador 1473
This Museum houses the best collection in Argentina. You have the big Impressionists here---Monet, Cezanne, Degas among others ---and also the work of amazing Argentine artists, like Angel della Valle, Eduardo Sivori, Quiros and others. Don't miss the Bemberg Collection, a gift of late film director Maria Luisa Bemberg. After you are done, walk to nearby cafe Rond Point for a quick lunch (although it lost all of its charm after being "modernized", is still a good spot).
Avenida Figueroa Alcorta 3415
This Museum showcases Latin American Art, so you will find Tarsila do Amaral, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Joaquin Torres-Garcia, Emilio di Cavalcanti... Antonio Berni, Xul Solar...the list goes on an on. The building itself is a very interesting example of contemporary architecture. The cafe/restaurant is very good, and the Museum shop has an interesting selection of books and gifts.
Museo Nacional de Arte Decorativo
Avenida del Libertador 1902
Originally the Errazuriz Residence, this magnificent house has been turned into a small Museum filled with antiques and Oriental Art. It is worth a visit just to roam in the space and appreciate how was life a hundred years ago for the well-off. There is an outdoor cafe (Croque Madame) that we highly recommend.
Olga Cossettini 141
This new addition to the city's cultural life is located in Puerto Madero, in a building designed by award winning firm Rafael Viñoly Architects. It holds the magnificent private collection of Amalia Lacroze de Fortabat, one of Latin America's richest women. After the visit, you can walk along the river and cross the Puente de la Mujer, a bridge designed by mega famous architect Santiago Calatrava.
Museo de los Ninos
Avenida Corrientes 3247 - Level 2
Although not a traditional museum, it offers multiple booths---sponsored by big corporations---where children can reenact real life experiences and learn at the same time: anchoring a TV news, taking care of supermarket shelves or assisting a baby doll at a hospital. It is located inside the Abasto Shopping Mall, and it is great to keep kids busy for a couple of hours.
Everything you always wanted to know about Eva Peron's personal life is here, so you can have a better understanding of this fascinating and controversial figure. There is also a very good restaurant in the premises.
Museo de Arte Hispanoamericano Isaac Fernandez Blanco
This museum is in a quiet street in the Retiro neighbourhood, in an old Spanish style mansion. It holds a number of antiques and old religious pieces, and it has a fantastic courtyard. It is located only half a block from the Sofitel hotel, where you can have a snack before or after the visit.
Another post with Art galleries and more museums, coming up...
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
We discovered this surreal sheep farm on Park Avenue and 52nd Street the other day, just across the street from the famous Seagram building. They are a series of sculptures by the French artists Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne, on display until November 20th (they are the famous "Moutons" crafted from epoxy and bronze between 1988 and 1994).
They bring a sense of joy and unexpected fun into the manicured green lawn of one of the busiest avenues in the city. Plus, they are quiet and clean. Just perfect.
Monday, October 19, 2009
There are a few good restaurants and bars, so you won't feel deprived of fun. But definitely don't expect a lot of activities in the area after dark, because this is the Financial District anyhow.
Our favourite place for a tasty snack is the Bar at the Marriott Plaza Hotel (Florida 1005). Don't let the name fool you: this was a very traditional and conservative hotel when it was built a hundred years ago. After being bought by the Marriott chain unfortunately lost most of its charm, but the Bar is still a great place to relax after a long walk Downtown. We love the tostado sandwiches and the secluded and cozy ambiance. A must.
Friday, October 16, 2009
It is inevitable to end up in the Recoleta Cemetery when walking around in Buenos Aires. Sooner rather than later, a visit to this tourist destination is a must for a lot of reasons: it is located in a fancy neighbourhood with a lot of interesting attractions, it has the mausoleum of the Duarte family where Eva Peron is buried, it is a bit romantic (and so different from other cemeteries around the world) and finally the mausoleums are absolutely breathtaking (while some are in good shape a lot of them are in a sorry state of disrepair).
It also reflects an era when Argentina was a powerful and wealthy country, so people in life as well as in death wanted to show off their splendid style and the abundance of money. Inside you find an argentinian Who's Who: presidents, influential families, scientists... Everybody who was somebody is buried there.
The layout is organized like a city grid, so you walk through streets showcasing beautiful "houses"---yes, it is like a City of the Dead--- along statues in marble and bronze, trees and probably 2,000,000 cats.
It will take you a good hour to roam around this place, and it's really worth it (have a memory card empty in your camera when you get there...trust us, we couldn't stop taking photographs...)