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Monday, February 8, 2010

Puerto Madero

Puerto Madero is one of my favorite places to go to walk around on a sunny day. It is roughly a 30 minute walk from our apartment, or a US$5.00 cab ride. The history goes that it was a working port in the late 1800s until newer ship designs made it difficult to access. That and a newer port (creatively named "Puerto Nuevo") was built a few miles north in the 1920s, so Puerto Madero was left vacant for approximately 50 years. Starting in the 1990s, the area began to rebuild and now it is a hot spot for bars, cafes, nightclubs, high end restaurants and as of today, Jon's new office (check out the great view from his desk!). This area is probably best known for it's interesting pedestrian bridge, the Puente de la Mujer (Bridge of the Woman). I think of it as the Georgetown of Buenos Aires.

The first time I went to Puerto Madero, it was after we attended a going away party for a coworker of Jon. This was my first true experience with "Argentine Time". Argentine Time refers to the fact that everything takes longer, lasts longer and starts later here. For example, every restaurant that we have gone to has been empty at 8pm - sometimes not even open yet. Generally places start to get busy for dinner around 10:30 and it's not unusual for restaurants to be on a significant wait at 11:30 or midnight. Anyways, the party started at 10:30pm, we mingled and ate and had a great time. At 1:45am, the host announced that he was sad to leave, thanked everyone for coming and said that it was time to leave his apartment. What we didn't realize was that he wasn't talking abou the night being over - just that the apartment party was over. He ushered everyone downstairs where a number of taxis were waiting to take us to Asia de Cuba in Puerto Madero. When we got there, the bar was almost completely empty, apparently 2am is really early to arrive at a bar. Jon and I stuck it out for another 2 hours, until I was virtually falling asleep standing up. At 4:00am we were the first people from the party to leave the bar. Yikes. These people know how to party.

Since then, we've gone a few other times to walk around and stop for coffee. I took my friend Lauren when she was in town and we had a great bottle of wine at one of the restaurants lining the port. It's a great spot to people watch, take pictures or just go for a walk. There is also a nature preserve a little farther towards the water that has jogging and bike trails. If you are in the mood for meat, right after Jon moved here he went to a great restaurant called Siga La Vaca (literally - Follow The Cow) which is a great parrilla place.

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