I was there for a week in 1997. I for one would be curious to see how the famous all-pedestrian Florida Street has changed. It was cluttered and unhappy-looking at the time, but apparently it’s revitalized now.
More than that, there are two places I would love to see. The first, Hotel Bauen, did not exist at the time in its present form (owned and run by its workers after the 2001 crisis). As for the second, I was aware of the significance of the Plaza de Mayo and the Mothers who demonstrate there (even if my Spanish class classmates back home were sadly not), but I wasn’t intent on actually seeing it.
There was this real weird scam where in the oldest part of town (it’s some buildings from the 17th century or something) where you are kind of gazing up at the buidlings to try to figure out if they are the old buildings or not. The buildings are not particularly interesting. Someone in a car comes by and sprays you with a noxious substance, and then some old ladies appear out of nowhere and in a faux show of concern pretend to try to try to help you out while trying to pickpocket you.
It’s so common that they mention it in Lonely Planet. You can pretty much see the car skulking around the corner. Punch the old lady in the nose (don’t actually do this) and get the hell out of there.
I kind of liked going to La Casa Rosada and channeling my inner Madonna. According to IMDB:
That cemetary where Evita is buried a a huge tourist trap, but it’s so weird, I completely think it’s worth going. It wasn’t particularly crowded but spectacularly ghoulish.
Near the old buildlings, there were a bunch of cool antique shops with really great shit for cheap (at the time, 2002, the economy was in a shambles).
Thanks for the advice. Weird is definitely good. I’m a big fan of offbeat attractions, the stranger the better. I’m also a fan of cooking classes, sports matches, tiny homegrown museums and street food. I’ll be mostly solo, and unfortunately I don’t speak much Spanish.
I’ll have one night in a hostel. Any suggestions? I prefer a lively and active one.
I’m glad to see that the spray-and-rob scam in Buenos Aires uses stuff like hairspray. In India, scammers do it with dog shit!
The shit they sprayed on me was some really noxious oily crap. Permanently ruined that shirt and definitely not hair spray. At the time, BA was so damn cheap I opted to stay in a 4 star hotel with a suite for $25.
I see you only have 2 days, but Iguazu Falls is 90 minutes away by plane and is one of the most spectacular things on the planet. Bring a macro lens because the butterflies are unfuckingbelievable.
The memorable food was the asado (I looked that up on wikipedia, although I don’t recall it being called that). It wasn’t street food but a huge fucking barbeque with giant piles of flaming wood and what seemed like entire sides of beef grilled on what looked like swords. I’m not a hardcore carnivore, but it’s pretty much the national dish, Argentina being full of cows and gauchos and shit.
You should go and see an opera at the Teatro Colón, one of the world’s great opera houses. It was in a shambles when I was there, but it looks like it’s been completely restored as of 2010. Back in 2002, they had a deal where you could get a standing room only spot in the upper tier on the sides for $5. There were actually seats the night I was there, although the line of sight was kind of crappy. It’s a really beautiful building.