One of the joys of escaping Chicago’s winter is that I can take morning walks everyday, January through June (unless it’s already too humid and hot by 10:00am here). Buenos Aires is a very walkable city. I prefer to avoid the busy streets and broken sidewalks wherever possible so I head directly towards greener spots in the Recoleta neighborhood. I’m including this map of the area so you can “follow” my hour-long path if you wish.
I start out on Laprida Street (see yellow burst), head toward French, then over a few blocks on Pacheco de Melo to Austria Street and on to Sanchez de Bustamante. From there I head toward the green along Figueroa Alcorta and Ave. Liberator.
Along the route I pass some lovely flower kiosks, and am never disappointed to see the enormous and beautiful Ombú bushes with their interesting and quite extensive network of roots. A species of evergreen, ombús can grow quite large and provide delightful shaded areas to sit, rest, and contemplate life.
I’ve seen too many “ghost bikes” in Chicago marking spots where cyclists were killed by passing vehicles, and I continue to be surprised by the amount of markers embedded along the streets like these rectangular memorials to some of the 30,000 disappeared during the dirty war. One reads: “Here lived Arcangel “Cacho” Herrera and Hilda Marcia Paz, popular activists detained and disappeared by the state terrorism. Neighborhoods in memory and justice.” Two appear side-by-side, in memory of seven young people from Austria and various provinces in Argentina, who were also disappeared. Memory is alive in this country!
On Agüero Street I pass a park alongside the National Library and pause to snap photos of this “lover’s spot” where couples promise undying love with locks attached to wrought iron window bars and am amused by the life-size sculptures of Evita and Juan Peron and their dog seated on a park bench. Only the angle of the morning sun prevents me from taking a selfie alongside them.Continuing my walk along Avenida Libertador, I ascend the steps of the Faculty de Derechos (Law School pictured above) and continue on to the Paseo Ruben Dario and the Plaza Francia near the Buenos Aires Design Mall (with the famous Basilica de Nuestra Senora del Pilar, a 17th century Jesuit church and the 2nd oldest building in the country, in the center background).
Passing a few runners and others out walking or cycling is a constant, but Saturdays and Sundays bring out many more locals and tourists alike, enjoying the same open green spaces as I do. There is a lot of city to walk, but it’s the greenery that brings me to this “route”. Enjoying this outdoor gallery of murals along Pacheco de Melo Street is definitely a visually exciting way for me to start each day! The quantity and diversity of public art murals along my walk just beg me to photo them. I can’t resist so I hope you’ll enjoy my sharing them with you. Many are 2013 artists’ interpretations of various sites throughout the city. Enjoy viewing them here and plan to come see them in person!