August 31, 2010

buenos aires

i just returned from a trip to south america with 100+ of my future stanford GSB classmates.  we started in buenos aires where we visited eduardo catalano's flor de metal...


...and the plaza 25 de mayo.  it struck me that graffiti in south america (and particularly in buenos aires) tended to be much more political than what we see here in the united states.


the recoleta cemetery was significantly larger than i expected, filled with mausoleums and statuary instead of headstones.  it's the burial site of eva peron and several argentinian presidents.  it's also overrun with cats.




a few of us took a bike tour of the city, which was probably the highlight of the whole trip.  we covered over 20km in the (mostly flat) city, with more intimate visits to diverse sights like the monument to the fallen in malvinas...


...the costanera sur nature preserve, where argentina's national tree lines the riverbank...


...and the neighborhood of la boca in the south of buenos aires.  lore is that immigrants received house paint in small batches, so their exteriors were traditionally patchy and multicolored.  now brightly colored buildings are a cultural staple in la boca -- a photographic jackpot.




and if you didn't believe the lore about a rich tradition of vivid paint, you could see the layers of history peel right off the walls.


also, this guy.  this is the guy.


our final stop was the plaza 25 de mayo at sunset.


the balance of the trip consisted of meat, cheese, and smoky nightclubs until 4am, but the imagery is far less culturally significant.  actually, it's mostly young american men with shirts unbuttoned to their navels.

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