¿Qué es un porteño, anyway?

Porteño/a – (noun) – Someone native to Buenos Aires.

Why porteño? Because of the port, or puerta, a.k.a. the reason for the the city’s existence in the first place. Buenos Aires sits on the Rio de la Plata, and was founded as a port city. It has grown outwards, sprawling over miles and into 48 separate barrios, or neighborhoods.

And I have to know them all. (Cue Pokemon theme song.)

But seriously. As a periodista, how am I supposed to cover neighborhoods I can barely navigate? We’ve gotten lost at least eight times, seriously lost about twice, and my feet are feeling it. Combat boots are cute, but not the most supportive.

Aside from finding our way around, these first few days living in Recoleta have been a blur… so much to do!

In case you’re thinking of living for a bit in another country, consider: the communication (an Argentinian cell phone was in order), transportation (a re-loadable card for the subte and busses), digestion (grocery shopping), navigation (a Guía T, the bible of all street maps) and transaction (bank visits, por supuesto).

Today started with a city tour, half bus, half on foot. Thank. goodness. for. the bus. I learned that Argentina, despite confusing street signs and unhelpful directions, is actually beautiful. Here’s proof:

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Apparently this cemetery is full of cats… I’m planning on spending a lot of time there to find out, since I’m a Future Cat Lady of America and all. It’s right next to my street, Vicente Lopez. Apparently Evita (Eva Perón) is buried there, so that’s cool too I guess.

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This is Puerto Madero, taken from right outside MU’s Study Abroad office in Buenos Aires. It’s one of the prettier and pricier barrios in the city.

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The Pink House, or Casa Rosada, is the equivalent of our White House — the President of Argentina works from here (though she doesn’t actually live in it). Why pink? There was some gruesome story about red and white warring factions, and also about mixing red cow’s blood with some white substance to make pink… whatever the reason I think we should consider making the switch.

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The front altar of the Catedral Metropolitana de Buenos Aires, a.k.a. where the new Pope does his Roman-Catholic thing. It’s a beautiful cathedral and houses the tomb of José de San Martín, which we sight-saw quite thoroughly.

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The ever-so-slightly instagram’ed picture of La Boca, a barrio with heavy Italian influence. There was a stray cat here too, just saying.

We were walking through this neighborhood when some men started yelling from the side of the street: Hey Barbie! Come back! Barbie! Over here Barbie! It wasn’t until we’d outdistanced them that I realized they were talking to me… since then I’ve been counting the natural blondes I see around the city. Grand total is up to four.

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My artsy picture of the Plaza de Mayo, complete with pigeon in flight. This is right outside the Pink House. There’s a festival on May 25 in the plaza, and we’re 150% hitting it up, so stay tuned.

More interminglings with the porteños are sure to come.

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¿Qué es un porteño, anyway?

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