Sunday in the parks of Recoleta

The rush of traffic. The smoke snaking up from dead cigarettes in the gutter. Car horns. Grimy fingernails. Traffic. People who refuse to wear deodorant (this happens in Argentina more than you’d like to think).

Sometimes the city is overwhelming. Sometimes I miss the green parts — they have a lot of those in Texas. That’s where parks come in.

Somewhere along the line a brilliant person decided to save a few city blocks from the same covered-in-concrete fate as their neighbors. These blocks, where grass and trees and such are apt to grow, make a welcome escape.

Last Sunday I needed to get off the streets for a bit, and my trusty combat boots and I ended up wandering Recoleta, from one green area to the next.

First up was the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. Inside was a selection of paintings from all eras, as well as a lovely exhibit on Fernando Botero occupying the second floor. Outside was green and glorious.

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Across the street wasn’t too shabby, either.

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A few blocks down Guido (which I learned is pronounced “gee-dough” and not like a Jersey Shore character) and a turn onto Vicente Lopez meant I stumbled upon a street fair that I definitely wasn’t looking for, but didn’t mind finding.

Cutsey crafts-for-sale abounded, including woven winter accessories, leather goods, handmade jewelry and popcorn-covered candied apples. I thought about springing for the latter, decided against it, and instead strolled from booth to booth while various vendors smiled at me in that I-know-you’re-not-from-around-here way they have.

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Oh yeah, and there were tango dancers, because Argentina.

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Right next to the fair is the Cementerio de la Recoleta, where people like Evita (Eva Perón) are buried. It’s enormous, architecturally beautiful, in some parts deserted, and infested with friendly cats. Needless to say, I loved it.

I’ll spare you the 4721 cat pictures (I did make friends with three and acquaintances with one), but the tombs and obelisks are must-sees. There are rows upon rows of tombs that line miniature tile “streets” to make up a giant, walled necropolis.

I’ve found my reading spot for the next two months. That’s normal, right? Reading Game of Thrones alone in a cemetery?

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There you have it. Here’s to cemetery cats, perfect Sundays and green spaces tucked away in concrete jungles.

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Sunday in the parks of Recoleta

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