Argentina
Palermo Hollywood

Here you’ll find travel reports about Palermo Hollywood. Discover travel destinations in Argentina of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

10 travelers at this place:

  • Day16

    A Morning at the Opera

    March 3, 2018 in Argentina ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    Like all great cities, BA has an opera house. But this one — Teatro Colon — is extraordinarily beautiful, on par with the Paris Opera House, and heads and shoulders over the 1960s monstrosity of the Met. According to National Geographic, it is the third best opera house in the world. What are numbers one and two? Sydney and Copenhagen. However, I suspect that the ranking is due to sound considerations, not the splendor of the building.

    The Teatro Colon took 18 years to build and according to our charming guide, the story of the building could be an opera itself. It opened in 1908, and was completely remodeled in 2010. The remodeling took 4 years, in part because the modernization of the building negatively impacted the acoustics, requiring reversion to some earlier materials. For example, the seats were originally filled with horse hair. In the remodeling, they substituted foam. This was horrible for sound, so they had to re-do all 2600 seats, adding a year to the project.

    The entrance way, balconies and the public meeting areas are gorgeous. The golden hall is modeled on the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles. In the early years, people used to come at least an hour before the opera started, so that they could see and be seen in the hall. But, access to the hall was — and still is — restricted to people in the more expensive seats. If you buy a cheap seat, even today, you cannot visit the golden hall. So, a few times a year, the hall is open for free public concerts in which students at the “Academy” play chamber music.

    Inside the theater you find a spectacular, old-school concert hall, built in the traditional U-shape. The drapes are a beautiful red, as are the seats, and the walls are covered in gold leaf. We were told that the price of tickets runs from $10 USD, to $250 USD. The best seat is considered to be a box seat, on the second level, directly across from the stage. We sat in this box during the tour, and the view is amazing. There are boxes on either side of the stage that are reserved for the Mayor and the President. Sadly, the boxes generally sit empty. There are also boxes on the floor that are shielded by black grates. These boxes are no longer in use, but were built as the widows’ boxes — where widows could see the opera (but not be seen) during the mandatory two years of mourning. Apparently, widows often purchased the entire box, which had four seats, and then brought their lover with them to see the opera.

    The theater itself had some amazing innovations. From the time that it was built, there was a wooden turn table built into the stage, allowing sets to be moved easily during a production. Above the stunning chandelier, is a huge open area for musicians and people doing sound effects (up to 50 people). This area is still used today. And, below all of the seats on the main floor is a large open chamber, which improves the quality of the sound. Beneath each seat is a small grate, where the sound reverberates around.

    Our only regret was that we couldn’t actually see a production. The season doesn’t start until two weeks after we leave. What a bummer, as seeing an opera, or a ballet, would have been quite a treat. But, touring the theater was a strong second.
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  • Day15

    Buenos Aires: Jewish Edition

    March 2, 2018 in Argentina ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

    This morning we were picked up at our apartment by Salito, a BA native, who is also Jewish and has been leading tours about Jewish BA for about 15 years. We spent the next four hours being regaled with stories and sights about the history of Jews in BA, and Argentina.

    Jewish migration to Argentina began, in earnest, around 1890. A Jewish banker and businessman, named Baron Maurice de Hersh, founded the Jewish Colonization Association, and moved Jews from Eastern Europe to Argentina. He paid their travel costs, settled them on land in the Pampas, and set them up to be farmers. After 5 years as a farmer, they were required to begin repaying the cost of travel and money expended to purchase the land. His theory was that if Jews were given land, they would become attached to their new homeland, and would settle down, rather than moving from place to place when the difficult times struck. Given the vast history of Jews as successful farmers, what could possible go wrong? While there some men who became Jewish gauchos (cowboys), the majority of the immigrants were completely unable to make it as farmers, and moved to the cities where they became tailors, cobblers, etc. Nevertheless, between 1890 and 1938, the Jewish population of BA grew to almost 500,000 people. However, in 1938, as Jews were seeking shelter from the Nazis, Argentina closed its doors to any immigrant who was being persecuted by the Third Reich (this is the language of the memo issued in 1938), and Jewish immigration came to an effective end.

    In the 1960s, as the dictatorships governed the country, Jews began to flee. Then, the tragedy of the desaparecidos (the disappeared) had a disproportionate impact upon the Jews, leading to another wave of Jews leaving. In 1992 and 1994, there were terrorist attacks on the Jewish community center, and the Israeli embassy, that left more than 100 people dead. This, of course, accelerated the flight of the Jews. And, the economic collapse of the 1990s and early 2000s, led even more Jews to leave. So, today, there are only 250,000 Jews in the entire country.

    Salito told us about his family’s emigration to the country (he is the third generation in his family to live in Argentina). Both sets of grandparents came in the early 1900s, searching for a better life. His paternal grandparents spent 6 years crossing Europe, in search of passage to the Americas. And, when they couldn’t gain entrance to NYC, they figured that anyplace in America was better than Europe, and they were convinced to go to Argentina. They started out in a village about 300 miles from BA, where his grandfather found work as a tailor, although they had to travel to BA for the brit milah for his uncle. When it was time for religious education, his grandmother decided to they needed to live in a Jewish community, and moved to BA. His stories were both fascinating and charming.

    Salito drove us around the Jewish neighborhood, pointing out Jewish stores, bookshops, bakeries, and community centers. We visited the new Jewish community center, and learned a great deal about the horrific bombing, as well as Jews in BA. Although the bombing occurred in 1994, and 85 people were killed (including many non-Jews), no one has ever been tried for the crime. Just two years earlier, the Israeli embassy was bombed, killing 29 more people. Again, no one has been brought to justice. On the 18th of each month people gather at the community center to commemorate the dead and demand justice (the bombing happened on July 18th) and each year people gather on the anniversary of the bombing of the embassy, also demanding justice. Salito shared a bunch of tragic stories about people who were killed in each of them bombing, because they had the misfortune to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

    We also had a chance to visit on the of old synagogues, which was beautiful. Salito, and his father, had their bar mitzvahs in the temple. The temple, which has an aging population, is currently being led by a young rabbi, who actually invited women to leave the balconies and sit on the floor (albeit not in the first 10 rows). When some of the men complained, he told them that they could either embrace the changes, which would bring in more members, or the congregation would die. The rabbi is still around, and the congregation seems to be growing . . . .

    In the afternoon we visited a museum and wandered around a bit. After some time at the apartment decompressing (and showering as it was sweltering), we headed out to dinner. We decided to go to Don Julio, a traditional parilla, in which the highlight of the meal is a big piece of meat. We had to wait quite awhile for a table. But, as the restaurant is no stranger to big crowds, it kept us happy by feeding us empanadas and pouring us champagne, which was lovely. We finally sat down for dinner around 10 pm, and ordered a couple of steaks to share — a rib eye and a sirloin. To say that they were delicious was an understatement. Perhaps I should say that the meat was like “buttah.” It was just fantastic, and the whole experience was topped off by our being able to sit outside, in the warm night air.

    Although we were pretty full, Arie announced that another trip to Rapi Nui for ice cream was in the cards. How could we say no? We ate, we people-watched, and we headed home — full and happy.
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  • Day14

    History of Argentina

    March 1, 2018 in Argentina ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    We began our day with a walk in the neighborhood, and some pastry and cortado (coffee with a shot of milk). We went to a hipster bakery called Salvaje, where we sat outside and watched the world go by. We ate our umpteenth alfajores (two cookies with dulce de leche between) and wondered, once again, why is this cookies such a big deal? I assure you, it would never have made it onto Hermine’s cookie list! Oh well, we’ll keep trying, on the theory that we just haven’t had a good one yet!

    After strolling the streets of Palermo, we returned to the apartment to wait for Kelly, who was arriving any minute. As Arie and I planned out our activities during our time in BA, we were both buzzing with anticipation. Honestly, when she rang the bell, I was so excited that I bumped my knee on the table as I jumped for the door! So delighted to have her to share this adventure with us.

    After we fed Kelly a snack, and gave her time to wash up from her long flight, we headed to the center of town for a walking tour with Free Tours BA. The group that had assembled for the free tour was huge (nearly 75 people), but our guide had a headset and a small speaker. Since the guide works for tips at the conclusion, we decided to give it a try. Boy, am I glad that we did. For the next 2-1/2 hours our guide gave us a sweeping explanation of Argentinian history, sprinkled with charming stories about life in Argentina. He was just fantastic. Over the course of the tour we learned about Spanish conquest and the move for independence, as well as more modern history.

    I was fascinated to learn that most of BA was built over the last 120 years, with much of the building following an exposition in France in which Argentina won honors and invited people to visit, in 20 years. So, Argentinians returned home, tore down old buildings, and rebuilt the city in a French classical style. (Sadly, Argentina only recently enacted laws to protect old buildings, so in the 1960s many of the gracious old dames were torn down to make way for modern monstrosities that housed far more people.)

    We also learned that Argentina really came into its own economically during World War II, when it exported food to countries on both sides of the conflict. Exporting food brought fabulous wealth to the country, but the gap between rich and poor grew and grew, opening the gates for the rise of General Peron and his wife, Evita. Of course, both the General and Evita are still iconic in this country, with people either loving or hating them. The image of Evita graces buildings, art, and advertisements. Quite the cult of personality.

    Another interesting tidbit, is that a large percentage of the Argentinian population is of Italian extraction (some say as high as 50%). This explains the omnipresence of pizza and pasta, and the charming habit of Argentinians saying “chow” instead of adios or goodbye.

    We ended the tour with a discussion of the Argentinian economic situation, which is a complicated and ever evolving story about hyper inflation. At one point, inflation was at 3000%. From a practical perspective, this means that the prices changed so quickly that the cost could change from the moment to when you took the item off the shelf, to when you checked out at the front of the store. (According to our guide, prices were announced on the loudspeaker.). This hyper inflation has a whole series of unexpected consequences. Not only have people lost vast amounts of wealth, but there is no such thing as a mortgage. (Why? Well, the bank is not interested in lending money as the value plummets, as someone paying back the money will do it with sharply devalued currency.). As a result, all houses and apartments have to be purchased for cash!

    We finished our tour with a visit to the Pink House, which is the Presidential residence. It is actually pink, although no one knows exactly why.

    After taking an late afternoon nap, we headed out to dinner at a restaurant called ”Proper,” which is located in an old mechanics shop. While we arrived around 9, we still had to wait an hour for a table. The meal was well worth the wait. We had a series of small plates, which were all delicious. Then, we had an “off menu” item (which the “Remote Year” fellow that we met in Santiago had told us about) — a rib eye steak. The waiter asked if we wanted 500 kg, 700 kg, or 1 kilo. We opted for the smallest cut, which is a darn good thing, as it was huge (more than a pound). But it was oh so yummy. We ate every bite. Of course, we still had room for dessert, and stopped at Rapa Nui, a helado store on the way home. I had the most intense chocolate ice cream and a fantastic dulce de leche, although it was hard to believe that I had room for another bite.
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  • Day106

    Inkonsequenz zählt sich aus...

    November 9, 2017 in Argentina ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    ... Zumindest manchmal.
    Nachdem ich Argentinien, mehr oder weniger, überfliegen wollte um nach Bolivien zu gelangen, bin ich nun wirklich froh dass ich mir erst eine 20 stündigen Busfahrt nach Bariloche und anschließend eine 22 Stunden Busfahrt ans Bein gebunden hatte um nach Buenos Aires zu gelangen.

    Bariloche ist ein Gebiet mit schneebedeckten Bergen und vielen schönen Bergseen. (Foto 5-6)
    Es war wirklich etwas fürs Auge, nur leider ging mein Plan, mit einem Motorrad durch die Seenlandschaft zu fahren, nicht auf. So mietete ich mir am ersten Tag ein Fahrrad und am zweiten Tag, gemeinsam mit einem netten bayrischen Pärchen, ein Auto um die Gegend zu erkunden. Auch wenn die Aussichten bei beiden Touren schön waren, auf dem Motorrad wäre es durch die kurvigen Bergstraßen grandios gewesen.

    Nun also Buenos Aires.
    Nachdem ich vor meiner Ankunft dachte, Großstadt, schnell schnell und hacken dran, muss ich nun sagen, die Stadt ist wirklich ein knaller. Neben den offensichtlichen Attraktionen, Tango und Fußball, gibt es jede Menge unterschiedlicher Bezirke. Es ist quasi von Wedding über Hipstar Prenzelberg bis Charlottenburg alles dabei und zwischendrin sehr viel grün und Parkanlagen. Natürlich gehörten auch bei mir die Standard Touristen Punkte zum Programm. Ein Besuch am Stadion der Boca Junior, Maradonas Spielplatz, sowie am Grab von Evita waren Pflicht. Lediglich die Tangoshow habe ich mir gespart, das hatte ich in der Vergangenheit genug!
    Auf jeden Fall hat es sich sehr gelohnt durch die Stadt zu laufen und sich bei herrlichen Sonnenschein und 25 Grad treiben zu lassen. Dabei ging es sowohl durch schönen Gegenden, mit ruhigen Seitenstraße und vielen Bäumen als auch durch chaotische Viertel, mit Menschen- und Automassen und dem typischen Gerüchen einer Großstadt (Abgas und Urin). Sehr gerne irgendwann einmal wieder!
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  • Day6

    Argentina

    December 28, 2018 in Argentina ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    Hostel sossegado, mas um pouco sujo
    Tentei depistar um brasileiro chato
    Sair sozinho é um pouco chato?!

    Fiz câmbio onde já havia visto, comprovando a eficácia do q eu faço contra oq outros dizem
    N aceitaram carteiram de motorista para câmbio, a sorte foi q conheci um casal de brasileiros na fila e eles cambiaram pra mim
    Um garoto me deu seu cartão de transporte com um pouco de carga quando perguntei sobre, foi super gentil
    Fui imponente com jovem alemão q disse q português n é importante
    Sai com um suíço do hostel pra comer. Percebi q meu inglês estava travado.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Palermo Hollywood

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