Yes, we know we repeat ourselves often when it comes to how important it is to slow down and breathe all of Buenos Aires all in, and no, it’s not good for SEO, but just trust us on this — you probably won’t enjoy Buenos Aires if you can’t appreciate a simple walk down a street in a foreign city. Still, while we believe all porteño streets are special in their own way, some are, admittedly, more photogenic than others.
Avenida de Mayo
Few streets in Buenos Aires contain as much history as the Avenida de Mayo, and with history comes some of the best art-nouveau architecture and classic, porteño ambience the city has to offer. The avenue was the city’s first, and was inaugurated by President Don Torcuato de Alvear in 1894 as a symbol of modernity and Argentina’s mission to place itself on the map as a sophisticated, European metropolis.
Connecting the Plaza de Mayo and Plazo Congreso between ten blocks, some of the famous sights lining the avenue are Café Tortoni, the oldest café in the city, Palacio Barolo, which was designed by Mario Palanti, a pupil of Dante’s (yes, Dante’s Inferno Dante), and long-established hotels such as the Hotel Castelar, Hotel Chile, and the ex Hotel Paris.
Avenida Corrientes is long, but the most recognizable section, stretching from Avenida 9 de Julio to Avenida Callao, is the heart of theater in Buenos Aires. Porteños, being the dramatic, passionate people they are, absolutely love the theater.
People of all ages – and theatrical taste – can flock to the Avenida Corrientes to see classics such as Chicago, The Phantom of the Opera, Mama Mia, or… “Ya se que te gusta el whisky,” which translates to, “I Already Know You Like Whiskey”. This wide spectrum of attractions always draws an interesting crowd to this street, and Avenida Corrientes provides all the big city lights you need for a great night shot.
Sometimes the streets of Buenos Aires don’t give us what we expect as tourists or foreigners in Buenos Aires, but Calle Balcarce is one of them that does. You want cobblestone streets? Got it. Want the sound of tango music seeping out of old bars where old friends meet ritually to play bridge while sipping on wine with seltzer water? Well, something like that is probably happening there.
Trendy restaurants, bars and boutiques are to be found, but they are scattered between old houses and narrow walkways where not much has changed in the past century, dominated by the rustic charm of San Telmo and Monserrat, the neighborhoods Calle Balcarce traverses.
You can tell that the area has seen a lot – a huge immigrant influx and construction of still-standing colonial mansions in the late 19th century, markets and the spread of epidemics like Yellow Fever, which were amplified by Calle Balcarce’s proximity to the river. If you happen to be in San Telmo on a Sunday like many of your fellow visitors to Buenos Aires, a detour to Calle Balcarce provides all of San Telmo’s appeal without Calle Defensa’s congestion.
Those Little Passageways in Palermo:
Santa Rosa, Soria and Russell
You know those cute little side streets, alleys and passageways that are usually covered in vines, old bicycles with baskets and things that convince you that living there would mean a life of pure bliss, like you just have to find a way to move there because it will solve all your life’s problems? Usually you aren’t the only one that feels that way and finding an apartment on one of them would be almost impossible or very expensive, but photographs are free, and these little “pasajes,” Soria, Santa Rosa and Russell, at Serrano 1800, 1700 and 1600, respectively, are scattered through the shopping and gastronomical district of Palermo, mostly covered in the kind of adorable street art you want to stencil on your t-shirts. Or hey, now that the Facebook Timeline is out, these pics could make a great Cover Photo. Admit it, you’ve had a hard time picking one.
Every major city has one of them. Fifth Avenue, Madison Avenue, Bond Street, Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. Just walking down them makes you feel classy, and you have to wonder who can actually afford to shop in these stores. But admit it, you love walking down those streets, so you would love the Avenida Alvear, which is home to Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Ralph Lauren, Ferragamo, Escada and Cartier.
Now what can they offer a photographer? Well, anything shiny, colorful, furry or gold is usually a nice focal point for a picture, so what could go wrong? Plus, with money comes attitude, photogenic fur coats, little dogs in handbags, and maybe people who talk like this after a few too many cocktails at a fancy business brunch at the Palacio Alvear Hotel:
Foto Ruta does not condone drunk driving. We do, however, appreciate malbec’s ability to enhance the magic of the streets of Buenos Aires (although it might not help our photography skills).