I am sitting here in our apartment in Buenos Aires. It is Thursday, the 11th of May. Funny on how the mind works. We are really enjoying Buenos Aires, BUT I am missing the adventure. We are going to many concerts. Everything from classical symphonies to jazz, tango and traditional music.
We are also taking many “Then and Now’s” photographs. We are scheduling tours of many of the old buildings of Buenos Aires (the Congress building, the Opera house and other historic buildings).
We are using Microsoft Outlook to schedule the things we want to complete during our stay here. Every day is full. But it is getting like work.
The problem? I find myself missing the Adventure riding. I find myself day dreaming of the jungles of Ecuador, the Andes of Peru and the deserts of northern Chile. Buenos Aires is circled by farm lands. As far as I know, you can ride hundreds of miles in any direction, and it is pretty much the same. Looking forward to riding through the jungles of Brazil.
I now find myself spending a couple hours a day, looking at ride report on the web site www.ADVRider.com.
I am on the trip of a lifetime, but I almost feel as though I am now back in an office working, and need the ADVRider fix every few hours. I have gotten really lazy about posting pictures.
Buenos Aires is great. Would not want to miss it, but it has become apparent that my mind belongs out in the far corners of the country. There is no way I could permanently live in a large city!
Statues like this are found all over Buenos Aires....
Neat asymmetrical bridge...
Between the 4th and 9th of May we cover many walking miles of Buenos Aires. We went to an internet shop and printed out about 15 "Then and Now's", then we walked and walked and walked the city looking for the locations of the old photos. We also note which direction the landmarks face, in order to determine the best time of day to revisit the landmark for the optimum lighting. Some locations are very easy to find. Some take days to find.
The first "Then and Now" is from Frank Carpenter's "Carpenter's World Travels, Familiar Talks About Countries and People", from 1925. The picture show trolleys and horse drawn carts.
Not much has changed, except for a few lamp posts and an radio antenna.
This next picture got us interested in the aristocrats of Buenos Aires. The "Kavanaugh Building" was built in 1936 by Corina Kavanaugh, and at the time it was built it was the tallest building in all of South America. It took 16 years to sell all the apartments. The interesting part of the story is Corina was dating an aristocrat from the Anchorena Family. The Anchorena family lived in a huge mansion located on Plaza San Martin. The family also participated in the construction of the Basilica, located on the far side of the Plaza. The Anchornena family did not approve of their family member marrying an "non-aristocrat", so she contracted to have this skyscraper built, which blocked the view of the Basilica from the mansion owned by the Anthorenas. Talk about revengeful!
This is the photo from the 1948 book, "Fireside Travels in South America" by James Fitzpatrick. If you look to the left of the tallest building you can see the steeple of the Basilica. The Anchorena Mansion was off the photo to the far right. She did a great job of blocking there view of the church.
The buildings are pretty much all the same. The tress have matured.
This next picture is also from "Fireside Travels in South America". It also overlooks the Plaza San Martin. The caption to the picture was "Overlooking the Plaza San Martin is this business and residential building, a good example of modern architecture in progressive Buenos Aires".
The trolley has been replaced by Taxi's.
The next picture is also from "Fireside Travels in South America". It turns out that the last 2 pictures, and the next one are from the same book. It appears that we retraced James Fitzpatrick's walk around the park, just 58 years later. Plaza San Martin is described as one of the most beautiful plaza of Buenos Aires.
The trees have nearly blocked the view of the "Kavanaugh Building", in the distant background.
The statue, in it's entirety........
(an observation... in the picture below, you see how far the angel, with the laurel wreath, is from San Martin, on the horse. I am guessing that it is over 20 feet. Once I looked at this picture, I realized that to get everything "inline" for the "Then and Now" photo, the camera had to be within an inch or two of where it was when James took the original picture 58 years ago. I lined up the angels head dress with San Martin's elbow).
The next picture is from the book "The Other America's", written in 1908, by Arthur Ruhl.
If you look closely at the old picture (above), right in the middle of the photo is a darker building with a rounded arch at the top of the building. You can see the same arch on the beige building below. That will help you determine which buildings which are now missing. Much of the neat detail, of the building located on the corner, has been removed.
We stumbled on the next photo location, in front of the Congress building. The park's name is Plaza Congreso. The photo is from "Pan American Highway Through South America", by Herbert Lanks, and written in 1943.
The "Vase" on the pedestal is hiding behind the "bouncy house" on the right side of the photo.
The next photo from the 1948 book, "Fireside Travels in South America" by James Fitzpatrick. The location is Plaza de Mayo, which is directly in front of the "Casa Rosada".
A few new High Rise buildings
It may seem that we have slowed down in our travels, and we have. But Buenos Aires is the 4th largest city in the world (about 12,000,000 people). It has the 16th largest metropolitan population (about 13,500,000 people).
Many of the OLD photos had no identification of where the pictures were taken, so we spent nearly two weeks, walking about 5 to 6 miles each day, and checking out all the various parks of this HUGE city. The city has hundreds of parks. The OLD photos aren't very important, but what you find and stumble on during the search is worth every minute spent. This part of the journey in Buenos Aires may be boring to the reader, but it has been rewarding and challenging to walk the city and it's streets. In some ways we feel as though we know the city better than some of the locals.
One day we mentioned a particular restaurant to a lady we did business with. The restaurant was about 1 1/2 miles away. She stated that she was unfamiliar with the restaurant, as she typically stays in her own Barrio. I believe that that is a common behavior by many!
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