No Need for Crying in Argentina
BY David Luc Nguyen
October 30 2007 12:00 AM ET
When entering the
market, visitors are serenaded by street orchestras
(sometimes as many as 15 instruments) playing distinctive
tango music along the 20-block stretch. It’s
here where shoppers can find that uniquely Argentine
item for a really inexpensive price. The music also
creates the sound track for street performers who captivate
crowds with precise tango dances. If you are the
adventurous type, for only 10 pesos ($3 U.S.) you can
have an impromptu tango lesson from one of the locals
and snap a couple pics.
aren’t your thing, check out Florida Street. Bargain
shopping is a snap here, since the Argentine peso is
exchanging for a little over 3 to the U.S.
dollar, so it goes a long way in purchasing those
essentials for fall. Located in the El Centro district,
Florida Street (pronounced "Flor-ee-da") is home to
many factory outlets and little boutiques. The
shopping is fantastic, except for the very aggressive
salespeople who literally come out of their shops to try to
escort you into their stores. The street also had that Las
Vegas feel to it, as guys would hand you a flyer with
“Girls, Girls, Girls” written across the
Along with Evita
and soccer, Argentina is also known for inexpensive
leather products. I was able to purchase an incredibly soft
three-quarter-length leather jacket with silk lining for
$150, and another great buy was an embroidered
T-shirt for about $10. Cashmere sweaters are a steal
at approximately 20 bucks for solid colors, and it's
$30 for that hot fall look, argyle. If you are looking for
an early-winter getaway, Buenos Aires is the place to
get all of your Christmas shopping done at clearance
sale prices (it will be approaching summer there).
After shopping to
exhaustion, we grabbed a bite to eat a few blocks from
Florida Street at El Palacio de la Papa Frita (there are
multiple locations; we went to Lavalle 954). The name
reflects the mom-and-pop atmosphere of the restaurant.
Though the fluorescent lights were slightly
off-putting, the food made up for the lack of ambiance.
Friendly waiters greeted us with a handshake and smile
upon entering the surprisingly busy restaurant. Keep
in mind, people in Argentina eat later than most
Americans. Lunch is usually around 2 p.m., and dinner
doesn’t start until 9 or 10 p.m.