Exploring Buenos Aires, day 2


Another day, another 1 PM or so start time. Well, we were up until 2 in the morning last night. I find I rather like late nights and sleeping in for a change of pace. Why not when the day is open and the hours are fluid?

We walked a lot today. It took us a while just to get to the Ateneo Bookstore. Granted we took our time getting there, stopping to appreciate a park, a statue, some buildings, or to pop into a store for provisions we needed.

Below are a few photos of sites along the way to the Ateneo Bookstore. The first is a statue titled El Doute. The brillance of the white, the red, the green captured me.


The blockiness and strength of this statue and the surrounding architecture is slightly ominous to me, and also speaks of strength and purpose.

On the way to the Ateneo Bookstore I stopped into a shop to see if they carried a French Press. Not that I had any intention of buying one as we had resolved our coffee making dilemma by earlier purchasing a reusable cloth filter. I just wanted to see if it were available and how much it would cost. Sure enough, they have it – the press and 2 cups for $826 Argentine Pesos, about $23.00 USD. Not bad.

The clerk who attended to us was from Syria. He wants desperately to go to the USA. He told me that he wished we could put him in our luggage and take him with us. He’s been in Argentina for 3 years. He is a civil engineer. He understands that Trump has issues with people from Syria. He’d much rather be able to return to his home country and work there. I do wish I had asked him how he came to be in Argentina. How he left Syria. It was a moment of recognition of the benefits I have by birth; of gratitude for being a traveler in Argentina and not a refugee. He was sweet and polite. And within that, through the subcontext of his comments, I definitely heard the hurt and the longing for more.

So, the Ateneo Bookstore. What’s the big deal? Why do I mention this? It’s billed as the most beautiful bookstore in the world. Though I have also read that Livraria Lello in Porto, Portugal (which we did not see while there! more’s the pity) is also quite beautiful. At any rate, El Ateneo Grand Splendid is indeed quite splendid. It used to be a theatre. There is a cafe where the stage is. The box seats, logges (?) are still there and a few folks were comfortably settled in reading. The main floor has been leveled for housing books. There are several floors, the uppermost displaying some art work and the lowest level reserved for juveniles. I bought a book by Claudia Piñeiro, a native of BA. The cover caught my eye and I wanted a book by a female. I read the back cover and determined that this was the book for me. For one thing, it is a series of short stories and I figured it would be easier to manage than an entire novel. I’ll let you know if that is truly the case.

El Ateneo Grand Splendid

20190115_155713Notice the men holding up the balcony of the third floor. 20190115_160740

I learned from looking up the world’s most beautiful bookstores that Buenos Aires containes more bookstores per capita than any other city!

I think that a quest to visit each of the 10 most beautiful bookstores throughout the world would be a worthwhile endeavor. Venice, Netherlands, and Santorini – here I come!

We left the bookstore and headed to Growler, a cerveceria comunitaria that we had noticed along the way. Drizzle began to fall. I figured we’d make it there just in time before the deluge. We were trapped there for the better part of 2 hours. Not a bad place to be.


The rain did not cease and we wanted to make it to Pizzeria Guerrín, which we were told was a must. The rain pounded us. The stupid rain jacket got soaked through. My skirt was a sopping mess. But we were warm in our pizza bliss.

The rain stopped for the walk home and we were rewarded with this arco iris.


And with that, I bid you  sweet dreams. May you find your metaphorical pot of gold.


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