After a few days here it is clear that Buenos Aires is the city that rarely sleeps, but also rarely works. The banks are open from 10 am to 3 pm, all stores are closed on Sunday, the day I arrived. Also, people eat dinner at 10 pm and if you are in the mood to go out to a "party", which is how everyone refers to going to a busy club or pub, chances are that the club will be empty until 2 am when people begin to arrive and doesn't clear out until well into the morning hours around 8 am. This has been a transition for people of all cultures as this is widely discussed around the hostel amongst people of many nationallities. This gives a whole new meanning to being a pace car not a race car.
This city reminds me a lot of New York in that it has different barrios, each unique to themselves. I am staying in the center of Buenos Aires, a great launching point to visit all of these surrounding areas. In the last few day, I have visited these barrios and the seperation of classes is clear. In the center of La Boca there are homes, buildings, restaurants, and others, all painted in bright and various colors. There are balconies along the buildings where life size statues of Argentine people stand. I will have to post pictures to describe this as a picture speaks so much more than words. Outside of La Boca we were told to stay away from because its not necessarily the safest place for tourists which became obivous to us as we reached the end of the town. So we turned around and returned to the bus stop to head back making some stops along the way. Out of all of the barrios that I have seen, my favorite has been Recoleta. It is a place of old money in that this neighborhood blossomed during a period of a prosperous economy, and its development was highly influenced by Europeans which was clead by the architecture. Beautiful statues, fountains, parks, and palaces were scattered through out this neighborhood. Pretty awesome.
Beyond the barrios, the people are great as well, inside the hostel and outside as well. All the travelers have been great. I have met so many open and interesting people. I have been hanging out with a couple of Irish lads quite a bit, both named James, but have met people from Switzerland, Germany, Isreal, France, Canada, England, Australia, and man other countries. Eric was right when he told me that there will be a lot of Australians as they seem to be everywhere. Hanging out with the James' I have picked up on a lot of Irish euphamisms which are fairly entertaining. With the locals when wandering the streets, if directions are ever needed, people are more than happy to help out.
Beyond that, other things that stick out in my mind as unique to Buenos Aires in comparrison to The States include the amount of beef, quality, and its cheapness is awesome. A couple of guys went to dinner the other night where they cut the steak with a spoon, which apparently speaks to its quality... There are a lot of stray dogs which wander the streets but none seem harmful, as a matter of fact, I haven't heard a single one bark. I figure that they are pretty good about finding food though because none of them appear malnurished. Everyone from the hostel went to a drum concert named La Bomba, which was a blast as I will take advantage of any opportunity to dance. We went to a club one night with one of the hostel attendants, in hope that it would be more local people, but it ended up being a bunch of tourists, all of which would sing, at the top of there lungs, the American Top 100 samples played only for about 60-90 seconds each. Wasn't to impressed to say the least, but either was anyone else in the hostel as I found out the following day. Beyond that, the hostel has a beatuiful view from the roof top terrace and...yea. One more night in Buenos Aires and then onto Puerto Madryn via 20 hrs bus ride.