Imagine being pleasantly shocked every time you get the bill. The Argentine capital -- a Latin amalgam of Europe's cultural hot spots -- has re-emerged as a global 'It' city, where Tralee Pearce finds oodles of guilt-free food, fun and fashion
By TRALEE PEARCE
Saturday, January 21, 2006 Posted at 1:03 AM EST
From Saturday's Globe and Mail
BUENOS AIRES - When you get invited to a wedding in Buenos Aires, it's easy to say "I do."
Buenos Aires has always been an intriguing city. Jorge Luis Borges lived and wrote here, Evita was loved and lost by the masses, and celebrities and socialites have long made it a chic destination (poor Christina Onassis overdosed here in 1988, but we didn't let that kill our buzz). And because B.A. is a Latin American amalgam of the food, fashion and culture of European cities like Milan and Madrid -- not to mention that it's dead cheap, owing to the crash of the Argentine dollar in 2001 -- the city has reemerged in the new millennium as a sizzling international hot spot.
We arrive on a Tuesday afternoon and head for our borrowed apartment (it belongs to the bride-to-be's Uncle Rudy). It's tucked into what will become our favourite barrio, Palermo Viejo (Old Palermo).
After a reconnaissance trip around the neighbourhood, we hook up with other wedding guests at their breezy, bright apartment (rented through alojargentina.com.ar). Across the street is an Italian restaurant, La Parolaccia, a busy high-end spot where they've made a reservation for all seven of us at the proper B.A. dinner hour of 10 p.m.
We decide to visit Eva Peron in her final resting place: the La Recoleta Cemetery, which dates back to 1822. We travel across the city to the Recoleta barrio in a Radio Taxi and, like the other throngs of people seeking out perhaps the nation's most famous historical figure, we enter the maze of mausoleums armed only with a map.
It's easy to imagine that Evita and the others interred here have been reincarnated as the army of stray cats that prowl around. We watch one feline not so much jump as creepily levitate onto a stone ledge, and decide we should leave well before dusk.
Pack your bags
Most flights from Canadian cities to Buenos Aires connect in the U.S. Prices start at around $1,000.
WHERE TO STAY
Alojargentina Lodging and Services: 54 (11) 5219 0606; http://www.alojargentina.com.ar. Books apartments for visitors. A one-bedroom flat in the Palermo district, for example, costs about $320 a week.
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