Dance the tango, eyeball Kahlo or drink with models in Buenos Aires, an international city with New York-style insomnia, especially on weekends.
Begin at 2 p.m. with arts group Juanele’s four-hour San Telmo Art Walk, which includes works by Os Gemeos, Jazz, Pum-Pum and Poeta. The street art demonstrates, “the immense liberty” artists have in the city, says Claire Sadeghzadeh, Juanele’s director of events and public relations.
Information: +54-9-11-3120-9255; http://www.juanele.me.
For dinner try Prodeo Lounge, opened in mid-2010 by New Jersey native Michael Abridello. The sleek industrial-gray interior has a lighted glass-block pathway set along a carp pond leading to white-leather booths, an outdoor poolside dining patio and a lofty atrium.
Dutch chef Jeroen Van den Bos offers grilled bass on soba noodles flavored with leeks, sesame and peanuts, along with pineapple, cilantro and jalapeno salsa, a playful combination of sweet and savory.
Prodeo Lounge is at Gorriti 5374. Information: +54-11-4831- 4471; http://www.prodeolounge.com.
The beautiful people ruminate at an attractive watering hole called Milion that sprawls through a French neoclassical mansion in the city’s downtown Recoleta area. Glamorous young Argentines throng the marble bar, lounge on couches and ottomans or loiter along the back staircase into the garden.
“The women are beautiful, and the crowd is young,” says designer Ariel Estanga with admirable succinctness.
Milion is at Parana 1048. Information: +54-11-4815-9925; http://www.milion.com.ar.
Save some energy for Salon Canning, a milonga, or tango dance hall, where real Argentines engage in that terpsichorean aphrodisiac. Locals say Friday nights are best, drawing fashionable young people enthusiastic about the dance.
Salon Canning is at Scalabrini Ortiz 1331. Information: +54-11-4832-6753; http://www.parakultural.com.ar); La Viruta is at Armenia 1366. +54-11-4774-6357.
The Museo de Arte Latino Americano de Buenos Aires, known as the Malba, features Frida Kahlo, Fernando Botero and other Latin artists in its permanent collection.
Running through Feb. 7 is a 30-year retrospective of Argentine conceptual artist Marta Minujin, who worked in painting, photography and other mediums. Part of the exhibition, the museum’s television lounge offers mattresses for the foot- weary. The cafe is excellent.
Malba is at Av. Figueroa Alcorta 3415. Information: +54-11- 4808-6500; http://www.malba.org.ar.
Argentine chef German Martetegui presides at Casa Cruz, where massive polished brass doors open into a clubby red-and- gold space. The food is a mix of Mediterranean and native Latin American influences, like grilled octopus with a corn cake and tomato compote, or veal sweetbreads with caramelized shallots and pear confit.
Casa Cruz is at Uriarte 1658. Information: +54-11-4833- 1112; http://www.casacruz-restaurant.com.
Next door is Bar Isabel, where models go to drink. The narrow space mixes veneered rosewood nightclub tables with dim orange bulbs glowing in white space-age domes sprouting from the ceiling. Ornella Bollati, from the Dotto modeling agency, said Bar Isabel is “a cool place. We went there a lot, even one of our most important models, Florencia Gomez Cordoba used to work there.” Bar Isabel is at 1664 Uriarte. Information: +54-11- 4834-6969.
In the very early hours, say 2 a.m., head out to Crobar, under the train arches near Bosques de Palermo. (Call ahead or use Facebook for guest lists and VIP tables.) It’s easy to lose yourself in the music with 3,000 others moving under the DJ pulpit, graced at one time by Dutch sensation Armin van Buuren.
Bring sunglasses: No one starts trickling out until 5 a.m. Crobar is at Marcelo Freyre at Paseo de la Infanta. Information: +54-1-4778-1500; http://www.crobar.com.ar.
The San Telmo antiques fair, a Sunday tradition, has evolved from a few stalls in Plaza Dorrego to an outdoor festival.
You’ll find tango dancers like Pedro Benavente, better known as El Indio, the city’s most famous street dancer, as well as flirtatious locals who like to hit on the tourists. Information: http://www.feriadesantelmo.com.
Have a late lunch at Plaza Dorrego Bar, overlooking the excitement. It’s called a bar y cafe notable, a restaurant whose historic atmosphere is protected by law. Located at Calle Defensa 1098. Information: +54-11-4361-0141.
“Statues that accompany the tombs form an incredible gallery of art under an open sky in this city of the dead,” says Gabriel Miremont, curator of the Museo Evita. Visitors can see, “angels and figures, crying maidens, soldiers of bronze, crosses and eternal flowers, accompanying the silence of the inhabitants of Recoleta,” he adds.
It’s a tranquil way to spend the last hours of your chaotic Buenos Aires weekend, before heading to the airport and home.
Cementario Recoleta is at Junin 1790. Information: +54-11- 4804-7040. Museo Evita is located at Lafinur 2988. +54-11-4807- 0306; http://www.museoevita.org.
(Michael Luongo writes on travel for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are his own.)
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