Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Buenos Aires takes a Nap while its Plazas Party

The Capital sleeps while its plazas come to life every weekend.

I visited Parque Centenario for the first time, and even though the park was not the same I frequently visit, the scenario was still the same: girls sunbathing, groups of friends dirking mate, circles of boys playing guitar, and clowns performing in between the people (sometimes entertaining, while others disturbing).

A couple of years ago, the government of Buenos Aires began to renovate the park to transform it into a welcoming place for family recreation.

The first stage of the renovation, already visible, began with the reconstruction and restoration of the lake’s section and its surrounding area. While the second stage, still in process, comprehends the periphery of the park, surrounded by the following avenues: Antártica Argentina, Ángel Gallardo, Díaz Vélez and Leopoldo Marechal, limiting the neighborhoods of Caballito, Almagro and Villa Crespo.

According to the government's webpage, “The job was adjudged to Teximco S.A. for $15.867.770,34 (pesos).” The project was previewed that the restoration would be ready in 2006. However, there are sections of the park that have not been renovated yet, The question is, why is it taking so long?

Around Parque Centenario you can also find many other attractions like the famous fair of used books, and the artisans fair (a bizarre combination of San Telmo, Recoleta and El Rastro of Madrid: you have people selling empty perfume bottles, used toys, used clothing, DVDs, old CDs and cassettes.... A giant garage sale!

Around the plaza, you can also find the Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales Bernardino Rivadavia, the Hospital Oncológico Marie Curie, the Fundación Instituto Leloir (scientific research institute), and the Asociación Argentina Amigos de la Astronomía, among others.

Visit the plaza during the weekend to se how different groups of people go to the park when the city takes a nap.