By Professor Hernan Ronsino
The urban chronicles that are presented below were written in the History and Literature course coordinated by Professor Hernán Ronsino, in the Liberal Arts program of CIEE. They are instants, very personal reflections that stop in some small fragment of the city of Buenos Aires and form a very diverse and enriching mosaic of the complex urban plot.
By Alyssa Martinson
I believe it's important that during a trip, the traveler feels a little bit uncomfortable. The atmosphere is different and strange. The feeling of being comfortable is unknown for a traveler. However, recently I realized that every day I feel a little more comfortable in the area near my house in Buenos Aires. The area that I'm talking about is the block where I live. In one way, the block is my home. The first few days here were uncomfortable, like everything that's new. I didn't know anyone, but little by little I got to know more people. Three months later, I always see at least one person that I know on my block. For example every Monday to Friday, excluding holidays, there is a woman that sells fruit on the block. Without fail, she is always there. Another example is there is always a man that I meet a lot in the elevator. He tells me the same things every time I see him. The things that he repeats are that he has lived in the apartment for a long time. He says that it's really cold outside and that I should be wearing another jacket. Also, there is a doorman in my apartment. He is nice and I see him almost every day. We don't say much to each other. Mostly we just exchange greetings. Anyway, the doorman is someone that I associate with my home here in Buenos Aires. At first, I thought that the people here were cold, but I discovered after months that they are friendly and kind.
By Makayla Eppert
When I visited Puerto Madero for the first time, the look of the neighborhood really surprised me. I felt like this part of the city was very different from the rest and it was obviously more wealthy than the part of the city that I live in. Where I live, there aren't any skyscrapers nor are there views like those in Puerto Madero. Additionally, it seemed as if there was a distinct line between Puerto Madero and the rest of the city. There, in Puerto Madero, it's much more clean, the buildings are more modern, and there are fewer poor people living in the street. It seemed like a completely different city than the one I was living in. In this part of Buenos Aires, life moves very quickly. There are a lot of people from all parts of the city that work near Puerto Madero so there are always people waiting for a bus or a subway to leave this area. However, there are a lot of fun things to do as well here. There ́s the ecological reserve where you can go to rest and escape the noise and bustle of the city. Additionally, there are a lot of parks, restaurants, and museums there. Here, there's a healthy mix of cityscape and nature: something that is very different from the rest of Buenos Aires. In the ecological reserve, there ́s wildlife and a forest. Also, Puerto Madero is located on the shore of the river so it has a beautiful view of nature.
By Michaela Davies
Plaza Monseñor Miguel de Andrea, also known as Plaza de Los Galgos, is a place to spend time, run, walk with dogs, and relax. I’ve never seen a negative interaction between people in this park. I always hang out here with friends and in general, Buenos Aires has been a really friendly city. Sometimes people without homes sleep here during the day, but at night they are asked to move because the park is closed. However, there are never conflicts or problems in this plaza.
With a general desire to promote well being, this park aims to be mindful of nature. For example, there are stations that are funded by the city to throw recyclables such as bottles, glasses, and plastics. In this station there is always an employee that is available to offer information about recycling and about the resources offered at the stations. However, the air pollution in Buenos Aires is pretty bad in this area and in general because of the amount of buses and cares that pass through. When running, at times it is difficult to breath because of the level of emission gases in the air. But this is a negative aspect of most all cities in general.
I chose this plaza to write about because I think it is a good representation of how the plazas are in Buenos Aires: fun, friendly, and welcoming. This plaza is special to me because it’s where I most often spend time with friends and the majority of time outside of class.
P.S. There is an amazing Venezuelan arepa place across the street called Bistro Caribe that you have to grab lunch out if you ever go!
By Jack Stein
The balcony is located on Las Heras Avenue, less than a block from the botanical garden in Palermo. It’s a beautiful oasis with plants covering the railings, providing a feeling of home and welcoming me every morning. The cold stones below my feet help to wake me up, and I feel the cool wind pass along my face. I take a sip of coffee, and I can now see the full beauty the surrounds me. I love it all. The sound of the cars and busses on the streets below, the sun rising over the horizon, and the beautiful park stretching for blocks and blocks. I see my host mom inside working on her computer while my host sister gets ready to head to school. My host brother won’t wake up for another couple of hours. I feel like part of the family in a way, with my own routines and priorities that fit in with the others. Everything is in order.