I’d heard about Buenos Aires in the spring, but I was apprehensive about the winter. I packed my bags like I was getting ready to go snowboarding. Jackets, thermals and beanies. It being July and the off-season, the city was left to be explored at my leisure.
Prices for lodgings were lower and the streams of tourists were navigable, leaving me free to wander Plaza De Mayo during business hours as pigeons, businessmen and workers all rushed through the park and onto surrounding streets.
Walking back from the Sunday morning flea market in the San Telmo neighborhood, where I haggled a vendor to sell me a handcrafted wooden mate cup and metal straw for five dollars, I was suddenly caught up in the Spanish Civil War. Several blocks from the market, a movie was being filmed: Red flags, fascist goons, sand bags and Model Ts decorated the Parisian-inspired architecture. I watched as actors ran, simulating an air raid, culminating with a large explosion that spread dirt down the block.
I ended my day at a café on Avenida Independencia eating a juicy steak for five dollars and listening to the crooning of Carlos Gardel on the radio. I think Porteños have an expression for this – che baludo!