Months ago I pitched a story on Buenos Aires to Chow.com. The good news: They loved the idea! The bad news: Someone had beaten me to the punch; they already had a Buenos Aires piece in the works.
Not what I wanted to hear.
In an act of semi-desperation — or consummate pluck, depending on how charitable you're feeling — I even followed up a few weeks back with an editor there: "Say, are you guys still doing that Buenos Aires piece? 'Cause if it fell through, I'm totally available!"
Their Buenos Aires article hadn't fallen through and now the package is finally up on the web site.
The concept is that visitors should move beyond the tourist-saturated Palermo neighborhood and focus on San Telmo.
I don't know if I can go along with the idea that visiting San Telmo is likely to make you feel like you're mingling with locals — it's pretty far along the same path of gentrification (and tourism) that Palermo has followed. But I do like the idea of exploring the city's neighborhoods. And San Telmo is a great neighborhood, with just enough tourism to be traveler-friendly without being completely overwhelmed. That is, if you get here today. At this rate, it could be played out by tomorrow.
The Chow piece starts off like this:
Beautiful, decrepit, hedonistic, and temperate. Buenos Aires is a city of charming contradictions. You’ve heard about the steak and the Malbec, but you can also get arguably the best Italian food outside of Italy, and the world’s best gelato.
I probably would have written something similar.
Reading that made me remember the biggest reason I started this blog: People kept asking me what Buenos Aires was like and I never had a good answer. If you've been here or have been reading any blog about Buenos Aires, you'll recognize that's because it's a mix of the familiar and the foreign, full of contradictions and extremes.
So I don't envy anyone the task of writing a paragraph that purports to summarize Buenos Aires.
One hundred seventy-five posts on this blog and I don't think I'm any further along in that goal than when I started.