January 14, 2013

San Telmo y La Brigada

Buenos Aires is a great place in which to walk, and many portenos do just that; in parks, in malls, along busy shopping avenues and in the various neighbourhoods that make this such an amazing city.

San Telmo is an older part of BA, home to the city's wealthiest until an epidemic in 1877 sent the rich to higher ground, leaving the area to the poor. Today it has a rundown appearance and remains home to immigrants and poor people. 

It is also home to its famous mercado and street market. The mercado, housed in a large building covering an entire block is part fruit and vegetable stands, part fast food, and a good part: flea market. 

San Telmo is also home to a fair number of anglophone expats from various places around the world. One tends to hear English spoken more readily here, though not necessarily by the shopkeepers. There is a certain element of fun in this neighbourhood and the shopping is much more relaxed than along busy Florida, which I wouldn't recommend to anyone. 
On a nice Sunday afternoon and early evening, when we were here, this neighbourhood buzzes with life, music and  excitement. Crowds, to be sure, but somewhat more relaxed. In some cases. Hey! Isn't that Kevin Falcon from the BC Liberal Party?

And, as often happens, we pause for a moment... to consider la carta, this time at a wonderful parrilla in San Telmo called La Brigada, which we found quite by chance. This place boasts great service, terrific portions of beef, and fantastic surroundings, with guacho and futbol memorabilia throughout its two floors.                                                                                          


And when you've finally finished your two hour lunch, which started at 2:30, and if you are truly nice, you are shown to door and given a gentle hug by your waiter, Jose, who has been with the restaurant for 14 years.

La Brigada was great.

Photos by Jeem. Copyright 2013 by Jim Murray.

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