Having visitors tends to mean, among other things of course, that we have an excuse to look for lodging far nicer than we would if it were just the two of us. It’s not that any of our guests have been picky or demanding, but rather that being a group of people in a home is just different from being a couple in a studio. Private space and community space become separate – imagine that! Areas for gathering, chatting, cooking, and enjoying meals are far more necessary, lively, and well-used. We noticed a similar difference while living in North Carolina. Though we enjoyed countless moments just the two of us in our house, there was just something about having friends and family in that space that morphed it into a home. Of course, it would be misleading for me to leave out that naturally, we also look for nicer paces when guests are thinking of joining us on the road because we recognize that it is their vacation, and no matter how many times they say that they really just want to see the locale and spend time with us, we still want them to have a special, nice, and comfortable trip. So where am I going with all of this? Well, we had guests this month, and it means we hit the Buenos Aires apartment jackpot.
Our place is a high-ceilinged Parisian charmer with 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 1 knock-out kitchen, and 4 french doors that grace the wide open living space with warm, bright light and a cool summer breeze. The sounds, smells, and energy of the city flow into and out of our apartment, but the bedrooms are impressively quiet. It’s been a magical month really. Everyday I open the french doors and work from the dining room table, sometimes being drawn to the balcony by hollering, laughter, or my personal favorite, music, on the street. We’ve cooked relatively simply this month, eating lots of pasta and fresh summer veggies, but even so we’ve taken advantage of all kinds of tools and utensils in the kitchen. While the apartment is old and maintains many of its classic features in the flooring, walls, ceiling, trim, windows, etc, it has also been modernized in other ways that make life easy and convenient such as in the kitchen and bathrooms, the splendidly consistent hot water, heat and a/c (that we actually haven’t even used much despite the heat – gotta love that breeze!), good internet, and an overall freshness in the ambiance. The building has five floors with one apartment per level and an old-timey elevator to usher us up and down as desired. It’s just so cool that we’ve taken the elevator in this building far more than anywhere else we’ve lived.
In addition to the beautiful and fabulous apartment itself, the location is simply smashing. Located in the heart of San Telmo, Buenos Aires’ oldest neighborhood, we are just a few blocks from anything we need. The subway is a couple of blocks northwest, the San Telmo Market and Plaza Dorrego just a few blocks east, and grocery stores, produce shops, restaurants, and cafes are plentiful in every direction. Even Plaza de Mayo and Puerto Madero are easily walkable from our place. Perhaps more than the convenience of our location, we love the personality of our barrio. San Telmo is known as the tango neighborhood, a place that held history and industry, followed by poverty and dilapidation, followed by revival and a bohemian vibe. It is still gritty and real, less pristine and polished than the popular Palermo or Recoletta. It also, in my opinion, has loads more personality and life. It is colorful and beautiful. It is full of energy, and it has been the perfect spot for us, the perfect place from which to fall in love with the city.