Buenos Aires 4
Nightlife in Buenos Aires gets started very late, and people generally arrive around 1am, and dance until morning. One thing about the culture I noticed when we were out late at night was the absence of complete intoxication. In the U.S. many people simply go out to get drunk, as the primary goal of the evening. It was different and refreshing to see people use alcohol as an addition to their entertainment, not the sole purpose of it. Even though people there drink, they take it a bit slower and enjoy it more. Probably one reason many are able to stay up all night dancing.
Saturday during the day we went downtown to Florida Street, had lunch and walked through Puerto Madero to the Ecological Preserve. Puerto Madero has changed over the past ten years, and like cities in the U.S. it used to be an abandoned port area, but now a modern and trendy area with lofts, restaurants, and recreation. We rented bikes, (which didn’t work that great), and ended up walking them up and down the docks, which now just house small boats, as the large ships dock at newer larger ports to the north. Puerto Madero has some chain restaurants and hotels, and naturally I recommend staying in the older neighborhoods for a true city experience.
On Saturday night Paul took us to watch Tango dancing at La Viruta. Many Tango places in the city are geared towards tourists and have high priced full choreographed shows. La Viruta in Palermo Hollywood is a true authentic Argentine Tango Hall.
The tango dancing is held in a large lower level, and along the sides are tables to sit at and eat and drink. We enjoyed a pizza and Quilmes, Argentin’s beer that’s as good as Pacifico, my other favorite. Soon the dance floor was broken up into three sections for beginners, intermediate, and advanced. We didn’t see the stereotype tango couple dashing through the floor with their arms pointed forward and a rose in the man’s mouth, but we did watch them dance and slowly move in a circular direction. It was great watching the new folks learn the moves, and the pros turn and move their arms and bodies with such skill. You could tell it takes a lot of talent, and it was a wonderful experience watching people gather for dancing, food, and fun.
Frommers had some great things to say about La Viruta.
Since we were taking a day trip to Uruguay the next day we left early (about 1am), and the best line of our trip, and what perfectly sums up Argentine’s night owl tendencies is when Paul said “Well they go on longer but I know you had to get home early”. This made us laugh, as my usual bedtime is 10pm.