The sidewalks of Buenos Aires are a mismatched collection of stone blocks and thick tiles.
The most common are these medium size square blocks with the raised ridges. More upscale apartment buildings and stores will maintain a polished marble or glossy high end look. Some sidewalks can be in rough shape and unmaintained if a storefront is vacant, with small chips eventually spreading, cracking entirely and creating big pockmarks in the sidewalks. Very few are gray concrete slabs. The variety is quite amazing, and some edifices and institutions like churches will have very unique and ornate designs extending to the street.
When the day starts at 5am, (or when the night is ending for others,) you’ll see building managers and shopkeepers hosing down the dust and dirt from their parcels – part of their daily morning routine.
This probably tips the unethical versus ethical side of the scale, but I took this tile from one of the busted up sections along Calle Laprida, between Avenida Santa Fe and Las Heras. It was an undamaged piece teetering into a section of dirt that needed repair, so I decided for the city of Buenos Aires that it would be better utilized as a coaster on my desk at work.
After scrubbing it thoroughly I now have a very unique “recorrido” (souvenir or memory) which has special meaning to me. Hopefully my transgression will be overlooked in light of my love for the city, and appreciation for all the past people who have walked over this small piece of the city.
100 or so more and I could redo my back patio. But I’m sure excess luggage fees would have applied.