Sunday, March 18, 2007

Where train tracks divide Hollywood and Soho

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The sun is rising over the buildings in Parlermo Viejo, Buenos Aires and I've left the house in the old factory district. Juan was the taxi driver who helped me move from the pretty house in Barrio Barracas to a hostel here downtown. I missed the St. Patrick's Day parties - I couldn't wait any longer to move downtown. I'm so happy I did.

There's a wall of windows to my left. I'm up on the third floor sitting on a leather recliner and there are plants and a hammock to my right. I'm alone in a long room with black-tiled floor and bright blue and green walls. I'm facing a unit of connected, burgundy-colored, waiting room chairs kind of H&R Block. It's 7am and everyone is still out at the boliches or sleeping. I just heard a couple getting some after-boliche nookie.

I got here at 3am and chatted with the guy on the hostel night shift - Alfonso from Cartegena. We drank some great wine I got at the grocery store today for about $1.75. We talked about South America and about being a tourist. It's so good to get out of English and into Castellano. The only English I want to do is writing. I have a mound of Spanish to learn.

I went out and wandered around the neighborhood and at 5:30am there was bar after café after club with people sitting out at sidewalk tables. Kids were hanging out in the small central plaza and there were an amazing amount of places to choose from. The streets are full of great looking 20 and 30 somethings out all night. It's like Ibiza meets the Lower East Side plus, unlike New York, the male to female ratio is in my favor.
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The most impressive thing is how well people get along with each other here. They're next-level friendly. I'm in an incredible neighborhood for shops, cafes, and night spots. It's worth the trip just to hang out in this one neighborhood -Palermo Viejo divided into Palermo Hollywood and Palermo Soho. With prices that would put their namesakes at about 1983. Now the sun is up and it looks like it will be a beautiful day.
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