The growing tourist industry in
combination with the savvy twenty-first century traveler has guaranteed
the success of weekly open air markets in Buenos Aires.
Tourists scour the markets weekly in search of something truly
Argentine. Curiously enough, I strongly don’t think that any of these
tourists are really experiencing Argentina or Buenos Aires
while scouring the markets instead of looking beyond them. Regardless,
if you are searching for something made by Argentine hands or are
feeling homesick for English (pick your accent, Australian seems to be
quite popular), head to San Telmo’s Plaza Dorrego, La Boca’s El
Caminito, Palermo’s Plaza Serrano, Recoleta’s Plaza Alvearz (SP?) or
simply head to Florida Street on a Saturday or Sunday and follow one of
the many bewildered wanderers and while they wave their city guide and
map as a flag you are guaranteed to easily pick them out in a crowd. Be
wary though that you too may be followed, not by a fellow tourist, but
by an Argentine salesman drawn to you like moths to the flame hoping to
convince you to pull just “uno peso, one coin” from your (more than
likely) freshly purchased Argentine leather purse.
varying in slight degrees, all of the markets in Buenos Aires contain
very similar affair�"leather products, knit shawls, scarves and
ponchos, mate supplies, and necklaces made of the national stone (can
anyone tell me what the national stone of America is?). You can smell a
market a block away because the garrapinada salesmen pace themselves at
every street corner in the vicinity of a market, selling their
delicious little sweet peanuts in plastic tubes.
not easy being an artisan no matter where it is you live, so it is your
great fortune if you happen to stumble upon an artist and are their
first customer of the day. You will never see a bigger smile anywhere.
Don’t ever forfeit the opportunity to talk with the seller of wares,
even if your intent is not in purchasing. They are fascinating people
with intriguing stories to tell. All in all, despite their attraction of foreign tourists, the Market experience is one worth having in Buenos Aires.
My last piece of advice is to wear headphones and bring some music so
you can watch the world pass by at a new pace, take a step back from
the exchanging of pesos, and avoid all of the salesmen as you appear to
have a destination and are therefore unapproachable, and better off for