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What city is the world’s street art capital?

 

What would one classify street art in Argentina as? Modern Art or 20th Century Latino Art? There’s a different museum to visit based on the answer to this question.

If street art is modern art then in keeping with our theme one needs to visit the Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires, AKA MAMBA. The museum is nestled in another trendy district of the city called San Telmo.

If street are is 20th Century Latino art, then in keeping with our theme we must visit Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, also known as MALBA. Its collection features the works of illustrious artists familiar to most of us, such as Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Antonio Berni.

Since street art has continued into the 21st century, we choose MAMBA over MALBA, hence we will show you a clip from the Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires.

Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires, MAMBA, Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, MALBA, Latino art, Modern art

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Eva Peron from Don't Cry for Me Argentina - Madonna

“Answer violence with violence. If one of us falls today, five of them must fall tomorrow.”

Of the 8 billion people on this planet, a poll will most likely result in either Diego Maradona or Lionel Messi being chosen by the masses as the Argentinian they know. They are beyond famous footballers, with Messi often considered the best of all time. Third on the list though has to be Eva Perón, or as the world and Argentinians know her, Evita. How many political figures, let alone female political figures, can claim to be the object of grand musicals, stage productions, and movies outside of their own countries, who are not from the world’s 5 wealthiest nations? Not many. She even has a museum dedicated to her life in Buenos Aires.

Eva Perón was born into poverty and rose to become an actress before marrying Juan Perón, who would later become the President of Argentina. Her life story of overcoming adversity resonated with many Argentines, and she used her position to advocate for labor rights, women’s suffrage, and social welfare. Evita was instrumental in passing the women’s suffrage law in Argentina in 1947. She also established the Eva Perón Foundation, which provided scholarships and built homes, hospitals, and other social benefits for the poor. This made her a beloved figure among the working class and the poor.

Unfortunately, a young and early death is sometimes the trigger to get everyone to remember you as history and the media tend to celebrate those people who burn out brightly, over those that rust away. In 1952, she died of cancer at the horribly young age of 33, having performed all of her great deeds in the mere 6 years that she was the First Lady of Argentina. However, Eva Perón was also a controversial figure. Her critics accused her of being authoritarian, promoting violence and fanaticism to enact change while her lavish lifestyle brought about by capitalism was seen as hypocritical given her anti-capitalistic rhetoric. Despite these criticisms, there’s no denying that Eva Perón was a unique and influential figure in Argentine history. It doesn’t take perfection to make a difference.

However, this also begs the following question: Why is it that a poor person who gives their last bit of time or their last dime to help out another individual, is not celebrated while those who give a small fraction of their immense wealth and time are? Is it more important to touch one person’s life or the lives of many? For all the anti-capitalist rhetoric out there, the majority of people only support or respect those with money, and Eva, although a humanitarian, is a prime example. This author doesn’t have the answers and as such we celebrate her life, in this song, as it should be.

Eva Perón, Evita, Juan Perón

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Andrés Calamaro - Flaca

"For me the past does not exist, it is cruel."

What nicer words to get rammed into one’s brain?  How much of our unhappiness is driven by not letting go of the past? How does a celebrity constantly reminded of past mistakes in Social Media and all media for that matter deal with this? I’m sure we would all like to know those secrets.

Calamaro started his music career at a young age. He joined his first band, Raíces, when he was only 17 years old. However, he gained significant recognition as a member of the rock band Los Rodríguez in the 1990s. The band was very popular in Spain and Argentina, and their album ‘Sin Documentos’ is considered a classic of 90s Spanish rock. Sure we mention him as a rock icon, but that’s because he fits no genre, as his songs vary from pop to reggae, to flamenco and even Argentine folk music. Of course, the musical gift of Tango that Argentina gifted the world is also incorporated into his music.

Calamaro is also a prolific songwriter, as he holds the Guinness World Record for releasing the most songs in a single day. In 2010, he released a digital album titled ‘On the Rock’ which contained a staggering 208 songs. Think about it, if on that day he didn’t sleep that meant he wrote, recorded, and uploaded a song roughly every 8 minutes. That kind of compulsion though is indicative of another issue that a driven person can become prone to if not careful, addiction, and yes this artist did struggle with substance abuse, early on in his life.

His music can be sampled here. While in Buenos Aires, make sure to drop by Makena Cantina Club. Each night, they host a variety of music genres from Reggae to Rock, providing a new musical experience every time.  The Niceto Club in Palermo is great for the alternative scene, but when in Rome… (I.e Argentina) we must Tango at ‘Tango Porteño’ and enjoy local musical genres that have permeated the world.

Andrés Calamaro,  Niceto Club, Palermo, Tango Porteño

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"Soccer is a sport for moms afraid of their children getting hurt"

Upon writing these articles, I try hard to find some local celebrities who may not be recognized outside of their home countries. But then realized that If I didn’t write about Maradona or Messi, whoever decides to read this article who lives in Argentina would never forgive me. Unfortunately, who can I, a mere mortal whose football knowledge expands to 3 more players outside of these two, expand on the volumes of books and media already created about them? Hence I’ve compiled a video of goals by both Maradona and Messi which look cool enough, and will change the minds of anyone with the above stereotype. Hopefully, this will appease Argentina and fans there can agree with my goal selection, and of course, we all know which goal the video starts with. 

Diego Maradona, Lionel Messi

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Though we usually favor small towns and pristine nature here at Couch Potato Travel, we’re shifting gears. We’re seeking a peaceful, untouched natural spot in Buenos Aires. This retreat serves as a refreshing break from urban explorations. We’ve handpicked the following four choices:

  • Renowned as Bosques de Palermo or Parque Tres de Febrero, this city park is the largest green space in Buenos Aires. It’s beautifully adorned with a rose garden, multiple lakes, and even a planetarium.
  • Parque Lezama, in the historic San Telmo district, is famous for its appealing green spaces and role in Argentine history, reputedly the founding site of Buenos Aires.
  • Make sure to visit the Jardín Botánico Carlos Thays when you’re in Palermo visiting the street art and enjoying a relaxing drink. This botanical paradise boasts about 5,000 plants from worldwide origins, fascinating greenhouses, and a mesmerizing butterfly garden.
  • Finally, consider a visit to Parque Centenario. Situated in the Caballito neighborhood, this local favorite is home to a vast pond, an arena, and the Bernardino Rivadavia Natural Sciences Museum. These parks are more than just leisure spots – they’re cultural hubs where residents and tourists can enjoy events and art exhibitions.

In the end, we picked grandeur, as a means to balance the simple attractions that we’ve pointed the reader to earlier. Hence we are visiting Parque Tres de Febrero.

Bosques de Palermo or Parque Tres de Febrero, Parque Lezama, San Telmo, Jardín Botánico Carlos Thays, Parque Centenario, Caballito, Bernardino Rivadavia Natural Sciences Museum

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Buenos Aires boasts the worlds first funded street art program

Street art on the global scene has always been on the edge of illegal, with corporate sponsorship providing funds for some legal street art. In Buenos Aires, however, the city decided to fund street art from city pockets, the first to do so in 1997 to revitalize urban decay. The results of the ‘Urban Colors’ program are pretty darn good, with several street art festivals and tours sprouting from various corners of the city such as this tour. The local scene has even adopted a name for its unique street art called Fileteado.

Urban colors, fileteado

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modern statue Buenos Aires

It’s funner to venture into the unknown, without a guide so that one can discover that crown jewel that travel sites and guides won’t or don’t know to show you. However, how many of us have been bitten by crime aimed at tourists and have since decided to shy away from walking around, random unknown streets in random unknown neighborhoods? A large city is a large city no matter how safe locals tell you it is. So for the once-bitten, twice-shy crowd who still want the thrill of visiting random unknown areas, here’s a private tour for you.

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In North America they’re called hot pockets, in Italy they have Calzones, but in Argentina, they have Empanadas, the wonderful comfort food perfect for street vendors, available in many major cities worldwide. They’re essentially pastry pockets that are either baked or fried and filled with all sorts of stuff not found in a Calzone or hot pocket. Each one is brimming with a distinct, delicious flavor.  Not, based near a large city? No problem. We have a home recipe for empanadas to bring this international delight into your kitchen.

Empanada

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Select Latin America(Evita), Journal of feminism and Gender studies(Evita), Journal of the Royal Anthropolical Institute(Evita), Sage journals(Evita), National Library of Serbia(Evita), Life Persona(Andrés Calamaro)

All images are AI-generated using Fotor and are meant to describe the subject matter they portray figuratively, not factually.

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