I was thinking today of Buenos Aires, especially that colorful—but fetching—tourist trap known as La Boca with its short Caminito, a diagonal street about a block long. La Boca (“The Mouth”) was literally the mouth of the now polluted Ria Chuelo. It was also the center of life for the thousands of Italian immigrants who found their way to Argentina between the 1870s and the early 1900s. At one point, the residents declared their independence of their new homeland and raised the flag of Genoa. But President Julio Argentino Roca personally ripped it down.
The bright colors originally were marine paints left over from the shipping that docked here. The neighborhood has an edgy blue collar vibe that finds its center in the soccer football stadium known as La Bombonera (“The Chocolate Box”), home of the Boca Juniors, one of Buenos Aires’s premier football teams.
In 2011, Martine and I took a hop-on, hop-off bus tour of BA that included La Boca, where we stopped for a couple of hours to take pictures and take in all the tacky souvenirs.
Because it is so far distant from the United States, not many Americans find their way 6,000 miles south to Argentina. In our case, we went even farther south, all the way to Tierra Del Fuego and the southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia.
I would dearly love to go back there some time and see some of the places we missed. And I’d even like to hang around La Boca some more.