Buenos Aires: Paris Of The 1920’s?

Friday, May 29, 2009


Having just finished rereading “A Moveable Feast,” it’s enticing to think that there’s a place on Earth right now that may have that same spirit that Paris did for the “Lost Generation,” a time when the French capital was cheap, artist-friendly, and ground zero for ex-pats in pursuit of their creative endeavors. (The best chapter is easily the one where Hemingway muses about an early morning spent wandering the uncrowded streets of the 6th arrondissement; hungry, poor, and completely inspired to write.)

Smithsonian magazine’s cover article this month takes a look at the phenomena that is Buenos Aires in this, the early part of the 21st century. A good Friday afternoon read (you know, it’s summer, don’t pretend like you’re getting anything done at work right now), the author explores how cheap rents, favorable exchange rates, an influx of artists, and a creative spirit is helping to transform BA into this century’s “it” city.

This quote from an American ex-pat pretty much wraps up the allure the “Paris of South America” has for foreigners right now:

“Buenos Aires seems to be a place where people come to figure their lives out,” says Kristie Robinson, 30, who moved to the city more than three years ago from London and founded The Argentimes, a biweekly English-language newspaper. “If you come with some money saved up, you can live comfortably for six months, a year. You can pretend you are in Europe here for a quarter of the cost.”

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