Thursday, July 30, 2009

Best of Never Before Seen

I'm leaving Buenos Aires for good this weekend and I thought I would post a few best of shots that I hadn't shown on the site before. I don't think any of these images besides the flower explicitly reminds me of Buenos Aires and that is perhaps the point.

The city itself really could be anywhere in my mind. Having spent six months here, I have concluded that the urban area as a whole does not really have any outstanding or unique characteristics. That is not to say that the people or traditions of the city are not unique, only that the actual physical landscape leaves something to be desired.

Long called the 'Paris of South America', Buenos Aires truly seems like a city trying to join Europe and falling just short in the process. The beautiful buildings of Argentina's golden age smack of European elegance and lofty global aspirations, while the buildings of today's trendy neighborhoods are cookie-cutter and thoroughly uninteresting. I have often wondered where the homegrown style was, where the recognition of an inherent aesthetic came into its own and I haven't found a compelling answer.

Perhaps this is only natural in a country where the vast majority of the population traces its lineage to Europe. Perhaps this is natural in a city that has experienced massive waves of immigration and intermittent periods of ruinous financial speculation and collapse. Buenos Aires is undoubtedly a melting pot, but one that has not formed a dominant, coherent perspective of its own. After all, when you take the nickname as the closest approximation of a famous city on another continent, how can you develop your own style?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'll miss your photos of BA but look forward to your impressions of the next stop on your personal journey.