Sunday, March 6, 2011

Travel Photo of the Day: Street Performers, Buenos Aires, Argentina

The Buenos Aires neighborhood of San Telmo is the place to be on Sundays when the cobblestoned streets fill with locals and visitors who come to shop the stalls of the antique market (Feria de Antigüedades) held there every weekend. Aside from antiques, vendors hawk everything from handmade jewelry to brightly colored clothing to squawking chicken puppets. Food vendors sell homemade empanadas, freshly squeezed orange juice and warm, candied peanuts. On every corner, groups of artists, performers, dancers and musicians attract huge crowds and provide entertainment for the shoppers and strollers. This couple is a fixture in San Telmo, appearing almost every week in starched and wired clothing and a damaged umbrella that appears to be windblown. 

San Telmo is the city's oldest neighborhood and the reputed birthplace of the tango. The area is filled with cafes, historical sites, tango venues, antique shops, artists' workshops and old churches. Originally home to the city's aristocratic familes, the "barrio" became home to immigrant dockworkers and brickmakers in the 17th century, when the wealthy residents fled the area during the yellow fever epidemic of 1871. The neighborhood eventually evolved  into a bohemian artist colony in the 1950s and today retains much of that character, although the area is becoming increasingly gentrified and expensive.         

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