Argentina, Summer 2016

Argentina, Summer 2016

My wife’s family lives in Buenos Aires, and we try to visit every year.

After spending time with family and friends, the second best thing about visiting the country is the food.

As anyone who lives or has visited there would likely agree, the food is fantastic. Not only the beef for which the country is most famous….

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But much more.  The Italian food in particular is excellent.

Many people outside the country are surprised to learn that over half the Argentine population is of Italian descent.

It’s less surprising if you think of the family names of famous Argentines … Messi, Maradona, Bergoglio (a.k.a., Pope Francis) Ginobili, Del Potro. To put it in perspective, more Italians emigrated to Argentina than to the much larger U.S. (total population 318 million vs. 41 million).

One result — pasta shops where you take out freshly made pasta and sauces to heat at home.

Or, in many cases, just call up and they’ll motorcycle your order to your door.

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You can get all types of food directly from vendors this way. The best is moto delivery ice cream:

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Butcher shop delivery:

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Although the desserts have a way of calling you into the shops:

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Moving on from food, here’s public art we found in San Antonio de Areco:

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Buenos Aires….

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July = winter

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If you’re interested, I previously posted photos from past trips to Argentina here:

Candy From Trees

Buenos Aires, 2015

Writing this has made me hungry for a snack…

Buenos Aires, July 2015

Buenos Aires, July 2015

After half a year without a post, I’m back at the keyboard.

Where was I? Mainly in Los Angeles, adjusting to a new job and also busy at home with my family.

Luckily family time also included a recent trip to Argentina. As mentioned in an older post, we try to go as often as possible to visit family and friends.

After the last trip I posted a handful of photos, including a few examples of Buenos Aires’ colorful street art.

This time I’d like to share more photos — an attempt to capture a tiny glimpse of the aesthetics of the neighborhoods we visited (mainly Belgrano, Palermo and Barrio Norte).

Hope you enjoy them — and please share any comments or feedback, including about your own experiences there.

 

I wish everyone reading this post a great summer (or winter, for my Argentine and other southern hemisphere friends).

More posts to come…. in less than half a year’s time.

Buenos Aires

TripAdvisor logo decal in window of Buenos Aires panaderia (bakery)

I recently returned from Buenos Aires. We try to go every year to spend time with my wife’s family; however, we didn’t make the trip in 2012 so it’d been two years since our last visit.

Like all vibrant cities, a lot can change in a couple years. Some of the changes I noticed included less people smoking in public places and the existence of more bicycle lanes along the edge of city streets.

I’d have called both of these “healthy changes” if I weren’t so skeptical about the safety of biking in such close proximity to Buenos Aires drivers.

Another noticeable change is the expansion of Starbucks in the city. That one can see Argentines in these shops is a testament to the power of Starbucks’ brand and “place making,” as Buenos Aires is definitely not a city in need of help on the coffee front. Fantastic, more-reasonably-priced coffee is available all over the place.

I also observed two changes related to digital marketing.

First, and not surprising given worldwide trends, is how widespread mobile Internet usage has become. (Including by my 60-something in-laws who now regularly use their phones to access information on the go).

Close-up of TripAdvisor and other decalsSecond, unlike two years ago, I saw TripAdvisor decals in the front windows of many hotels and restaurants.

The decals are a tangible reflection of TripAdvisor’s rapidly growing popularity around the world.

I saw most of the TripAdvisor decals while walking around Palermo, a neighborhood that’s very popular with international tourists. So the decals may foremost be valued as a way to generate business from North American and British tourists.

But even if that’s indeed the main motivation for Argentine venue managers to post TripAdvisor logo decals today, the decals themselves also serve as great brand-awareness and brand-prestige builders for the local audience. Palermo is full of high-end stores and restaurants and is popular with many locals as a fun place to eat, drink and hangout. TripAdvisor has the good fortune of having its brand name and distinctive logo visible on numerous storefronts in a fashionable neighborhood

TripAdvisor has been on a tear — gaining market share in countries around the world and seeing its stock price increase over 45% year to date. In Buenos Aires its growth is openly noticeable, like the spread of Starbucks. But unlike Starbucks, the TripAdvisor brand name is being posted by others, rent-free.