After a leisurely breakfast Sue and I headed to La Boca, a neighborhood I remembered with great fondness from my previous trip to Argentina. Originally La Boca was an immigrant area. People used whatever they could find to build shelter. Given its proximity to the docks, the easiest material to get cheaply was used shipping containers. The corrugated steel was used as siding. Then, they painted the metal with whatever paint they could locate, often in colors too flashy for the most peoples’ taste. The area became known for its colorful buildings.
Over the years La Boca transformed itself into an artists’ enclave, then a tourist attraction and is now a little of both. The vibrant colors remain, as do the artists.
When I was here twenty years ago, I bought a painting that I now have hanging in a prominent place in my living room. It cost me $10. (The framing was significantly more.) I absolutely love it. I was hoping, but not expecting, to find the same artist. Amazingly, he was there. I still love his work and bought an additional two paintings.
During the earlier visit there were slews of tango dancers performing for tips. This time, probably due to the intense heat, there were no couples dancing. There was, however, one intrepid dancer beseeching passersby to pose with him for a photograph. He got no takers, but watching him was a hoot. He had a good sense of humor and a lot of panache.
We returned to the hotel and collected our luggage. In a taxi with a driver who liked breakneck speed and switching lanes with abandon, we quickly arrived at the cruise terminal. The process was smooth and simple. In no time at all we were in our cabin. After the mandatory safety drill, we pulled away from Buenos Aires, which was glowing in the setting sun.