Stroll Up the Avenue

2008.Dec.18 Thursday · 1 comment

in Life

“We would drive up the Avenue, but we haven’t got the price
We would skate up the Avenue, but there isn’t any ice
We would ride on a bicycle, but we haven’t got a bike
So we’ll walk up the Avenue
Yes, we’ll walk up the Avenue
And to walk up the Avenue’s what we like”

– Judy Garland, lyrics from A Couple of Swells

Buenos Aires – When we left off on walking on the last post, we’d made it to the plaza around the Obelisco as we meandered Av. 9 de Julio. There’s really no more to be said about the avenue itself that I didn’t say in that post, other than to note that as one moves further south and away from the downtown area, the street becomes more a mix of residential and commercial, lower height buildings, and the traffic islands tend to be greener and with less in the way of benches, paved pathways, etc…. On to the photos.

Banco Ciudad facade

This is the new facade of the Banco Ciudad buidlings – I’m not sure what it’s supposed to represent, but several of them have been redone this way around the city. Certainly colorful!

Club Espanol

The dome of the Club Español…

The Spanish Club occupies an imposing, even dramatic, building that is part Moorish in inspiration, part Antonio Gaudí, with inset tiles, elaborate friezes and ironwork, and an imbricated cupola, atop which stands a bronze classical figure who wears wings and holds out a laurel wreath. At first sight, the combination is too much, too eclectic, yet somehow, in a summer setting amid blossoming jacarandas along one of the city’s busiest thoroughfares, the edifice has great charm. Designed by a Dutch architect in 1907, it is a fair example of Buenos Aires’s genuine cosmopolitanism.

– Norman Thomas di Giovanni

Fountain at Av. Rivadavia

I haven’t found out any information about this fountain in particular – there are lots of notes on the fountain at Córdoba, which I covered in the last post, but this one, near to Av. Rivadavia, with four cherubs holding up the basin – no one’s talking about… any help?

Don Quijote statue

At the corner of Av. de Mayo is this odd looking statue of Don Quijote – sort of riding out of a cloud or a rock or a something, clearly in battle – I suppose it’s meant to be one of his fantasy battles and the whole cloud thing is to give it a dream-like quality. Who knows? The statue was a gift from Queen Sofia of Spain when it was installed in 1980, commemorating 400 years since the founding of Buenos Aires.

Ministry of Public Works

I’m about to destroy an illusion… you know that famous “don’t cry for me” speech? The one that in the movie, the play, etc. is always pictured on the balcony of the Casa Rosada? Didn’t happen there. Oh sure, there are photos of Evita giving speeches from that balcony, but not that famous one. Nope, it happened here, at the Ministry of Public Works, one of the uglier towers in the city, and planted smack dab in the middle of traffic at the corner of Moreno. The state television and radio services were based out of here, so it was the ideal spot for her broadcast…

Ministry of Public Works

…and she stood right there at the railing on the second floor above the doorway, giving her speech to the multitudes who blocked off Av. 9 de Julio for the day. Not quite so picturesque, is it?

Luis Jorge Fontana monument

He looks very formal and military, and there’s no question I was at least slightly distracted by the three shirtless boys to the side. However, the plaque on the statue reads, more or less translated as: In Tribute: The Association of Residents of Formosa to Luis Jorge Fontana, the founder of Formosa. Commander Luis Jorge Fontana returns in 2002 on the 156th anniversary of his birth, April 19 1846. Formosa, by the way, is not the island off the coast of China in this case, but one of the northeastern provinces of Argentina.


Nothing I can tell you about this one other than he’s in military dress, missing his nose, and also both plaques that were at one time flanking the pedestal, which is, itself, crumbling.


Another very officious chap – with a flag clasped in his left hand and his right foot crushing a crown on the ground – presumeably some sort of anti-monarchy independence sort against King Fernando VII.



A little gleaming white statue with a cherubic angel atop, and the pedestal insribed with dozens and dozens of names of famous Argentine writers and artists.

Paseo de la Ciencia y Arte de Arabe

In front of a branch of one of the local universities is this Paseo de Ciencia y Arte de Arabe, a monument to the contributions of the Arab world to the arts and sciences.

the end

And, finally, 9 de Julio itself ends at the point where it goes up onto the expressway – its service roads continue below the highway, but the Avenue itself ends with as much traffic as it started.


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