Presidential Backbone – 7th Vertebra

2011.Mar.09 Wednesday · 2 comments

in Life

Back in the saddle, or I suppose, on the hoof, again, picking up from where I left off in the heart of Barrio Flores at Plaza Pueyrredón… there’s actually light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak. Av. Rivadavia continues, within city limits anyway, only to the 11500 mark or so, and today’s jaunt takes us from roughly 7000 to 9000. Likely, I’ll finish it up with the next post, or perhaps two at the most. It has been fascinating to see the change in character along one main thoroughfare from way back where I started at the Casa Rosada to here, but I can feel the itch to move on to other walks that are less commercial… I hope.

Rivadavia 7000-9000 walk

Overall, I will say that I found this stretch of the avenue to be less interesting – or at least, and perhaps better said, to have fewer buildings of architectural or other interest. There are likely some great community stories as we pass from Flores into Floresta and on into Vélez Sársfield, but it’s an area that doesn’t have any signage for tourism, like there was around the plaza we just left. It was a couple of blocks from the starting point before I spotted this building – for which I can’t find any historical information, though now it’s a mix of shops and apartments.

Rivadavia 7000-9000 walk

The End is a boliche, or music/dance club at 7426-8, which based on a quick internet search seems to specialize in acts that are heavy metal or similar genres. Although I couldn’t find a lot out about the building, it seems that prior to its current use it was known as the Cine Teatro Minerva and may have at one time been a major tango club for the area, along with stage shows and movies.

Rivadavia 7000-9000 walk

Just a view of what most of this stretch of the avenue looks like – a lot of one and two story mixed used buildings.

Rivadavia 7000-9000 walk

At 7636, an interesting looking building that is now a furniture store.

Rivadavia 7000-9000 walk

Just past Av. Cuenca, entering into Barrio Floresta, I spot this Korean restaurant Sinko (unfortunately closed for lunch), and am reminded that there is a second Koreatown other than the now more dangerous one in Bajo Flores. I’ve been hearing about it but not gone – I took a short detour because I recalled the street that a couple of recommended restaurants and shops were on, and found the shops along Campana, around the 500-700 blocks, but all the restaurants were closed for lunchtime. I do want to go back there with more information about where specific things are located so that I can get a better sense of this more middle class Koreatown area. A tangent to come…. Back to the building, prior to its use as a Korean restaurant is appears to have been a series of dance clubs, El Viejo Correo, El Rayo, and Club X, the last being a gay club. The style of building and past use would suggest that it was likely once a theater of some sort, although, the club name of El Viejo Correo might suggest it was a post office…?

Rivadavia 7000-9000 walk

The old Teatro Fénix building, which later became the Teatro Flores, and is now, I believe, a dance club called Retro. In its original incarnation it was a spectacular theater, and one of the “grand dames” of the theater world in BA – it sat 850 people in the orchestra, 400 in the balconies, and another 224 in 32 private boxes. The opening performance, Thursday, May 12, 1927, was singer Maruca González along with the Municipal Orchestra. Over the years it was host to acts ranging from tango to rock. The dance club there now can handle up to 4500 people at a time.

Rivadavia 7000-9000 walk

At 8036 is this old building that now, on the ground floor houses a taxi company and a chicken store, and above a 20 room boarding house, which is also noted because in one of the apartments is located the “office” of Radio Constelación, “La Voz del Pueblo” – a squatter-pirate radio station that broadcasts primarily to the Bolivian community with anti-government screeds. The building was also the site of a particularly infamous and grisly murder of a 31-year old mother of four, back in 2004, where a psychiatric patient who had been released to live on her own stabbed the woman multiple times, then calmly walked down the stairs and informed the teenage son that she’d just killed his mother and he should call the police, after which I gather she just waited for them to arrive.

Rivadavia 7000-9000 walk

At the corner of San Nicolás, in the 8200 block, the century old Farmacia Hudson is still going strong.

Rivadavia 7000-9000 walk

You know me, I have to stop to eat, and after failing to find an open Korean restaurant, I opted for something local. I should have actually popped into one of the little Bolivian restaurants that were starting to be peppered in with the others, but ended up in some pizzeria called La Posta, where I subjected myself to one of the worst white pizzas I think I’ve ever had – an unseasoned crust and bechamel sauce strewn with watery spinach and topped with oily mozzarella and a few shavings of provolone. Basically inedible unless you’re into greasy cardboard. I should have just paid and walked out and gone elsewhere.

Rivadavia 7000-9000 walk

The Mercado Vélez Sársfield, a 1925 neo-classic style building located between Chivilcoy and Yerbal, is under renovation – the intent to restore it not only to a more usable state, but “to its former glory” as a couple of articles have put it. It was clearly a beautiful building at one time and it will be interesting to see how it turns out. Behind the market is the Floresta stop on the Sarmiento train line.

Rivadavia 7000-9000 walk

At 8378 a building that just shows a little interesting style to its architecture – now a supermarket with a couple of apartments above it.

Rivadavia 7000-9000 walk

At 8456, a branch of Banco Provincia – imposing as always.

Rivadavia 7000-9000 walk

The Cine Gran Rivadavia, at 8636, was one of the largest movie houses in the city at one time. It was opened in 1937 and was built to resemble the Teatro Gran Rex on Av. Corrientes in the heart of town.Closed since 2004, it was reopened for one night in 2009 for a free screening of the (now) Oscar-winning El Secreto en Sus Ojos for people who lived in the immediate area. The building is protected as a historic landmark, and was supposedly being restored, but I’ve also seen some notes that it may be torn down.

Rivadavia 7000-9000 walk

Nothing special about the buildings, just the end of this walk at a point where several streets come together, at Av. Lacarra, which was also the last point at which I could take the 92 bus back to my block. From here on out, trains…. but then, as I mentioned, likely I’ll cover from this point to the city limit in the next walk.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

facundo February 4, 2014 at 16:38

Well…you know what? That building there? Where you took 92? My grandfather built it.
So it is like fun you took a picture of it and it was amazing to find it ramdomly.

dan February 6, 2014 at 11:01

That’s pretty cool! Is it an office building, residential?

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