People of this rich barrio, like many Germans after WWII, are uncertain about what went wrong in a nation that permitted the horror of at least thirty thousand desaparecidos and the moral degeneration the terror engendered.
As much as Beautiful Buenos Aires wants to come to terms with that past, it is still an elusive operation.
From my two brief visits here years ago only vague memories of this Paris-like Latin American city remain.
Though a brutal military dictatorship came and left in the interim, this is still the New World … Instead of in a downtown hotel as before, I am living in an apartment in the centrally located barrio of La Recoleta, an area of expensive boutiques and elegant hotels and sumptuous apartment buildings.
One fourth of Argentina’s forty million people lives in Greater Buenos Aires, three million of them in the city itself. Buenos Aires is a concentrate of Argentina as Paris is of France.
The problems of the nation are the problems of Buenos Aires.
Though this was once the café of the automobile racing crowd, hence its name, it was also the favorite café of Jorge Luis Borges and two generations of intellectuals and artists.
At least formally so since the social forces served by the brutal military dictatorship are clear.
The problems of Buenos Aires are the problems of the nation.riginal Spanish settlers wanted to create a European city here around the great natural port.
Nearby is the monumental Cementerio de Recoleta where lie many Argentine notables including Eva “Evita” Peron and Nicolas Rodriguez Pena, for whom my street is named.
Lunching outside at the famous Café La Biela (the rod that links certain parts of an automobile), under the spreading branches of the internationally known, 18 century gum tree, one can watch the beautiful people of well-to-do Buenos Aires come and go.
The 2006 version of Buenos Aires at the Café Biela shows no visible effects of the economic crisis the nation has only recently emerged from.
Yet, underneath, the scars are there, not only from the economic crisis but especially from the moral crisis caused by the years of the dictatorship from 1976-1983.