One of my former colleagues from the University of Miami was in town this week. Schlomit is from Argentina but she has lived abroad for many years, first in Israel and then in the U.S. Her husband, who is also Argentine, just got transferred from Miami to Seattle so she came to Buenos Aires for a few days before making the final move to the west coast.

I met her Thursday at the tourist apartment that she is renting off of Las Heras and then we walked to one of my favorite, neighborhood restaurants in that area, Los Piños at the corner of Azcuénaga and French. Ceci and I used to go there a lot when we lived a few blocks away. It’s a pleasant little restaurant in an old farmacia. The lunch menu at Los Piños is the standard that you’ll find anywhere and is 13 pesos. Dinners have a little more variety. Every time I’ve been there it was just people from the neighborhood rather than tourists. It’s nothing fancy, but then again just give me a milanesa or bife and papas fritas and I’ll be happy. I’ve never been one for trendy restaurants and pretentious food.

Schlomit and I had a long lunch and a chance to catch up on the Miami gossip. After lunch Schlomit invited me to look at an apartment that they are thinking about buying. Her husband is an executive in the aviation industry, so they’re doing well. They already own one apartment in Las Cañitas and would like to get another investment property here. So, not all the people buying property here, driving up the real estate prices, are foreigners. Many are Argentines who live and work abroad.

We walked down Santa Fe towards the Botanical Garden. On the way we passed some famous Argentine TV actor but I forget his name; he looked like he enjoyed being recognized by everyone on Av Santa Fe.

The apartment was small, forty square meters, but nice for that size. It’s big selling point was the location, just one block from the Botanical Garden. Indeed, from the balcony, if you looked down calle Armenia you could see part of the Botanical Garden. I admit that it would be nice to live nearby and go for a relaxing stroll among the statues, plants, and trees (and cats) in the Botanical Garden. But, I thought that the price at $60,000 US was just too expensive for forty square meters.

Obviously, it’s the location though I tend to think that area is overrated. There are much better buys in other parts of the city that are just as interesting.

After seeing the apartment we wandered through the Botanical Gardens, where Schlomit has never been before. She is Argentine but not from Buenos Aires. Then I took her to the only part of Palermo that I really like, which is the part bordered by the Av Las Heras, the zoo, Av Libertador and Scalabrini Ortiz. I showed her Palacio de los Patos and La Colorada, two of my favorite apartment buildings in Buenos Aires. I don’t want to imagine the price of an apartment in either of those buildings.

Palacio de los Patos courtyard
La Colorada