I’ve never understood the fascination of porteños with Puerto Madero. Other than the bridge designed by Calatrava, I’ve never seen Puerto Madero as anything more than the typical riverfront development that can be found in many mid-sized U.S. cities. Yet, I’ve recently developed a new appreciation for the area.

A while ago, Ceci started to work with one of the many high-tech companies with offices in Puerto Madero. The office spaces in those buildings are very pleasant. Ceci works with a delightful group of people and it’s probably the best working experience of her life. I’m very happy for her, particularly since good jobs are hard to find in this country.

In the late afternoons, I often head over to Puerto Madero to meet her after work so that we can do something downtown or just walk back to San Telmo together. I often will arrive in Puerto Madero an hour or so earlier and find a seat on a shady bench. It’s actually quite relaxing. Compared with San Telmo, Puerto Madero is incredibly quiet.

Lately, I’ve also enjoyed going over to Costanera Sur, a short walk away. It gets rather crowded on weekends but during the week Costanera Sur is a place where one can really escape the noise and sometimes frantic pace of the city.

I still think that there’s no reason for tourists to spend time in Puerto Madero, though I continue to see a lot of them wandering around. There are just so many other fascinating parts to Buenos Aires to explore if you’re only here for a few days.

And I don’t really understand why anyone would want to live in Puerto Madero. The apartments, while surely nice, are way overpriced. Walking among those apartment buildings, I feel like I’m in some generic part of a boring U.S. city. There is nothing about Puerto Madero that is Buenos Aires.

But, indeed, I’ve come to realize that is also its appeal. Puerto Madero is where you go when you want to feel like you’re in some place other than Buenos Aires, or even South America for that matter.