Sunday in Buenos Aires means only one thing: The San Telmo Market. Since I missed the market on my way to Mendoza, because of the plane cancellation, Marc and I were on a mission to get to the market today. When asking for directions at our hotel, though, we were informed that the metro station normally used to reach the market was closed because of a race so we would have to get off two stations earlier and walk down. Sounded easy enough. But we weren't expecting the magnitude of a race we encountered when we emerged from the metro. It was the Super CT 2000 Car Race through the streets of BA.
The crowds were packed in a full street-width deep along the fence all vying to see the race. Children were on shoulders, men brought their own ladders or climbed up trees and teenagers piled on top of a van. You could hear the roar of the engines off in the distance grow louder as the cars raced by. Of course we never could get a view but just being in the crowd was electrifying.
Eventually, we made our way down to a break where we could cross over and head down to the market. The market starts well before you ever get to the official market. Blocks and blocks of the street are blocked off to motorized traffic, not that any vehicle could maneuver through the chaos of people swimming through the street. Street vendors set up tables, hawking everything from jewelry to art to crappy souvenirs. And hipsters bake cakes, breads and empanadas and pedal them through the streets aiming at the hungry tourists.
Despite the melee, everyone is happy and there is a general laid-back vibe in the air. Musicians play on one corner, while couples dance the tango on another, all vying for attention and tips. Each worthy in their own right.
At the heart of the market lies the antique vendors. This is the "real" San Telmo Sunday Market. Here you can find booths with copper pots, old spritzer bottles, rusted signs, you name it. Each individual and interesting. Tourists sit in outdoor cafes surrounding the plaza sipping coffees and watching the Tango. There is an energy here that is undeniable.
I didn't buy much, but I didn't come away empty handed. Eventually, we took our leave of the masses, as the official market started to break down. It's only open until 5 PM but the vendors along the Calle Defensa stick around later. We worked our way back to Palermo Soho and got ready for dinner. We had scoped out a couple options and started walking towards our first choice. But when we arrived we realized it was actually a "closed-door" restaurant, and only open on Friday and Saturdays so we had to move on to the next one, Crizia. This time we found it, and it looked open, but we needed to be buzzed in to enter.
We were a little confused and almost left, but good thing we didn't. This posh seafood restaurant could have been plucked right out of San Francisco. And wanting a respite from beef, the seafood hit the spot. Our seafoos platter starter was lovely. The langostinos and ceviche were the best things on it. Marc ordered dead on with his seafood risotto. Honestly, I wish I had done the same. I followed the waitress' recommendation, and while my fish was good, the panko crust was a little too heavy and made it seem more like upscale fish and chips. The atmosphere was lovely, the cocktails were delicious and we even hit a great little dive bar on the way back to our hotel.