Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Buenos Aires - Part II: San Telmo

On the weekends, the main square of San Telmo, Plaza Dorrego, hosts an amazing antiques fair, and the whole area is filled with music, people, beautiful antiques and street performers (inc. some tango). The guy below is an icon of San Telmo, and it was so hard to take a photo of him with the multitudes around me, so I didn't manage a 'The Sartorialist' shot, but I had to take a picture of him and his amazing outfit:

From old gramophones, to old silk slips, antique jewellery, the San Telmo fair had everything:
Hubby fell in love with this incredibly battered antique leather travel bag, full of character and battle-scars, it came 'home' with us:

I'm not quite sure what this place was, but it was too cute, so I had to photograph it (through the grates of the front gate):

San Telmo was our favourite area in Buenos Aires, it has everything: shopping, tango, music, food, beautiful & old arquitecture, history...not just in the Plaza, but also along Defensa street and the surrounding streets as well.

Our favourite:

Restaurant: El Desnivel, an immensely popular & affordable parilla restaurant on Defensa 855 (for both locals & tourists). I love my steaks rare, and learnt how to order my steak 'blue' ('vuelta y vuelta', ie. seared) or just 'rare' (poco cozido), and the 'bife de lomo' (tenderloin) here was like butter melting in your mouth.

  • Vicki Otero - funky store with local/Argentinian designers (with another store in Palermo). Hubby bought some shorts & tops by Hermanos Estebecorena and Felix.
  • Puntos en el Espacio, Peru 979, San Telmo - a store for rising young local designers. I bought 3 beautiful reversible silk wrap skirts that can be worn in so many different ways...I kept one for myself, and gave one each to my sisters. The idea is not novel, but the print and fabric were so beautiful, I could not just keep one for myself. I later bought this necklace below, in the sister-store on Defensa esq Independencia (and a smaller version with one sole blue flower, and darker 'beads'), and some funky leather wristbands. The ring to the left I bought on the streets of Palermo (it goes perfectly with the bracelet on the right which I've had for years).
  • Tacones Lejanos (same name as a Pedro Almodavar movie), Bethlehem 423 and another store on Defensa. Sadly the ladies shoes were not of interest to me, but the mens shoes! Incredibly soft leather and gorgeously funky designs, hubby snapped 3 pairs (encouraged by me, of course, and I also later brought my brother-in-law who bought a more subdued, yet still funky, pair for work). Highly recommend checking this store out! (Juan+, hope this tip is not too late for you. I can't remember when you were off to BA).
There were many more stores in San Telmo, but these were the ones I happened to 'stumble across' that I liked (I didn't specifically search for stores, as shopping is not my main objective when travelling overseas...)


  1. Wow! That travel bag is amazing! Good on you for finding it & taking it home with you! =)

  2. That gentleman is amazing.
    Also great choice picking up that duffel bag, it's perfect

  3. Awesome necklace and bag. I need to learn how to dance now, so one day I can be old and dance like that. :)

  4. the bag and the necklace are so cool. it's those kinds of things that i love picking up when i go travelling, things that everytime you wear/look at them they will remind you of where you have been, the stories behind them, and why they caught your eye in the first place.

    my friend and i both bought these sandals when we were in vietnam last with brightly coloured pom poms on them, and the first time i wore them in vietnam was also the day that a man crashed his bike because of my friend, a long leggy blonde girl with scandinavian heritage and blue eyes. we forever refer to them now as the 'dangerous' shoes, the ones that can bring a grown man to tears hahhaha. :)

    it looks like you had such a fantastic time, that antiques fair is the kind of thing i love experiencing in different countries. i'm so excited to try the marches aux puces in paris, i just know i will be enchanted.

    silk slips, gramophones, wraps, necklaces, old-school bags. its all sounding just lovely!


  5. i love the travel bag : the shape, the colour, the patina ...

    the antique shops look great !!!

  6. You really did a nice work buying the travel bag, it's gorgeous. And in a smaller size it would have been an amazing bag. *

  7. cool photos, and this necklace is gorgeous!