Las Ferías de Buenos Aires
In the past couple of weeks since my last entry, I have gotten to know Buenos Aires much better. The subway and bus system are becoming a second nature, and I am starting to get a good idea of the city’s geography. One aspect of Buenos Aires that I have come to love the most is the ferías. The first one I went to was the Fería de San Telmo, a large street fair in the San Telmo neighborhood. It was packed and overwhelming, but it was a fun experience. The fair itself is mostly people selling trinkets and a few couples dancing the tango for tourists. These parts were fun, but the real charm of the fair to me was not actually in the fair itself. After walking to the end of one of the blocks, my friend and I heard music nearby. A one-block walk revealed a small courtyard where a band was performing folk music while a small crowd that seemed to be composed of only Argentines watched. Some audience members danced, and it felt much more authentic than watching the tango performers on the busy street corner of the fair. These were just people who were enjoying their Sunday afternoon. The most exciting aspect of this hidden courtyard was the grill that sold chorizo, pork, and beef sandwiches. I got a pork sandwich and a cold Quilmes (the major Argentine beer) and enjoyed watching the music and dancing for about an hour.
While my experience at the San Telmo fair was great, I was blown away by the Fería de Mataderos, which lies slightly outside of Buenos Aires. The fair is massive, and there is a huge variety of things to do. While the market itself is fun to walk around, what I had the most fun doing was buying food and having a picnic with my friends. I bought a choripan from a grill that also sold the typical grill fare, and my friends bought cheese, meat, and bread to make sandwiches. There is a grass lawn in the fería which was filled with people enjoying their days as well as musicians trying to make a buck. While the fería was very crowded, it still felt nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of Buenos Aires for a day and to enjoy some amazing food in the process!