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Abasto Neighborhood Profile


Abasto Neighborhood Profile

Abasto Shopping Mall

Photo courtesy of Flickr user ha+.

Abasto - History:

If you see the grand, rejuvenated facade of the Abasto Shopping Mall you'll have a good idea why the neighborhood it's in, Blavanera, is getting called simply "Abasto" more and more. The story of both this building and barrio is one of renewal.

From 1893 to 1984 the Mercado Central del Abasto operated out of the large, curvy building. It was a successful wholesale fruit and vegetable market that ran from from 1893 to 1984, until the infrastructure surrounding the area was not enough to sustain demand. The market was closed and building spent several years dormant and decaying. In 1998 a large renovation project began to transform the old market into a chic and modern day mall.

Another proud historical note for Abasto: legendary singer Carlos Gardel spent most of his life there. He along with composers like Osvaldo Pugliese and Anibal Troilo give Abasto much credit in terms of the blossoming of tango in Buenos Aires.

Abasto Today:

The combination of a modern shopping mall mixed with ghosts and legends of tango's past make for a terrific setting to really get a sense of Buenos Aires culture. Shopping and tango are beloved by many here, after all. There are avant-garde theaters, antique bookstores, historical coffee shops, tango and milonga clubs, parks and bars. Another dimension to this part of the city is its large population of Peruvian and Bolivian immigrants, plus its close proximity to Once, where many Jewish people reside. With such a mix, you're sure to have an interesting walk through this neighborhood.

Abasto Attractions:

  • Abasto Shopping Mall: One of the most prominent attractions in the Abasto area, the Abasto Shopping Mall is no small place. Several stories high, the mall houses a movie theater, many shops, restaurants, and cafes. Two other attractions are the Museo de los Ninos and the only Kosher McDonalds outside of Isreal.

    Website:http://www.abasto-shopping.com.ar/index.asp (Spanish)

  • Museo de Los Ninos: Located in the Abasto Shopping Mall, this children's museum deserves its own billing. It has interactive exhibits where children can pretend to be doctors, journalists, and more. There are also games and a ferris-wheel right inside the mall.

    Website:http://www.museoabasto.org.ar/index.asp (Spanish)

  • Museo Casa Carlos Gardel: Also refereed to simply as Gardel's House, this is a must if your a true tango-addict. This famed tango singer,Carlos Gardel, called at times the zorzal criollo (creole songbird) and even "El Morocho del Abasto" ("the dark-haired guy from Abasto"),lived in this house while staying in Buenos Aires. The museum is dedicated to Gardel's life and passions including race horses, acting, singing, and, of course, tango.

    Address: Jean Jaurès 735
    Hours: 11am-6pm Mon, Wed-Fri; 10am-7pm Sat, Sun
    Admission AR$3. Free Wed
    Website: http://www.museos.buenosaires.gov.ar/gardel.htm (Spanish)

  • Paseo del Fileteado: This block is full of the colorful art style known as fileteado porteño. Entire facades are decorated with the dramatic ribbons, dragons, flowers, and symbols commonly found in this art form that grew in popularity alongside tango.

    Address: Jean Jaurés 700 block

  • Pasaje Zelaya: According to the official Buenos Aires government tourism website: "Some of the façades flanking this alley are decorated with portraits of Carlos Gardel, as well as lyrics and scores of several of his tango songs, such as "Golondrinas" (Swallows) and "Melodía de arrabal" (Melodies from the Outskirts). The works have been carried out by Argentinian artist Marino Santa María as part of a public art project. The modern design of this alley reflects the New Urbanism concept, whose aim is to improve public spaces so that residents and visitors may enjoy them."

    Adress: Between Agüero & Jean Jaurés

  • Konex Cultural Center: This cultural center, just a few blocks from the Abasto Shopping Mall, has an agenda packed with music, dance, art, and culture. Check their website for what's happening when.

    Website: http://www.ciudadculturalkonex.org/web/index.php (Spanish)
    Address: Sarmiento 3131, Abasto

Check out the links below for recommendations on food and lodging in Abasto.
  1. About.com
  2. Travel
  3. Argentina Travel
  4. Top Destinations
  5. Abasto / Balvanera neighborhoods in Buenos Aires

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