I'm thinking of moving to Buenos Aires and would like to hear from anyone who has lived or spent a lot of time there
January 3, 2008 2:07 PM   Subscribe

I'm thinking of moving to Buenos Aires. I'd like to hear from anyone who has lived or spent a lot of time there.

Like this poster, I've recently entered a position where I can work remotely from anywhere that has reliable electricity and broadband. I want to take advantage of this position by living abroad. (I'm an American currently living in the US.) Buenos Aires appeals to me because:

* it's a big, diverse, cosmopolitan city with lots to do
* it's walkable and has good public transportation
* it's Spanish-speaking; I hope to take lessons and improve my rudimentary Spanish
* I'm paid in American dollars, which will apparently go far there

What do you think? Have you lived in Buenos Aires? Is it awesome? Can you suggest another city that might be a better fit?
posted by medpt to Travel & Transportation around Buenos Aires, Argentina (7 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Have you read Idle Words? Specifically, Argentina on Two Steaks a Day is a good place to start.
posted by jeb at 2:43 PM on January 3, 2008 [1 favorite]

I haven't lived there.
I feel that if I had a job like yours, I would have no problems making a go of it. Look how many other people have done it!

But yes:
* it's a big, diverse, cosmopolitan city with lots to do
* it's walkable and has good public transportation
* ...American dollars, ... go far there

The spanish is [to my anglo-ears] very clear and comprehensible.

It will keep you entertained for as long as you want it to.
NB especially Notorious for live music.

You won't immediately be pegged as a foreigner because it's such a big, european-seeming city, which is nice if you don't like feeling like a spectacle.

Important: watch out for dog poop underfoot. All the time.
More important: the gelato [helado / what have you] is remarkable.

For the record, my vote goes to Montevideo as a place to live in that area. But that's solely due to the women. ymmv.
posted by Acari at 2:52 PM on January 3, 2008

My friend (from US, California) lived there for a long time. I know she was on an "ex-pat" web site that had a lot of information. I'll ask here which site.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 3:05 PM on January 3, 2008

Yes, unless you have very unusual hobbies or likings (and even then!), you will find that there is always something to do that will appeal to you. It is walkable, but IMHO public transportation is very far from good (slow, crowded, occasionally very dirty and unsafe both in the accident and pickpocketing senses). Car traffic can be a pain too, particularly on peak hours. Your US wages (assuming you're getting a US level salary) will certainly go far, particularly in regards to food, entertainment and rent. It is still possible to spend US levels of money in those things if you are used to a very high standard of living though, so beware. You should also know that electricity can be spotty and it might get worse, due to very low levels of investment in infrastructure that have been going on for a long time now. Broadbad is more trustworty, but you need to be careful with the contract as they can stuck you with some ridiculously overpriced and underperforming services. Finally, I'm not sure what kind of weather you're used to, but be aware that it can get unbearably hot and humid sometimes in summer, while winters can some years be quite cold and even more humid.
posted by Iosephus at 3:35 PM on January 3, 2008

Kiss spicy food goodbye. Look forward to piles of helado, the best you'll ever taste.

Live in San Telmo.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 5:29 PM on January 3, 2008

My girlfriend and I lived there for a year. It is fantastic. As a capital it's got a bit of everything and you can find whatever experience you want (literary/clubbing/intellectual/sporting/foodie) with the exception of spices. The porteƱos are fantastically friendly too.

San Telmo is the barrio du jour, I lived in Villa Crespo which was much quieter and within walking distance of the expensive Palermo barrios.

My advice: go. Find somewhere with a month's lease and explore before you decide on an area to live. And remember, it is another country, many things are different, slower, dirtier, more dangerous. As long as you don't expect to replicate your current situation you should be fine.

Learn to stay up late and get used to eating after 10pm.
posted by itsjustanalias at 2:17 AM on January 4, 2008

Great city to live in, wonderful parks, food and people. I agree with itsjustanalias that it makes sense to stay somewhere temporary to check things out first. Other great neighborhoods are Palermo and Belgrano. Belgrano is large and I lived around the train station which is towards the east, a great easygoing neighborhood with good access downtown.
posted by tonci at 6:58 AM on January 4, 2008

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