Barrio “cool”

Barracas es el nuevo barrio “cool” porteño, según The New York Times

La zona es resaltada como un destino cultural notable en el diario más importante de los Estados Unidos.
Una nota publicada el 7 de junio en la sección Viajes de The New York Times resalta al barrio de Barracas, vecino de San Telmo y La Boca, como un lugar en pleno renacimiento por su actividad gastronómica y cultural.

Según el autor del texto, el resurgimiento de San Telmo y Puerto Madero tuvo un efecto de carambola en Barracas, hasta ahora conocido más por ser un barrio fabril y de clase media.

Nuevos emprendimientos como el Centro Cultural Moca, el bar Ingrata o el Restaurante Caseros, según enumera el artículo, son lugares que han transformado a Barracas en un destino deseable y hasta en una excusa más para viajar a Buenos Aires desde el exterior.

Una estadounidense expatriada desde febrero del 2008 –diseñadora de interiores–, Pamela Murphy, abrió una especie de Bed and Breakfast en la calle Piedras al 1677 llamado Garden Buenos Aires. Murphy dijo: “Tengo una suerte increíble de vivir aquí.”

Las ciudades, por definición, tienen que estar en constante transformación. Pero las más bellas son las que pueden mantener un equilibrio entre lo histórico y lo nuevo; entre lo bello e irreproducible que es el casco histórico arquitectónico y las necesidades de las nuevas generaciones de renovarse y hacer su propia marca sobre la ciudad que cuida sus días y sus noches.

A continuación reproducimos la nota original del New York Times:
FOR years, one of the most famous Buenos Aires tourist attractions was in a neighborhood foreigners were told to avoid. Señor Tango (Vieytes 1655; 54-11-4303-0231; www.senortango.com.ar), a flashy, Fosse-esque tango show that includes a live horse, is in Barracas, in the city’s south. Guides often warned bused-in tourists not to wander off for fear of muggings.

That’s changing now, largely owing to spillover rejuvenation from neighboring Puerto Madero and San Telmo, two areas that have benefited from a rise in tourism and a real estate boom.

Barracas, near the city’s old ports, means barracks or warehouses. Long since abandoned, many warehouses are being renovated into luxury housing and cultural centers.

One local artist, Marino Santa María, 59, whose studio is in the house he was born in at Pasaje Lanín 33 (www.marino-santamaria.com.ar) is credited with bringing attention to the district. He began transforming the street in 2000, layering each house with sparkling mosaics. In recent years, an open-air weekend arts festival sprang up on Lanín, running from July through December. Mr. Santa María lamented that though tourist buses visit, “a lot of maps don’t have Barracas on them.”

Year round on Pasaje Lanín, tourists and locals can visit Ingrata (Pasaje Lanín 168; 54-11-4303-3663; www.ingratabar.blogspot.com), a wine bar and cafe with live music in Edificio Barracas Central, a renovated textile factory. Several blocks away, a former bakery has been converted into 250 luxury apartments. The Centro Cultural Moca (Montes de Oca 169; 54-11-4519-5639; www.ccmoca.com.ar) opened in its ground floor in May, bringing major art programs into the neighborhood.

Not all of Barracas was working class, especially Avenida Caseros. Silvina Trouilh, an owner of Caseros Restaurant (Avenida Caseros 486; 54-11-4307-4729), which opened in December, said it was on “the most beautiful block in Buenos Aires,” once home to British businessmen running the city’s railroads in the late 1800s.

A few doors down is the bistro Club Social. (Avenida Caseros 442; 54-11-4307-1919). The owner, Ezequiel Arslanian, decorated it with salvaged tiles and turn-of-the-last-century relics, saying, “our inspiration came from Balthazar in New York.” Entrees, about 44 pesos, include wok-prepared chicken or cappelletti stuffed with pumpkin and brie.

Pamela Murphy, a native New Yorker and interior designer, moved to Buenos Aires in 2004 and opened Garden Buenos Aires (Piedras 1677; 54-11-4300-3455; www.gardenbuenosaires.com) in February 2008. The sprawling 1907 building serves as her home and has four guest rooms running from $80 to $135 a night. Surveying her back garden, complete with a small pool and found architectural objects, Ms. Murphy said, “this is where I really get lucky that I have this house here.”