I went out of my apartment on Marcel T de Alvear with one thought in mind: find a place to escape from the noise, hustle, and constant stimuli of Buenos Aires. Talk about a city that never sleeps; I feel like I’ve been on a nonstop ride of lights, colors, cars, maps, buses, shops, and the Spanish language since I’ve gotten here. Don’t get me wrong, it has been a total blast, but like any self-respecting Mainer, sometimes I just need a place to be alone.
And I found it!…more or less. That is, I found one of the seemingly few places in the city where you can pause for more than 15 seconds without being in danger of getting run over by a person, bike, or car. The little oasis is located in a section of the city called Palermo, and comes complete with fresh grass, a towering mix of trees, ponds, and ducks that have absolutely no fear of people. It was no Lakes Region, but after the busy sidewalks of Baires, it felt more wild than Thoreau’s Walden Pond. The sun was bright, the air was crisp, and I took some of my most carefree breaths in the last 4 days. I was able to stroll along a spiderweb of paths, soak up some rays, and find a bench that was begging for a journal entry to be written in it.
Now I don’t mean to criticize the amazing city of Buenos Aires with this description. In fact, it should be commended for the effort to maintain quiet areas within the metropolis of skyscrapers. The park that I wandered into in Palmero presented enough green for at least 2 trips of exploring, and was only a 20-minute bus ride from my apartment. Even if I was able to memorize every inch of the space, it only represents a small fraction of the land that Buenos Aires has dedicated to parks and gardens. Add these to the hundreds of museums, tours, restaurants, and cafes spread out through the city, and you’ve got no shortage of quiet islands in the sea of people. It’s a comforting thought, and a good thing to remember for the next time that my brain begins to overheat.