Sunday, May 23, 2010


After reading a New York Times article a while back about all Jorge Luis Borges' haunts around Buenos Aires, I wrote down the street addresses with the idea that I would follow his "trail" around the city, just to get some idea of the everyday sights that appeared so much in his writing. When Jordan was here we set off in search of Borges, of the places he lived and worked that inspired works such as "The Aleph" and "Ficciones." Here's our map (pictures to come soon) of an adventure that took us from Palermo Viejo to Recoleta to Retiro to Boedo and back to San Nicolas/Monserrat (downtown) by subway, bus and on foot.

1. Childhood home: Serrano (JL Borges) 2135, "The Dagger"

"the mythical foundation of Buenos Aires, a city I judge to be as eternal as water and air"

2. El Preferido: Guatemala and Serrano

"...a pink shop, like the back of a deck of cards...and in the back room they talked of tricks"

3. Buenos Aires Zoo: Las Heras

where his dreams of tigers began

4. Home: Plaza San Martin, 6B Maipu 994

5. Another home: Paraguay 521

6. Miguel Cane Muncipal Library: Carlos Calvo 4321, "Ficciones"

"Man, the imperfect Librarian"

7. National Library: Mexico 564

8. Cafe Richmond: Florida 468

There are a few things we left out for sake of time and uncertainty of how to get there, but I think we mostly covered Borges' old stomping grounds. Walking down the quiet streets of Boedo and a gray windy day, sitting on the steps of the National Library, and eating queso&dulce in El Preferido made me feel as if I were looking at the city through his eyes, and maybe a little bit closer to understanding such a quiet, profound genius.

"Porque si no mueren las almas, esta muy bien que en sus despedidas no haya enfasis. Decirse adios es negar la separacion, es decir, "Hoy jugamos a separarnos pero nos veremos manana. Los hombres inventaron el adios porque se saben de algun modo inmortales, aunque se juzguen contingentes y efirneros.
Alguna vez anudaremos "Junto a que rio?" Este dialogo incierto y nos preguntaremos si alguna vez, en una ciudad que se perdia en una llanura, fuimos Me & You."

-Borges, on saying goodbye

Did you fall in love while you were here?

Si, todos los dias.

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