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Published: July 30th 2016
My last full day was spent having a neighbourhood wander, a shopping expedition to the main city area and then going out for a lovely meal in the evening.
La Plata is the capital city of the Buenos Aires province, around 1million people, and was a well planned city from the start. Street are arranged in a grid and numbered off, and there are diagonals intersecting these with a plaza at each intersection. Each plaza has exercise equipment, cafes, fountains, childrens play equipment, some community gardens, and provide a meeting space and play area for many apartment and multi-housing dwellers.
Streets are one way and the next street across is going the opposite way, so an odds and evens system which is very effective for moving traffic safely and efficiently. Interspersed in each little set of blocks as well as housing are numerous shops such as bakeries, pizza places, kiosks, fruit and vege shops. Zoning does not seem to exist so the local funeral parlour is set amongst housing quite happily. The city is lined with trees of differing sorts, one whole block is all citrus trees which were in full fruit now. The trees on the streets outside
your apartment are your responsibility to prune and maintain, as is the footpath outside your apartment or house.
Sausage houses are common which is an elongated entry and verandah with all rooms coming off this long rectangle. Our evening meal in the city was a sausage house converted into a little restaurant. Limited menu, 4 mains, 4 entrees, 3 deserts but very innovative and interesting food.
Juan and Eva Peron were married in La Plata at St Francis of Assisi church.
The old railway station is now a cultural and arts hub with the surrounding streets having numerous bars and restaurants making the place come alive in the evening.
The old railway land has been converted into walking tracks and green space. There is so much grafitti everywhere in Argentina, but to counteract this there is a lot of great wall art and mosaics, and houses which are immaculate and then others that are deserted. So much contrast in one small city block. Each area has a man and a cart often horse driven, who come around each day and collect anything thrown out as rubbish which can be resold or recycled and got money from.
Think the old Steptoe and Son. You see whole families involved in this, their income totally.
Whilst out shopping in the afternoon we saw a protest. Argentinians love to protest, this is often the only way to voice an opinion against regimes or prices or wages with no unions or protection afforded to many. Firecrackers, loud noises, blocked streets and flag waving is all involved in this.
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