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Apr 2016

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North of the city centre, Palermo's a big old barrio but not quite as big as the one  whose name it nicked. Palermo Chico is the exclusive part with a large park in it but more on that in a minute. To get there, you'll have to cross one of the city's notoriously wide avenues.

Avenida del Libertador is a mere tiddler at just the 10 lanes although one of those might be for parking. Avenida 9 de Julio in the centre has 12 lanes and yes, having taken a couple of taxis, they do need them all.

  Esplendor Palermo Hollywood (Fitz Roy 2172)

Good value hotel with a small balcony and a view bang in the middle of the 'up and coming', which is a bit of a shame because it's since shut its doors. Now, this genuinely happened, it really did...

Who doesn't fancy a bath when on holiday but there was no plug in it. No problem, phrasebook in hand, head down to reception and... '¿Un tapón por la bañera por favor?'

He pulls out an electric plug adapter although I'm convinced linguistic accuracy has been achieved. Desperate to ask for  four candles and some foot pumps, brown, size 9, the Spanish, quite simply, wasn't up to the job.

Buenos Aires, literally 'fair winds' but with all the beef they eat round here, that's unlikely. You will, however, need a fair tailwind for your crossing, the pedestrian countdown clock barely giving you enough time for a safe five[1].

How Argentina haven't supplied a succession of Olympic 100 metres champions isn't clear. There's no need for any state of the art training facilities, just have them bolting across here a dozen times a day.

There is an underpass but there was evidence of people living in it before it flooded. Even then, the graffitied skulls on the meshed gate will have you opting for the 50-yard dash.

[1]... consonant, vowel, another consonant please Carol[2].
[2] Or Rachel depending on your age.

  Romario Soler (Fitz Roy 2109)

Local chain of trattorias who do takeaway pizzas delivered on roller skates. This one is 20 yards from the hotel. Hey, that's not being unadventurous, it was raining!

  Taco Box Soler (Soler 5581)

Mediocre Mexican franchise that's cash only. This one is 30 yards from the hotel. Now that's what you call being adventurous.

There's some less intimidating graffiti under the railway bridge at the intersection of Avs. Dorego and del Libertador. They're fond of a spray around here and if you walk north a bit, somebody's only gone and commemorated  Lemmy near a footbridge, not shown.

Just around the corner here, though, there's a lovely, smiley one with a little man in a tin hat having a sit down. The significance of it all couldn't be fully figured but it seems to be about some islands or something?

  Distrito Arcos shopping outlet (Paraguay 4979)

All your big name brands in a modern shopping area just over the railway line on Paraguay. It's thought to be what you might call an 'outlet' although you don't often see armed guards down at  Dalton Park.

No, that's not the River Plate, it's the soggy running track at the Hipódromo Argentino de Palermo, the racecourse, of course.

When it's not a race day it seems that you and a clutter of cats can wander freely around the Art Nouveau surroundings where you might even see one of these.

That looks like a Gulf Fritillary from here, either that or Google™ Images is playing up, again. Gulf Fritillary could well be the name of the filly that romped home in the dos-fifteen at 10-1.

Mine came in at half past four. © Tommy Cooper, probably.

  Miranda (Costa Rica 5602)

So, this one's feeling a bit 'off' after the first full day here, something viral, probably, which despite some effort is something this site definitely isn't. This parrillada or steakhouse will knock up something 'light' right?

Wrong. You'll be waiting an age in this busy place for a pumpkin ravioli as platefuls of barbecued flesh arrive at the neighbouring tables.

Strangely enough, the VISA™ worked in here creating a false of security for the rest of the stay. Funnily enough, there's another parrillada down the road called Carmin. A couple deciding where to eat that night were overheard... 'Carmin? Miranda?'

Remember that large park from earlier? Well, all of the previous bumbling leads you here, the Parque Tres de Febrero[1] or Bosques de Palermo or Palermo Woods if you'd rather, the city's most spacious green area.

North of the racecourse, the Lago de Regatas was doing a pretty good impression of a swamp back in the 1990s. It's since had a dredge and now 10 species of fish, eels, otters, shrimps and turtles (none of them shown) all call the place home.

As do these fellas, the monk parakeet and this one looks like a young 'un. Just like their cousins in West London, the ring-necked, they're a bit squawky and the local residents here might be tempted to do just that.

[1] Everything here is named after either the date or the ringleader of some revolt or other.

  El Manto (Costa Rica 5801)

Armenian restaurant on Costa Rica. Just the pair of Malbecs, thanks very much, so the food can't be commented on, which looked to be bordering on the Middle-Eastern.

The park's worthy of a mention because it spans a few of those wide avenues and covers nearly 1,000 acres[1]. That's a full day out if you take in the zoological, botanical and Japanese gardens and when in season, one with a load of roses in it. Oh, and don't forget the planetarium.

The surrounding area's exclusivity means that 'professional' dog walkers are employed by the rich residents.

It's said 'professional', these mutts are not so much mollycoddled, more manacled, tethered to trees while their handlers sit smoking in the shade.

[1] Nearly 500 football pitches with room for throw-ins.

What's essentially a pack of reverted, wild wolves means there's no real reason to visit the zoo. Another good reason is that you can peek a giant rodent through the fence for free... 'Aww, wook at the widdle Capybawa.'

Probably the best reason not to visit the zoo, however is that it's now been shut, something about  degrading?

This is down in Palermo Viejo now or old Palermo if you'd rather. Heading back for a nap to Palermo Hollywood, so called because it's home to some TV and radio studios, apparently.

To get here, you pass through Palermo Soho although the seediest thing seen was a flax-speckled muffin served by a beardy hipster.

This whole area is 'up and coming', you see, and by 'up and coming' it's meant your European VISA™ is no good in this cash-only economy.

Before your steak dinner, you'll need to rack your brains over that Santander™ cashpoint you passed earlier... 'Now, just exactly where was it again?'

Just down from the intersection of Avenida Juan Bautista Justo and Costa Rica it turns out. You're welcome.