August 21, 2020
Nimes Friends: Paige
One day with Paige and Pocho in Retiro
Nimes Friends is a serie that follows our clients/friends that share Nimes values through their neighbourhood. Last January Paige and Pocho showed us their favurite places of Retiro
Paige is originally from the Washington, DC area and first came to Argentina in 2007. She co-hosts Bad Information, a podcast about the ups and downs of bi-cultural living, and curates tailor-made experiences for visitors to Buenos Aires.
Having lived in Argentina for nearly 13 years, it’s safe to say that Buenos Aires is my home. Each barrio has a unique style and feel, creating the most wonderful patchwork that is at once vibrant and tranquil, modern and of a bygone era.
I’ve lived in other parts of the city, like Belgrano and Palermo, but Retiro is by far my favorite. It’s relatively small - nestled between the chaos of microcentro and the better-known opulence of Recoleta - and irradiates downtown sensibility mixed with a nod to tradition. It’s well-connected, quiet on the weekends, full of chic old grannies, and (thankfully!) has remained immune to the trend of craft beer bars and burger joints.
In Retiro, I love that we all seem to know each other, I love playing with my dog in the shadow of the Kavanagh building, I love its understated style, and I love the sense of belonging that I have here. Living halfway across the world from where I grew up, the concept of connection and community is that much more important to me. It’s been a real pleasure to watch the neighborhood evolve over the last ten years, so much so that I coined a little term - #RetiroRenaissance - to celebrate it!
When anyone comes to visit me - be it from New York or Nuñéz - I am eager to share with them my most treasured Retiro gems: places that make this barrio so very special.
1- The Shelter >> Specialty coffee is still a relatively new concept in BA, and the majority of hip cafés are concentrated around Palermo. As if people downtown don’t *also* require a quality latte on the regular! When The Shelter opened, it was a much-needed breath of fresh air for those of us sick of burnt cortados and dry medialunas. Of course, it’s located on perhaps the city’s most spectacular street, Arroyo, with its curves and leafy canopy and eye-catching architecture. The Shelter’s chic interior, delicious pastry, and high-quality coffee have made it a bona fide hot spot, with its coveted sidewalk tables filling up on balmy days. My favorite part? They’re pet friendly, meaning Pocho can join me for my caffeine fix.
2- Farinelli >> What’s not to love about market-fresh food being served on one of the sunniest corners in the neighborhood? A few years ago, it seemed that there wasn’t a market for a “cool” café or restaurant in Retiro; everything was geared toward the classic preferences of the older generations. I start a lot of my days here, with either a big green juice during the week or fried eggs and the papers on the weekends. The picnic tables outside are perfect when the weather’s good, and the people-watching is always top-notch. It’s just so comforting to walk in and have everyone working there greet you with a smile; they don’t even bring us the menu anymore, our order is always the same (we’re boring). Farinelli is another spot where Pocho is welcomed with open arms: he can attest to how delicious the bacon is!
3- ProVinCia >> Retiro finally has plenty of daytime options from which to choose, but there was a big piece missing from the puzzle: somewhere to meet a friend for a glass of wine after work! Enter ProVinCia (Producto del Vino y Compañía), perhaps the world’s tiniest - but certainly the most chic - wine bar. It’s impossible to walk by and not be tempted to pop in; something about those deep blues and greens draw you in. The wine selection is curated so that Argentina’s most emblematic labels share shelf space with new wave wineries that experiment with different varietals and vinification techniques. I’ve spent many an afternoon and evening here, taking in the stunning backdrop of the Estrugamou building and enjoying the company of my friends. Those in the know are sure to pop upstairs through the semi-secret door for an extra surprise.
4- Plaza San Martín >> How lucky am I to have this park in my literal backyard? It’s a lifesaver for Pocho - who loves to run up and down its hills chasing the ball for hours on end - and I just love all of the city landmarks that I can see from here. From the Kavanagh to the Torre Monumental to the ex Plaza Hotel and even Uruguay (on a clear day), it’s all at my fingertips. In Buenos Aires, people love to enjoy common outdoor spaces, and having a sprawling patch of green so close by is something I do not take for granted.
Bonus Track >> When RapaNui opened just across the Plaza, I knew we were in trouble. I can’t get enough of the ice cream, obviously (pistachio and dulce de leche de cabra being my favorites), but the chocolates are where things go wild. I’m also a frequent flyer at Saigon, a Vietnamese restaurant that satisfies my near-constant Pho craving and is run by the most friendly staff. And when I need a dose of culture, my favorite gallery on Arroyo is Aldo de Sousa. It has such a well-curated selection of works, and it’s where we discovered Pablo Lehmann, who does the most spectacular things with carefully-cut paper.