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Buenos Aires City Guide By Barrio: Chacarita Guide

Buenos Aires Barrio GuidesIntroduction

Chacarita is located in the north-central part of Buenos Aires and is next to Villa and Colegiales with one corner bordering Palermo.  It lies between Av. Elcano and Av. San Dorrego and straddles  Av. Corrientes. 

Chacarita is a quiet neighborhood (barrio) best known for its 175 acres (70 hectare) Chacarita Cemetery, also known as the National Cemetery, and the final resting place of such greats as Carlos Gardel, famous tango dancer and actor.  Chacarita is also the namesake for both a well-known tango, Encuentro obligado.

History

Lying just west of Palermo across Av. Dorrego, Chacarita originally belonged to Jesuits who founded chacaras (small farms) from which the barrio got its name.  In 1767 as part of the overall suppression of the Jesuits, the land was expropriated by the Crown and turned into a summer retreat for students which became known as Chacarita de los Colegiales.

Later, around the turn of the century immigrants began to flood the area and the neighborhood was split in two with Chacarita in the southern area and Colegiales in the north.

Chacarita Today

Today, Chacarita is a quiet neighborhood identified by the sprawling NationalCemeterywhich takes up most of the barrio.  Primarily a residential neighborhood, Chacarita is an area with many corridor apartments (departamentos pasillo), which are apartments built side-by-side along an long corridor leading from the street and its streets are lined with trees, old houses and newer apartment buildings.

Chacarita is home to a large park called Parque Los Andes which was founded in 1941 and the Federico Lacroze commuter rail station which handles both local and long-distance services and a large farmer’s market.   The neighborhood also supports a small but booming flower industry, well suited to neighborhood defined by a cemetery.

Although the area remains primarily residential, upscale restaurants and clubs have started finding their way into the neighborhood due to its proximity to the popular Palermo neighborhood.

Local Attractions 

La Chacarita Cemeterio (cemetery) is less touristic than its conterpart in Recoleta but is clearly distinquished by its large size – 175 acres, covering most of the barrio itself.  It was first opened in 1871 to hold victims of the yellow fever epidemic that swept through southern Buenos Aires and San Telmo.  Today it is known as the people’s cemetery (cementario popular) where everyone from the homeless beggar on the street to legendary tango dancer and actor Carlos Gardel ends up.

Spanning along Av. Corrientes from Chacarita Cemetery to the Av. Dorrego subway station is the barrio’s largest park, Parque Los Andes, home to the Chacarita Weekend Fair (Feria Chacarita).  This is a real flea market where shoppers can find anything from cell phone chargers to genuine antiques, artisan items to food stalls and more.

El Galpon (Federico Lacroze 4172) is a well-known farmers’ market and one of the few places in all of Buenos Aires where one can find a large amount of organic and natural products available under one roof.  Located in a bright yellow warehouse surrounded by twisted train tracks and rusty old train cars, the market strives to offer good products for a reasonable price.

One of the few and most important remaining residences from the era is that of the Comastri family, which currently houses a public school: Escuela Nacional de Educación Técnica N° 34.

Restaurants and Nightlife

Chacarita has a select number of options for restaurants and nightlife that you can enjoy.  Here are a few to get you started:

Le Ble (Av. Alvarez Thomas 899, www.leble.com.ar) Former old timey grocery store finally gives in to the inexorable march of gentrification – bring on the gourmet, organic treats! Exposed beams, high ceilings, rustic shelving, faux-tique tin bins and excellent Balthazar-style bread would all be right at home in Tribeca.

La Mezzetta (Alvarez Thomas 1311)  a great place for an inexpensive lunch and – unlike many Buenos Aires pizzerias – the pizza does not sit in a glass case or on the counter waiting to be reheated. They serve everything fresh from the oven.

Misc. Fact(s)

The 28th of June is the day of Chacarita.

Pros and Cons

If you plan to stay in Chacarita, one of its strongest points is its affordability.  Although it is a bit far from the center of town and the more touristic areas, thanks to its cemetery, park and weekend fair Chacarita is a great place to consider.

 

On the down side, it is a ways  from the “hotter” parts of town.

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Posted by on Sep 4 2011. Filed under Barrios, Headliners. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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