Things to Buy

I like to shop. Really, I do. But, I regard shopping as I do fishing.. looking for the "big one" -- the great deal or the unique catch. I'm not really into malls, even at home. I prefer buying from artisans or small shops.. or when I need the basics: an outlet center is my target. That all being said, here are some of my favorite finds in Buenos Aires:

For Leather Jackets and Coats: Bcrro's. After looking at jackets everywhere from Calle Florida to Murillo (and finding them all overpriced compared to a good bargain in the USA) during my trips, I wandered into the Bcrro's one day in April (this tiny shop sits atop its basement located fabricating studio -- wondrous leathers come and go via am impossibly small staircase). There I purchased a very nice jacket for 240 pesos ($80 US). That jacket has gotten me a number of compliments -- mostly from argentines -- they all want to know where I purchased it. So, naturally, this trip I went back.. and fell in love with a full length coat -- very 1960's style -- quite mod - and for 500 pesos a true bargain. They had some really cool patchwork leather jackets for 100 pesos! Do all the leather shopping you want -- then head to Bcrro's.

Corrientes 2580 (in the Galeria del Sol, Local 6)

When you're finished at Bcrro's take a wander around -- because you're in Once -- the wholesale clothing district. The streets to each side and behind Bcrro's are filled with small shops.

If you're in the market for larger pieces of leather (for example, you'd like to buy leather to upholster furniture or to make a coat -- or as I did, to make placemats) you'll need a distributor's shop: Casa Sergio. Casa Sergio is a trove of leathers -- all sold by the meter (as in metric meter as opposed to by the yard in the USA). It is not a big shop, it is not a tourist oriented shop (do not expect much english spoken). Prices run from 40 pesos to 100 pesos per meter. Imagine gorgeous pieces of suede for under $12 US a yard! If you ask nicely, they will unlock their shop next door -- where you can buy sheepskin rugs (100 pesos for the finest quality mohair type sheepskin -- much less for regular), cowskin rugs.. and other types of skins.

Casa Sergio
Avenida Boedo 1196
Tel 4957-6843

While you are in Boedo, you can walk a couple of blocks to the Esquina Homero Manzi at the corner of San Juan and Avenida Boedo. Here they do the large dinner tango shows, but earlier in the day you may stop in for coffee and soak up a bit of the atmosphere.

For another shopping adventure, take a taxi (or collectivo) to the "outlet" strip on Córdoba.. ask the taxi to take you to Scalabrini Ortiz y Córdoba.. there you will see shops lining the street in both directions.. there is even an Yves St. Laurent outlet mixed in with all the outlets for the major stores that you will see in the malls.. there's a Ricky Sarkany outlet, Ona Saez, etc. All the better if you are in Buenos Aires at the change of the seasons - - when the pickings for the season just past will be in bounty. While you are there, save time to stop in to Scannapieco at Córdoba 4826.. here you will find one of the most authentic ice cream places.. where your ice cream will be served by one of a handful of men who seem to have worked there or owned it for a lifetime and more. The ice cream is some of the best I've had in Buenos Aires, and the coffee is rather good too. Heck, go even if you aren't going to go shopping.

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