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No part of Buenos Aires is as convincingly a part of the 21 st Century as Puerto Madero. This port area, recently renovated and now sporting an ever growing number of skyscrapers, calls to mind London ’s Canary Wharf or Dublin ’s Docklands, and has a similar history. Once a bustling, brand new port at the turn of the century, it was quickly made obsolete by the need for a different design that could accommodate larger ships. Today, the port’s squared off areas of water give one space to enjoy the city skyline, as well as providing a pleasantly pedestrianised ambience. The renovated warehouses now sport countless bars, restaurants and apartments. Behind them, in glass plated modern towers, are some of the city’s most luxurious hotels and offices. This high end area certainly costs a little more to be enjoyed, but almost no other area of Buenos Aires is as safe and comfortable.
Although this area can be enjoyed at any time, it becomes less of a place of work and more of a place for fun at night. The city lights twinkle romantically off the water and many landmarks are lit up especially—the Casa Rosada is bathed in electric pink lights, for instance, and the famous Puente de la Mujer (Woman’s Bridge—a pedestrian bridge easing access from east to west) appears an ivory harp over which to stroll. The bars, restaurants, and night clubs fill up, and a good number of people enjoy some evening running, bike riding, or roller-blading.
Behind this band of buildings lies the area’s main daytime attraction, the Ecological Reserve. This massive green space (a man-made silt island) is home to 300 some different species and is criss-crossed by different wooded paths. Jutting out into the mouth of the river Plate (Rio Plata), one is soon able to look out across a fair expanse of sky and sea. The fresh air, pleasant view and natural setting make one feel very far from the city. Many of the city’s bike tours pass through this area.
Puerto Madero has some other attractions worthy of note. There is a nice, eclectic art museum called Colleccion de Arte Amalia Lacroze de Fortabat. It includes some interesting pieces from local and international artists. Docked at two of the port’s docks are historic ships: the frigate Sarmiento and the corvette Uruguay . From the late 19 th century, and once forming a part of the Argentine fleet, both are now floating museums. One the far end of the port area is the city’s newest, swankiest casino. All told,Puerto Madero makes a kind of community of its own. Although in some ways very different from the rest of Buenos Aires , it is now hard to imagine the city without it.