Comic Lane is the latest addition to the urban landscape of the city of Buenos Aires. The local council decided to celebrate iconic characters that have delighted many generations of Argentineans by placing colourful fiberglass sculptures in the neighbourhood of San Telmo, mainly along Defensa, Balcarce and Chile streets. The sculptures are strategically placed so that they lead visitors to the Museo del Humor (Argentinean Comic Strip Museum – Avenida de los Italianos 851) in Puerto Madero.
During May we tried something new, with a theme of books, reading and writing throughout the site. In case you missed anything, here’s a roundup of PocketCultures book month. Thanks to Celia, PocketCultures contributor in Kazakhstan, for suggesting the topic.
On Picture Postcards we peeked at a free library housed in a container from New Zealand, the oldest public library in Paris, a chalkboard in Kazakhstan and a children’s culture section in a public library, again in New Zealand.
For a special collaborative post on books from around the world our contributors recommended books which represent each of their countries in some way.
On People of the World we interviewed a couple of people who are writing books: Alexey from Russia, who wrote his novella on his frequent train trips between Moscow and St Petersburg whilst working for a telecoms company, and Marcel, who is writing a book about the extraordinary life of his grandmother.
On Topics of the World, our Italian contributors Simona and Caterina both had something to say. In Italy is younger than you think, Simona explains a bit of Italy’s recent history, including origin of the Italian language as we know it, while Caterina shares her love of books, in particular one well known book about Italy, Forster’s A Room with a View.
And finally, some good news for book lovers: Ana wrote about the stunning Libreria El Ateneo in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which is housed in an old theatre, and full of people buying books.
A few years ago, Librería El Ateneo made the top ten best beautiful bookshops list. I couldn’t agree more, it is stunning both inside and outside.
The bookshop is housed in a 1903 building which was originally a theatre called Grand Splendid. Years later, it was converted into a cinema and remained as such for many decades. I watched a few films there in the nineties and I used to buy chocolates from the little shop outside the foyer.
Now, customers can choose to sit in comfort in one of the original boxes or take a table at the café located in what used to be the stage. There’s a lot of gold leaf that adds to the thespian feel but nothing is as dramatic as the frescoes painted on the ceiling.
There are always a lot of people milling around, browsing the shelves, admiring the architectural features, snapping photos and generally taking in the elegant atmosphere.
Oh, and buying books as well.Address: Avenida Santa Fe 1860. Opening hours: Mon. – Thu. 9 am to 10 pm; Fri-Sat, 9 am to 12 am; Sun. 12 pm to 10pm
In a recent online chat between PocketCultures contributors from around the world, we talked about books which reflect our countries and cultures. Here are our recommendations.
Fileteado porteño is a form of popular art that originated in the city of Buenos Aires at the turn of the 20th century. Fileteado and tango are the two cultural symbols that represent the city by the River Plate. They appeared roughly at the same time, originated in the immigrant communities and influenced one another. Sadly, their history and development are not well documented.
Luis Barolo, an Italian industrialist, moved to Argentina in 1890. He later
hired architect Mario Palanti (1885-1979) to design and build and apartment
building in the Art Nouveau style inspired by Dante’s Divina Commedia.
When it was finished in 1923, the 22 storey building was the tallest in
Latin America. Today, this historic building is a landmark of the city of