Spring has taken hold of the capital today with her grey and cloudy hands.
But still, it’s September 21st (i.e. officially Spring as well as Students’ Day) and from midday today, thousands of students will be taking over parks and other green spaces throughout the city in celebration of winter’s dismal end.
There will be picnics, there will be music and there will be many a security guard preventing the inevitable hullabaloo derived from one too many Fernet and cokes.
Oh, and this year there will be a few Test de No-Embarazo (little packages from Unicef and a fellow NGO containing information about sexuality and pregnancy as well as a condom) floating around, to prevent a mass baby influx on June 21st next year.
So, with these warmer days in sight, here is your guide to the best grassy enclaves where you can kick back with a Borges novel and some mate and soak in some well-deserved rays.
Bosques de Palermo
Located between Avenida del Libertador, Dorrego and Figueroa Alcorte, this is one of the city’s largest and most popular parks.
Comprised of lakes, rose gardens, eucalyptus groves and an Andalusian courtyard, the 63-acre Bosques de Palermo, also known as Parque Tres de Febrero, has something for everyone. You can whizz around on rollerblades for just ARS$10 or take a more aquatic approach by gliding across the lake in a brightly-colored paddle boat.
And there’s always something going on for free on a Sunday, from concerts to yoga classes to tango.
Next on our list is this little green haven, located on Rivadavia, a few blocks from Avenida Corrientes.
As you step away from the hustle and bustle of Corrientes, this surprisingly tranquil corner is made up of benches, grassy spaces and a white marble monument of Simón Bolívar (allowing you to launch a round of “Who’s Your Favorite Revolutionary?”).
A convenient park if you happen to forget to bring some reading material, since it hosts a book fair full of secondhand books and magazines. There’s also a carousel, playground and a small amphitheater to keep the kids entertained.
Still within the confines of Caballito, this circular green space was completed in 1910 as part of a celebration of the May Revolution. Designed by Franco-Argentine landscape architect Carlos Thays (he designed most of the city’s parks), Parque Centennario boasts huge pines and jacarandas, covered in rich violet blossom.
This is another popular spot for jogging with its mile-long perimeter and a regular haunt for UBA sociology students, located only a block away from the school.
Moving on to Belgrano, Barrancas nestles itself nicely into the corner of La Pampa and Arribeña.
Its winding paths make it another ideal spot for jogging and dog-walking, and the gentle vibes of the environs means that you’ll spot many a pram and parent in this park.
There’s also an odd little replica Statue of Liberty here, along with La Glorieta, a bandstand that hosts live music and tango concerts.
Plus, if you’re craving any exotic foodstuffs (i.e. peanut butter), you can hop on over to nearby Barrio Chino to get your fix.
In this 360-hectare ecological reserve is a vast green area located on Av. Costanera Tristan Achaval Rodríguez 1550, you’ll find dirt paths, bike rental stands, exotic birds (including six varieties of parrots, swans and kingfishers), lagoons, nude sunbathers and several species of wildlife.
Could it get any better?
You can come here for a light jog, a bike ride, a chance to spot vipers, turtles and nutria or simply take in the stunning view of lagoons, lakes, willows and reeds.
Guided tours are available during public holidays and at the weekend.
Paseo de la Costa
Moving out of the city for a second to Vicente Lopez, Paseo de la Costa is definitely worth the ride out of town.
Just take bus number 21, 29, 161 or 168, or hop on the Retiro-Tigre line of the Mitre train and get yourself to Hipolito Yrigoyen and Avenida General Paz.
It’s a hotspot for artisan fairs, fishing and kite-flying, as well as the typical dog-walking, jogging, relaxing and roller-blading.
If you pick a nice day to visit this park, the views really are breathtaking and it gives you the chance to remember how close we are to the ocean (easy to forget in the booming city, I know).
Happy basking and happy Spring to one and all!
(Let’s just hope the sun comes back soon).