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Offbeat Argentine Instagram Accounts You Should be Following, Vol. 4

Colors of BA, photos of crooks in Chinese markets, and old-time cafés.

By | [email protected] | May 27, 2019 3:04pm

Welcome to Argentina (19)Photo via Pantone BA

Travel snaps, fit models and food porn. That’s pretty much what it comes down to for most Instagram users. But as we at The Bubble have proved time and time (and time) again, there’s a lot more to the ‘gram universe than that. You just have to know where to look. In my case, I seem to have a magnet for attracting the offbeat, quirky accounts. For some reason, I’m drawn to them, they enchant me with their bizarre and weird natures. Sure, scrolling down to see a bikini model holding a world-class dish while dining at a secluded beach is nice and all, but have you ever experienced the excitement of seeing the picture of an old drunk lady holding a glass of wine that somebody found in some random pile of trash on the streets of Buenos Aires? You’d choose the old lady in a second, right? Or is it just me?

This week, we have quite the menu in store, enough to please all your crazy cravings, while still leaving enough room to explore and discover your own weird accounts (or maybe even start one yourself, you lazy bum). Keep in mind that you can always send us your suggestions which will be greatly appreciated.

So, let’s get to it. We’re gonna start you off with a girl exploring the colors of Buenos Aires and putting her own twist on the well-known Pantone system. Then we’ll hit you with an ode to chorros stealing from Chinese supermarkets and immortalized by security cameras. And finally, for dessert, we have an account that dives into the very plain yet fascinating culture of classic, run of the mill bars and cafés of the Buenos Aires of yesterday. Happy scrolling!

Pantone BA (@pantoneba)

Buenos Aires is a colorful city. From the polychromatic landscapes of La Boca’s Caminito, to the diverse combinations of colors painted in swirls across the different colectivos, to the bright violet jacaranda petals that litter the streets come November, it’s clear to visitors and locals alike that this is not exactly what you would refer to as a grey city. But the girl behind Pantone BA has taken this idea to the extreme, creating a gallery of beautiful imagery and matching it to clever names derived from the Pantone Control System, a worldwide color language and standard for designers, brand owners, and manufacturers.

The concept is pretty straightforward. She goes to different places around the city, holds up a frame with the color written on it with her left hand and takes the picture with her phone on her right hand. The result is quite extraordinary and makes you appreciate a bunch of places in Buenos Aires that you tend to overlook in the day-to-day grind of the city. She’s covered some of the traditional spots like the Casa Rosada (with the clever “Pink Balcony” tag), Caminito(“Caminito Blue,” to be exact) and UBA’s Law Faculty building in Recoleta (that one goes by the name of “Grey Law”).

But what makes this account really stand out are the postcards of normal, everyday life: Artisan Green, Moving Truck Blue, Underground Yellow… All slices of mundane porteño life that are appreciated in these posts by their aesthetic beauty. She also doesn’t mind going all-in with some political insight as well, like that time she created Protest Yellow, or that other time she made Patriotic Tricolor to show her support for Venezuelan immigrants in Argentina. The account has even gotten to the point in which it has spawned at least two spinoffs, one in Córdoba and one in Montevideo. Color me impressed, why don’t you?

Chinochorros (@chinochorros)


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Este se robo mí corazón #chinochorros

A post shared by Chinochorros (@chinochorros) on

It’s not every day that we get the opportunity to get to know one of these quirky accounts before they hit it big and take off. But in today’s countdown, we have such an opportunity, thanks to Chinochorros. The concept behind this account is quite simple: it posts photos of those print-outs that you usually see in taped in the windows of Chinese supermarkets all around the city displaying a petty thief or burglar in plain action, caught by the security cameras. This style of public shaming (escrache, if you’re nasty) has become synonymous with businesses across Buenos Aires and is probably one of the most defining traits of the chinos, along with giving out hard candy instead of change, and those little signs that read Rompe Paga (you break it, you buy it).

The account has only 17 posts so far, but they already include the cookie thief and (you can’t really make this next one up) Tabasco thief which, you guessed it, only goes for the small spice bottles for who knows what purpose. There’s also this one that has the phrase hola, soy ladrón (hello, I’m a thief) written on top, an attempt to make this whole thing seem more customer friendly, I guess? They are obviously hungry for contributions, so if you see a badly printed picture of a crook in your nearby chino, then, by all means, give these guys a heads up.

Cafés No Notables (@bardeviejes)

Oh, that classic Buenos Aires vibe… Beneath all the hoopla of the specialty coffee shops, the craft beer bars, and the burger joints, there is a city that has withstood the test of time, composed of a bunch of really old, pretty uninspiring places that still somehow preserve the nostalgic, melancholic charm of a simpler, less complicated way of life. And Bar de Viejes (AKA Cafés No Notables) has pretty much got this niche covered. As they very well put it in their bio, the account is a “Minor topography of Buenos Aires cafes and their silent old men’s resistance.” Bar de Viejes has made it a mission to not only visit all of these places in town but also to dissect their key elements and ingredients one by one while they’re there. We’ve all probably seen them separately, but here’s a reminder of what makes these bars so special:

These are definitely not your notable cafés. You’re not gonna find a Café Tortoni or a Los Galgos in here. These bad boys have no desire to impress you whatsoever, which is why they have just refused to change with the times and resemble time capsules rather than functioning cafés. Service is usually pretty crappy and the food is definitely not what you would call gourmet dining, but we should just learn to love them for what they are: some of the last links between modern Buenos Aires and the city that once was.