We took the Subte=Subterranean=Subway from our stop (Boedo) to the end of the line near the Plaza de Mayo. We looked at the Peru subway stop adjacent, where there are supposed to be restored subway cars running. The tile walls and reproduction turn of the 20th century ads are ok, but not a big deal in my view.

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Riding on the train remind you of the New York subway? It should, Buenos Aires is the third oldest subway system in the Americas, right after New York and Boston. I’d forgotten that New York now uses rubber wheels and pneumatic brakes–the BA subway has Not been updated and the screeching metal-on-metal wheels and the piercing sound of the air brakes are more than enough to make you stuff your ears with your fingers.

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Out of the subway is the Plaza de Mayo, where mothers of the “disappeared” still walk the perimeter in memory of the dead every Thursday. At one side is the Casa Rosada, the seat of government, though not lived-in today. Evita and Juan Peron lived there, and she made appearances from one of the balconies.

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Today a demonstration was underway, complete with t shirts, chanting, drums, singing and dancing and a long line of people waiting to be let in. We were not sure what the cause was, but the vests and t-shirts mentioned social justice.

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No day is complete without a cafe stop, and today’s was the Cafe Tortoni. Reputed to have been a favorite of Borges, there is a life size sculpture of three people at a back table that is supposed to be Borges and two friends. Looks a bit like the Addams family, but artists like to have their work added to the pieces on the walls, so there is a wide range of quality in the framed art. The turn of the century (20th) ambience is very attractive, despite touristy elements. Someone has even written an ode to the thirteen columns….

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