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Avenida Corrientes is one of the principal avenues in in downtown Buenos Aires. It’s overflowing with historic pizzerias, theaters, bookstores and shops selling nothing but CD’s or DVD’s, reminiscent of years past. It crosses 9 de Julio, supposedly the world’s widest avenue, and intersects with the city’s iconic obelisk.
Walking along Corrientes on a Friday night is veritable assault on the senses. The sounds of tango pouring out of the music shops mix with the screeching breaks of passing buses and the smell of the man in front of me’s cigarette smoke blends with the street vendor’s burning palo santo.
Normally I’m a bit of a hermit in this huge city. I work from home, my gym is even on my block, and my biggest outing most days is to walk our dog. But sometimes I really enjoy walking through the streets to remember why I originally fell in love with this city, la ciudad de la furia.
It’s a hectic city and Corrientes is the epitome of hectic: full of porteño’s ending their workday perusing the numerous bookstores or beginning their night in one of the avenue’s infamous pizzerias before catching a show.
Crossing 9 de Julio can make you feel like you’re in Time’s Square, or at least it feels as if that’s the goal: huge neon signs and blinking lights surround all four corners of the intersection. You’ll have plenty of time to take it in as it’s impossible to cross the wide avenue in only one stop light.
Buenos Aires offers a unique take on pizza, and they’ll fight to the death if you challenge it’s greatness. The pizzerias along Corrientes are famous and the fame is well-deserved. The pizza is thick, light on the sauce and heavy on the cheese; best enjoyed by the slice at one of the stand up bars or sitting over a whole pie watching the city pass by through the windows.
I usually end up on Corrientes during the day, by coming out of my way to grab a slice for a quick lunch. But it should definitely be enjoyed after sundown, when it really comes to life.