We had read and soon figured out for ourselves that South America is not the kind of place where you book things in advance. It just doesn’t work that way. So when the task of finding an apartment in Buenos Aires came up, we knew that hunting in person was the only way to go.
We lined up dozens up apartments that fit our criteria: bigger than about 320 sq ft, with full (or close to full) kitchen and WiFi, located in the desirable neighborhoods of Palermo (any of its many subdivisions) or Recoleta, and under $900/month. But working with various agencies to find that dream apartment wasn’t easy.
We’d send our picks — all of which got a second over by Eaman’s friend who lives here — to the agents who’d take what seemed like ages to respond only to tell us that, sorry, those places were occupied and the site just wasn’t updated to reflect that. Oh, and some agents said we could have the place but wouldn’t be allowed to see it first unless we rented for more than three months.
On day three of the hunt we still hasn’t seen a single apartment, so we increased our max monthly limit and finally had a decision between a few places. We narrowed it down to two similarly priced spots:
Apartment 1: spacious one bedroom, charming, full kitchen, nice owner, sooner move-in date and a location that locals raved about (Palermo Soho)
Apartment 2: tiny studio, modern but a tad sterile, kitchenette, pool on the roof, later move-in date, direct access to the bakery of my dreams below the building and a location that we raved about (Palermo Hollywood)…but we weren’t allowed to see it (we figured out which building it was thanks to pictures of the lobby and convinced the doorman to show us everything but the apartment itself)
(For those who are wondering, the daily rate of renting an apartment is about the same as that of a getting a room at a hostel. That’s why apartment rentals has become such a booming business here.)
In the end, we went with #1. Though my heart broke a little to not get a pool and that bakery, we knew the bigger space and nice owner were more important. Plus, the locals told us this area was much better and who knows how much we’d even go to the pool. And I will walk to that bakery dangnabbit.
The apartment is located in Palermo Soho, which just so happens to feel a lot like the quieter areas of Soho in New York as well as our old hood of Nolita. Think cafes and restaurants that are sceney, but a scene I sort of want to be a part of. Not gonna lie. (We always used to joke that Europeans would move to Nolita because it was so Euro and here we are moving into the Nolita ‘hood of BsAs.)
Now we’re settled in and man, it feels good to temporarily unpack and take a shower without flip flops. Here, a little tour of our humble abode:
The living room:
The owner is incredibly sweet and stocked the apartment with fresh flowers (and a welcome note) for our arrival:
Incense that she bought for us after we told her we loved the smell, and a pair of lucky cows — tradition in Peru — that Eaman bought near Cusco:
Kitchen!! I can cook again!!
Have I told you how much I love the Coca Cola here? Real sugar, no high fructose corn syrup. Take note, America.
Nightstand in bedroom already equipped with guidebooks:
Our balcony! It’s been a bit chilly the last couple of days, but we’ll be glued to it once it gets warmer:
A park just a few blocks from our place:
Sorry, I’m obsessed with this pink flowered tree:
Our neighborhood is a bit fancy, kind of like the upper crust of Soho, especially the stretch of West Broadway for my New York friends who know. Still, it’s not just about big price tags. There’s quaint stuff like this: