Easy to get around BA?

#1
I am coming from Los Angeles for three weeks in August and I am staying with a family in Boedo (yes I've read this forum enough to know that I will be amongst working class portenos so I better watch my arse!). I have really enjoyed reading all of the reality checks all of you expats give to us back in the states on this forum. I think we are all dreamers because we have to make up in our heads what BA will be like.

But back to my question- I really want to take spanish classes at Ibero Spanish which is in Capital Federal. How long will it take by bus or subte from Boedo to get to Capital Federal? And how long to Palermo? Do people commute from all over the city to the financial district for work? It is very hard to judge by looking at a crappy map here in the states how far each place really is. Thanks Expats! Oh and if anyone knows of a tennis club near Boedo I plan on taking my raquet!
 
#2
Boedo is not too far from downtown! You have a convenient Subte line (E) which would get you there in 20 minutes and plenty of bus lines which would take a little longer. From Boedo to Palermo you would take a bus. If you really want to familiarize yourself with the bus lines when you get here, buy a Guia T (sold at newspaper/magazine stands on the street) or ask the family you're staying with.
 
#3
Boedo is not bad, I live in the neighbor, neighborhood (Caballito), as user "allcraz" said, it will take you 20 minutes from Boedo to Downtown by the E line (Subway). There are too many buses lines and it is a little complicated, but you can either buy a Guia T or do what I do, I take the E line all the way downtown and from there I transfer to the D line to Palermo, it takes about 45 minutes, but I would do ANYTHING to avoid a bus....and no worries, Boedo is not dangerous and you have a few tennis courts around where you can rent the court for pretty cheap.Cheers-
 

tinto

Active Member
#4
I am about to launch into an explanation of the barrios of Buenos Aires and different (basic) nomenclature, because the original post needs clarification/correction: Boedo is in Capital Federal - it's a neighborhood (barrio/localidad/zona are all words you can use in Spanish, depending on the context). Capital Federal refers to the city of Buenos Aires, which is the federal capital. You could also say Metropolitan Area in English. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metropolitan_area http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federalization_of_Buenos_Aires
Gran Buenos Aires refers to the surrounding areas - also called Provincia de Buenos Aires. For cities in the U.S. we do the same thing: Greater Los Angeles, for example. Downtown Buenos Aires comprises microcentro and macrocentro. The neighborhoods are technically Montserrat and San Nicolás. Generally downtown is referred to as simply centro and people's concept of it might include Corrientes Ave. - the theater district. Everyone has her own version of where the boundaries for each barrio lie. Once you buy the Guía T mentioned in earlier threads you will see all the neighborhoods included in Cap Fed. For snail mail, the correct current form is to start the third line---after name and street address---of an address by writing the postal code in parentheses and then Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires. However some people still write Capital Federal instead. Here's a map of the barrios: http://www.barriada.com.ar/mapabaires.htmNote: Barrio Norte is generally considered a neighborhood, and Recoleta a part of it. Once is also considered a neighborhood (or area I suppose) but you won't find it on any map. However, people who live in Balvanera and toward the lower limit of Recoleta as seen on the map above might say they live in Once. It is totally confusing, even to people who are from here.
FYI the Guía T comes in a pocket size and larger version (the latter better for the car, perhaps). It's just a street map with grids and bus lines listed in the corresponding squares. You try to match up bus lines by looking at your to and from locations (the two squares). Then, if you're new, you won't know the route of the bus and exactly where it stops so you'll need to look in the bus index to see the street-by-street info on routes. Viajoasi.com.ar is a website that tells you how to get from point A to point B on various forms of public transport.Forum: feel free to correct me if I'm wrong about any of this.
 
#5
Quoting "tinto": ". . . . Capital Federal refers to the city of Buenos Aires, which is the federal capital. You could also say Metropolitan Area in English. . . . Gran Buenos Aires refers to the surrounding areas - also called Provincia de Buenos Aires. For cities in the U.S. we do the same thing: Greater Los Angeles, for example. . . . Once is also considered a neighborhood (or area I suppose) but you won't find it on any map. However, people who live in Balvanera and toward the lower limit of Recoleta as seen on the map above might say they live in Once. . . ."
A good explanation, "tinto". I've a few comments.
The "Capital Federal" is the area of the national capital, coterminous with the "Ciudad Autónoma". Similarly, the city of Washington is now coterminous with the District of Columbia.
"Gran Bs. As." does indeed refer to "greater Buenos Aires", but that's just the greater metropolitan area (again, comparable to "greater Washington, D.C.", which would include neighboring parts of Virginia and Maryland but is not a legal entity). "Gran Bs.As." is not the same as the "Provincia de Bs.As.", which is a vast farming area and much else, covering (if I remember correctly) a quarter-million square miles. "Gran Bs.As." is only a tiny part of the province, and the city proper (the "Ciudad Autónoma") is no longer legally part of the province of the same name (that's why La Plata is now the capital of the province).
The name "Once" stems from a time, a hundred or so years ago, when the neighborhoods of Bs.As. were known officially by numbers. "Balvanera" is the same neighborhood, the same "barrio", as Once.
This is what I understand from porteño friends and cousins, all of whom have an interest in their city and its history, and one of whom is actually an historian by education and position. But, as my Spanish is far from perfect, I could be mistaken.