Posts filed under ‘galeria crawl’

galeria crawl: galeria larreta

Galeria Larreta 006 

Florida (the street, not the state) is a nightmare. Traffic trickles along, pickpockets take advantage of dazed tourists, and prices are almost always double what they should be.

Galeria Larreta 001 Galeria Larreta 009

But there’s a safe place among the mayhem in Galería Larreta (Florida 971). Right off of Marcelo T. Alvear, Galería Larreta is like the rebel sister who shaves her head and listens to the Delta 5. She refused to conform and look like the other stores on the strip; instead she’s going to open up a bunch of indie design-oriented stores, the rest of calle Florida be damned.

Joyería Contemporánea (Local 4b), with its mix of avant-garde designs (everything from silver and stones to leather and felt are used), is one of the first stores you’ll see, and perhaps the stateliest. Artistas Jóvenes Argentinas (Local 26), by the San Martín entrance, exhibits works that range from traditional to modern. The common denominator here is that all pieces have been made by young local artists.

Galeria Larreta 002 Galeria Larreta 004

Head upstairs and you’ll find the true gems of Galería Larreta, Patio Sur (Local 39) and Tiendas Kubera. At the former, there are beautifully feminine pieces, like a delicate ivory trench coat with black detailing for $240 pesos, or precious Irregular Choice-style flats for $180 pesos. Across from Patio Sur is Tiendas Kubera, a space for independent designers. Everything, from the screen printed t-shirts to the leather purses, is made by hand by young local designers. Don’t miss the flower pins; not only are they perfect for spring, but similar ones have been spotted on the runway of it-designer Philip Lim.

Galeria Larreta 005

If you’re hungry, Galería Larreta is a far superior pick to the overpriced cafes in the area. Carrousel (Local 7) is a cute, albeit kitschy, café with sandwiches for $6 pesos and a lunch special of several courses for $25. If you’ve about had it with meat (and honestly, who hasn’t craved a plate of nice fresh greens while in Argentina?), Ensaladas Argentinas (Local 45) will hit the spot. $6 pesos gets you a medium salad with a choice of four ingredients, and $7 pesos gets you a large salad with a choice of six. For a mid-afternoon snack, don’t miss Murasaki’s happy hour. From 16:30 until 19:30 (Monday through Friday), sushi is 20% off.

Galeria Larreta 007

There are a couple odd-balls in the place, like the store for musical theater geeks and an antique military paraphernalia store. But if anything, they just give Galería Larreta more personality. Which is what makes it so great: it’s a breath of fresh air from store after store of the same old thing (i.e. leather jackets and “cashmere” sweaters). Step inside, take a few deep breaths, and remind yourself that it’s going to be okay, that Florida will not make you die a little bit inside.

Galería Larreta, Florida 971/San Martín 954.

Previous Galeria Crawl entries.

August 7, 2007 at 2:10 pm Leave a comment

galeria crawl: galeria taurus

 

“I get the sense that something very bad is being planned here,” was the way Wesley once described Galeria Taurus. And he’s right: with it’s dusty signs and loitering visitors, it is one of the scarier, sketchier galerias. But it is also one of the best.

Home to some of the cheapest (and most varied supply) of eye glasses, this galeria is a treasure trove to us non-20/20s. The galeria has two floors, with its main entrance on Corrientes between Libertad and Talcahuano. While many of the locals sell only to wholesale buyers, those buying alone won’t end up empty-handed. Here are a few of our favorites:

For verging-on-tacky-chic plastic frames, you can’t beat Jose Monasterios at local 20/21. A pair of frames and lenses will cost you around $70 pesos, and can be ready in as little as an hour if you alredy know your prescription. The staff are always friendly and helpful, to the point where on a recent visit they replaced a screw that had gone missing from a pair of glasses, free of charge.

If you’re looking for some of the more upscale brands check out Optica Outlet Express at Local 43. There you’ll find Argentine-based Infinit and Maja, among others.

For sunglasses or one-of-a-kind frames, we always go to Mariano H. Alvarado, at Local 14. There you can pick any of the vintage frames in the window of Local 12 and they will turn them into a pair of glasses or sunglasses. Last year, a pair of 1970s vintage Italian oversized frames by designer Enrico Piaggi were turned into prescription sunglasses for under $200 pesos; a pair of 1980s red and black aviators were turned into prescription sunglasses for under $150 pesos.

 

If all this shopping gets you hungry, head up to Giannis Resto Bar Naturalista on the second floor. There you can indulge in healthy empanadas (stuffings include tofu and soja texturada) for $1.50 pesos each, or gluten-free goodies. There are also a few record stores dotting Galeria Taurus where you can pick up records by bands like Los Tammys (at Rockabilly, Local 28/29). And no, your prescription isn’t failing you: that is, in fact, a horror/erotica store on the second floor. Try not to stare too long at the werewolf attack mural on the wall, or you risk being scarred for life. Or at the very least needing to buy a stronger pair of glasses.– REBECCA

Galeria Taurus, Corrientes 1246.

Previous galeria crawl entries.

June 21, 2007 at 5:52 pm Leave a comment

galeria crawl: 5ta Avenida

In the battle for the title “Sketchiest Shopping Area”, the galerias of Buenos Aires would win out over creepy run-down suburban malls any day. In case you haven’t walked by one on Santa Fe or peered into one on Corrientes (and believe us, you probably have), a galeria is like a mini-indoor mall, with most of the shops in the galeria sharing a theme. There’s ugly-formal-dress galeria, old-lady-shoes galeria, even blank-cd-and-cassette-tape galeria. Tacky, maybe, but why so terrible? Well, they’re almost always dark, with only a few dusty flourescents flickering over head. Because of this, you can rarely see beyond the first store or two, and the thought of venturing into a cave-like walkway ain’t exactly shop-inducing. In short, most galerias are total duds.

 But there are some diamonds in the rough. Our weekly Galeria Crawl Guide will give a mini-tour of our favorite galerias. It takes out the whole Russian Roulette aspect of entering a galeria (will this galeria lead me to amazing suede boots or a slow and painful death at the hands of some psychopath?). And if you strike gold, you can end up with a pair of glasses for under $20 or skinny jeans for way less than they charge at Rapsodia.

5ta Avenida 

In this first installment, we introduce you to 5ta Galeria, heaven on earth for vintage fiends. While there are a couple of cute vintage stores dotting the city, you can’t beat the prices and the sheer volume of clothing in such a small space. And did we mention that there are three floors of vintage stores?

5ta Avenida

Stores keep irregular hours, so you’re better off wandering around than seeking out any store in particular. Flip through the racks that line the galeria’s walkway, they’re usually filled with clothing going for 5 pesos or less. And don’t miss the store on the bottom floor that has a collection of 70s-era perfumes.

5ta Avenida

If vintage isn’t your thing, the front store Arriba (right when you enter, on Santa Fe) stocks clothing and accesories by local designers. We love the pencil cases and bags designed by Melisa (of the band Boreales).

Galeria 5ta Avenida, Avenida Santa Fe 1270, entre Libertad y Talcahuano. Open 10 am-9 pm, Mon-Sat. — REBECCA

June 4, 2007 at 2:44 pm 1 comment


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