Corrientes Avenue


Corrientes Avenue

Corrientes Avenue ("Avenida Corrientes" in Spanish) is one of the principal thoroughfares of the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires. The street is intimately tied to the tango and the porteño sense of identity. Like the parallel avenues Santa Fe, Córdoba, and San Juan, it takes its name from one of the Provinces of Argentina.

It extends 69 blocks from Eduardo Madero Avenue in the eastern Puerto Madero neighborhood to the West and later to the Northwest, and ends at Federico Lacroze Avenue in the Chacarita neighborhood. Automobile traffic runs from west to east. Línea B of the Buenos Aires Metro runs most of underneath the street.The "Asociación Amigos de la Calle Corrientes" ("Friends of Corrientes Street Association") is a group that collaborates on the urban planning of the street. They have placed commemorative plaques on 40 street corners bearing the distinguished figures from the history of the tango.

History

It was named del Sol during the 17th century, San Nicolás from 1738 to 1808, and de Incháurregui from 1808 until 1822, when it received its current name. Never more than a street of average width during the nineteenth century, traffic swelled after the city began its rapid westward expansion, around 1880. Horse-drawn tramways first ran on the avenue in 1887; but, they soon proved inadequate and in 1910, Mayor Joaquin de Anchorena signed a bill authorizing its widening.

The plan called for the massive razing of most of the avenue's north-side real estate and, so, met with strenous opposition from affected landlords, retailers, as well as intellectuals like Roberto Arlt. A coup d'ètat in 1930, however, made way for the plan's implementation, carried out relentlessly until its completion, in 1936. The newly inaugurated avenue coincided with the construction of the Buenos Aires Obelisk, since then one of the city's most recognizable landmarks. Today, when referring to Corrientes prior to the widening, the term "Narrow Corrientes" (Corrientes Angosta) is used.

Points of interest

Base to obelisk

*Luna Park, former boxing ring, currently used for other sports
*The back of the Central Post Office
*The downtown microcentro banking district
* Florida pedestrian street
*Many of the country's most important theater companies.
*Numerous traditional and historical restaurants, including Argentine cuisine, Spanish cuisine and Italian cuisine.
*The Obelisk of Buenos Aires, at the intersection with 9 de Julio Avenue.

"The street that never sleeps"

*"Los Inmortales" pizzeria, previously the "Café de los inmortales", ("Café of the immortals") with photos of the historic figures that visited it.
*"Güerrín" pizzeria
*"Café La Paz", historic meeting place for leftist activists
*"Bar Ramos"
*"La Giralda Cafeteria", serving Spanish-style hot chocolate and churros
*General San Martín Theater
*"La Plaza" complex, a private enterprise with theaters and restaurants
*"Hernández", "Liberarte", and many other bookstores

Off-Corrientes

"Off-Corrientes" refers to the alternative playhouse area. It is also home to the Ricardo Rojas Center of the University of Buenos Aires, which is promotes experimental art (but is itself located on Corrientes).

"Once"

The Balvanera barrio (also known as "Once") is a traditionally Jewish neighborhood known for the wholesale and retail sale of clothing, now also home to merchants of other nationalities, including Koreans and Peruvians.

Abasto

Beyond Pueyrredón Avenue is the hometown of Carlos Gardel, the tango singer known as the "morocho" ("dark-haired man") of Abasto". In disrepair not many years ago, the neighborhood is slowly making a comeback. The neighborhood's name is derived from the Mercado de Abasto, a former fruit and vegetable market that is today the city's largest shopping center.

Almagro

Almagro is a calm residential neighborhood inhabited by apartment-dwellers. The center of activity is at the intersection of Medrano and Rivadavia Avenues.

Villa Crespo

Villa Crespo is another traditionally Jewish neighborhood. Unleavened bread is available for passover, as are other seasonal specialties. It is in this area (formerly called "Triumvirate") that the greater part of the 1948 Leopoldo Marechal novel "Adán Buenosayres" takes place. The neighbourhood is also home to the Atlanta football club.

The "barrio" was home to tango great Osvaldo Pugliese.

La Quinta del Ñato

Corrientes ends at the train station next to the Cemetery of La Chacarita, and then runs alongside the Parque Los Andes, where pleasure fairs where held until September 2005.

("La Quinta del Ñato" is a lunfardo way of referring to a person's last dwelling. )

Corrientes in tango music

Corrientes Avenue is featured in several tango lyrics, notably:

*"A media luz" by Carlos Lenzi and Edgardo Donatto
*"Calle Corrientes" by Alberto Vaccarezza and Enrique Delfino
*"Corrientes angosta" by Ángel "Pocho" Gatti
*"Corrientes y Esmeralda" by Celedonio Flores and F. Pracanico
*"Tristezas de la calle Corrientes" by Homero Esposito and Domingo Federico, 1942
*"Pucherito de gallina"


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