Buying Art in La Boca
Create your own tango picture or buy one.

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Most of the barrio La Boca is a poor slum a foreigner would be crazy to explore, but there is one strip that has been built into a tourist trap that offers a glimpse of what the Boca neighborhood was like years ago.  In this small corner of La Boca one can find hundreds of crafts, nic-knacks, and souvenirs.  It is also a great place to purchase art, or if you are a little artistic, to create your own.  At every clearing there are street performers and tango dancers hoping to entice tourists to take a photo for some change.  The tango dancers ask you to pose with them, so you can have a picture of yourself with an authentic tango dancer on the colorful streets of La Boca.  We found a couple at a picturesque corner and instead of posing with them we asked them to pose so we could make our own piece of of photography; a picture of a couple dancing the tango with the red, blue and green buildings in the background.  Now we have a wonderful piece of art that we created ourselves and it only cost a couple of dollars.


La Boca Art Display

If you donít feel inspired to create your own art there are plenty of street vendors willing to sell you everything from photography to oil paintings.  The paintings are beautiful and not too expensive.  A 16 x 20 water color of tango dancers was priced at 90 pesos or about $30 USD.  The vendors at El Caminito street in La Boca are usually there seven days a week, and the same people come regularly, so odds are you can browse one day and shop on another.  Although, this is Buenos Aires so you never know what is going to happen; I suggest you buy the piece of art you fall in love with the moment you see it.  If you are lucky you can even get a snap shot of the dancers featured in the painting you choose, because often the painters use the faces of the dancers who perform in the neighborhood.

There are other things to buy in La Boca besides art.  Street venders and shops are full of mate gourds, soccer jerseys, scarves, magnets, postcards and any other common souvenir you can imagine. It is said that many of the things in this small neighborhood are over priced and of poor quality, but the prices are so cheap it makes shopping fun.  Also, when you see the slums surrounding the tourist area you wish you would have helped the people working in the neighborhood.  A few dollars to you may be enough to feed the vendor for an entire month.  So please be generous to the street performers and venders.

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