The west bank, with its old red-brick buildings, offers the authenticity of the old, with the comforts of the new. Restaurants across the west bank of Puerto Madero, cater primarily to the tourists who flock to the waterfront to enjoy the fresh breezes, a sturdy sidewalk (not to be taken for granted in Argentina), and of course, a juicy argentine steak. Puente de la Mujer (Women’s Bridge) is the most recent addition to the connectors between the east and the west. Designed by Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava, Puente de la Mujer encapsulates the modern outlook of the city.
While the west bank has maintained the portside exterior, the development across the east bank could be likened to Shanghai (okay, severe exaggeration but you get the point) with high-rise office buildings and new apartments making the cityscape almost unrecognizable. While the wide avenues are certainly a consistent feature in Buenos Aires, the feel of this neighbour is eerily similar to those found in the States. Further across, the Ecological Reserve offers a safe haven for the exercise junkies to get their weekly fix with bicycles and joggers dominating the paths, however it also offers a variety of local flora for those interested in a slower-paced experience.
The good news is that while Puerto Madero has undergone a face lift, the locals are still the same. You’ll still see Argentines sweating it out on the pavement, or trying to soak in that last bit of sunshine, or ever-so-coolly sitting at the corner cafe with a cortado (macchiato). Whatever it is you are looking for, Puerto Madero certainly offers a sweet escape from the chaos that surrounds it. While in Buenos Aires, be sure to witness the change that is going on as the city begins to shake off the old and embrace the new.