La Boca, Caminito
Here in La Boca lives the Passion of Soccer,
the Coloured Caminito Street
and the Magic of Tango
At the end of 19th C. one of the largest human migrations of History disembarked in this places during two decades. Italians, Spaniards, Turks, Sirian-Lebanese, Greeks, French, British and many other nationalities arrived here to work the land, looking for the dream of living in peace and without hunger. For a starved Europe, this place was "The Farm of the World" and the Promised Land. For most of those four millon of immigrants, the promise, after hard sacrifices, was fulfilled. They payed back with same coin: they modified the culture, the size of the City and the commerce, they enriched the lands, carried on the claim for fair social laws, and contributed to the creation of the Tango and the Milonga. The 1880s immigration changed Argentina forever. It is said that the Chinese come from China, Germans from Germany and the British from Britain, but we the Argentineans come from the ships, and those ships moored in La Boca. Hear more in the Historical Tour.
The La Boca stadium is "The Bombonera", (Chocolate´s box) because it is narrow, forced to reach the sky, an impressive resonance box, where the field trembles when Boca plays, and it was defined by a cuantitative global survey as the most emotional sport experience on Earth when Boca faces its archi-rival and emigrant of the neighbourhood: River Plate. The colors of Boca Juniors soccer team come from indecision: No one could agree as to the Club's colors, so they decided they would pick the colors of the first flag of the first ship that came into the harbour: it turned out to be Swedish.
Caminito, a legend that mixes artistic work with life's color and happiness, a place/stage where it is hard to distinguish the daily reallity from turistic fantasy. The actors are so fascinated with tango and their own way of life, that they actually end up "playing themselves" every single day.
This neighbourhood is so unique that it has proclamated three "Republics": the first one, independist and revolutionary, so much so that its representatives sent several telegrams to King Humberto I (King of Italy during the early 20th C.) requesting he add La Boca to his domain; the second one, artistic and demented, gave the "Sacred Order of the Screw" to artists, because it considered that artists most certainly needed one given they had chosen that career; and the third and current one, is a restorer and is working on the protection of the Historical Value of La Boca.
Those poor immigrants, who invented Tango dancing in the wait of the brothels, also contributed with a cheap kind of construction of tin and wood, easy to assemble and transport. They painted their modest little houses, usually supported one against the other in order to remain standing, with the excedent of paint of the shipyards: ocher, grey, dark green, some red.
Was Benito Quinquela Martín who in 20th C., quited Paris and remain there, fascinated with the port magic, and installed here his atellier for light the neighbourhood life and its inhabitants. The neigbours, respectful of his artistic investiture, his coloured charm and the love that Quinquela showed for the neighbourhood, used to ask him about how to re-paint their houses. They would give him a black & white photograph which he would then paint in. Then they followed his design, thus giving birth to the current colors of La Boca. This is also the way that Caminito was born, originally as a scenographic space where Cecilio Madanes (another great artist) recreated more than 2500 plays. Quinquela thought of Caminito as a Contemporary Art piece, and convinced all of its inhabitants and the Government to fill it with color. The old railway corridor received the homage of being named after a tango: "Caminito" (Little path). You can feel the Tango and experience the Art with the Art Tour!
Currently many areas which were abandoned, where taken by street artist to do fantastic murals inspired in the neighbourhood and soccer tradition, so as your private tour guid for Buenos Aires, I can join you there to show the latest and original art of that place.
Did you like what I've told you so far? Then imagine how I still have to tell you in person! Let's go to La Boca!
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