Jorge Luis Borges in Mythic Buenos Aires

by Michael Warren

Knife fights and backdoor Tango joints used to dot the cobblestone barrio where Jorge Luis Borges once lived. Now known as Palermo Viejo, this former Italian neighborhood in northern Buenos Aires was once overrun by hoodlums, gauchos and easy women who lived their lives like the lyrics of a Rubinstein Tango song:

The woman who came back without honour, disguised as a thug,
and the neighbors in each door gossiped non stop,
about her shameless costume, her jet black eyes,
and her lack of modesty, that she doesn't know how to hide.
The Italian grocer seated on the side...

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