By Roy Heale
Palermo—Why I chose it for my new home…
One of the great joys in relocating to a different city is the time spent discovering one’s new neighborhood. My choice to live in the Palermo community of Buenos Aires was based on a number of different criteria. But probably the biggest reason was my close proximity to the wonderful parkland which skirts the region and extends to the banks of the River Plate. This is like being close to Central Park in New York or Hyde Park in London, but with a distinctly European flair and variety of landscapes in a much larger green space than either of those parks can claim. One of the reasons this massive parkland exists in the heart of Buenos Aires is because it was an enormous private estate until the middle of the 1800s.
It has been said that Palermo has the feel of a park where some people happen to live—in the midst of this miles-long expanse of green open space the towering high-rise apartment buildings re-enforce that expression.
My home is just two blocks from the main entrance to the parkland area which begins with the Botanical Gardens and the Zoo Gardens. So naturally I try to spend as much time as possible enjoying an island of green space in the heart of this metropolis, usually commencing with an early morning walk. To fully enjoy this peaceful haven I need to own a bicycle, but for the time being I settle for long walks before the afternoon sun becomes too fierce.
Recently I decided it was time to explore the Rose Gardens about which I had heard many glowing reports from my new neighbors and friends. It was a sunny Sunday morning and I thought my early start would avoid the crowds. However, after a short ten minute walk to the garden’s entrance I discovered the roads were closed to allow joggers and cyclists to enjoy an energetic Sunday morning workout. Despite the night-owl culture of this city’s residents, the park was already humming with Portenos. But once inside the Rose Gardens there was a distinct air of tranquility as everyone took a moment to stop and smell the roses!
This park within the park was ablaze with the sights and scents of almost every variety and species of roses known to horticulturists and much more. The fountains, lakes, ornate bridges, pergolas, patios, gazebos, statues, and even the collection of International Rosas Nuevos, were neatly laid out and cultivated perfectly for a relaxing stroll through the manicured gardens. Even though the park proved to be very popular on a Sunday morning there was never a time when it felt crowded. Everyone was enjoying a leisurely stroll through one of mother nature’s wonderlands!
Each time I venture out to enjoy a different slice of the Palermo pie I am not disappointed by the choice of my new beginning.