17 Mar Librería El Ateneo Grand Splendid
Grand Splendid indeed. A former theatre, Buenos Aires’ El Ateneo is a monument to the written word. You can sit in the theatre boxes and sip a coffee while pondering Borges, or join the other touristas wandering through in a daze, gazing at the beautiful curvature of the space, the painted ceilings, the ornate mouldings.
The stage, which once hosted the likes of Tango legend Carlos Gardel, is now cafe where you can get a decent panini and coffee. History is a strange thing.
El Ateneo doesn’t have many English books (another reason to improve my Spanish), but just being here satisfied my (luddite) book loving soul. In a time when we are losing independent publishers and bookstores on a daily basis, it’s nice to know that somewhere, people are still tending the temple of the book.