Interesting Stuff

Infill Gone Wild

The smart growth infill advocates would love the way things are done on these broad Atlantic shores of Argentina.

Millions of Argentines flock here each summer, leaving the cities nearly empty as they soak up the sun and pay mucho pesos for shade as they jam together cheek to darkly tanned and perfectly formed cheek.

For those of us accustomed to the Oregon Coast or a spot at Lucky Peak, the beaches are truly claustrophobic. There are acres and acres of brightly colored striped canvas CABA√ĎAS on the massive wide sand beaches.

So popular are the beaches, there are mobil banks with satellite links and McDonalds has portable restaurants in trailers–just like corndogs at the fair. Even the auto manufacturers–Ford, Fiat, Peugot, and VW–have showrooms right on the beach.

Cars are parked bumper to bumper and old men or young boys in need of a few pesos wave shop rags to signal parking spots–custom is to tip in exchange for the cardboard sun shades they place over the windshield. Boise City could easly give Mar del Plata lessons in municipal licensing like they do with the hot dog vendors. It is obviously unregulated.

(Photos to come later)

Comments & Discussion

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  1. South America has much to teach the Gringo, especially in how to enjoy life. The Jersey beaches used to be packed like sardines but for some reason I loved it ( Scenery?)It seems our Argentine friends have no qualms about the rich and poor sharing the seashore beauty and wealth.
    Boise, as all America, could learn much from that attitude!

  2. As the Guardian mentioned before, Argentina (and also Uruguay just to the north) are influenced more by Europe than by any indigenous roots that may remain. (Most of the native “Indian” people were driven out or eliminated, back during the Honkey Crusades a few centuries back.) I s’pose the elbow-to-elbow beaches are somewhat akin to Europe’s “Holiday,” where everybody closes their shop doors and heads to the nearest beach for a month.

    As for the rich and poor sharing… you’ll see gated billionaire estates along the South American coast that are comparable or superior to anything you’d see in Palm Beach or Malibu. Rich S. Amercians enjoy “living large.” And the poverty-stricken in S. America would be totally scornful of state-side po’ folks, who whine because they can’t afford cable TV or that new car. (Think housing made of pallet-wood and a tin roof, with dirt floor. No running water or electricity.)

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