The Buenos Aires neighborhood of La Boca is famous for two reasons: first, it lays claim to being the birthplace of the tango; second, it is home to Boca Juniors, the soccer club on which Maradona played. It also has the most color, both literally and figuratively. My experience there was mixed. The bus dropped me off a block from el Caminito, which is the exact area where tango was said to be born. It’s pretty, sure, but it’s also tourist hell, with buskers everywhere and maitre ‘d’s falling over themselves to pull you into their restaurants.
I chafe in these places when I feel that just having a camera on me makes me a mark. So I kept walking. And soon, I found a friend. Or rather, she found me.
This dog followed me for almost an hour, to the point where I was worried about what I was going to do when I got back to my hotel. I stopped, she stopped; I went into a store, she would wait outside. I think it was the initial petting that made me such a fast friend. Having a companion made for a lively walk. As I said, La Boca is colorful.
I had read in the guidebook about the neighborhood being a bit dodgy, but I kept walking along and shooting until an older woman began speaking to me. At first I protested with my standard No tiendo (“I don’t understand”), but she persisted, using body language and a few words of English to make herself understood: put the camera away or else you’ll get robbed, or worse. I took her advice, happy I was able to get at least some decent shots of the neighborhood.