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It was established by Spanish conquistador Pedro de Mendoza in 1536.
Today, Buenos Aires is a city of luminous, sophisticated exoticism, paralleling high-end sophistication with a wild artist's soul. It is known for its high quality of living, European architecture, culture, theater, tango dancing, high society, and art.
People Born in Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires in People's Lives
Jorge Luis Borges: This was my city, my first love. I was born here in 1899 into a middle-class family. We resided in a poorer area of the city, Palermo. My parents were both well educated and intellectual, and quite worldly and cultured. My mother was from a Uruguayan family of Spanish origin, with grand and heroic ancestors and family members that had helped to first settle Argentina, and had fought in the Argentine War of Independence. I loved hearing her stories growing up. My father, more European, was half English, a quarter Portuguese, and a quarter Spanish, and worked as a lawyer. Though far from rich, my family lived comfortably, with a wealth of knowledge rather than materials. I grew up bilingual, and both English and Spanish were spoken in our home. My father also adopted many English ways of thinking and living. As a boy, I had an intimate relationship with books and reading. "If I were asked to name the chief event in my life, I should say my father's library," which consisted of over 1,000 volumes. At the age of 9, I translated The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde into Spanish, which was published in a local journal. Until the age of 11, I was taught at home by my parents. Around this time, my father was also forced to stop practicing law due to his failing eyesight, which would later do much the same thing to me. In 1914, when I was 15 years old, my family moved to Geneva, Switzerland. I returned in 1921, at the age of 22, with my family. Having lived in Spain for the past few years and having been massively influenced and inspired by the literary scene there, I was passionate and eager to renovate the Argentine literary movement. I found this city much changed, far more shallow. I wrote for literary journals, reviewed books, and co-founded two journals of my own. I continued writing and contributing to reputable publications. By 1931, I was on the path to fame, mixing with big names in literature. I got an editing job at a journal in 1933, and later became a literary adviser for a publishing house. In 1938, I became first assistant librarian at the Miguel Cane Library. I continued to read, write, and translate obsessively. My father, to whom I had been so close, died in 1938, a tragedy that struck me hard. On Christmas Eve of 1938, I had a head injury and was hospitalised, during which time I developed septicemia and nearly died. While in the hospital recovering, I developed my new, unique style of writing that would make me truly great. I began writing different, strange, fantastically complex stories, with much success. By the this time, unfortunately, my eyesight was beginning to fail. I continued to write and also began giving many public lectures, as an increasingly respected celebrity. I was elected Director of the National Library in 1955, a post I held until 1973. Around this time, I went completely blind. From 1956 - 1970, I was professor of literature at the University of Buenos Aires. I also held many other roles as a temporary professor at some of the most prestigious universities in the world. As I grew older, completely blind, I relied on my mother's held increasingly. In the 1960's, I was rocketed to international prestige and acclaim, winning numerous awards, but never the Nobel - which many say was because of my background from a Third World country. I married a woman named Elsa in 1967, but our marriage was short lived, and we divorced in 1970. I often traveled in my later years, even after falling in ill health.
Viggo Mortensen: I lived here from 1961 - 1969, from the age of three to eleven. My family moved here due to my father's agricultural job, and this was my true childhood home. I was raised to speak Spanish and Dutch, but not English. I had a free, happy childhood here, learning to fish and ride horses. I was an avid fan of Argentine futbol. When I was eleven, my parents divorced, and my American mother decided to move back to New York. I went with her, but was in culture shock. Back then, without internet or TV, I had no way to watch futbol anymore, and I found the language change jarring.
Walt Disney: I was sent here on a filming mission by the U.S. Government in 1941, in an effort to improve relations with South America. While here, I met and shook hands with the President of Argentina, Roberto Maria Ortiz, and his vice president, Ramon Castillo. However, I did not enjoy my time here so much as I had in Rio de Janeiro, as the city seemed poised and ready to lash out at me. Due to a major strike going on back at my company in California, the people of this city seemed eager to paint a picture of me as a cruel elitist. I was forever worried about saying or doing the wrong thing, that may further this impression. I told the government afterward that I did not want to shake hands with any more politicians - only artists.