Didem Doğan

San Telmo and Bar Plaza Dorrega

If we are to talk about sister neighbourhoods San Telmo reminds someone from Istanbul like me the Karakoy district in Istanbul, in terms of its development as an industrial zone then becoming a hip district. An industrial zone close to the port, it was the residence place of the workers, far from the city center. The bohemian bourgeois ‘discovers’ it and little by little, by new art galleries, antique shops, cafés become a popular, stylish, arty place among the middle classes. If you go there on a Sunday you’ll find the flea market, you can go to the café at the corner Bar Dorrego sharing the same space with Borges who used to come there too to take a coffee. This is a café that has now achieved iconic status: the place where Borges and Sanato used to meet. One can even admire their picture on the wall. The walls and tables of the café are all covered in scribbles, there is not a single corner that is not graffitied. Looking out the wide windows at the Sunday crowd in San Telmo, I examine the words etched on my table. The café occupies the whole corner of the crossroads, so you would be as happy as I am now, if you were sitting here and taking in the view of the café’s interior against the backdrop of the street life outside.