Didem Doğan

The May Square & Café Tortoni & Café London City

The capital city is also home to several political manifestations and plays an important role in the bloody history of Latin America. The May Square is the center of all political movements, since 1810 when Argentine gained her independence from Spain. This is where the sound of the people is heard, where the Mothers of the May Square insist to gather to recall their lost ones during the dirty war when the military regime took various people from their homes who never came back. At one side you see the Pink Palace, at the other the Metropolitan Cathedral… As you the May Square behind and walk along the May Avenue you’ll reach a couple of meters ahead the Tortoni Café, one of the most traditional café of the city. Having a break here is like taking in the historical air of Buenos Aires. Tables and chairs that haven’t been changed for years, walls holding up the high ceiling, waiters who, blending in, almost became a part of the interior decoration, the trays they hold and the coffee mugs on the trays. It seems like if a piece of the puzzle changes, so would this café which bears witness to the history, for the worse. It remained both a popular haunt and an institution for the generations… Walk a bit more on the same line and you will reach to another classical café. The London Café is famous by being the favourite place of Julio Cortazar. Rumor has it that a Nobel laurate author of Argentina penned his book here. The cafés that the world-celebrated literary figures, before taking up the mantle of universal celebrity, haunted, the famous novels they wrote, taking a seat here and scribbling down-it all gives me goose bumps to imagine them, yes, but as common folk we also keep wondering how they managed to write these great works in the hullaballoo of these places with so many people coming and going.