Julio Cortázar Square (“Serrano”) Day and Night

The entire life of sparkling Palermo Viejo flows through Julio Cortázar Square, epicenter of fashion and its nightlife.

That weekend the sky was clear. At around midday, we decided to go for a ride around the famous neighborhood of Palermo Viejo (or Palermo Soho). Though the spring had not started yet, there were already some hints of hot weather and the street of Buenos Aires looked deserted. We got on the bus.

Once in Palermo, surrounded by low houses and design stores, we found many empty corners. But little by little, we started to come across other people: families, couples and friends who seemed to be walking all in the same direction. We were headed for the same destination: Julio Cortázar Square, that circular space on the crossroads of Serrano and Honduras Streets, the heart of Palermo. More than one block away, we could already see it: people were walking about like ants. Everyone was there.

It Was Called Serrano Once

The neighborhood of Palermo, one of the most traditional in Buenos Aires, has always been favored by a certain bohemian atmosphere granted by the artists who inhabited and loved this place. By now, poems and short stories written by Jorge Luis Borges have become classics. It was probably him who devoted his thoughts and memories to Palermo more than anyone else. To pay tribute to this relationship, a stretch of what used to be Serrano Street, where he himself lived in a house no longer preserved, has been named after him.

  • Palermo Viejo

    Palermo Viejo

  • The handicrafts market

    The handicrafts market

  • Lanterns time

    Lanterns time

  • Coffee or Beer

    Coffee or Beer

  • Tribute


The square the government of the City of Buenos Aires resolved to rename in 1994 to honor another writer much loved by the Argentinians lies at one of the ends of Jorge Luis Borges Street. It is Julio Cortázar Square. However, many porteños continue to call it “plaza Serrano” (Serrano Square).

Writers from Yesterday, Designers from Today

Ever since the early 1990s, the area began to be occupied by various people interested in design, art, apparel, audiovisual means. It came into fashion and now is referred to as “Palermo Soho”.

Little by little, the hustle and bustle increased during the weekends. People wanted to go for a ride in the area. Design markets, as well as large stores and pubs opened up there to shelter independent designers. Thus, Palermo became a tourist attraction. The handicrafts market at Cortázar Square also prospered and became established.

Coffee or Beer

After strolling and touring around this zone during the entire afternoon, our legs were asking for a rest. Everything can be found at Palermo and all Palermo seems to be concentrated around its square: clothes, handicrafts, ornaments, books, music, furniture, accessories.

Design rules, but beyond design, the multiplicity of designs does. When they come to Palermo, buyers do not search for great brands or objects they may find somewhere else: this is the land of the independent that get together to find a place where to show their work. Everything can be found at Palermo, but it is to be looked for. And that implies walking.

The sun could no longer be seen behind the buildings. We searched for a table to sit down at some pub looking onto the square. It would soon be dark. We asked for a cup of caffè latte. Outside, we could see the lights turning on, the market stalls getting empty. Palermo was entering a state of metamorphosis and would soon be reborn in its nightlife. At the pubs, there would be no shoes but drinks.

Tired of walking so much, we started our way back. Behind, at the square, the pubs and restaurants were getting their tables ready. In a few hours, the corners would start getting crowded again with people in search for a drink, a bite or just hang around. When the sun has set, life stirs at Palermo with the same strength it does during the daytime.

Autor Marcos Rodríguez Fotografo Gentileza Buenos Aires Gob.Ar

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