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During Buenos Aires' heyday, fabulous wealth flowed into the city from Argentina's agricultural heartland, turning the country into one of the world's richest by the early 20th century. The evidence of that era is still apparent in the grand architectural showpieces scattered around this sprawling city of 3 million.Artless graffiti scars nearly every building and much of the transit system, though efficient, hasn't been updated since the 1960s.The building faces Plaza de Mayo, the heart of the city that provides a good jumping off point for exploring the downtown. An organization of mothers of the 30,000 Argentines who disappeared during the dictatorship in the 1970s and '80s still gathers there, as they have every Thursday afternoon for decades.The rest of the week, sidewalk cafes fan out from the plaza during the day, and late at night (some bars don't even open until midnight) a bohemian crowd mingles with tourists.Besides late nights, Buenos Aires is also known for its beef. I found one in Villa Crespo at a downmarket sports club called Villa Malcolm.
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