SkyscraperCity banner
1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
Veterano
Joined
·
3,665 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I thought this might me interesting. During the last 2 years many americans and europeans have started migrating to Buenos Aires for the lifestyle. This is an article from the Washington Post. What do you think about this topic?

masimo said:

The Puente de la Mujer's single mast -- with cables that suspend a portion of the bridge --
rotates 90 degrees in order to allow water traffic to pass.

Michael Lewis - Corbis

Expatriate Games
Travelers Are Heading to Buenos Aires for the Culture -- and Staying
for the $250 Rent

By Allen Salkin

Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, April 23, 2006; Page P01


Buenos Aires: For a Trip or for a Lifestyle
Many Americans have headed south to Argentina and its capital Buenos Aires for a low-cost, cosmopolitan way of life.

Meghan Curry starts her day with a walk to the river. The former real estate agent from Denver, who is 26, holds hands with her fiance, Patricio de Vasconcellos, 31, a wavy-haired Argentine with dark eyes, as they gaze over the coffee-colored waters of the Rio de la Plata. Around midday, when de Vasconcellos heads to work at the wine shop where the two met a year ago, Curry settles into her two-bedroom apartment to work on her travel memoir and a collection of poetry. Then she might nap or head downtown for café con leche with friends at one of the city's thousands of outdoor cafes. Later, much later, it's time for a slow dinner on Buenos Aires time, where many restaurants don't open until 10 p.m.

"This," said Curry, "I could never do if I had to earn more than $6,000 a year."

Her apartment rents for $250 a month. An espresso costs about 65 cents. A restaurant dinner -- appetizers, thick steaks and wine -- costs about $25 for two. Stylish leather handbags from designer boutiques go for $20. Tickets for first-run American movies are about $3.50.

Sound good? It did to Curry, who came to the city known as B.A. in February 2005, intending to stay for a few months and learn Spanish. Once in Argentina, she fell in love with the low-stress lifestyle and with de Vasconcellos, and now plans to stay indefinitely.

Curry is one of thousands of Americans and others who have given up lives in places like Washington, Los Angeles and London in the last three years -- some permanently, some temporarily. Lured by B.A.'s high culture at low prices, this new crop of expatriates aims to pursue dream versions of themselves in the Argentine capital.

"Prague was the place in the early 1990s," said Margaret Malewski, author of the 2005 guide "GenXpat: The Young Professional's Guide to Making a Successful Life Abroad." "B.A. is the hot spot now."

American retirees who choose to settle outside the United States are still heading to established locales like Costa Rica and San Miguel de Allende in Mexico, and there's a solid crop of baby boomers retreating to former Eastern Bloc countries like Bulgaria and Slovakia. But right now, the under-50 set is flocking to B.A., said Roger Gallo, publisher of the expatriate Web site Escapeartist.com.

"It's a fairly sophisticated city in which people from New York, San Francisco and other large cities can find a culture with which they can identify," Gallo said. "It's got one of the great opera houses in the world, acceptable jazz, tango. It has some good restaurants and good wine."


Read the entire article
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,973 Posts
lol... people from the US moving to Latin America; Whod'a seen this coming? (I know it's really south america, but just go with it)
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,572 Posts
I always thought about buying a condo down in S.America...this could be a nice place to do it. Although, I was thinking of buying a place in Costa Rica.
 

·
My Mind Has Left My Body
Joined
·
7,266 Posts
I have thought about it as well. I would love to buy a place in Rio (despite the crime). There are a lot of places in Latin America I could picture setting up shop (BA being one).
 

·
My Mind Has Left My Body
Joined
·
7,266 Posts
Where you thinking about Virtual? And if you don't mind me asking what you planning to do there? You plan to save up money and then go or plan to live off a salary you make there?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
115 Posts
I'm not surprised. I loved B.A. when I visited. I could absolutely live there.

My only big concern would be the left-wing economic policy. Argentina needs to take the lead from Chile and adopt more free trade. While many things are cheap in Argentina, lots of imports (for example Japanese electronics) might cost over double what they would in America, due to the Argentine government's shortsighted trade barriers. And that does negatively impact the quality of life.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,294 Posts
nomarandlee said:
Where you thinking about Virtual? And if you don't mind me asking what you planning to do there? You plan to save up money and then go or plan to live off a salary you make there?

It depends, since I'm still a student, maybe studying a year or two over there, or work.... it really depends, and I'm open to different options you know.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
539 Posts
Im in college right now, and I plan to find a job when I graduate in South America. Santiago, Montevideo, Porto Alegre, or Curitiba would be nice.
 

·
Veterano
Joined
·
3,665 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
samsonyuen said:
I'd love to live in Argentina. Is the immigration process relatively quick and easy for Americans/Canadians?
quite so!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
537 Posts
I wouldn't mind living there either. Just like Shanghai, but food aside, a whole lot cheaper.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
181 Posts
How hard is it to find jobs down there? Holy crap I'd love to do that. I lived in Panama this past summer, and the Latin way of life is addictive as hell...two hour lunches followed by a siesta followed by four hours of serious work followed by a two hour dinner followed by two hours in the clubs and mosey in to work at 10 AM.

I'd do it in a freakin' SECOND.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,767 Posts
Argentina is so under-rated. Such a fantastic fusion of latin and european lifestyle. It's hardly perfect, but it's hard to not let its charms make you forget about it.

Another under-rated SA city is Montevideo.






KGB
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
0 Posts
nath05 said:
How hard is it to find jobs down there?
You guys r serious? :lol:

Well, keep in mind unemployment is over 12%, so the best alternative would be to actually start your own business.
I read something like that in the WSJ a couple of months ago.
ENTERPRISE

Entrepreneur Heads
Far South to Launch Firm


Leather-Goods Maker Finds
Savings -- and Obstacles --
In Argentine Start-Up


By TARA SIEGEL BERNARD
February 21, 2006; Page B6

Fresh out of college and living in a converted closet in Manhattan, Amanda Knauer knew she wouldn't land her dream job -- combining fashion design with the adventure of international business -- at her age. So she decided to fashion something for herself.

Buenos Aires, the so-called Paris of South America, beckoned. Ms. Knauer, now 25 years old, arrived in 2004 with one suitcase, $45,000 in the bank, and a conversational knowledge of Spanish. She explored the city streets for inspiration, and it didn't take long to find her muse: Argentine leather.

Within months, she launched Qara Argentina, a luxury leather-accessories company that makes hand-crafted calfskin wallets, messenger bags and other leather trimmings, targeting what she deems an underserved market: 25- to 40-year-old urban men.

While starting a business on familiar terrain would have been easier, Ms. Knauer knew that with the devaluation of the Argentine peso in 2002, her budget could be stretched much further there. But she also knew there would be challenges.

For an entrepreneur establishing a business in a foreign country -- or even setting up an overseas unit -- it's easy to make a mistake if you assume what would work well at home would work in another country. "Everything reverts back to the cultural divide," Ms. Knauer says, "which is also what makes it interesting." In Argentina, "you can't come here as an American and expect to do business as an American," she says. "You have to observe and immerse yourself and study the Argentine way of doing business and more or less mimic it."

Thousands of miles from family and friends, Ms. Knauer has had to quickly master an unfamiliar business tango without a partner, as well as craft an authentic Argentine persona for her company so that she'd receive the same treatment from suppliers as an indigenous operation would.

She was a quick study. She immediately contacted a lawyer, whom she found through friends back home, and incorporated in both countries. Her lawyer also helped her find an "on-paper-only" Argentine partner. The arrangement cost money, but having such a partner made it much easier to incorporate in Argentina.

There were other challenges as well. Ms. Knauer initially used well-known leather manufacturers, but they had trouble translating her ideas into goods that met her standards. In one instance, she says, "they had run out of the leather I had asked for so they gave me this messenger bag in metallic gold leather. It didn't occur to them that I was expecting what I asked for. So I looked at the numbers and realized it made more sense to open my own production facility."

By August, seven months after Qara's creation, she had rented a 1,200-square-foot space in the heart of Buenos Aires for $365 a month, bought second-hand machines and found artisans through advertising in the local paper.

But when she discovered that several leather tanneries she visited were inflating their prices to her, she says, "I realized ... what I needed to do was hire more Argentines to go as my cultural brokers. There were linguistic subtleties that an American would just miss, as well as cultural issues," she explains.

She now has seven employees -- a manager, two assistant designers, two artisans and a part-time leather cutter -- all of whom are Argentine except a fellow American expatriate who handles public relations. She plans to hire two more artisans and buy more sewing machines to double weekly production to a total of about 3,000 bags this year. Although marketing didn't begin in earnest until late last year, Ms. Knauer says Qara should be profitable by the end of this year, the company's second.

But hanging on to her artisans, who were used to working a single task on an assembly line, hasn't been easy. "You have to retrain them," Ms. Knauer says, "They are used to working for quantity instead of quality and I am asking for the opposite." She says she pays them more to make them stay. "If they stayed," she adds, "they would realize what I required of them was more attractive than going back to a factory and working in an assembly line. I think they take a lot more pride in their work now."

Qara's goods retail anywhere from $60 for a calfskin credit-card holder and $65 for an iBook laptop cover, to $286 for a leather messenger bag and $650 for a weekend bag, Ms. Knauer says. While Qara's line is currently available through its Web site, as well as a boutique, Foley + Corinna, in Manhattan, she needs department-store shelves to bring her brand to the next level. On a recent visit to New York, she met with a big department store as well as a few major fashion magazines and trade publications. "It's really important to be on shelves," she says. "People really like touching and smelling leather, which they can't do online."

Qara's items are also available in Buenos Aires hotel boutiques, and she plans to open a store in the city's fashion district, within the next six months.

While Ms. Knauer has other plans for expansion -- including a women's line -- she's close to exhausting her initial investment. She's now seeking angel investors, which would allow her to establish a New York office, as well as hire a sales executive. She'd also use the funds to buy more leather in bulk to lock in costs and help ward off the effects of Argentine inflation.



Write to Tara Siegel Bernard at [email protected]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
170 Posts
Welcome to the global village. Seems like a beautiful city. Many americans and Europeans might really like it because they can easily blend in there, considering most of the country has European origins.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,158 Posts
One additional problem. The language barrier. Unless you speak fairly fluent Spanish living in BA or Mexico City, which I'd like to live in, can be difficult. And you also don't want to have to rely on locals English or it will drive you crazy. I would think that the best thing to do is save up some money in the US and go to Buenos Aires for six months and enroll in a Spanish language school. That way you'll meet lots of people who are in a similar situation as you, you'll get your language abilities to the point where you can communicate fairly well and you'll see if you could live in BA for more than six months.
 
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
Top