Buenos Aires - Now Smoke Free!
Buenos Aires just earned another point in my book and simultaneously rid itself of one of the biggest complaints I've heard from US expats and tourists -- the smoke filled restaurants and bars. Those expats who are here from Europe, of course, may not be so thrilled, but if you're among the 80% of US expats who don't smoke, you're probably feeling a little less congested after walking out of a restaurant in Buenos Aires.
This weekend I remember leaving AcaBar, a restaurant / bar in Palermo, with some friends and I realized how much different the experience was from just 5 months ago when I went there with this same group of friends. The last time, the place was so smoke-filled that you could hardly see across from one end to the other. I remembered that after I got home, I had to strip off all my clothes and take a shower just to get the smell of smoke out of my hair.
Since the bar provides free table games for everyone to play, in the past it was full with groups of people chatting away and smoking up enough cigarettes to supply an army. Now its possible to enjoy a board game with friends there without having to take an antihistamine and an aspirin beforehand.
Kudos to Buenos Aires! If I could vote, I'd reelect whoever decided to do a little something to improve public health. Now all they need to do is start fining the dog owners who let their dogs crap everywhere and pick up the garbage more frequently and the city would earn another 2 points.