Dare to visit an abandoned amusement park at Buenos Aires and discover the enchantment of a different photo shoot location surrounded by old mechanical games that will make you want to spend lots of film!
Parque de la Ciudad (City Park) was created during the last military government at Villa Soldati, one of the poorest neighbourhoods in Buenos Aires. The aim was to boost the property prices and the economy of the neighbourhood, as well as to replicate the success of other theme parks opened by the company at the moment, imitating Disney World.
It had several mechanical games, roller coasters, and a pond, but one of it mains attractions was the Space Needle, a 228-metre-tall observation tower acquired in Austria.
The park opened its doors in 1982, but it struggled with financial crisis all over the ’80s and the ’90s. Finally, it was closed in 2001 and today you can visit an almost empty ghost park. It is open during the weekends, but only to enjoy the green areas, which are very well kept.
Last weekend I went for the first time, even though I can see the Space Needle from my window every day. I chose it as a photo shoot location for representing the political decay of Argentina before the 2001 crisis. I was surprised tho find that the park was quite clean, some families were having picnics and the abandoned mechanical games are still colourful and attractive. I couldn’t stop taking photos, imagining children on them and long cues at the now empty ticket boxes.
Of course all the games are closed and in evident decay, but they are a perfect symbol of the grandiloquent aspirations for resembling the “first world countries” in a context of repression of the civilian liberties.
If you want to visit a non touristic spot of Buenos Aires, take Subway E at Plaza de Mayo, combine with the Premetro (tramway) and reach the station “Parque de la Ciudad”. The whole journey takes about 30 or 40 minutes. Make sure to bring your own food and enough film for your camera because at this park your only company may be the security guard at the door and a lazy duck at the pond.