6.1 : La Casa Rosada "Is That the Barbie Mansion?"

[image f: Ryan Muir]

When I was 10 they bull dozed the walnut grove across the street from our house to build a low income subdivision, fronted by a few new suburb style homes. The same building company constructed all of them except for one lot, which remained vacant until one day a car full of men came, piled out, and started hammering. What looked like an entire extended family worked and listened to music that was heavy in guitars and accordions. We would later meet the Serranos, and they would introduce me to my first taste of carne asada marinated in cerveza.

But what I remember most about when the Serranos moved in was the way I reacted the day I came home from school and saw that they had finished painting the siding. "Who the heck paints their entire house bright pink?"

Well, in answer to my question, not just my Mexican neighbors, but the Argentinian government. Their equivalent of the White House is called La Casa Rosada, or literally, The Pink House. It's almost like some sort of spoof where Barbie becomes president.

I read in my guide book that it's rumored that the first coat of this building was done with paint tinted with ox blood. Luckily I think Sherwin Williams makes a rather nice alternative (and more PETA friendly) now-a-days.

When I compare The Pink House to The White House I think about symbolism that we associate with colors. The house of the U.S. president has an immaculate stateliness, part purity and part plantation. It's white like the wig of George Washington, or the stars in our spangled banner.

But, The Pink House feels more accessible. Maybe it's the fact that it reminds me of a resort, or that I am interpreting this from my American frame of mind; point of view is impossible to escape.

Over all I would feel more participatory in politics (and would way rather go to a party) in The Pink House. It seems so much less separate, it's a part of the people - like the government should be - not reminiscent of the room in someone's house covered in plastic that no one sits in.


  1. Interesting. I think I would have the opposite reaction. If the rumors are true, I would associate this house with turmoil and bloodshed. While I love pink in general, I think politically it represents a melding of white (purity) and red (bloodshed). I could be off base with that feeling, but those aren't think I want running together in my government. On the flip side, the white house represents (if only in color alone) a certain amount of purity and stateliness that you want in your government, a sense of power and self-righteousness as a country.

    Either way, an entire house in pink? I'm not sure I can get behind that ;)

    P.S. There is actually a paint called "ox-blood red." I'm pretty sure the US makes it without ox blood.


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