Centro, the bustling downtown area, is the heart of Buenos Aires. It embraces several barrios: San NicolĂˇs, Montserrat, Retiro (p --), among others. Foreigners popularly call the area around Plaza de Mayo, â€śthe Microcenterâ€ť and near the Congressional building â€śCongreso.â€ť The Centro, though, is much more than that. Avenida de Mayo connects the presidential palace, Casa Rosada, with Plaza Congreso and the legislative branch of government. In between are countless shops, restaurants, bars, clubs, statues, foot-malls, parks, banks and fountains. Calle Corrientes is the cultural strip of the city, with myriads of theaters and bookstores. Calle Florida, radiating toward Plaza San MartĂn, is downtownâ€™s financial and shopping district. Most of the major subte (subway) stations can be accessed from here and offer easy transport to most sections of the city. The area is fairly safe and is constantly the site of political action in the form of protests, parades and fireworks.