Tag Archives: 1810

A hot one

Apart from the usual shopping trip out there was little to report on our morning. Then it was out again to afternoon milonga at Nuevo Chique. We arrived early as always and things did not look good, we had already been grilled as we walked along Uruguay. Now we were met with near darkness. Every time the temperature goes up here there are power cuts and today it was the turn of Casa Galicia. I am not sure how this works, but there was power for some lights and a portable sound system, but non for the main sound system and non for the air conditioners. The ceiling fans seemed to be working though so we had some air movement, just no chilling.

I commented that the Edisur building was next door, a building full of electricity and one woman said ” and across the road is the Peronist party headquarters, they never have power cuts”. I could have thrown a cable across and got us some power, but I don’t think they would allow it.

Some left early due to the poor sound, others soon after because of the heat. Still for the first two hours at least Viv never missed a tanda. Unusually for me I missed some just because I was too hot, but we braved it out until after seven and the Pugliese. Three hours is enough anyway and certainly in this heat.

Many women commented that my shirt was dry, most of the other men were drenched in sweat. Like I say, it’s hard to get me too hot. My towel did get some use though and I had some cold washes. Good quality cotton helps, I suppose.

We headed out into the heat, it was still up in the thirties, and the rain from overflowing aircons was everywhere.  El Revolutionario was still not open, and it looks like it may remain shut for some time. I noticed today that the letters over the door in red are no longer there, perhaps the revolution has been overthrown.

So we jumped on the next 151 and set off for Cordoba. It is always strange passing our building, I want to jump off, but then we would have further to walk. As it was we had nine blocks to walk but it was worth it. Our first visit to 1810 this year, but they never gave us the spicy salsa. A few years ago they stopped, but tonight I noticed that they gave it to later diners.

Still we enjoyed out Stella Noir and empanadas followed by lentejas for Viv and Carbonada for me. We always enjoy the food here, but not so much the long walk home.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Tango

El Arranque Dos

They say you can never go back, I think that means you can never re-create old times. El Arranque was never going to be the same in another venue and Castelbamba was never my favourite venue.

So while I watched the Rugby and all my sides lose Viv said she was off. I had bad reports from Thursday, but she was not going to believe them. When I arrived she seemed happy enough, although the chairs we were offered would not have looked out of place on a tip. She said she had done better than Friday for dances. Right from the start I struggled, not only was the floor too small, but some men were dancing on the rough tiles at the side and then pushing their way on to the floor. There were almost no women here I recognized and the standard was not great. Dora turned up and we had a nice dance, but she did not stay long, most women were abandoning the place quite quickly.

Viv says she did not stop for two hours, but as the evening went on she too had trouble getting dances. In the end we did not stay for La Cumparsita we left half an hour early and decided to walk up Corrientes.

Outside they had closed the street off. There was Jazz playing and stalls selling books of all sorts (not English though). There was quite an atmosphere but not many places to eat. I said that I fancied 1810 but Viv said she thought it was a long way, “Just a hop on the subte” I said, so 1810 it was.

In times past they would have been queuing out of the door, not so tonight. They have re-instated the bread and salsa picante so Viv dived straight in. Then she had a coughing fit so they brought her a glass of water “Serves you right for being greedy” I said.  Best empanadas in Buenos Aires and black beer. What more can you ask? Then came the lentejas for Viv and my carbonada. Another beer is needed, I think. Normally Viv tries to restrict my input but she misread the lable on the beer. 975 CL looks like 0.75 when you have bad eyes, I did not put her right until the bottle was half gone.

Leave a comment

Filed under Argentina, milonga, Tango

1810

Another El Arranque Saturday. Erwin (The DJ) excelled, I really intended not to dance every tanda, but the great music just kept coming.

Reports from Viv is that she only missed just one tanda. It is getting so that we look forward to the cumbia, just so that we can have a rest.

Las borrachas both gave me two dances, and a few others did the same. There are still one or two ladies that I cannot crack, but I am sure my time will come. Time was that here I struggled and so did Viv, it’s a good feeling not having to sit out.

We eat out on a Saturday, today we are heading for 1810. Traditional Tucaman food served in the heart of Palermo. Another adventure, we took the subte and changed at Puerradon onto the H line. This was a leap of faith, as last year we could not get from the H line onto the D line as the station had not been built. We need not have worried, it all went smoothly and we soon arrived at Bulnes station.

The prices have risen quite a lot here at 1810, particularly the beer. 50$ar for a porron of stout, that is £2.50 for a third of a litre . So we did not go mad. We did however enjoy some excellent empanadas and a rather fine salad followed by coffee. We have been coming here since 2008 and this is the first time that they have served coffee. It is also the first time we have been here on a Saturday night and there has not been a queue waiting for tables. In fact only two other tables were occupied. The high prices are starting to hit.

We stopped off on the way home for our pudding, dark chocolate ice cream. They still think we are strange buying a quarter kilo of just one flavor, the locals mix them all up.

Then called in the chino for some proper beer, a litre of Quilmes stout. Knackered as I am, it will still help me sleep.

Leave a comment

Filed under Argentina, Tango

Back to Buenos Aires

We shared a last drink with Roger at the bus station, then it was time to board. there was much man hugging and we waved him goodbye as the bus pulled out.
Our last trip we were downstairs, but now we were on the top. Right next to the girl with the microphone. I really did not know how to react to the bible reading, especially as I could only understand every tenth word or so. I also did not realise when she had gone into prayer mode, at least until she said amen.
The food was ok, at least a lot better than you get on National Express. funny how the serve a cold meal followed by a hot one. We were ready this time though and saved our cake until after the meal.
I was constantly disturbed during the night, by the toll booths, the stops for passengers and the traffic lights. Funnily enough though I still felt rested when we arrived at Retiro.
On leaving the bus we were immediately accosted by Remis drivers. I asked at the booth, “Quanto a Almagro?” “$120” too much we turned away.
We had come down in the heaviest traffic and it only cost us $85, so we went outside to find a taxi.
The taxis would not pick us up from here, we were told to go downstairs. There there was a big queue but it soon dissipated and we were soon in a taxi. Our very first female driver.
I wondered how she would cope, but she seemed totally unfazed by the aggression normally shown to drivers here. In fact she negotiated very smoothly through the tightest of gaps.
She drove us straight up Cordoba, left into Bulnes then right into Guardia Vieja. Perfect route, no detours and very quick.
Only $65 I asked if she had a card as I would use her again but she had non, shame.

While going out for a picture hook Sebastian accosted me, he had a parcel too big to go under the door. It was some decorations sent by Dave and Alma (Thanks) unfortunately they must have arrived after we left, so too late for Christmas. Shame again.

We need some food before we go out and we don’t have a thing in. So it is off to the local amacen for some bread and cheese to toast.
I never quite get the hang of these places. I bought the bread then had to queue for the cheese, then go back to the till to pay. So here we go “Medio kilo Mar del Plata por favor” The girl took the chunk of cheese it weighed 650 grams. It would have done me but no. she went to the back and found another block. I have never seen anything quite so remarkable, she cut a chunk off and put it on the scale. It was not 499.5 or 500.5 but dead on 500 gram. Amazing, and it toasted beautifully as well.
We went back to El Arranque today and enjoyed some excellent dances, they are so friendly there.
By 7:30 though Viv had had enough so I was given my marching orders. We set off for 1810 and some empanadas and lentils.
Sat there by the window we were fascinated by the street scene; an old woman dragging a huge bucket, she seemed to be having some difficulty. She left the bucket opposite where we were sitting and carried on farther down the street. She came back after a while with a broom and proceeded to sweep the road. Then she disappeared again coming back with what looked like some rags. She pushed the rags into the bucket with the broom handle.
It was like she was doing the washing. Finally satisfied she sat and waited, I said “perhaps she is waiting for the rinse cycle”.
Turns out the bucket was, full of water, because then she tipped it over the pavement. She then proceeded to take all her items away.
When we had finished our meal we walked back and found her filling the bucket again from an outside tap.
I have no idea why she did not do what she had to do by the tap, or why she was cleaning the road, or even if she was actually doing any washing. It is all a mystery.

Leave a comment

Filed under Argentina, Tango

Old waiters never die, they just go to Coca Cola

All I intended doing today was hang the curtain rail in the bedroom. Not a difficult task in the grand scheme of things.
When I awoke Viv was already up and I put the bedside light on to check the time. It didn’t work, so I tried the other one, that didn’t work either, nor did the main light. Not sure if the power was off, I looked out of the window and sure enough the traffic lights were off.
This meant I could not fit the rail, no electric, no drill. It seemed much quieter outside though, for once buses, cars and motorbikes were not revving up waiting for the green light. Also it looked like they were more considerate to pedestrians, perhaps they should turn them all off.
Anyway, I could join the rails to the bend I had bought. That was a job and a half in itself. Trouble is our rail was five eighths of an inch, the bend was fifteen millimeters. (note the rail was five eights outside diameter and the bend fifteen millimeter outside) So one was not about to fit inside the other easily. I pushed and poked I even tried heating up the rail, but in the end only supreme effort got it in. Once joined, let no man put asunder. Well I was not about to try and separate them again.
I asked Sebastian (Our portero) if I could borrow a drill. As always happens, I did not understand the answer. He said something about the electric. I nodded sagely and said “when the electric comes back” or words to that effect. It seems he doesn’t understand me either because he said “No se” meaning he didn’t know when it would be back. I just meant I could use the drill when it returned. Never the less he turned up with the drill ten minutes later, explaining how I should use the chuck key. “Soy ingeniero” I said. Then he asked if I had drill bits and I said I had.
Later when we finally had electric, I looked but could not find my drill bit. I knew I had bought one last year, but I went out to the feretaria again for another.
Typically when I had finished, I found not only the drill bit but also all the screws and plugs that I would have needed. So I had had two trips to the fereteria for nothing and a box full of stuff that will probably never get used.
We had planned to go to a private milonga that we had been invited to at Conventillo de Lujo but it had been cancelled. This was fortunate as Janis wanted us to go to El Arranque, so we arranged to meet Brigitte there as well.
When I got in I said “separados pero una mesa por tres mujeres”.
I don’t think I missed a dance here, it was amazing and all the ladies were very complimentary. I think I was dancing with Viv when Janis arrived but the waiter was not sure where to put her so she waited until we sat down again. Not long after Brigitte arrived as well and the ladies were having a grand old chatter. No wonder they missed dances, I had a job getting them up. I even had to go over to their table to get one of them up.
When I danced with Brigitte she asked why I was sitting on a different table. I said it is so that I can dance and so that you will be asked.
While dancing with Janis she told me about Carlito the waiter who was always here, apparently he now works for Coca Cola. A waste of a great waiter we both agreed.
When the chacarera came on Viv again saw a chance to neglect her duty and got Janis to dance with me. She also decided it would be a good chance to change her shoes as she was getting hungry.
The next tanda was D’Arienzo so I danced half a tanda with Janis, I think she is more afraid of Viv than I am because she stopped when she saw Viv waiting.
Any way while Janis set off for Lo de Celia we went to 1810 for empanadas and lentejas, washed down with Quilmes Negra. Well that made Viv happy and Brigitte as well, I think. So afterwards we loaded Brigitte on to the subte at Scalabrini Ortiz and set off for home and our submarinos.

1 Comment

Filed under Argentina, Tango

Wierdo Central

Our daily trip to the supermarket was tinged with a bit of excitement today. Crossing the roads here is always a bit challenging to say the least. There are a number of unmarked cross roads and the only way to get across is to use a car coming from our direction as a shield. This does not work, of course when the one way system means that they are all coming the opposite way. So you take the challenge, toss the dice, and sometimes just run for it. Just when you think you have it sussed they stick something new into the mix. They now have cycle lanes and the bikes do not respect the one way system. You think “now I am clear” and cross the road only to be attacked by cyclists coming from the wrong direction. You would think all this excitement enough, but today we had a motorcycle chase up one of our streets, and, yes, they were going the wrong way. Still at least we had some prior warning, the police bike was wailing and screaming, with blue lights flashing.

We never found out what the motorcyclist had done or if he was ever caught, but it enlivened our morning.

As usual in the supermarket, nothing was as usual. We came for avena (oats) they had none. Sultanas? Only with stones. This is a supermarket? Ibuprofen? “no” It was getting like the Monty Python cheese sketch. Still we found some massive medialunas to have with our morning coffee, so big we only needed one each.

After our coffee we set off for the headboard. Viv was a bit worried about how far we had to carry it, but we were only out twenty minutes in total and that included the time spent paying for it. We also had to wait for the man to carry it to the door; he was not going to allow us to carry it through his shop. We had plenty of rests at the road junctions, and had no trouble fitting it in the lift, so all in all a trouble free collection.

Confiteria Ideal is becoming one of my favourite haunts for a Friday now, but Viv has labeled it Weirdo Central. Because we were later than usual I was not given the best of seats, which meant I had to stand to cabeceo. I resisted the temptation to walk around the room for at least an hour, but from where I was, I had little option.  I could not even get a dance with my Mataderos lady until I went on walk about. I now know her name is Theresa, I told her my “wife says we are as good as married because we had three dances together”. She laughed and said “I am too old for you”. I had a tanda with the French lady that I did chacarera with last week and after she introduced me to her husband, we did chacarera again.

Now Viv meanwhile had a good seat where she could see the whole piso. But still she did not look happy; last week a tango singer was coming on very strong to her. We were sitting together and she introduced me to him, thinking that would be the end of it. She danced with him again today and he tried again she said “My husband is standing behind you” he feigned bad memory, then further on in the tanda said”I want to go for coffee with you”. Well we all know what coffee means here, don’t we?

Because of where I was sat, I had paid for my drink when the waiter brought it, but Viv still had to pay for hers. She had decided to go downstairs, but told me to stay. It took her another hour to attract the waiter again, but at least in the meantime she did get a few more dances.

She had looked so sad there, I knew the one thing that would cheer her up; lentejas at 1810 and some Quilmes, just what doctor Bob ordered.

1 Comment

Filed under Argentina, milonga, Tango

El Arranque

We usually go to Porteno y Bailerin on a Tuesday only because we could find nothing better, but on Janis’s recommendation we thought we would try El Arranque at Nuevo Salon de Argentina.

It starts at three and although Janis recommended we went at six, we had nothing else planned, so we arrived almost the first. After the subte journey Viv was ready for a coffee, so we just sat and relaxed for half an hour drank our coffee and listened to the music.

There is a large floor here,a lot of seating, and a stage. We assumed that on other days there is a show on here, but today there are just us dancers. The floor is tiled and not very forgiving, so we danced every other tanda, unless of course there was a milonga playing.

There were of course very few people there when we arrived  but the crowd soon built up. Viv noticed that there were a number of ladies changing their shoes in the ladies room. What I find strange is that we have been here eight times and nobody metioned this before, we were even told at Fulgor last night to change in the toilets. I don’t for one minute think this is new, just maybe they are starting to realise that by pandering to the touristas they are in danger of destroying the things that they all come for. Something else I noticed though, there were a lot of ganchos going on on the floor and some quite fancy footwork, will the same realisation come to the social side of the dance?

We are new here and aroused some curiosity, one or two people asked where we were from and as usual there is always an expert ready to offer advice. I do stoop when I am not concentrating, but then so do a lot of the locals, and nobody goes over to their tables and tells them. Still it made me stand better for a while.

The nice thing about going early was that we could leave and go for a meal, not something that is possible at two or three in the morning, even here. We have a favourite artisanal restaurant called 1810, not only is the food excellent, but it is very cheap.

To get there we had to take the subte back, this time on the D line the one we used to use a lot. Rush hour comes much later in Buenos Aires, as we found to our cost.  When we tried to get on, it was packed, but the crowd behind us made sure we got through the door. There was literallyno room to move. You could not hang from the straps, as you could not lift your arms. At the next station about three people got of our carriage, but no room to move about a dozen got on. This was repeated at every station, five stops to where we got off, and we were ejaculated, like a burst blister, crying “permisso, permisso” oh the feeling of reliefas we stepped onto the platform.

1810 has, in my opinion, the best empanadas in Buenos Aires. Not something we usually eat (too much fatty pastry) but these were short and light so we had two each, followed by a sort of local stew, called carbonada, and Viv had lentils (lentajes)again. After this a nice walk home and early night.

Anyone seeking 1810 it is on Julien Alverez y Guatamala.

3 Comments

Filed under Argentina, Dance Venues and Schools, milonga