Tag Archives: Confiteria Ideal

The weekend starts here

Friday was just another El Beso Day, we did little in the morning as I was too busy repairing the wall and re-hanging the curtains.

We still find El Beso difficult though, I may have to re-think our seating positions. Where I sit is fine until everyone gets up, then my view of the floor is completely lost. Still we danced until seven then it was back for our chop suey and prepare for the weekend.

Saturday and we were up at a reasonable hour, breakfast of coffee and media lunas then we were out heading for Palermo. The walk over to Sullivan’s takes about twenty-five minutes and we arrived while all the pre match rubbish was playing. I ordered Quilmes Negra, typical of here, it is on the menu but they do not have it. Celtic stout is more expensive and lo and behold they do have that. They did furnish us with a bowl of nuts though to keep us going.

They are quite accommodating here I asked for the commentary and they switched off the music and put on the commentary. Not that I could understand a lot of it, but it was amusing when they named the wrong players.

It looked like we were the only ones here for the rugby, but by halfway through the first half there were maybe eight or ten in here. As Wales soundly thrashed the Scots team, the contingent of Scots were quiet. .

On a trip down Scalabrini Ortiz we stopped off to check out a furniture shop. Our old stomping ground this and we always like the shops down here, we found a coffee table we liked, but now we are unsure whether to spend the money. Maybe we will be back, maybe not.

We took the “D” line into town just to check out Ideal. It looks no different to me, I think someone is just siphoning money off, and the work will never be done. Still while we are here, check out the shoe shops. Viv managed to pick up a bargain pair. Unusually they were not battered or the wrong size $650 about £26 at todays rates. Viv is one happy bunny. Nice shoes as well.

Back on the subte The “A” line this time, out to Castro Barros. I need some tools and things from Easy. Bad move, Saturday is not a good time in any sort of supermarket in Buenos Aires. As always I got about half of what I wanted, things are quite different here. I did get what I can only describe as a flat plate covered in sanding material. We have nothing like this at home, but then they have nothing here like we have, you just have to adapt.

Back home again along Salguero and I can catch up with the Ireland France match. You have to feel for the French 13-12 up until the final kick, but then that is the best time to kick a field goal.

Sunday morning and I am free, Viv would rather do housework than come to Sullivan’s. No-one to stop my beer intake then. No surprises as England beat Italy. I expected some new tricks again from Italy but they had nothing new this year, shame, they were fun last year. Still they played well, the score line not reflecting how hard they tried.

I got talking to a guy called Michael from Hertfordshire.  He is working here and as he relayed his story I suddenly remembered him from last year. Unfortunately he will not be here for the England Wales match but will be back for some later matches.

I also got talking to a couple who are taking a year out to see South America. They told me that they could find no-one showing the Rugby in the City, but came across an ex-pats site where someone had said they would be here. That would be me then, oh! the power of advertising, perhaps I should get a discount bringing customers in.

Sunday night is Fulgor night.  I don’t know what Ruben is thinking, two hours constant tango, no Vals, no Milonga and too much Tanturi. Is it any wonder the numbers are falling? Still we were happy with our Quilmes Negra. (no one to tell Viv how much I have already had). Next week is carnival, Elsa said she is bringing us some props, mask, hats, and other dressing up stuff.

The people here come and go and we never know where, but tonight we heard an old friend had died last May. Found him dead at the wheel of his taxi apparently. No life, is it? Work until you drop.

After the tropical, we finally got a vals tanda, then a milonga, more tropical, then Pugliese. In the words of Eric Thompson “Time for bed” said Zeberdee.

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Carolina, beautiful dresses and Spanish for foreigners.

Viv has been asking to go to Carolina the dress shop on Pasco. We tried earlier but it was on a Saturday and just too chaotic. Today though we had the place to ourselves, but that brings its own problems. The shop assistants are just too helpful. Viv just wanted to browse, but they were having non of it. “what is it for?” they asked, “What colour” and so on. In the end we narrowed it down to three dresses, two the same but different colours and one a different style.

Well the one different would not fit, Viv being broad shouldered. The other two Viv worried about showing too much, as if she could. In the end though It was down to colour. While all this trying on was going on, I was getting the full interview. I was doing pretty well until she asked me if we go out much. I did not understand the question, but she had the nous  to re phrase it until I got it. She said she lived on Billinghurst and Humahuaca,  told her that Viv would be jealous as she always wanted to live on Humahuaca.

So we came away with a lovely dress, and I had the best Spanish conversation yet. I need more of this but it is rare to find someone who can speak to a foreigner in a way that can be understood.

El Beso was celebrating 21 years, and as always happens at these times, it was packed. Viv left early because she was not getting dances and I was not long after her. Frightened of repercussions and I was not enjoying it anyway. Too much barging and cabeceo was all but impossible through the crowd. I did get a couple of dances with Teresa though. I have not danced with her since Confiteria Ideal closed.

So it’s beer at home tonight then.

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El Abrazo

We have been asked to go to El Abrazo today, so for a change, we are giving it a try. El Abrazo was the milonga that ran at La Confiteria Ideal. Now with that closed it has moved to El Beso. It’s an easy journey for us, possibly even easier than Ideal, we just get off at Callao and walk back one block.

They sat us together when we entered, but it did not seem to make much difference. At first it looked like Viv was going to have trouble, but she soon picked up.

It is hard to give descriptions without appearing cruel, but as I have been asked, I will try. Please accept that I am not trying to be bitchy, just honest and hopefully those described will not read this. (swallows hard)

There is one lady I have seen around a lot, but never managed to get her to dance. She has what you might describe as a hard body, very slim copper hair but a face that was not her own. Hard to determine her age but she obviously takes care of herself, but I prefer natural features. She dances well and has no trouble getting partners, that is why it has taken me this long to get a dance. The dynamic here is on my side today, so maybe I will get more dances in the future.

There is a threesome with whom we have got quite friendly and today they are celebrating. There is Graciela, the youngest. She always makes up well although she is often tired after a work day. She carries too much weight but is very lively and about 5’2. She is also the noisy one and often sings the words of the tango songs out loud. Although a porteña I think that the locals are a bit shocked at her noise level. There is her sister, who has only recently started dancing with us, she has improved since last year and getting more dances now. Then there is Maria, a red faced buxom Swede. Maria speaks no English so we have to communicate it Spanish, with as you can imagine, some problems. It was her birthday today so we were treated to champagne and cake. Not sure if I should mention her age but she does not look five years older than me.

The dancing is difficult in El Beso, the floor area is too small and being new here getting dances was a challenge. Still we both enjoyed it and it was not far off closing by the time we left.

I am not very good at remembering the men, there is one we call Ron Dennis (Because he looks like him) Viv lost out to the birthday party today and did not get a dance. Leroy is a huge black fireman from Chicago wiggles his bum and is generally quite playful, Viv mentioned Trump once and now she gets a political commentary every dance, but on the bright side, he now remembers her and she gets dances. Then there is Rene completely opposite to Leroy, I think he is happy at where his head ends up while they are dancing.

We left when the Chacarera came on, Viv, it seems, is not quite ready for the Chacarera.

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A new venue

Before this week I had never heard of La Milonga de Juan although I found out it has been running two years. It was a slow start for us as we know nobody here. One or two turned up later that we knew, but it was otherwise slim pickings.

There were considerably more men than women so at least Viv got plenty of dances. She also knew a couple of men from Ideal so she did well enough. Every time I managed to get a dance I got the same reaction “I didn’t know if you could dance” hopefully they will know for next time.

I don’t know why this place is not in Hoy Milonga, but it seems to keep it very local. The price is the lowest we have found and the drinks are cheaper as well. Apparently there is a show at seven as well, but after three and a half hours dancing we had enough. It is also one of the few places now where the organizer welcome you in and dances with the women.

Could not go without dancing with Maria and Graciela though. Graciela always makes a show of it, they can’t say they don’t know me here now.

Time to catch the subte home and grab some beer.

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Last chance to see

Dancing in Ideal today. It will be the last chance before it is closed on Thursday. Rumors abound but I lean towards the one that says they are refurbishing. I cannot believe that they would spend countless millions on La Molin, which is all but derelict  and has nowhere near the reputation this place has, then leave Ideal to ruin. Hay! but stranger things have happened here.

The mix again is different, for a while I had plenty of women to dance with, while Viv had few men. Then the mix changed again and I started to run out of partners. All in all though a good afternoon and I was thoroughly knackered by the time we left.

We met Anna there, a lady we had met at Vos last year. We never thought we would see her again, but she has taken up tango, so we meet again. Graciela kept us stocked up with peanuts, well Viv anyway. I just got earache every time I took some. (from Viv, not Graciela). Viv never got a dance from the singing waiter though.

We headed off to Suarez again as Viv wanted to test out the chocolate mouse. True to form, they did not have it today. So we had tarta manzana instead.

We stopped off for some cheese scones and cheese straws on the way home to have with out supper. Then out again for tonight’s beer.

Ever think you have left and come back in another time? The girls in La Riena (The bread shop) are always the same, but not tonight. I thought it rather strange that I did not recognize them. Later in the Chino, the guy outside stacking boxes, never seen him before. The nice girl on the till and the miserable boss, not there. Somebody different, even the verdereria had someone different. It was all very strange.

Perhaps they are all buried under the new concrete outside our building.

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Ideal, parrilla, and stout

Mondays are now Confiteria Ideal days, and as usual it was near deserted. For some reason there were no women except in couples. There were free men though, so Viv was happy. If Viv is happy I get no ear ache so I am happy.

A few women arrived later and so did Graciela, so I got some dances. Actually we had a good time again, just shows you do not need big crowds to enjoy a milonga.

When we left we wandered across the road to Suipacha. We were looking for somewhere different to eat. As soon as we crossed the road we were accosted by someone who said that this was the best place  to  eat. He spoke perfect English and we had quite a chat. In hind sight it might have been better to stay. As we left a woman asked if there was a Carrefour near here, I remembered that there was one on Esmarelda and directed her there. Well Viv was impressed anyway.

We got all but dragged in every parrilla along Levalle but decided on one close to Esmarelda. $300 for parrilla and postre so we went for it. It was a bit disappointing to say the least, but at least we got the Quilmes Stout with it. We were well stuffed though so there was no need for more food or a visit to Ken for more ice cream.

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Suarez, too much cake

Another Monday has come around and Viv sets off to the Coreo to post another letter. After she had gone I remembered the electric bill (Double last month $60, may have to sell my body).

So when she returned I went out to the pagofacil. On the way back I found a kiosco that I have never seen before just up Salguero. I popped in to charge my phone “What part of Brazil are you from?” she asked. This is getting monotonous, must be the hair cut, perhaps they gave me a Brazilian. Anyway when I told her where I was from she spoke perfect English and we had a nice chat.

Mondays are becoming a problem, so we decided to put hope above experience and try Confiteria Ideal. Ideal is the place all the tourists want to go, they go there because of the tango dancing, but today it was all but empty. They have ripped everyone off for so long that the dancers have deserted, with no dancers there is nothing for the tourists and they cannot even pay for a decent DJ. That said the guy who is there seems to have improved some what and we had some half decent tandas.

With almost no one in there those who wished to dance would dance with us, so I think we had three or four different dances, apart from dancing with each other. Graciela was there and I had a couple of dances with her, plus a couple of Italians.

Actually we quite enjoyed it in the end. One of the waiters was funny, he danced with an Italian and sat there singing along to the music.

Ideal is rumored to have been sold and is due to close its doors by the end of the month. Rumors are rife so I never claim to know anything until it has happened, but we will have to watch Hoy milonga to be sure it is actually open next week.

We were ready to leave and Viv got a dance with someone she had never managed to dance with before, so I just changed my shoes. Then a great milonga came on and Viv said “Dance with Graciela if you want” Not realizing I had changed my shoes. Well me dancing in my loafers kept a few people amused.

We set off for a coffee just to finish. Corrientes is like a building site here now, so we turned off down Esmarelda. We ended up in Suarez bar. Well we remembered all the cake the ladies ate here last year, so I had to try some. The piece I had was huge, I had to wrap the remains in a napkin for later.

All the parillas up Lavalle got me thinking, maybe next week we should stop off here for food now I am no longer on the verge of bankruptcy. Tonight though we have Vivs lentejas to eat.

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