Tag Archives: D’Arienzo

Real Ale?

I had a last-minute invite to go out with some of my old colleagues, not wanting to miss a chance to catch up I did some rearranging and set off to meet them. John was already walking so I jumped on the bus and met him half way.

It turns out Adie has started a brewery and he wanted us to try his new beers. (What has this got to do with Tango? I hear you ask, patience my friends, all will become clear).

Now real ale is a funny thing, it has to be served at just the right time, so in both the pubs we tried, the old guest beers were still on and Adie’s beer was not yet being served. This did not stop us sampling all the beer that was on offer though.

Now many who know me, know I like my beer filtered to death clear and sugar sweet. My taste in beer is enough to drive Real Ale drinkers to mad bouts of lecturing on why I am so wrong in my taste.

It was during one of these bouts that it came to me; Real Ale is just like Tango. Do you like your dancing sanitized? Saccharine sweet and polished? The beer I drink is Strictly Come Dancing and I now see the Real Ale drinkers point. DiSarli and D’Arienzo are the true real  Ales of tango. I now, perhaps will have a more sympathetic ear for those who only know a televised version of Tango, at least I can understand where they are coming from.

I may be a real tango buff, but I still like my beer factory made.

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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.

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Mid Summer madness

As always , for our mid summer dance, we had received few replies, so we had no idea who, if any, would arrive.

Lynn and John were definites as, we thought, would be Ralph. However at about three Ralph phone to say he was too busy. Although disappointed it would give us more time, without his pre dance class. Then half an hour later  he called again to say he had re scheduled some work and would now be coming. In between these calls Glyn had also called, so we now had an extra man.

Thank God for Mary, more men than you could shake a stick at and only three women. Well they always complain that they are left sitting because there are too many women and not enough men. Nobody was saying tonight “basta la plancha” more like “necesita descansar”

Well my doctor has told me to eat less cheese and sugar, so Mary brought a cheese and mushroom pie and James brought chocolate biscuits. I try to resist, but I am weak, and that Stilton could not possibly go back in the fridge for a third time.

Every one seemed to enjoy D’Arienzo followed by DiSarli. There is good reason why they are my favourites along, it seems, with other people. Still though most people have to work so by half ten almost everyone had gone.

Mary, simply refused to go home and while I consumed more alcohol she dragged me out of my depressed state. She has a way of cheering me up that is a rare gift. So when everyone had gone we sat talking and then listening to some old music via you tube.  You cannot be miserable listening to The Stargazers or Danny Kaye.

Finally at silly o’clock I took Mary over to her house and went to bed. Viv likes to spend some time with her kindle and the light disturbs me. Not tonight though, I fell straight asleep.

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Catching Up

Not catching up as in someone running away, but in the english sense of meeting up with old friends and finding how their lives have gone on.

We had a long-standing arrangement to meet up with Pericles. For those of you who do not know, it was his help and guidance that allowed me to buy a property here. It is not often you meet someone on a business basis and end up as friends. It says a lot about his integrity.

We arranged to meet up in Las Violettas, a beautiful art deco confiteria on Rivadavia. We had arrived early and settled in with some orange juice. When he finally arrived we greeted each other with hugs and kisses. An Aussie and a Brit man both straight kissing each other, it could only happen in Buenos Aires.

We sat and talked for maybe two hours, about life here and at home, our virtual lives, and people in general. Somehow we talked of so much yet I never asked him the questions I wanted to ask, like how is his Tango now. After two hours, as usual Pericles had people to see, places to go. Life in business here is non stop. He walked with us back to our apartment, said he could not stop for coffee and was gone.

Viv was in need of some tights, and this being Sunday little was open, except the big shopping centres so we walked to The Abasto Centre to practice my spanish again with a surely shop assistant. After moderate success we headed out again. Not wanting to walk back the same way, we walked to Corrientes and after half a block my phone rang, it was Janis. She was not far away and said she would meet us here.

The first thing she did was complain (yes you did this time) that I had been here two days and not contacted her. I explained that not wanting to bother anyone I had simply sent a text to everyone that I was here and waited for replies. It seems she cannot read the texts on here phone, and it being one I am not familiar with I could not show her how. Again we headed off to a cafe for more coffee, this time to my favourite local bar that has become familiar with all my women. Now arriving with two at once they never batted an eyelid, what they must think I daren’t contemplate.

Again we sat for two hours, just catching up. Janis ordered submarino, which is just hot milk into which you dip chocolate, she was much impressed by the chocolate which was in the shape of two spoons.

Tonight is a Fulgor night so Janis wanted to leave us free to get there not too late. We walked her to the bus stop and sent her on her way home.

As usual we walked to Fulgor, there are a number of Busses we could catch, but to be honest, it is just easier to walk.

We walked in to be greeted by Roberto Orlando, the usual Argentine kiss, then Marianna the waitress kissed us both, before we knew what was happening half the punters were lining up for their turn. Most of these people were just nodding acquaintances, but they all wanted to great us and make us welcome.

Another thing I like about this place is the manners; the lady who sits alone on the far side often has a dance with me, but before she would dance with me again, she had to ask Viv for permission. I spun her around the floor to a fine tanda of D’Arienzo and she thanked me wonderfully at the end. When occasionally she did not pick up my lead, no body said this is how it should be done, there was no recrimination, we simply caught up and got on with it.

All the music was traditional all good and all danceable. I only sat out one tanda; Pugliese, and to be honest, at home I would not have sat it out. It was early Pugliese and very danceable, but the crowd here love their local hero (Pugliese was from Villa Crespo) so I did not want my clumsy movements to get in their way. We even did the Chacarera, you can always see the doubt in the minds of locals when we get up, but they always rapturous at the end.

It is an early finish Sunday (midnight) and we stayed right until the end, I think they had to throw us out in the end. Marianna asked how long we would be here and how often we would come, she seemed genuinely pleased when I said  “por supeusto, dos veces por semana, Viernes y Domingo”

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