Tag Archives: Gloria Garcia

Show them real tango, do a lesson on the pista.

I was not in the best of moods today. I think we have been over doing it of late and I am tired and headache.  Still there are things to do.

I have to take Viv’s shoes to el Bosque to have the strap repaired. El Bosque is closed for holidays. This is not going well today. Next I went for some milk and washing up liquid, nearly collided with the guy stocking the shelves and someone else shopping. So I rushed back to our building. As I entered my phone rang. Nobody phones me here so I was busy checking who it was before I answer. It was, of course, withheld number. Then disaster, whilst checking my phone the door had shut. Now you cannot open doors here from either side without a key, and my key was in the lock, outside. I frantically knocked on the glass and some kind lady realized what had happened and opened the door for me. Meanwhile, her dog, taking advantage of the situation, decided to explore the building.

When calm was restored, I decided I needed a lie down, even though I had been up less than two hours.

At El Beso today numbers were lower, but it was not helping us. It was the regulars that were missing. Two tour leaders arrived and in the course of showing them The Real Tango proceeded to give lessons on the milonga floor. I am glad we came earlier this time, we are entering the silly season where good dancing is hard to come by. Viv may have struggled not having her regulars here, but I struggled because all the tourists did not know to sit down when the cortina was on. There was nothing for it but to walk around myself, adding to the chaos, but at least, I got dances.

Gloria Garcia was here today. She of La Susheta (Salon Dandi) and Maipu 444. It was lovely to meet her again and to dance. It was a shame Viv got fed up and we left early, I would have liked another dance.

The Dutch were also there, so I had Eli and Ada to dance with, whilst giving me Dutch lessons. Lord knows I struggle enough with Spanish, but at least some Dutch is in my DNA so I am in with a chance. I can, at least swear with the best of them.

Then it was off to The Coffee Store again for two promotions. If all else fails coffee and medialunas it is.

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You can never go back.

Normally on a Friday we head off to Ideal. Today though we were so busy that an early milonga was out of the question. So we trawled through and found one hat started at six but ran through until two. We should be able to fit in with that.
Plaza Bohemia used to run at Maipu 444 just of the subte in the centre of town. It was always one of our favourites, Run by Gloria Garcia who always welcomed us with open arms.
We thought it had gone for good with the closing of Maipy 444. Now it seems it has been running for some time with new organisation but the same DJ.
It is a convenient spot right on the 168 route and the 151 for our return. It is in the mechanics union building so I was surprised t the cost of the entrada, the dearest we have had yet. Still we were welcomed by the hostess and given our seats (separado).
The music has not changed, it is still excellent. The atmosphere however is not the same. Viv and I were up straight away which I took as a good sign. I soon found however that my position gave me little opportunity to practice a cabeceo. Viv meanwhile got no further dances after her initial start.
There were people we knew here, they just decided not to dance with us. Having the milonga advantage of being male I did quite well until about nine then the dancers just dried up.
Apart from me Viv managed just two dances, and one of those was someone she tries to avoid.
By ten we had had enough, then we asked for the drink bill. Again this was the most expensive yet.
Not a great experience then, just shows, you can never go back to old times.
I think we will stick to the places we know for a while, but as we are here some time, we will still try the odd new place.

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Callao

For gringos pronounced Cash ow.

What I love about this city is that despite having come here eight times now, it still has the capacity to make me stand back and say wow! and surprise me.

Early risers today we were out the flat by eleven, Viv had even been out to  5aSec for the laundry.

We walked down to Scalabrini y Santa Fe where there was a shop she wanted to look in, unfortunately there was nothing there she wanted, and so as always at times like this we went for a coffee. Viv remembered she was supposed to be going shopping with Janis, so we phoned to cancel. The weather was improving and I think winter coats were the last thing on her mind.

We caught the subte at Scalabrini and got off at Callao. We were looking for El Ateneo, but were on the wrong street, there is a beautiful building just two blocks from the subte on Cordoba , someone asked us what it was, we just said  “no se”. Anyone know what it is?, it looked like some sort of university or technical school.

We walked down Callao and turned into Santa Fe just up from the corner was the entrance to El Ateneo. What we saw is hard to describe, it is an old theatre which is now a book shop. They have not destroyed the interior, only removed some walls, so that as you walk in you are confronted with the auditorium and as you pass into it you are surrounded by all the balconies and boxes. The stage area is set out as a cafe with the stage lighting still in place. In the centre of the stalls is an escalator down to the pits where the children’s section is. We stood in the middle and just said “wow” No photos could do this justice, it is simply the one place any visitor should see. The Guardian did a survey of all the worlds book shops and this was voted second best in the world, the best I have GOT to see.

Unlike so many old buildings the whole character has been maintained. It has a whole new life, but all it’s former glory is maintained.

We walked back along  Callao as we wanted to look in some other record shops before we decide what music to bring home.

Isee they have a new way of employing people here; there is a whole army of people putting posters on lampposts. So what is so different? well they also have another army following with buckets and scrapers cleaning them off again.

Along the way it is worth looking up to see the beautiful sky line, and the many copulas that still survive.

Gloria Garcia again welcomed us to Plaza Bohemia, sadly the numbers were very down. This was a shame because we were treated to a wonderful session from the Tango singer Luis DeRosa, I think Gloria kept him singing to liven up the evening, but we enjoyed it no end.

Luis DeRosa

Luis DeRosa

We had a short chat with him afterwards and like many he was surprised to meet tango dancers from Wales. I tried to explain as best I could how hard it is to find tango in Wales and how much we have to travel. (that is why I am a Frustrated milonguero)

I had a bus route worked out for the way home, but when we saw the bus we needed disappear, well there were so many taxis.

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Smoking BsAs style

Plans for today were again thrown into turmoil, as Philippe turned up this morning. Not that I am complaining, I am glad to see him and it gave us some time to catch up on what has been happening to my apartment while we were away. So we were later than expected picking up the new bedside tables and plans to do something touristy are again on hold.

Last night we made a return to Plaza Bohemia, and as always we were greeted like long lost family by Gloria Garcia, I think that this is what probably differentiates between the Milongas we like and those we do not, in the ones we like we are always welcomed whereas in some others everyone (it is not just about us) is treated like just another punter.

As we were settling in Carol from Leeds turned up, funny how we almost never see her when we are at home, but somehow manage to meet regularly here at Maipu 444. Unfortunately she was not stopping, she just called in to say hello to Gloria, so we never got a dance.

Not many people here tonight so we had room to move and practice a few things. We were very impressed with a young couple who were there, no fancy moves, no ganchos, just basic salon tango beautifully executed. Now some will say that I am an old misery, because they see dancers who look good and can do all sorts of things I cannot, and yet I am not in the least impressed. Well here were dancers who impressed me, and proved beyond doubt that to look good there is no need to be an Olympic athlete (though no doubt they were fit) they just chose not to dominate the floor with flying legs.

We had two birthdays as well, a man and a woman. Feeling braver than last time I took my turn dancing with the lady. I had more than my share though, as the guy who got up to dance after me went over to the man who’s birthday it was and tried to take his partner,causing confusion, so again I finished the dance with the birthday girl.

Now as some may already know smoking is not allowed n the Milongas any more, neither is it allowed on the stairs up to the dance hall, but this is Argentina, so you must fight your way through a haze to reach the dance. But the thing that amused me the most was a sign in the milonga, that said not to put your cigarettes out on the carpet. Did I say, all the floors here are a beautiful parque? there is no carpet.

Another anomaly is the taxi’s, taxistas cannot smoke when they have passengers. This does not seem to stop them filling the car with smoke before you get in though. TIA this is Argentina.

Sorry I forgot to add, thanks for the cake.

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