Buenos Aires is a great city for retirement

May 26, 2015


Buenos Aires is a city of culture and the arts.  There are concerts, theater, cinema, museums, art exhibitions, etc. on a daily basis, and most of them are free of charge.  We planned to attend a free concert on Saturday by the permanent orchestra of Teatro Colon at La Usina del Arte until we heard about the dress rehearsal of Swan Lake that was open to the public.  We chose Swan Lake at Teatro Colon.


I was in charge of going early in the morning to Teatro Colon and standing in line for two tickets at 10:00.  Romaine told me to be there by 8:00, and I arrived a bit later to see the line was almost a block long at 8:20.  One has time in retirement to do this, especially when it’s for something as special as the ballet Swan Lake at Teatro Colon.  All performances this week are sold out and extra ones were added to accommodate the demand.  This is the only ballet offered this season at popular prices starting at 25 pesos.  I’ve already decided to go at 7:00 am for tickets to the next dress rehearsal.  The early birds get tickets on the main floor and lower balconies.  We had tickets for the fourth balcony (Tertulia), and we were excited about the opportunity to see this fantastic production.  Ines was behind me in line and had tickets for the same section with Marilyn.

DSCN7098 The Filarmonia Orquesta de Buenos Aires masterfully performed the exquisite score of  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, the Russian composer of Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker ballets.

The music gave me goose bumps, especially the oboe solo danced by the principal ballerina Karina Olmedo.  Here she is taking her bow on stage.


It was an unforgettable performance for all.  I am happy being retired in Buenos Aires where the free cultural agenda is outstanding.

José Sanchez

May 25, 2015

May 25, 1933 —

Jose Sanchez

Hugo Lago

May 22, 2015

May 22, 1937 —

Hugo Lagos en Lo de Celia Tango Club

Hugo is the only milonguero not wearing socks, even during winter.

Mario Allan Candamil

May 13, 2015

May 13, 1929 —

This is the second birthday that I can’t celebrate with Alito because the geriatric administration decided on March 27, 2014, that I may no longer enter to see him.  It’s a mafia that has operated for 35 years under a useless charter.


two owners of Geriatrico Neuquén de GIOCAR SA

I filed a complaint with the organization overseeing geriatric homes, but got nowhere with them.  I hired a lawyer in May 2014, who accomplished nothing for me, but got paid in advance.  Needless to say, it’s frustrating not being able to see Alito regularly.  A man from the milonga tried visiting him in January, but wasn’t allowed to enter.  Residents in geriatric homes have the legal right to see visitors, but there is no one to enforce the city Law 661 that provides it.

The last time I saw Alito was at the eye center where he had surgery in September 2014.  The eye center has my phone number, so they called me to confirm the surgery appointment.  I didn’t know anything about it, but I was there with him.


It took one year for Alito to have the surgery.  Amanda Lucero (his power of attorney) doesn’t have the time to attend to his needs.  She had an employee from the geriatric go with Alito to the eye center (which is six blocks from my apartment), and she arrived later.


Amanda Lucero isn’t interested in Alito’s wellbeing, only his pension and retirement which amount to $7,643AP per month.  Alito sits in a wheelchair since August 2013, because it’s easier for the staff than helping him walk from his room to the dining table.  Consequently, his feet are so swollen that he can’t wear shoes.  Alito loved walking the streets of the city all his life.  Now this legendary milonguero can’t walk or dance, thanks to the total lack of care at the geriatric home that is only interested in the bottom line.


I stayed at the eye center during surgery so I could see Alito.  I was kept away from him by Amanda.


Three and a half hours later the surgery was over.  I don’t know if he had proper care after the very delicate operation on a turned-in eyelid.  I can only hope that Alito still has his sight in the right eye.  He also needed cataract surgery in the left eye, but I don’t know if he had the operation.


Alito is always close to me in my heart, and I send him my love.  That’s all I can do while I am trying to locate his daughter in the city.  I don’t know where she lives, but I do know where she votes.  I’ll be there on election day to introduce myself and get her involved in her father’s life.

Alito and Juan Esquivel at Geriatrico Neuquen

Juan Esquivel and his girlfriend from Portland, Oregon, visited Alito on May 14, and sent me this photo of him.

Juan Topalian

May 12, 2015

May 12, 1937 —

Juan Topalian


Juan Topalian

Emilio Lopez Varela

May 9, 2015

May 9, 1944 —


Ernesto Hector Garcia

May 8, 2015

May 8, 1936 —

Dany always wears a jacket when he dances, especially for an exhibition. I found this recent video in which he removed his jacket before dancing.

Tango is ludic activity

May 1, 2015

The ancient Greeks had six words for love.

Ludus, or playful love

This was the Greeks’ idea of playful love, which referred to the affection between children or young lovers. We’ve all had a taste of it in the flirting and teasing in the early stages of a relationship. But we also live out our ludus when we sit around in a bar bantering and laughing with friends, or when we go out dancing.

Dancing with strangers may be the ultimate ludic activity, almost a playful substitute for sex itself. Social norms may frown on this kind of adult frivolity, but a little more ludus might be just what we need to spice up our love lives.

There is lots of ludic activity going on in the milongas.

Cumbre de Tango

April 29, 2015


El Chino Fanel and Tito Aquino celebrate three years of their radio program Cumbre de Tango.

Buenos Aires is a great city for retirement

April 28, 2015

During my first years in Buenos Aires, I didn’t know anything about health plans or finding a doctor since they aren’t listed in the yellow pages.  During a visit to Chicago in 1999, I scheduled an appointment with my dentist.  I knew it was my last one.  I needed to find doctors in Buenos Aires.

In 1999, I shared a table with Rosy in Club Gricel every Friday night, and we conversed in English.  When it was time for a visit with a gynecologist, I asked Rosy for a recommendation.  Dra. Rossi was the first doctor I met in Buenos Aires, and she spoke enough English to make things easier for me.  I like Dra. Rossi so much that I’ve recommended her to many expats living in Buenos Aires.  They feel the same as I do.

In May 2002, I had out-patient surgery which was very inexpensive here with the devalued peso.  My boyfriend took me the next day to sign up with his prepaid health plan company.  The plan covered everything, and I continued with it for 12 years.  I cancelled it a year ago because I paid $200 per month (a good chunk of my social security benefits), although very reasonable compared with plans in the USA.

Medical care is free in the City of Buenos Aires to anyone who needs it.  There are many public hospitals that serve those who can’t afford to pay for health plans or don’t have them through employment.


A few weeks ago I discovered on the internet that the City of Buenos Aires offers a free plan to anyone living in the city.  The only requirements are residency (with DNI) in the city and no coverage with another plan — I qualified.  I decided to visit a nearby office and sign up.  They assigned a doctor, gynecologist and dentist within a few blocks of my apartment.  Affiliation in the program with a neighborhood hospital took about ten minutes to complete.


I am happy being retired in Buenos Aires where I get free doctor and dentist appointments, tests and prescriptions.


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