Oscar Hector Malagrino

April 24, 2015

April 24, 1942 —

Oscar Hector Malagrino
This is a video of Oscar Hector dancing with his sister in El Beso. Notice how the milongueros are watching.  And of course, Oscar Hector chose a tango by Carlos Di Sarli.

Soy Argentina!

April 21, 2015


I was returning to my apartment building just as the mailman was at the door, waiting for me to answer the doorbell.  He had the mail I’ve expected for two weeks — my Argentine passport.  I went inside for the document required to complete the delivery.  This is probably the first time someone asked to take his photo while delivering the mail, but he understood how excited I was to have my passport.


I feel more officially Argentine.


April 21, 2015

April 21, 1936 —


Hector never fails to speak to me in English between dances.  He learned the language well enough to converse and always says something to make me laugh.

When I told him that I wanted a new photo of him to post on his birthday, he said he would like one taken with Marina when they dance the Pugliese tanda.

Hector is at the top of my list of favorite dance partners.  I could dance with him all night!

Clodomiro Ortega

April 19, 2015

April 19, 1935 —

Clodomiro Ortega

Tito and his partner Laura Grinbank are teaching at a club in Palermo on Friday night.

Juan Carlos Pontorielo

April 18, 2015

March 6, 1939 – April 15, 2015

Juan Carlos Pontorielo y Alicia

I heard the news today at a milonga about his passing.  He danced on Tuesday night in El Beso and took the bus home to Valentin Alsina.  While he was on the phone calling Alicia, he had a heart attack and died on the street.


Buenos Aires is a great city for retirement

April 17, 2015

After five visits over three years, I knew that I wanted to live in Buenos Aires.  I fell in love with the people and the city.  I followed my heart.

During my last visit, I met a woman in the milongas who rented rooms in her apartment to tango tourists.  I arranged to rent a tiny room with bath — sight unseen.  That apartment was my home for six months while adapting to a new lifestyle where there was help when I needed it.

Then I moved to another neighborhood where I rented a two-bedroom furnished apartment on a month-to-month basis and no contract with the owners in the same building.  Those were the days when the peso was equal to the dollar.  I was really on my own.   I stayed in that apartment for two years.

I was three blocks from Lo de Celia, so when I decided to find a smaller apartment, I didn’t want to move very far.  A friend of a friend had a two-room unfurnished apartment for rent, only ten blocks from Lo de Celia.  I went to see it and made the deposit.  My boyfriend signed as the guarantee on the contract.  The rent was very low to what I paid for the other place because of the devaluation of the peso in 2002. I began attending weekend house sales and buying all the furnishings I needed.


After three years of renting, the owner decided she wanted to sell her apartment.  I had the option of finding a new place or buying it.  I decided to stay.  I had money from my mother’s estate that was exactly enough to buy the apartment.  The closing took place in a few weeks. The owner resided in New Jersey, and I wired the money to her account.

The first property I’ve owned in my life is in the city of Buenos Aires.

Buenos Aires is a great city for retirement

April 16, 2015

When I moved to Buenos Aires in February 1999, I planned to stay permanently.  The problem I faced was qualifying for residency.  You could get it if you (1) got a job contract, (2) married an Argentine, or (3) had a child in the country.  I wasn’t looking for work, wasn’t the mother of an Argentine, so marrying an Argentine was my only option, or so I thought at the time.

Tourists get a 90-day visa upon entering the country.  I wanted to keep my status legal, so every 90 days I took an hour boat ride to Colonia, Uruguay, to renew my tourist visa.  I did that for 13 years because immigration officials didn’t tell me otherwise.  My United States passport needed extra pages added for all the entry and exit stamps.

Things have changed because so many foreigners come to Argentina to stay.  There are two options: residency or citizenship.  Residency takes three years of temporary status before permanent status is granted.  There are various categories, including one for retirees.  There are a few documents to file each year.  Temporary residency is for one year, and you don’t have to leave the country as I did.  You have the coveted DNI which shows your status in Argentina.  It’s the national identity document that all Argentines carry.


I decided to petition the court for citizenship.  Permanent residency status is not a requirement for citizenship.  The court needs the same documents for citizenship as immigration does for residency.  I hired a lawyer to handle the process which took 16 months to complete, but anyone can do the process alone because the law allows it.  Of course, fluency in the language is helpful.

People always ask me if I’m still a citizen of the United States.  I have dual citizenship.  I receive social security from the U.S. government and have no reason to renounce my citizenship.  I have a bank account in the United States for receiving my social security benefits each month.  Then I transfer money to myself and receive a higher rate of exchange in pesos locally from a transfer agency.  I know of no other country where I could live on social security.

A new host at the door in Lo de Celia

April 15, 2015

Jimena - Gaston

The next time you go to Lo de Celia’s, Jimena won’t be there to greet you at the door.  After seven years as the smiling hostess who brings you to your table, Jimena will be starting a new life with her fiancé in the south of Argentina.  For the past two weeks, Gaston is greeting everyone and learning who’s who and where they like to sit.

Celia, Jimena, and fiancé  Gaston

Celia, Jimena, and fiancé Gaston

Eduardo Roberto Masci

April 13, 2015

April 13, 1941 —

Eduardo Roberto Masci


Clemente Héctor Aquino

April 10, 2015

April 10, 1945 —

Tito Aquino


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