Sunday at Obelisco Tango

September 29, 2016


Lola and Dorita joined forces last year when the latter lost her milonga space in Club Oeste.  They are a great duo of hostesses on Sunday from 19-2 hs for Alo Lola & La Yumba de Dorita in Obelisco Tango on Entre Rios 1056.  I stayed later than usual until 11:30 when the late shift of dancers arrived.  The retired don’t need to rest for work in the morning!


I had another enjoyable night at my new milonga home, dancing with several milongueros I know from my old milonga home on the corner.  After 17 years in Buenos Aires, I doubt I could go to any milonga without seeing a familiar face.

Gricel Club de Tango

September 29, 2016


The way to look around a milonga is by going early when it’s empty.  I did just that last Saturday night when I joined Elba for her birthday. I never noticed this framed announcement for the opening of Gricel Club de Tango in 1995.


Tables for four or six people are around the dance floor.


The bar and kitchen are in the rear of the salon.


There is an exhibition of tango art on the walls.



The suspended floor is easy on the legs.


This is a view of the salon from the entrance.


The deejay booth was above the dance floor until the city inspectors wanted it moved to the main floor a few months ago.  The deejays have an even better view of the floor this way and more contact with dancers, not out of view above it.

Antonio Busto

September 29, 2016

September 29, 1936 —

Antonio Busto

I called Antonio last week and got an update from his wife.  He hasn’t danced in more than five years after a stroke.  He’s also dealing with Parkinson’s.  Antonio was one of only two milongueros who visited Alito at the geriatric home.

El Arranque

September 28, 2016


I went to El Arranque on Thursday for two reasons: Roberto and Hector.  I love dancing with both, so I knew I’d get my money’s worth.  They turned 80 in the last few months.  My preference is octogenarian partners.


Here are two more octogenarian members of the El Arranque family — Oscar Steimez and Oscar Valente.

El Arranque in Nuevo Salon La Argentina

Organizer: Juan Carlos La Falce  Deejay: Mario Orlando  Waiter: Horacio

Entrada: 60 pesos   Bottled water: 35 pesos

Francisco Gysel

September 26, 2016

September 26, 1940 —


Francisco greeted me last Thursday at El Arranque as he was leaving.  I haven’t seen him for months and asked where he is teaching.  Here is the information from his flier:  Bar “La Academia” at Callao 368 near the corner of Corrientes.  Practica and class on Tuesdays from 19-22 hs.  His cell phone is 15-4062-7430.  This is where you learn from a milonguero.

Francisco dancing with Elba in LdC.

Elba Pateiro

September 26, 2016

September 21, 1944 —


I called Elba on her birthday, and she invited me to celebrate on Saturday night at Club Gricel.


Nestor Leon, Elba, Perla, Nestor Jorge Castillo

Saturday night is couples night at many milongas, and that is the case in Club Gricel.  I arrived early during the class.  There was one man without a partner, so I offered to dance with him.  What a delight!  I asked him why he is taking classes and not dancing at the milongas.  He has taken classes for years.  When the milonga started, we danced the first tanda together.  After we danced, I encouraged him to attend evening milongas.  People from the class stayed for the milonga, but the man went home.


It was more of a social night than a dance night, but still I arrived home at 3:00am.


I resisted drinking champagne, but the chocolate cake was too tempting for this vegan.  If it’s on the table, I lose all my self-control.

A change in my milonga routine

September 24, 2016

Instead of the usual ten block walk from my apartment, I walk 9-1/2 blocks to Obelisco Tango.  I’ve attended milongas there on various days of the week over its three-year history, but never regularly.  I made an abrupt change in my milonga routine last Sunday where I received a warm welcome from Dorita and Lola.  I shared a table with Lily and enjoyed her company.  Pier Aldo provided excellent tandas.  Mario showed up later after dancing a few hours nearby and invited me for the Gobbi tanda.


I returned on Monday for El Maipu organized by Lucy Alberto and Dany Rodriguez.  I sent them an email that I would be there at 19 hs.  I joined Ilina at her table.  She radiates positive energy and smiles all the time.   Ilina and I have two things in common — dancing tango and resale shopping.


I hoped I’d see Ismael Heljalil, and he was there.  He said he was down with flu for six weeks and still had a cough that wouldn’t quit.  But there he was, dancing tanda after tanda.   Someone takes care of uploading photos to his Facebook.


I made a point of stopping at Beto Ayala’s table.  He is still working and attends El Maipu on Monday.  Several years ago I joined Beto and his wife Teresa every Saturday at a milonga.


I discovered this victrola on display, and I’ll bet the DJ is overjoyed with the technology available today for music.


I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw Aura Teotassonian arrive at El Maipu. I haven’t seen her in years and have wonderful memories of  parties at her home when she partnered Lolo.  She loves Canaro because that was Lolo’s favorite orchestra. I managed to get a shot of camera-shy Aura before she went home.  Whenever I pass an Arredo store in the city, it reminds me of Aura because it’s her family business.  She’s such a lovely person, and it made me so happy to see her again.


This interesting piece of artwork hangs over the bar, and the walls display many others at Obelisco Tango.


I enjoyed another night of great music and dancing in my new milonga home.

II Tango Congress – Academia Nacional del Tango

September 22, 2016


The second annual free conference was held at the Palacio Carlos Gardel on Avenida de Mayo in the tango museum.


Gabriel Soria is president of the Academia Nacional del Tango.


The display cases house memorabilia from various contributors of tango.


The shoes of Carlos Gavito’s are on display with other items he donated to the museum.


The tango world has many collectors who contributed to the Museum.


The walls are covered with photos of tango greats.



I heard talks on the origin of social tango, tango lyrics before Contursi, and the dance before the 1930s.  Carlos Puente, a record collector, spoke about the music of the 1940s and provided recordings for our listening pleasure.  Carlos could talk for hours about his passion, but speakers were given 20 minutes.  A well-known stage performer from Tango Argentina spoke about the era from 1935-1983.  He has no first-hand knowledge of the milongas.  In fact, I saw only three familiar faces from the milongas.  When the microphone was open for questions, a man from the milongas couldn’t remain silent and to share his sentiments about tango as a social dance.  He had heard enough from the academician.  As was the case last year, only the famous stage professionals speak at the congress about their careers on stage, with no mention about social dancing in the milongas of today.

Buenos Aires is a great city for retirement

September 21, 2016


Strawberries and blueberries are in season from September through December, and they’ll be in my breakfast bowl every day.



This is the biggest strawberry I’ve eaten in my life!


Most of the produce comes from Argentine farmers.


There are packages of chopped vegetables prepared for a salad and soup.


This is a sample of what I bought for about US$15 at the fruit and vegetable market one block from my apartment — strawberries, brussels sprouts, fennel, mushrooms, avocados, bananas, apples, mandarin oranges, lemons, kiwis, and asparagus.


I am happy there is always a good supply of fresh produce for my whole food plant-based diet.

Dia Mundial del Folklore

September 20, 2016

I attended a celebration of World Day of Folklore and Argentine Folklore in Congress with musicians, singers, and dancers including a special tribute to Don Atahualpa Yupanqui by guitarist Carlos Martinez, who played the works of the renown composer.


The Salon de los Pasos Perdidos was overflowing with folklore aficionados.


They danced Chacarera and Zamba in the aisles.  This short video captures the celebration while the audience sings Luna tucumana.