Milonga review: La Tradicional de los Viernes

This milonga is held on Friday nights at Club Gricel in the neighborhood of San Cristobal.  It’s organized by Alicia Paladini, Carlos Attadia, and Alberto Cañas.  I arrived last night as the doors opened at 22,30 hs.  Gricel was once my regular milonga for Friday night.  I remember waiting until 3 o’clock to dance until closing time when most of the 300+ dancers went home.  The attendance was less than half the capacity last night.

Floor:  A suspended pine floor of 110 m2 that is painstakingly maintained in its old age.  It’s unique in Buenos Aires.

Sound system:  Two large speakers hang over both ends of the rectangular floor.  Sound level was perfect.

Deejay:  Jorge González provided excellent tandas.  He announces the orchestra at the beginning of each tanda.  I wanted to dance every tanda, but . . .

Entrada: 30 pesos

Seating:  Arranged more like a club de barrio than a city milonga.  Tables are for four or six people often with men and women seated at the same table.  Chairs are not arranged facing the dance floor.  I didn’t have a reservation and asked the organizer if I could sit at Table #26 which is directly behind Table #25 where the milongueros viejos sit.  I had a table for four to myself all night.

Dancers:  Mostly singles and only a few couples.  I waited for one of the milongueros viejos to invite me.  They have dinner together, arrive after midnight and do more watching and talking than dancing.

Waitress:  She has worked in Gricel for years and knows the regulars.  She came by the table before I knew who worked the section.  Friendly attention as it should be.

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