A resolution for the new year

I’ve been to dozens of milongas during my fifteen years in Buenos Aires.  Years ago they all seemed about the same to me while I was learning my way.  I went as far as Vicente Lopez in the provincia when all the milongas in the capital closed.  I went once to Avellaneda when a friend recommended it.  I went to clubes de barrio like Salon El Pial and Club Glorias Argentinas for a relaxing change from the city center milongas.

There are venues that had milongas for many years, but they’re closed now: Club Almagro, Viejo Correo, La Galeria del Tango, Salon Augusteo, Salon Reduci, Circulo Bailable de la Armada, Salon Belgrano, Club Platense, Italia Unita, Club Bailable Juvenil, Club Social Rivadavia.  Others have been open for decades that continue: Salon Canning, Centro Region Leonesa, Confiteria Ideal, Club Gricel, Club Sunderland.  Today, a milonga can open one week and close the next.

I’ve gone to the corner of Humberto Primo and Entre Rios almost since the day Lo de Celia Tango Club opened in July 2000.  It was three blocks from where I lived at the time.  When I decided to move, I didn’t want to live farther than 12 blocks from that corner.  It’s been my favorite milonga all these years.  The chairs are comfortable.  The lighting is good.  The sound system is always perfect.  The staff takes care of everyone and everything.  The music is always excellent.  And the people are friendly–there are no cliques or snobs.  Everyone goes to enjoy an evening of tango.  It’s not on the popular tourist circuit of milongas, and that’s a good thing.  It’s where many go regularly because they feel at home just as I do.

After 15 years of milonga hopping, my hopping days are finally over.  There is only one place where I enjoy every minute without fail.  I have my favorite dance partners waiting for a tanda with me.  And they know where to find me — at my corner table in Lo de Celia.

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