I went on Saturday to join a girlfriend from the USA. There is no air-conditioning because the owner doesn’t want to make the investment, but that doesn’t put a damper on the attendance or the happiness level for the seniors who attend regularly. Erwin welcomed me, but I usually see him behind the bar at Lo de Celia programming excellent music on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The entrada is 30 pesos; bottled water is 20.
I located my friend at the end of a tanda, and there was an empty chair at her table so I took it without bothering the waitress. Vivi La Falce (the organizer’s daughter) was at the helm behind the bar programming the tandas. I saw lots of familiar faces from earlier years. I’ve been going to El Arranque since it opened in February 2000.
Roberto Tallarico and Oscar Steimez were there, and I went over to greet them at their table close by. I’ve never seen either one at the milonga in anything but a suit and tie.
I saw Julio leaving as I arrived. I was glad to see he is still dancing as well.
There were two women from Italy at the next table who left after many tandas to go to another milonga, I’m certain. El Arranque is a place where any newcomer gets to dance. I was lucky to have two invitations by a regular from Lo de Celia who was there for the second time.
Thursday, October 23: Although the attendance is lower on Thursday, the level of dancing is higher. I had my quota of tandas with two milongueros viejos.
Update: May 21, 2015. When Juan Carlos La Falce, who runs El Arranque, attends another milonga at the time he should be at his own, you know that something happened. On May 16, 2015, he was dancing at Milonga de Los Consagrados in Centro Region Leonesa, and started letting people know that Nuevo Salon La Argentina is closed for “administrative reasons.”