Milonga review: JL en La Nacional

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The milonga is held in the 150-year-old Asociación Nazionale Italiana in the neighborhood of Montserrat at Adolfo Alsina 1463.  I attended last night from 9:00 to midnight.  The reopening was a week ago  (after closure for two years).  Juan Lencina and his son Leandro are the organizers.

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Floor:  The hall is rectangular with a stage at one end and the bar/kitchen at the other.  The wood floor is excellent.  The salon has good lighting with no dark corners.

Sound system:  There are four speakers set up in each corner of the salon.  It was perfect last night with a smaller attendance and less chattering.

Deejay:  Brian Mujica has more experience now as a deejay.  He played excellent tandas of Juan D’Arienzo, Anibal Troilo, Miguel Calo, Rodolfo Biaggi, Carlos Di Sarli, Osvaldo Pugliese, Edgardo Donato, Francisco Canaro, etc.  The milonga runs eight hours, so Brian has a friend with him who helps with the music.

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Entrada: 60 pesos   Bottled water: 20 pesos (minimum charge per person)

Seating:  Separate tables for men and women.  Men sit on the left, women on the right.  I prefer the second row against the wall with two padded chairs on either side of the table; the front row tables have five wooden chairs.  Couples sat in the second row along the wall.  There is enough space between the front row seats to get to the edge of the floor; it’s a small detail but an important one.

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Dancers: This is a Saturday night milonga mainly for singles over 60.  Women wore dresses, not pants with only one exception.  Men were more casually dressed; only two wore suits.

Hostess:  She stopped at my table to ask if everything was fine.  The waitress was attentive and brought my drink as requested.  I always order agua sin gas natural, and sometimes I get ice-cold water instead.  Ask for a menu if you’re interested in having dinner during the milonga.

I danced with two men I know from Lo de Celia and another man for the first time.  I was glad to see two of my dearest milonguera friends as well.  The attendance was less than 50% of capacity (300), so the dance floor was never crowded.  It was a perfect place to dance on a hot summer night in air-conditioned comfort.

There is no attendant in the ladies’ room, but it is clean and maintained.

I left at midnight to walk home (14 blocks).  The federal police building is within two blocks of La Nacional.  Police were on duty around the building.  I always feel comfortable walking home alone from the milongas.

March 2015 update: The new organizers are Atilio Veron and Karen Simon.  New hours: 22 to 4 hs.

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