2013 Buenos Aires Travelog - BA Trip XIV
This trip was one of the best that I have had. The Argentine economy is better; people have jobs and money, so they are out dancing and partying. The mood is better, the parties are better, the shopping is better. (The downside is that traffic is insane!). More people have cars, more people are in the stores and restaurants. Infrastructure is improving slowly. There were fewer outages and slowdowns. This year the weather was largely great - maybe a little on the warm side, but on Thanksgiving day it was cool enough to run the oven for our traditional Thanksgiving dinner. We had a few days of rain, but no deluges like in years past. And of course, the people who came with me were some of the best-spirited ever, and made the trip delightful.
The monetary situation for Americans is great - the fiscal policies make the dollar very valuable. Although the official exchange rate was 6.4/1, we were getting 9.5 to one on the black market. This made most everything very inexpensive! A dinner for 4, with wine and dessert was $400 pesos - about $12 per person. Milonga entradas were from 30p (kid's milongas) to 50P (with live music)
Lynn arrived first, and was at the house when Barb and I arrived. He had arrived a day early. He was not one to stay in the house and waste time - he had headed out the day before on his own to discover the neighborhood. The problem was - he had forgotten to bring his address, or a map, or my contact info. All he had was the card that our cab driver, Dante, had given him. So he approached a friendly-looking stranger, and asked if he would call the number to find out where he lived. Dante and the stranger were able to get him home - he was only a block away.
First excursion - the grocery, of course! We checked out the Coto, for a quick lesson in how to buy things. Next, shoes! As we went, we got oriented, we learned how the subways work, how the streets work, and where the important stores were close by. We also toured a little, going by Casa Rosada and Plaza de Mayo, and down Ave. Florida. After a quick Argentine history lesson, we walked over to the downtown shoe stores. 5 in one block! Then it was time for Helado, Argentine ice cream.
Highlights of this trip:
Empanadas (in the style of Tucuman, courtesy of Ruben), and party on the patio.
Bar Los Laureles, where we ate and danced everything with everyone, including an awesome swing dance with an anonymous Argentine. On the way home at 3AM on the colectivo, we sang all the songs we could remember the words for.
Meeting Wendy and Magaly in the morning at Pata for Cafe con Leche y medialunas (grasa, por favor) and back there at 1AM for empanadas after the milonga.
Claudia Pannone singing in our dining room.
Tango show at Cafe de los Angelitas, with dinner, dessert, wine and champagne, and an incredible tango show. Meeting the cast afterwards.
Thanksgiving dinner, with almost perfect weather and everyone around a big table! Important parts of the menu, that our Argentine friends love: Cranberries, wild rice stuffing, regular bread stuffing, gravy, pumpkin pie.
Last Friday of the month, eating traditional Gnocci's with multiple sauces and glasses of wine.
Hearing Podesto sing, and talk about his history and experience in the tango world for 6 decades.
Visitors every day! Manuel Garcia, Luis Castillo, Claudia Pannone, Magaly, Wendy, Dante, Fred, Julio
Dancing at El Obelisco with the cast of a tango show.
Another cup of coffee! Another empanada, and another ice cream. A bottle of good champagne is 35p (<$4)
Milongas: Gricel, La National, Nino Bien, Sueno Porteno (where Podesto sang), Peru 571 with El Afronte, Obelisco, Plaza Bohemia, milonga at Feria de Mataderos, then Porteno y Bailarin until 4 AM, Maipu 345 Milonga En Rojo, Los Laureles, Domilonga, Salon Canning, y mas!
Lessons with great teachers are 250 pesos for an hour plus private.
Lois, you lead us through a very rich experience of BA--tango there, BA's dance community, the city itself, milestones in its history, warts in daily life there (bus drivers), charity of its citizens (Cherie, Magali). Two day ago I woke up feeling my feet on the sidewalk between our house and Pata's. I miss BA and discovering layers of it under your direction. I miss your wing while stumbling through a milonga. I miss the sights of dark deserted streets while walking home after a milonga. I miss Wendy's survey of coffee and ice cream and her catalogue of what doesn't work in BA, not to mention Wendy in black thigh-high stockings. I miss the potential of connections in BA, which lead us to Cherie's empanada lunch and a preview of Claudia's show presented in our dining room. Thank you.
Return to the Home page.