Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Buenos Aires--El Centro and a Milonga

July 10, 2009

Friday we woke up at 10 and were on our way to la Capital Federal by 11. We passed the Obelisco on our way to the political center of everything, Plaza del Mayo. At the plaza, we visited the city's ho-hum Cathedral (which had an entertaining translation of their request for donations "Please place money to support the cult here."), and visited the Casa Rosada. We stopped for coffee at the famous Cafe Tortoni, which turned into lunch (due to the late hour), then went to check out the Palacio del Congreso.
Next, we visited the artwork and architecture of the shopping mall, Galerias Pacifico, and stopped for a coffee. After that, I took Tammy to Ateneo, the biggest bookstore in South America, housed in a former theatre, creating a rightfully regal setting for the merchandise.

We walked for hours to dine in Palermo, at La Bella Italia and ended the night at the milonga (tango dance hall), Club Gricel. The milonga felt a bit like a wedding reception, where nearly every guest is over 50. Although there was a $15 peso cover charge, the drinks were cheap.

Around 3:30, when things started slowing down, we found a taxi in the lobby area to take us to the Retiro bus station. I chatted with Tammy and Martín chatted with the driver, who kept turning the conversation back to tango.

We arrived at Retiro, and the driver turned to talk with us about tango. And talk he did!

The meter wasn't running, so I couldn't help but wonder the point of all his tango talk. He made Tammy and I promise to try tango, focusing on each of us individually, with a concerted effort, and finally, casually, commented about hooking us up with a professional teacher, before passing his card to Martín and excusing us, after nearly an hour parked in front of the bus terminal! We finally got back to La Plata around 6 a.m.

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