a visit to this city is not only an experience of the senses, but also a journey through time. from the breath-taking architecture to many still-practiced traditions of the past, this modern and charming city has a deep connection with its history, yet a passion for living in the present. and the argentines certainly know how to live the good life! foodies and wine connoisseurs will drool over the happiest (and tastiest) cows in the world, as well as the local malbec and torrontes wines. tennis players have their pick of literally hundreds of public red clay courts across town! music and art-lovers will rejoice over the museums, theatres, and especially, the thriving tango scene.
during my week in this beautiful city, i tried to experience as much of the food, culture and tennis as possible. as a traveler, my goal is to delve into my surroundings, try as many new things and meet as many locals as possible. i believe the greatest memories of our trips are created through real connections and authentic moments. i encourage you to reach beyond the tours and guide books, to trek on the less obvious path and to appreciate every moment of the way. these are some of my fondest memories and tips from buenos aires:
MATCH MADE IN MILONGA
i had taken tango lessons for a month prior to my trip to BsAs and was so excited to dance in a real ‘milonga’ or traditional dance hall. however, the milonga etiquette dates back decades and the unspoken rules leave many foreign dancers scratching their heads, wondering why no one will dance with them. apparently, it’s impolite to ASK someone to dance! instead, a quick glance and subtle nod is an invitation, which needs to be answered appropriately. in order to avoid offending anyone or sitting perplexed all evening, i commissioned the service of tango taxi dancers, on a recommendation from an LA tango friend.
i met with a tango pro for an hour lesson at a dance studio, then accompanied the pro to the milonga. riding through the city, practicing my spanish and finally showing up at the milonga was something i will never forget. small tables covered with linen cloth surrounded the dance floor in this enormous vintage hall. with a somber, elegant and traditional feel, i almost expected to see men on one side and women on the other. in the middle of the room, dozens of couples quietly spun in a large formation, hypnotized by the throaty tango projecting from a record player, filling the vaulted ceiling and musty air. wow, i thought, THIS is tango…and then i danced.
ADDITIONAL TANGO INFO:
Tango Taxi Dancers: a tango agency that arranges private lessons & milonga visits– a great service for someone who already knows how to tango and wants to practice with a pro in a milonga setting. for beginners, i would suggest a group lesson at a tango show or studio.
Confiteria Ideal: one of the most beautiful & historic milongas in buenos aires, offering shows & classes throughout the week. tidbit– scenes from the movies, ‘evita’ and ‘tango’ were filmed here.
Tango Brujo: a tango store where i purchased my ‘dancing with the stars-esque’ dress (above) & hand-made leather dancing shoes…love them! they also have a studio upstairs for tango lessons.