A Visit to the Pampas

I never meant to blog about itty-bitty cars, but sometimes things just happen. Perhaps if I had a kitten to play with, or a horse that needed riding…  I had to find a horse to ride, to be sure, but the little blue car found me.

my Isetta getting a green energy transfusion

DEAR FRIENDS and WILLOWTANGO.ME FOLLOWERS: Hundreds of you are responding to this post as if it’s the only post you can see!! If you like this post and want to read more, go to <willowtango.me> And please, no responses marketing your product line or personal fetishes!!

QUERIDOS AMIGOS de WILLOWTANGO.ME: Cientos de vosotros, mis queridos lectores, están respondiendo a este post como si fuera la única!! Si les gusta este post y quieren leer más, hagan clic en <willowtango.me>. Y por favor, no me hablan de sus intereses publicitarias ni sus fetiches personales!!

No, it’s not my Isetta.  If it was I would spoil it with some much-needed TLC. Please note that the front of the car doubles as the entry. This baby is a one cylinder, 4-wheeler ragtop. Here she is cuddling up to a pickup. How cute is that?

which do you like better, the front or the rear?

Ben discovered it while walking from our apartment to his Spanish class in Palermo Soho.  Apparently it’s parked in some kind of cosmic waiting room, patiently awaiting restoration and rebirth.  Perhaps its mantra could be… I’m so cute I can tango on 3 wheels?

sweet view from a wabi-sabi world

There can’t be very many of these microcars left.  But thousands were produced in post WWII Europe.  Skip the next paragraph if you’re not totally fascinated by this Barbie car.

The Isetta was an Italian-designed micro-car built in a number of different countries, including Spain, Belgium, France, Brazil, Germany, and the UK. Produced in the post-World War II years, a time when cheap short-distance transportation was most needed, it became one of the most successful and influential city cars ever created.

The car originated with the Italian firm of Iso-SpA. In the early 1950s the company was building refrigerators, motor scooters and small three-wheeled trucks. Iso’s owner, Renzo Rivolta, decided he would like to build a small car for mass distribution. By 1952 the engineers Ermenegildo Preti and Pierluigi Raggi had designed a small car that used the scooter engine and named it Isetta—an Italian diminutive meaning little ISO.

The Isetta caused a sensation when it was introduced to the motoring press inTurin in November 1953. It was unlike anything seen before. Small (only 2.29 m (7.5 ft) long by 1.37 m (4.5 ft) wide) and egg-shaped, with bubble-type windows, the entire front end of the car hinged outwards to allow entry. In the event of a crash, the driver and passenger were to exit through the canvas sunroof. The steering wheel and instrument panel swung out with the single door, as this made access to the single bench seat simpler. The seat provided reasonable comfort for two occupants, and perhaps a small child. Behind the seat was a large parcel shelf with a spare wheel located below. A heater was optional, and ventilation was provided by opening the fabric sunroof. The first prototypes had one wheel at the rear; this made the car prone to roll-overs, so they placed two rear wheels 48 cm (19 in) apart from each other.

BMW bought the Isetta license from ISO SpA in 1954.  They bought the complete Isetta body tooling as well.  The BMW Isetta was in 1955 the world’s first mass-production 3-Liters/100km car. It was the top-selling single cylinder car in the world, with 161,728 units sold. After constructing some 1,000 units, production of the Italian built cars ceased in 1955, although Iso continued to build the Isetta in Spain until 1958.  (compiled from Wikipedia)

Even in its present sad condition, this Isetta has a bright future!  and is probably worth a few bucks.

Do you see the little face?

So sweet of the man in my life to take these photos for me.  You could say he found a clever way to get back in my good graces, after a little spat about who knows what?!  Here he is asking for forgiveness:

on his knees at the Gallerias

Not blue anymore, but wearing blue! at our favorite café by Plaza San Martín:

blue sky and sunshine!

Now we’re going on a day trip to the Pampas! First stop, San Antonio de Areco, about 120 km. northwest of Buenos Aires. This beautiful colonial pueblo was settled in 1730. The bici is not quite that old!

two-wheelers can have significant curb appeal also

The bici decorates the sidewalk in front of one of the best trattorias in town, La Esquina de Merti. My hosts, Flavia and Fabio, who also happen to be our landlords in town, brought me out to the country for an afternoon of sightseeing and horseback riding. Here’s the beautiful shady plaza:

Plaza Gómez

A typical street on a very quiet day in San Antonio de Areco.

Fabio at El Tokio

The church looks like an vacant gray stone palace.  Spooky and grim, even in the sunshine!

Nuestra Señora de Loreto

It’s prettier on the inside. The main altar is quite beautiful. We were the only people inside the church, on a Tuesday about 1:00 pm. This town is definitely not overrun with tourists! Maybe on the weekends.

el altar mayor

Flavia and me sightseeing

We were fortunate to find the leather shop open. Besides the handmade leather goods, there were bridles, reatas, cinchas, stirrups, tapaderos, ponchos… lots of stuff. Many of the tools hanging on the wall or lying about the workshop were antiques still in use. We chatted with the craftsman at his workbench, and he showed us how he stamps a design into leather using a metal punch.

the artesano working at his trade

cowboy socks’n’spurs?

In the really old days (we’re not talkin’ 1950s here! more like 1750s!) out here in the pampas, they didn’t have boots. They just wrapped rawhide around their legs and feet. They left the toe part open cause back then their stirrups were a rawhide reata hanging down from the saddle with a big rawhide braided knot on the end that you stuck in between your big toe and second toe. Kind of a toe wedgie! Doesn’t sound as comfy as a real stirrup, does it? Of course they didn’t spend a day’s wages to have their horses shod, either. Come to think of it, the campesinos back then didn’t get paid wages at all. That was back in the days before organized labor.

Rawhide, when it’s wet, can be stretched taut (as in drum making); when it dries, it’s stiff as a board and extremely sturdy. You can cut it in a giant spiral which results in narrow strips anywhere from 30 – 60 feet long depending on the size of the hide. Braiding a number of those strands together creates reatas, reins, bosals, bridles, etc. All the gear you ever dreamed of having!

Argentine bridles

These are the saddles we’ll be riding later today. No frills, no saddle horn, either. In an emergency, just grab some mane!

a Chilean saddle: no frills, wooly sheepskin keeps you warm

As we drive into the rancho the first thing we see is a bunch of horses tied up amongst the trees:

all tied up and waiting to be ridden

we go past a marvellous treehouse!

Pulling into the stable area the horses in the barn stick their heads out to see who’s coming:

howdy

The barn is new, built of cement and brick, with a metal roof. It has 5 stalls, a tack room, a bathroom with shower, and a tiny kitchen area with sink. The stall doors are wood, as is the framing and the shutters.

the front of the barn

We saddled up and went for a ride!  The sun was playing tag with the clouds, but it was warm with a slight breeze. Everywhere you look it’s green! We were about 60 or 70 miles northwest of Buenos Aires. Santiago is wearing polo boots and riding britches; he competes on the hunter-jumper circuit.

Santiago, Flavia’s hunter-jumper instructor

Flavia is our horse-crazy landlady!  She and I hit it off from day 1. Here she is on a pretty red dun, holding his head very nicely.  The helmet protects her coco loco. She and I could sit and talk horses all day long.

Flavia on a red dun

Here I am on a nice little grey gelding. When we were just walking along he wanted to lag behind the pack, but when we were loping, he moved right up to the front every time!

me on Gitano

We rode for about an hour and a half. By the time we came upon this windmill and got thru the gate, we could see the clouds piling up. The rain was comin’!

a working windmill

We kicked our horses into gear and loped the last few hundred yards in the rain. Now that’s my idea of fun! After we unsaddled and got the horses put away, we hunkered down in the barn in some comfy canvas chairs to dry off while our host brewed up some mate. We passed it around, sucking it down thru the silver bombilla. Good medicine. This was our view out the barn door:

sweet view

You can just barely make out a gorgeous caballo criollo in this stall:

chewable stall doors

I like the clean, earthy design, but… but what if your horses decides to punch a hole in it with a double-barrel kick?  Here’s the ranch manager’s casita:

see the tri-color tail on the left?

I have to share a funny comment from my brother Kim:  “Hi Sis, I am really enjoying your tango blogs…  You are a great writer!  Not a bad photographer either (must have gotten that from Grandpa).  In the future please try to provide more photos of beautiful women instead of just guys, cowboys, etc.”  

Okay, bro, this one’s for you!  Ciao from Buenos Aires!

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Liliana remembers her great-uncle Osvaldo Pugliese

My friend Liliano Populizio told me a lot about mate over, can you guess?  Mate cocidos, in a café downtown.  I met Liliana in Italian class at the Dante Alighieri Association.  Turns out her great-uncle was Osvaldo Pugliese.  How amazing is that?  Life just does funny things, you know?  Like putting someone in your path, because you were meant to know each other, meant to be friends.

Osvaldo Pugliese was Liliana’s grandmother’s brother, on her dad’s side.  Pugliese and his wife Maria Concepción Florio (“Choli”) lived in Villa Crespo, a working class neighborhood not far from Barrio Norte. There’s a milonga in that barrio called Fulgor de Villa Crespo, and inside there is a little shrine to Pugliese with a photo and flowers.  We’ve danced there many times.

milonga Fulgor de Villa Crespo: "where Pugliese walked"

Pugliese was born on December 2, 1905.   His father Adolfo taught him violin at an early age, and he later studied at the Odeón Conservatory in Villa Crespo.  It was there he fell in love with the piano, and went on to make his debut into the world of tango at 15.  For those of you who don’t yet know one Tango orchestra from another, Pugliese was a celebrated pianist, composer and orchestra director.  Before forming his own orchestra in 1936, he played with other musicians including Alfredo Gobbi and Aníbal Troilo, and several other orchestras, including Angel D’Agostino, Roberto Firpo, Pedro Laurenz and Miguel Caló.  His first orchestra, organized in 1936 (with 3 bandoneons, 1 contrabajo, 2 violins and piano), debuted at La Nacional on Corrientes, where they were very well received.  So well, in fact, they headed off for a blazing tour of the country.  Apparently tango critics in the hinterland were not ready for Pugliese’s new sound, because the tour was such a disaster they had to pawn some instruments to get back home.  The next incarnation debuted in 1939, made their first recording in 1943 and continued, with occasional changes in musicians, for 55 years.

a young Osvaldo Pugliese

Some of Pugliese best-known tangos are Recuerdo, La Beba (named after his daughter Beba), Negracha, Malandraca, La Yumba.  He composed 150+ songs, and recorded more than 600 others.  His was one of the most highly-regarded Tango orchestras of the Golden Age of Tango.

In my research for this blog I found a website with some absolutely enlightened commentary on Pugliese’s music.  Keith Elshaw <ToTango.net> says it far better than my own rambling late-night scribblings:  “Pugliese influenced a change in the sound and feel of tango in each of five decades beginning with his first hit, Recuerdo (1921)…  His La Yumba in 1943 was like a revelation from on-high…  In the hard-core of Tango, Pugliese inhabits the axis.  He’s the hard stuff.  A 12-year-old single malt as opposed to a blend.  If his is an acquired taste, that alone indicates how deep into Tango people are.  A night without Pugliese for me is like trying to dance when the sound system is just a little too low and you can’t get into it.  You just wish they’d turn it up.  As it gets later in the night, I absolutely crave his music.”   Wherever you go to dance Tango… New York, London, Buenos Aires, Paris, Rome, Barcelona, Tokyo, Berlin… you will dance to Pugliese!  He was a Tango king!

Pugliese with Alberto Morán, Roberto Chanel (guitar)

Pugliese’s pro-labor, pro-communist views got him into trouble with the prevailing political powers of the era.  He was persecuted, censured and jailed for 6 years during the Perón era.  Liliano says that her great-aunt Choli took meals to her jailed husband every day, and also fed others who were incarcerated in the same area.  Apparently a lot of left-leaning artists, musicians, writers, professors and artists were thrown in jail by Perón, and they spent their days together… in a kind of involuntary never-ending political consciousness-raising workshop.  That would be a life-changing experience, to be sure.  Pugliese’s orchestra, famously, kept playing during his absence.  Hence the iconic picture of the rose on the piano, waiting for Pugliese’s return.

Liliana told me that her family is very musical, but that she is the exception!  Her aunt Beba also plays piano, like her dad.  Another musican in the family was Roberto Florio, a well-known Tango singer.  Liliana remembers her great-uncle very well.  He was always fooling around on the piano at home, but he found time to play with her, too.  Liliana has fond memories of her great-uncle.  They played a silly game where he would pull off one of her shoes and toss it, and she would run to fetch it.  Family get-togethers were never without musical accompaniment.

Pugliese received numerous distinctions, awards and medals during his long career.  He passed away in July, 1995.  His wife Maria Concepción passed away in 1971.   If you visit Buenos Aires you can see a bust of Liliana’s great-uncle, along with a caricature tango orchestra, in Villa Crespo.

Plazoleta Pugliese

Switching gears…. to Sin Rumbo.

We had a great time last night at Sin Rumbo.  What a fabulous milonga!  A classy place, elegant, the guys in jackets and ties, an authentic milonga porteña.  Black and white floor.  Perhaps the most authentic milonga, La Catedral del Tango!  The atmosphere at Sin Rumbo is so dense,  so rich in tango culture.  The walls are covered with original art, all of it about tango and especially about Sin Rumbo and the people who’ve danced there.  And those walls!  They’ve been watching people tango for 80+ years.

Sin Rumbo is the oldest Tango salon in Buenos Aires, and hosted by one of BA’s most famous milongueros, Julio Dupláa.  He was one of the judges of the Tango World Finals.  And guess who else was there last night?  Alberto Podestá, world-famous tango singer.  Naturally  I forgot to bring my camera (kind of getting over being the tourist, now that I live here), but we’ll be back.

We got there about 11 pm; it was crowded so they sat us at a table with a couple who told us they have been dancing tango since they met (58 years ago!) & married (4 years later!)  They were really friendly and happy to talk to us.  And such good dancers!  No kidding, after all those years… they got a good thing goin’!  So nice to get the local perspective.  Sin Rumbo, despite being world-famous, is just a neighborhood milonga, full of people who know each other well, and still like each other.  The dancers navigated the floor so nicely, no bulldozers or deadhead dancers.  This kind of tango magic we call being connected to our partner, and connected to the music, and connected to everyone else on the dance floor.  Love that feeling of connection. Connection-addiction!  Endorphin-producing connection-addiction!  Like Romeo said to Juliet: Give me my sin again!

Takes two to tango...

Listen up  readers!

please please please write a few lines about how you got addicted to tango.  don’t worry I won’t put your name in!  People are already sending their stories to me, you’re going to love reading this stuff!  Maybe this could be turned into… a book?  a movie?  a comic strip?  I mean, I’m having so much fun doing this, shouldn’t I be getting paid?  In my dreams!   send your words to: <runninghawk.willow@gmail.com>  thanx thanx thanx thanx thanx & etc!  

Ciao from Buenos Aires!

Yerba Mate, Symbol of Argentine National Identity

So what is this stuff people are drinking out of a little gourd with a funny metal straw?  Yerba Mate is an evergreen plant of the Holly family (scientific name ilex paraguariensi) and is indigenous to subtropical south America. The Guaraní people, who inhabited the area that we now know as southern Brasil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, first learned to harvest and brew mate.  People of the Río de la Plata region have been drinking mate for thousands of years.

Mate leaves contain caffeine.  Depending on who you talk to, of course, mate has significant health benefits:  it’s anti-carcinogenic, anti-oxidant, speeds up your metabolism, clears your sinuses, lowers your cholesterol, relaxes your muscles, and promotes a healthy heart.  Sounds good to me!  But I’m already addicted to black tea!  From time to time I buy mate, brew a cup (it’s called mate cocido if you brew it with a tea bag instead of loose tea in your gourd) and drink it with a little sugar… delicious!

girl in red dress drinking mate

The flavor of mate is reminiscent of green tea.  Freshly harvested mate is sometimes smoked over a wood fire to give it a smoky flavor.  Sounds like the cowboy version.  According to La Nación, straight, unsweetened mate is called cimmarón and is preferred by men, while women and children prefer theirs sweetened, and children especially like it mixed with milk or juice.  Mate can be drunk hot or iced.  Street vendors sell it.  In Brasil, on the coast, they drink mate batido: iced, sweetened, with or without fruit flavoring, made with the smoky mate which is spicier and less bitter.  Shake it up and it becomes creamy, like a smoothie.  Yum!  More please!

a happy mate-guzzling gaucho!

But mate is not just a drink, it’s a social activity.  Families and friends drink mate ritually.  The gourd is passed from person to person.  Each person drinks it up, then passes it back to the host or hostess who throws in some more herb and then fills the gourd with hot water (not boiling! or it will be bitter), and it gets passed to the next person.  Even little kids drink mate in the morning before school.  This could be the perfect beverage for your little wolf pack!

Mate keeps you going all day!

Here in Buenos Aires I see people drinking mate in cafés and restaurants, at the park with friends and family, and of course tango teachers can be seen sipping it during workshops (the ubiquitious thermos and gourd: Gato and Andrea, always!).

I first read about mate when I was in grad school.  Martín Fierro was the protagonist in an epic poem of the same name, written by José Hernández in 1872.  He was a tough, sun-baked, hard-riding, quintessential cowboy of the Pampas. Kind of an Argentine John Wayne: independent, heroic and self-sacrificing.  Martín Fierro fought social injustice and so became an outlaw.

Gauchos lived by their macho code of honor… survivalists to the core. They wore flashy belts decorated with old coins (cowboy glam: I want one!) and they were always ready to unholster their dangerously beautiful daggers (called a facón) worked in silver and horn. They had redeeming qualities though, like being fond of horses and wide-open spaces. Not surprising that Martín Fierro is considered a founding text of Argentine culture and history.  Get off your horse, facón in your belt, and sip your mate as you sit of an evening around the campfire and read Martín Fierro.  It’s long, and it’s all in verse. But it’s a long way to town, too, and what else can you do while you’re out there keeping watch over the herd?

About sixty years or so after Martín Fierro, Borges wrote a now-famous short story called “El Sur” in which a hopelessly civilized city youth, living in the Buenos Aires of the 1930s, returns to the town of his forefathers, on the Pampas, and is challenged to a knife-fight by a local gaucho bully.  He can’t back down, because that very same macho code of honor that he still has a few drops of in his blood comes welling to the surface as he steps outside to meet his death.

Part of the Argentine self-image, then, is the gaucho and the code. We’re way beyond the mate now.  We’re a long way from Tango, too, but it all fits in somewhere.  This is just another piece of the puzzle of Argentina:  tango, mate, gauchos, waves of migration. What a delicious, rich, cultural stew.  As you read the first verse of Martín Fierro, look for the Tango lyrics, and you will find them, ready to be put to music in a new century, the 19th.

Aquí me pongo a cantar

al compás de la vigüela

que al hombre que lo desvela,

una pena estrordinaria

como la ave solitaria

con el cantar se consuela.

Ciao from Buenos Aires!

La Puta Qué?

Did you ever read The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne?  We skipped over to Uruguay for the day and saw a tagged paint mare: you can see PUTA in capital letters on her neck.  I think you all know what that means!  We didn’t notice any apparent misbehaving tendencies at first glance but then horses can really fool you!

la muy puta yegua

Along came a casual tropical cowboy who proceeded to mount up and move the group of foragers a few yards down the road.  It was a pretty day and I was happy to see some horses just hanging out along a back road.  We were cruising on a junky old moto that we rented for $18 for the day, electrical issues, bald tires, no speedometer, no deposit, no problem!

local cowboy

The day trip across the river is known as the expat shuffle: you take a ferry across the river, go thru customs in Uruguay (what a joke that is!) and, depending on your inclinations, stroll the quaint colonial era pueblo, shop till you drop, do the waterfront pub crawl, climb to the top of the faro (lighthouse), head for the beach, or (most popular option) get on a bus to Montevideo.

After the hour trip across the Río de la Plata, we disembarked and walked into town.  We passed an ultramodernist new tourist center, not quite finished yet.  We set off the alarm when we walked up and onto the deck…  howdy folks!  the gringos are here!

tourist trap

Colonia is a pretty tourist town.  Some folks joke about it being a “dead” town and I see their point but, heck, Uruguay needs all the help ($$) it can get!   The only thing they have going for them are some cool beaches and hot soccer players.  There’s a sweet harbor on the river, a lighthouse (we made it all the way to the top!) shops, cafés, restaurants, boutique hotels, tour guides.  We skipped the tour.  I’m the official tour guide, naturally.  Who else would have noticed the horses?

Lucky us, it was a beautiful balmy day at the lighthouse.  We climbed it.

el faro

We circled it.

the bullring

Ben was happy as a clam to be riding a scooter, he didn’t care where we went!  (He says it’s not quite like his F4, though.)  Here he is at the top of the lighthouse, with helmet:

At the beach…

did we miss the tsunami warning?

strolling around town…

checking out the microcar

We saw picturesque old adobes that reminded me of San Juan Bautista, back home in California.

we take VISA!!

bisected house

Café El Santo

pretty stone facade with jasmine

Okay, is it bothering you that this post is turning into Better Homes & Gardens?  Sunset South?  Well, too bad, cause I just love old historic buildings!  especially when they’re kept up nicely…  here’s some more:

Posada Plaza Mayor

Adobe colorado

old Mission

No lack of cool old cars to cruise those cobblestone Colonia streets:

what make is it? somebody help me out!

10 oct. Flash:  a Studebaker by all accounts!  Thanks to April in New Mexico, Jack in San Luis Obispo, and Arlene in Santa Barbara!  You guys rock!

awesome truck from the... 40s?

And a café-bar by the old stone lighthouse.  How cool is that?  The hungry thirsty hordes had not yet gathered when I took this picture:  Or they got stuck listening to the droning nazi tour guide.

ye old lighthouse watering hole

When I finally stepped off the back of the moto my knees were weak, my feet were numb, and it felt like my hipbones needed resetting.  Kinda like getting thrown off a rank horse and trying to get back on your feet so you can go catch the sonofabitch!   We walked a few steps past that amazing stone tower onto the wharf, past the yacht club office, and onto the terrace of the Yacht Club restaurant.  What a view!

Are we having fun yet?

Oops, forgot to put a view in.  Here we go.

the view from the top

We ate seafood pasta, salad, a bottle of wine, dessert… the works!  A sweet getaway. Towards the end of the afternoon the herd instinct kicked in, we answered a few mournful cow calls, and allowed ourselves to be herded back to the mother ship.  The ferry, that is, the S.S. Colonia Express.  As we closed in on the big beautiful city, I took a picture of this old slow-sinking rustbucket still moored in La Boca harbor.

the wabi-sabi mother ship

Being away from town for a day was no big deal, but I can well imagine the desperation one might feel being gone too long from the glorious night-life of this throbbing music lover’s paradise.  Seriously, we find music everywhere we go!  Friday evening we walked into a local restaurant, and found ourselves listening to a young woman singing arias from Carmen and La Bohéme, with live piano and violin accompaniment.  Opera never fails to bring tears to my eyes!  Live music is a total body experience, you feel it with all your senses, not just your ears.  Every molecule you own vibrates with sound, sinking deeply into body and spirit.  Positively transcendent!

Yesterday, having coffee after our tango class at a café we frequent by Plaza San Martín, we opened our eyes and saw that they have Friday night Jazz, and live Tango on Saturdays. The cultural richness of Buenos Aires is really inspiring.  So many young musicians, you see them walking around with instrument cases, getting on the subte or collectivo. We saw these guys on the subway today on our way home from a solidarity festival at Parque Avellaneda.

subte músicos

Ben’s spanish teacher plays percussion and trombone in a band we saw today at the park, Orkesta Popular San Bomba.  Way to go!  They have a great singer and a great Latin sound, but their sound system was a complete disaster.  We will check them out again when they get their act together!

Orkesta San Bomba at Parque Avellaneda

Somehow the future isn’t quite as scary anymore, seeing the next generation so present and engaged in the creation of a world culture that knows no borders, and whose currency is music!   Speaking of young musicians, we’ve been to some great live music at various places…  this is CAFF (Club Atlético Fernández Fierro), a former auto repair shop.  It has the funkiest club entrance ever, like out of a Batman movie:

Yes, that’s me in my spring Batgirl outfit.  Here are a couple of shots from the show at CAFF:

Dema y su Orquesta Petitera

at CAFF

Dema is hysterically funny and was wildly applauded.  He’s kind of a cross between Tom Waits and Giancarlo Giannini in Swept Away (a film by Lina Wertmüller).  Jaded but innocent, desperate yet full of macho bravura.   Check him out on uTube!

One of our favorites: Orquesta Victoria at Café Vinilo:

Orquesta Típica La Victoria

Orchestra La Victoria has a piano, clarinet, cello, contrabajo, 2 bandoneons, 3 violins, and two singers (Fuertes and Varnerín) who do amazing tango duets, just like the singers of  the old days!  (Listen to Pregonera, Pastora, Remolino… sung by the duo of Carlos Dante and Julio Martel, Orquesta Alfredo de Angelis.)  This youthful tango orquesta plays mostly classic tango but also some nuevo, in the genre of Piazzolla.  They are way cool and we love them!

Well, friends, despite lots of late night dancing, serious lack of sleep, tango classes, yoga class, Italian class, running in the park, and walking, walking, walking all over town… not to mention spending hours writing and posting my blog…  I seem to be thriving!  must be Ben’s good cooking!  Oh, and my favorite gelato flavors of the month? … dolcatta, tramontana, and dulce de leche granizado… and zabayón!  and the delightful spring weather!

Please don’t forget to send your Tango Addiction stories to me at <runninghawk.willow@gmail.com>.  I now have my very own web address: <willowtango.me>.   Click the “follow” button!   Ciao from Buenos Aires!

Willow at El Santo