¡Felices Fiestas!

The famous Teatro Colón in early December: not a holiday decoration in sight!  Likewise all over town, a few Xmas decorations in shop windows, but not much…  here it is just a few days to Christmas and Santa and his merry Elves are still lying low.  Apparently Argentina hasn’t yet caught on to creating a mass marketing spectacle of their holidays. Let’s hope they keep it that way.

Teatro Colón

On my birthday Ben took me to the opera!  We saw La Viuda Alegre, a light, romantic operetta by Hungarian Franz Lehár (1870 – 1948).  A fine production, a full house…beautiful costumes, live orchestra, superb singers… thanks, baby!  I’ve always loved opera, and to see one in an exquisite, historic and richly decorated opera house… (where Maria Callas performed!) well, it just doesn’t get any better!  Considered one of the top five opera houses in the world for its phenomenal acoustics, the Teatro Colón’s latest restoration and technological modernisation began in 2006, and it reopened on May 24, 2010 — the Argentine bicentennial. However, the sidewalk facing Avenida 9 de Julio is still all dug up, looks like a lot of pipes are being replaced.  So many illustrious composers have directed the productions of their own works in the Teatro Colón:  Camille Saint-Saens, Igor Stravinsky, Manuel de Falla, Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, to name just a fraction…  And the singers: Caruso, Callas, Joan Sutherland, Leontyne Price, Plácido Domingo, Renato Scotto, Beverly Sills, Luciano Pavarotti, José Carreras, José Van Dam, Renée Fleming… the few names I’m familiar with, amongst a host of others.  Not to mention the dancers who’ve performed there, the operas and concerts…. WOW!!  I’m a lucky girl.

6 levels of balconies

the gorgeous stage

During the two intermissions we wandered about, found a little upstairs café, and enjoyed people watching.  Spying on our own kind, you know, look at what she’s wearing!  (I wore green) and peeking into the back of opera boxes.

After the opera we wandered over to Sin Rumbo and danced till 3.  We sat next to a couple we always seem to sit next to, and I hate to admit I don’t know their names, and haven’t taken their picture, but they are a couple who has been dancing tango together for 60 years (when they met and married!) and they live right around the corner!  They look so good dancing together, they move really nicely around the dance floor. True Love Tango style.  Does it qualify as an Addiction?  

Last blog I promised a photo of the other cátedral…. not Sin Rumbo, la Cátedral de Tango, out in Villa Urquiza, no.   I mean the OTHER Cátedral that I wrote about in my last blog; the young, eclectic, wabi-sabi hip hothouse of nuevo:

La Cátedral en el barrio de Almagro

I think a lot of you Central Coasters recognize this tanguera: our good friend Arlene from Santa Barbara!  She’s a lifelong dancer and dance teacher, and has been coming to Buenos Aires for many years.  Her daughter and family are my neighbors in Santa Margarita.

Arlene

Arlene flew in for 5 days and nights of tango!  Here we are enjoying the Japanese Gardens:

a beautiful day at el Jardín Japonés

We milonga’d with Arlene five nights in a row and then she had to fly back.  Those darn tickets you get for your miles, you can never get the flights you want!  Here she is with one of her dance partners, Adrian.

the AA Club: members only

A couple of days before Arlene arrived we took the ferry ride to Colonia. A sweet one-night getaway!  The weather was gorgeous, in the eighties, calm waters and blue skies.

A

the pool is on the lower terrace to left

You know, renew the visas again, the expat shuffle.  Our B&B, Posada San Antonio, was really nice and there’s a pool too, over by those umbrellas.  You can see the river Plate in the background.  El Río de la Plata.  Go look at a map!

Viva Uruguay!

I’m decked out in seashells to honor Neptune and his platoons of sirenitas (mermaids).

our B&B in the evening

We took the ferry ride home the next day, relaxed and feeling like kids.

Back at Niño Bien!

Speaking of kids, this cute mini belongs to a kid on our block.

You can't go wrong with basic black and white.

Yeah, I photo-shopped these pix.  The light was so bright!

love the grille

And since it’s almost Christmas, please please everybody remember your families and loved ones, appreciate them, be thankful for them. Yesterday I was reading the paper and saw these pictures, one of a 30 year old woman, an attorney, who disappeared; the other of a young man in his twenties, also disappeared.

In Argentina back in the 1970s under an oppressive military government, tens of thousands of children and young people were “disappeared.”  Most of them were murdered, some of the littlest ones were handed off to other families and they were raised without knowing about their real families.  You’ve probably heard of Las Madres de la Plaza de Mayo, the mothers, sisters, wives, grandmothers of the disappeared.  They have never quit protesting ever since those times, demanding the return of their loved ones, banging on their pots and pans throughout the city, demanding information, demanding justicia!  A couple of blocks from us is an old house that’s been turned into a school of the arts, and kids are out there from time to time painting the wall.  They’ve turned it into a beautiful and touching collective space for remembering their loved ones:

hijos perdidos 1- lost children collective

lost children 2

lost children 3

lost children 4

Let us not forget.

* * * * * * *

Food for thought:  is Tango the dance or the music?

Listen up, Readers!  For New Year’s I’m going to publish the Tango Addicts Anonymous Post.

I’ve received some great stories, but I NEED MORE!!!  I guess some people just can’t get anything done WITHOUT A DEADLINE! (myself included).  SO, write up your stories, make it 30 words or less if you’re a minimalist, but just GET IT DONE and SEND IT IN!  ANONYMITY GUARANTEED!  I PROMISE!

Send it to <runninghawk.willow@gmail.com>.  Thanks a bunch!  Ü

Merry Christmas from Buenos Aires!

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