***Updated 21 April 2011 to reflect recent changes***
A Happy Tango reader comments on the Happy Tango Facebook page,
I feel sick to my stomach and heartbroken. My favorite venue has closed and I never gave it a proper goodbye.
And I reply,
Neither did I. Just breezed out of there after some incredibly intense tango with some of my fave dance partners, changing my shoes and laughing with my girlfriend in the ladies, kissing the organisers and saying I’d see them in 5 weeks (UK trip), winking at the last man I danced with (very naughty), letting the dark curtain fall back behind me, chattering excitedly as I clomped down the carpeted stairs towards my Monday night pizza… Maybe, giving the space my passion for tango on that last night was the best goodbye of all; it knows that it was loved by our tango hearts and perhaps it is good that there weren’t goodbye tears there, just joy and the energy of the music filling the air. I will be keeping my ear to the ground for its future and will let you know. Just so grateful to have danced there at all.
Me and C. dance merengue in Maipú
Yes, it seems that Maipú 444 (Plaza Bohemia, page 140 of Happy Tango) really has closed. Sold, and with no plans for tango there in the future. I’ll walk past when I’m back in Buenos Aires to pay my respects and whisper my thanks through the doorway and up the stairs that were climbed, over the years, by so many expectant tango-hearts and stepped down by so many tango-tired feet. I’ll tell you what I find there, but, until I’ve actually seen its locked door for myself, there’s a teeny part of me that won’t quite believe it’s over. Perhaps you feel the same.
Meanwhile, here is a quick summary of the state of play for the milongas that were most recently being hosted in the place so often fondly referred to as ‘Maipú’, and that now continue life somewhere new.
Monday: El Maipú has moved to La Nacional at Alsina 1465, first floor, in Monserrat (6pm-1am, reservations 1553170257).
Wednesday: La Marshall (gay-friendly, and featured on page 147 of Happy T.) moves to Club Independencia, first floor, Avenida Independencia 571/2 from Wednesday 2nd March; from April 2011, La Marshall no longer operates on a Saturday, instead they hold a Friday night class and milonga in El Beso, 416 Riobamba; see their Facebook page.
Saturday: Cachirulo moves to Club Villa Malcolm, Cordoba 5064, from Saturday 5th March and continues in El Beso on Tuesdays. You can see the Facebook status update from the organisers of Cachirulo confirming this, here, and you can see the ad for the new Saturday Cachirulo in Villa Malcolm on page 79 of the B.A. Tango magazine edition 206 (in PDF) here. This YouTube video, by Tango Zen Chan Park, showcases the inauguration of Cachirulo in Malcolm: Inauguración de Milonga Cachirulo en Club Villa Malcolm, el 5 de marzo 2011, by Tangozenhouse; you will see why it is always a good idea to reserve a seat at this popular milonga.
Lujos has no new home for Sundays yet, but continues in El Beso (as usual) on Thursdays, and Sentimental y Coqueta (previously Tuesdays) has no new home either.
Off the subject of the Maipú milongas, other little change to the milongas in Buenos Aires is that La Milonguita (Centro Montanés, page 138 of Happy T.) now only operates on Sundays, not Fridays; Sunday was perhaps always its most popular night, and can be packed; it has a strong local vibe, and unless you are arriving after midnight (when a few people start leaving), you’ll need to reserve. Stay in touch with La Milonguita, via the website milonguitabaile.com.ar. Rather splendidly La Milonguita hosted a contest to find the most bewitching piropos (compliments with touches of smarm and even a flash of thinly-veiled lust) in honour of Valentine’s Day 2011; if you speak Spanish, you can enjoy the fabulous entries and winners here. You can also see that I got a little mention for my excited enthusiasm for the event, here on Facebook. It’s so good to support ventures that seem to me to be absolutely in the spirit of ‘Happy Tango’. Centro Montanés is now home to the new milonga Vida Mia on Friday nights.
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