Is Happy Tango still a useful book to own? The latest news!

Post updated 4th December 2018.

Happy Tango sallycat compilation 1

It’s late 2018. Eleven years since I first danced in Buenos Aires. Eight years since Happy Tango was first published. And six years since the Second Edition came out in paperback! Incredible… where does the time go?

I think a Third Edition is unlikely to happy at this point. We’ve considered it, but, on reflection, I feel that the book should remain at its own moment in time. If that changes, I’ll let you know!

Meanwhile, is it worth buying a copy of the Second Edition if you’re headed to Buenos Aires? People tell me yes.

An Amazon UK buyer wrote in January 2018,

“Although I’d read a lot of the general advice before on Sally’s blog, it was worth the purchase to get it all together in one place.

The tango scene does change in BA and it has been a while since this book was published, so don’t depend on it for things like times or addresses. However most of the well known milongas mentioned are still there and the advice on them is still spot on.”

Thank you Randy for taking the time to review the book!

Soooo, the friendly advice in the book still stands and will help you navigate your way through the tango scene, especially if you’re a first-timer. Of course some places have closed and some milongas have closed or changed homes or days of the week, but the great website and app ‘Hoy Milonga‘ keeps you easily in the picture with its up-to-date daily schedules of milongas and classes. So use Happy Tango in combo with that and you should be good to go.

Also, to help you, from time to time I update this simple list (and actually it’s fairly short as you will see below) of any of the 20 Places to Try First given in Part 3 of Happy Tango that have closed or changed… that should help too. So here goes… as of early December 2018.

NEWSFLASH: the Gran Milonga Nacional will be on 8th December 2018 at 8pm on Avenida de Mayo. There will be live orchestras and shows (usually on several stages) and you can dance too, either on the raised dance floor inside the ‘milonguero’s enclosure’ or just on the street.  It’s free! Find out more on Facebook here.

Of the 6 ‘Tourist Circuit’ places given special mention in the book:
(see the book for my definition of Tourist Circuit)

Confiteria Ideal  is still CLOSED for tango. Meanwhile, El Abrazo Tango Club has moved to El Beso on Friday afternoons, and there are other afternoon milongas (plus the nights of course) in El Beso on several days of the week.
Porteño y Bailarin is now in El Beso on Wednesday nights, see their Facebook updates here.
Centro Region Leonesa is home again to the trad-style Milonga de Los ConsegradosYira Yira continues in La Nacional
Club Sunderland is CLOSED for tango.

A more recent option in this category is Milonga Marabu in Maracaibo at Maipú 365 on Thursday nights, there is usually a live orchestra and/or exhibition, and the salon is central and kind of historic in terms of tango Buenos Aires (and in the basement!); I think it might be cool to visit this place once just to see the venue if you haven’t already been, because it’s different. There is dancing there on other nights too, but it’s ‘all rhythms’… cumbia, cuarteto, rock; some nights there is a bit of tango thrown in, but not always.

Of the 7 ‘Traditional’ places given special mention in the book:
(see the book for my definition of Traditional)

Nuevo Salon La Argentina has CLOSED. El Arranque no longer operates.
Boedo Tango has CLOSED. The Sueño Porteno milongas now run in Club Gricel on Wednesdays and Sundays, see their Facebook Group here.
Plaza Bohemia has CLOSED.
In place of the closed venues, you should definitely check out Obelisco Tango at Entre Rios 1056 which hosts trad-style milongas most nights, including La Milonga de Lucy (previously known as El Maipu) on Mondays and Wednesdays, Milonga de Buenos Aires on Fridays and a milonga hosted by the group of Obelisco milonga organisers on Saturdays.
Cachirulo remains in El Beso on Tuesdays but is in Salon Canning on Saturdays.

La Nacional has seen a lot of changes in its milongas, but you could try Yira Yira on Friday nights or Mi Refugio on Saturday nights, when folkloric and rock tandas are also danced. El Maipu de Dany Rodriguez is in La Nacional on Tuesdays.

Of the 7 ‘Informal’ places given special mention in the book:
(see the book for my definition of Informal)

La Marshall is no longer in El Beso on Fridays, but hosts occasional (monthly?) milongas at Yatay 961 and other events.

Most notably Milonga10 (Praktika8is CLOSED.

If I haven’t mentioned a place above, it means it’s still open for tango, as far as I know. Though, there may have been some changes in organisers, times, or days of the week, so check ‘Hoy Milonga’ and if necessary other current sources (like see the Facebook pages of the milongas or Whatsapp the organiser) before setting out!

If you’ve enjoyed reading Happy Tango, do recommend it to someone else who would enjoy it too. Thank you!