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

Post updated 28 February 2019.

Happy Tango sallycat compilation 1

It’s 2019. Twelve years since I first danced in Buenos Aires. Nine years since Happy Tango was first published. And seven 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?

An Amazon UK buyer wrote last year,

“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 surely still stands and will help you navigate your way through the tango scene, especially if you’re a first-timer. Alas, 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 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…

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.
Club Sunderland is CLOSED for tango.
Centro Region Leonesa is open and busier than usual, see re Club Gricel closure, below.

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)

Club Gricel has CLOSED in early 2019 (I am not sure if/when it will reopen). Derecho Viejo (Monday), La Cachila (Thursday) and The Sueño Porteno milongas (Wednesday and Sunday) are running in Centro Region Leonesa.

Nuevo Salon La Argentina has CLOSED. El Arranque no longer operates.
Boedo Tango has CLOSED. The Sueño Porteno milongas now run in Leonesa 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 and Milonga de Buenos Aires on Fridays.
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.

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!