Madrid Toledo Tarragona Granada Barcelona Girona

Dusk over the city from the top floor of NH Hotel, near Rambla Catalunya

Bon Dia. It’s been 25 days since we left Argentina on April 30th.

We have traveled by plane, fast train, slow train, taxi, metro bus, tram, funicular and teleferico, but mostly on our feet.

Renfe station Madrid Atocha

In walking, we have averaged close to 6 km a day. 12,000 steps.  That means that in the past 25 days, we have walked approximately 150 km.

Rooftops, Toledo

The sights we have seen are beautiful, both modern and antique. The Alhambra of Grenada. The Prado in Madrid and the Sagrada Family in Barcelona. The old cities of Gerona and Toledo. And many other smaller sites.

Rooftop Vista, Toledo

We danced Tango at a festival in Tarragona called Salou Tango, which was small and intimate.

Salou Tango, Tarragona

In Madrid, while finishing a cup of tea, we ran into a friend at the same restaurant whom we knew from Tango in Buenos Aires…he lives part-time in Tel Aviv, Barcelona, and Buenos Aires. The small world of tango.

La Puerte de Alcala, Madrid

We danced tango in Madrid at the Milonga de Bulin on Calle Jacometrezo…again a small club with an excellent floor, with the typical arrangement of chairs and the women sitting on them. Smiling and sitting. Waiting.

The milongas in Granada are on the weekend, so we didn’t get to dance there. But we did see two amazing Flamenco shows from two different families.

Los Torangos, Grenada

And in Barcelona we have danced at Milonga de Emocion, Milonga del Angel and Club Tinta Roja.

Dancing tango in Barcelona is very sweet as the leads are nice and the conversation flows as with the usual, Where are you from? In Spanish, with a Cantaluynia twist.

Sagrada Familia

What we did notice was the difference in the music, TDJ’S played lots of Darienzo, lots of strong rhythms, but not much Pulieses or Disarle.

There are dancers who use an open embrace, and others that dance closed embrace, but a good time is had by all. Another lovely element was we would run into dancers that we had met from the festival in Salou and other milongas in Barcelona. Very cozy.

Milonga Tinto Roja

The one thing we noticed that was different from BsAs is the feeling of the Milongas, I find the Catalunya/ Barcelona folks to be non emotional crowd. Maximo tells me it’s how the people are here. Very reserved. He was born in Girona and lived in Barcelona many years ago. He’s not only a lovely tangero and partner but a good guide as he lived and danced in many barrios in Barcelona.

But it’s Tango!!!

Daily life in Spain is different from Argentine as everything here functions all the time. The electrical power, the internet, the public buses and trains, and the amazing quality of food… but it is pretty ironic, we meet so many people who have moved here from Argentina. They love and miss their country, but they do not love how everything doesn’t work there. They like getting paid in a currency that functions all the time and does not fluctuate wildly and daily like the peso.

Botero’s Gato on Plaza Rabal

The old grandeur that is Barcelona, I love but yet all the old and antique has a function and is purposely recycled into something new.

The old Torredor ring transformed into restaurants and shopping.
Entrance to Plaza Catalunya

This city is alive and breathes… you can feel it in the streets, in the food, in the cafes and while walking along the ramblers of the city looking for another cafe for a coffee.

The view from Montjuic

My friend, Eduardo Saucedo

At the Seattle Tango Boot camp in 2018, I remember meeting Eduardo Saucedo for the first time. He is a handsome, well-built man. (He moves as a dancer, always forward and usually walking tall.)

Tango Hotel BsAs

At first, I was a bit intimidated by him, but he has this wonderful ability to make people comfortable with him. He’s charming and a gentleman.
And as a tango maestro, he is awesome.

After attending numerous group classes with him, I booked a private class with him. At first, I was intimidated to dance with him, as I was still a novice tango dancer but soon I learned to relax and did dance with him. He was an incredible lead with a delicious embrace.

That embrace was a long time ago, but one of the first steps in my understanding of the embrace and the ❤️ connection in Tango.

Today, he’s not my tango maestro, instead, he has become a very dear friend for me.

How did this happen you might ask?

When we discovered we were both living in Buenos Aires at the same time, we started going on these long walks. To sit in the park and talk. To get a coffee, then later on when it was finally possible, we added either lunch or diner.

Lunch at Milion, BsAs

To this day, this is a tradition we both enjoy when we both are in Buenos Aires

We just finished up a late lunch at Milion Restaurante on Parana near Sante Fe.

We talked for many hours, about the paths our lives are progressing down and future travel plans.

Eduardo is a wonderful story teller in 2 languages, but one of my favorite stories is as follows.

Young Eduardo had just started dancing tango 28 years ago. He was new to the city as having lived most of his life in Provincia de Sante Fe. Eduardo was 18 years old. He went for the first time to Salon Canning.

Imagine 28 years ago the tango scene in BsAs. When the milongeros ruled the city dance clubs. Men spent most of the day preparing for the night. They polished their shoes, wore their clean shirts with their suits, and perfumed themselves profusely.
Women totally dressed up, in tango outfits and their heels. In those days, you entered the salon wearing your heels. As it was not an acceptable practice to put your shoes on in the Milonga.

A young Eduardo from those days.

There was a young Eduardo, overwhelmed by the occasion. All the beautifully dressed men and women walking into the salon. I think he just stared in admiration and stayed in a corner, watching. Looking and watching.

Until an older woman, she walked over to Eduardo and invited him to her table. There were many older milongeros at this table. They adopted him. For nearly 4 years every Saturday, he went to Salon Canning and danced with all the milongeras.

Learning about tango in this manner, he learned about tango from the corazon. He learned the codicos of tango from these folks, especially the woman, Maria who became his Tango mom.

He did not learn his tango at the academy of Tango in Argentina. He learned from the old milongeras y milongeros that he met at Salón Canning all those years ago.

Tango from the Corazon. Tango is not about steps, it is about emotions and tango – el abrazo de tango.

This is what makes Eduardo such a wonderful maestro as he tries to teach this lesson to his students. The tango of the heart.

I truly think if you have never attended a workshop or camp of doing, your tango is missing something. The essence of tango

And all these years later, he continues to travel mostly to the US to teach workshops in Tango. He is well respected in the tango community and has officiated in many competitions as a judge.

Facebook.com/EduardosaucedoTango link below


Instagram.com/Eduardo Saucedotango link below


As to me, we will be leaving Buenos Aires shortly, traveling again first to Spain…until them. Abrazo y Besitos 😘 💕 🤗


Double Standards?

El Beso

I have been following a couple of threads on social media that are on fire about the topic of charging foreigns a higher price admission to a Milonga than locals.

My immediate response to this practice of pricing double standard is, huh? standard?

Let’s see, this is my typical dance week.

On Mondays, I usually go to El Beso for an afternoon milonga that the price of admission is 800 pesos.

If I decide to dance on Monday evening at Nuevo Gricel, the price of admission is 900 pesos, too.


Tuesday afternoon at El Beso or Chique Nuevo on San Juan, again the admission is usually 800 or 900 peso.

Tuesday night at Tangotic Milonga at the Macedonia Hall in Almargo, the admission it is to pay what you like…or as said here …to the hat.

Wednesday night is Sueno Porteño in Palermo with an admission price of 900 peso.

Thursday back to the afternoon milonga at El beso for the admission price of 800 peso.

Kiss Club

Friday for one of my other favorite milongas, Kiss Club at El Beso. Here admission is 900 peso.

Saturday or Sunday at the historic club Marabu on Avenida Maipu in Microcentro where admission is also 900 peso.

Now, you understand why I don’t understand the thread on social media. I pay the advertised admission at these Milongas regardless of my status of local or foreigns. That is the situation.

Club Marabu

Remember we choose to support these Milongas. So if you don’t agree with this practice, the only answer is…don’t go there.

The milongas that I attend are usually a good mixture of locals [Portenyos] and international tourists. [Foreigns].

This works really well for a mixture of levels of dancers, as most international tourists have taken many classes, so usually are good dancers.

Quite a few Portenyos feel that as they were born with the tango spoon in their mouth, they don’t need classes.

And there are also some fabulous and amazing Portenyos who have taken many classes over the years. And it is evident in their embrace.

Sueno Porteño

So be alert ⚠️. For this misnomer.

Hopefully after dancing a tanda or two,your body will not experience pain.

Many milongas are very crowded, so that makes the chances of getting stepped on or elbowed in the back are high.

At some milongas, floorcraft is best said to be an acquired skill.

And yes even here in the home of Tango, there are some woman who insist on doing high boleos on a crowded floor with high heels on.

Guess they missed the class on floorcraft !!!

Predominantly in my experience, the dancing is respectful, mutually appreciated and beautiful with the right partner.

In all my years of dancing, I have only walked off the floor early when my lead was overly pushing me around the floor and hurting my back.
This I will not tolerate in silence.

Maximo y me

I feel so grateful that I have a delicious and talented dance and life partner.

As we Tango, Waltz & Milonga on the dance floors around the world. Abrazo to you all.

Me doing what I love

How inflation effects daily life in Buenos Aires.

A beautiful intersection

Wow. In the past when traveling, you always carried a lot of cash, especially when visiting Argentina. I disliked this as it could be risky. Now sending myself money via Western Union is so simple and easy. Their storefronts are located all over the city. The exchange rate is usually the best. I just received 365 pesos for the each dollar.

Imagine being an Argentino and being employed locally. You are paid in pesos…that would be very difficult scenario.

As inflation is now about 100%. Things still cost the same amount of money when you convert but now you must carry more bills. And the biggest denomination is 1000 pesos. In July, the government will print a new 2000 peso bill.

Going out for a coffee is now 500 to 750 pesos, depending on where you go. But you can sit as long as you want before getting your bill.

The cafe around the corner

A good steak dinner for two at the local parilla with a decent Malbec is about 9000 pesos.

My groceries have gone up 100% . My favorite wine that was bought in the past for 1200 is now about 2800.

Wine, wine, wine

Buying cheese and meats is the same situation. Recently changed stores, as the new place has better prices than the old fiambrera.

Local vegetables seller

The price for salad, lettuce, tomatoes, onion, and carrot has doubled also. About 1500 pesos.

Blueberries are 800 pesos and a half a Melon is 1300.

A semi monthly pedicure is necessary when you dance tango. It is a must, and you might as well have a manicure…total $ 5500 plus a $500 propina.(tip)

Have been going to the same hair salon for almost three years to get my hair washed and blown out weekly.

This was a habit I learned while traveling. It feels so good to have someone else wash my hair. Looks great for a few days until the humidity takes over. The price three years ago was 750 pesos, today it is 2000 pesos

My wonderful hairdresser Walter, pandemic foto

Have gotten to know a few vendors and we exchange greetings in two languages. Spanish and English.

It’s pretty amazing, many people are bilingual here. The typical Argentina child studies another language when they are young …the skills are there but not many people speak English except the visitors.

Limonada with mint and ginger

AND I ĺove the enthusiasm that most Argentino display about chatting in English. Usually the first thing they say, is “My English is horrible.” I respond with no, you just need to practice more.

Around the corner is my meat market. There is a young man named Carlos, who likes to take my order. We converse in 2 languages. Me practicing my Spanish and him his English. He is studying English in school.

When people are curious about language and customs, I learn so much.

I still find people who offer to translate for me. My response to their kindness is, “No thanks.”

Yet, I prefer to struggle, as it’s the way I can learn the language .

Am trying to add more words to my vocabulary daily. Sometimes, my brain feels like it will explode.

Finding I chat all the time , trying to improve my accent…yet there are so many peeps here who speak so rapidly, it impossible to understand them.

All these different facets in the city contribute to my enjoyment of the city.

It’s so beautiful here. Even when the temperatures are in the mid 90s with 75% humidity.

But luckily for me am living here on dollars and not pesos. I so appreciate my lifestyle here is affordable, as I find the USA is very expensive now.

Abrazo y besitos


Baby, it’s hot

Malbec with ice cubes

It’s such a silly refrain, but right now in Buenos Aires… it is 93 degrees with 46% humidity

It’s not too bad.

Everyone reacts differently to the heat…me I can take 90 if I have shade and a breeze.

Today, we have neither, no breeze, and it is noon, so no shade. Walking if you must is only in the shade, where it feels 20 degrees cooler.

And I do live in an air- conditioned apartment.

And no, I’m not complaining.

But it made me think of my life here with such gratitude after seeing the destruction and devastating in Eastern Türkiye.

Photo courtesy of New York Times and photographer

These fotos show the destruction of homes and businesses, hospitals and school and government buildings. Bridges, highways, and local avenues are all buckled and not usable.

Temporary housing
Photo courtesy of New York Times and photographer

What a project to try and rescue folks that still might be alive in the debris, try to provide food, shelter, and warmth to this area…the job is colossal.

Continual digging and searching for buried folks. Photo courtesy of New York Times and photographer

Through my dear friend who lives in Istanbul, I and a few friends were able to get a cash donation to her. She, in turn, gave the money to a man, another friend who was able to buy food and blankets and then drive to an area of the devastation.

I know we made a difference in a few people’s lives. She thanked us for our quick response.

These donations will be needed again in Eastern Turkey and Syria for quite some time, as I think it will take years to rebuild the devastated areas, and peoples lives might never recover from their losses.

On Saturday, a man walking through the rubble of a minaret that had fallen into his yard in Kayabasi, Turkey.Credit…Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times

I will take this time to suggest a donation of money or if you are able to provide services to any of the following organizations.

Doctors without borders


World Central Kitchen
Feeding people fresh food in disasters all over the world.


Red Cross or Red Crescent

White helmets Volunteer organization in Syria that have been evacuating people in the rubble.

Dalal Masri, 55, from Aleppo, Syria, sat with her family inside their temporary new home, a former car wash, in Antakya, Turkey, on Friday.Credit…Emily Garthwaite for The New York Times

Friends Visiting BsAs

After the rainstorm on Avenida Callao

It’s been so great to have friends visiting…BsAs is such a lovely city to share.

Not as old as Istanbul or car centric as Miami or Seattle, BsAs manages to be an easy and small city to navigate in, whether walking or taking a bus or taxi.

BsAs has 48 different barrios, [neighborhoods].
Some that have gotten to know as Palermo, Boeda Recoleta, Puerto Madero, Belgrano, Flores, San Telmo, La Boca, Caballito Monserrat, Vella Crespo, Almargo and Balvanera. But a lot are unknown to me. All barrios are connected with the transportation system called the Sube. There are trains, buses and a subway.

I live in Recoleta and love it. This barrio is centrally located with wide boulevards, lots of trees and beautiful old buildings and very safe to walk around at night. As we usually get home from a Milonga at 2AM.

Buses on Avenida Purreydon

I take either the 102 or 17 colectivo (bus) anywhere I need to go in the city.

Yes, it took time to figure out where to get a card (any Şube train station)
how to reload (any store with a Şube sign in window, providing the system or machine is working)
and then figuring out how to use Google maps transit to identify your route as where you board the bus, and you must tell driver your exit stop.
Then he figures out the fare, you place your card on the little blue machine located either by the side of driver or behind the driver. The machine creaks out a beep as an acknowledgement that you have paid the fare.

Whew!!! The process is exhausting to learn and then understand and use.

Bus interior, notice the red cloths with stars coverings !

Once you do the work and understand the system you can ride anywhere in the city for 38 pesos (approximately .11 cents US). It’s a marvelous working system.

We went on a train trip to Tigre, another city about an hour north of BsAs. The cost of the roundtrip was 76 pesos (. 24 cents US).

Sube train interior

It’s very safe and usually pretty clean. Some lines have different vendors selling food, drink or wearables. These vendors have voices that are unique and harmonious or loud and bellicose adding another layer of sound to the train. But no vendors are on the bus! Usually.

Bus interior

So imagine my surprise, when my visiting Kiwi friends mentioned casually they used taxis to get around everywhere in the city.

I thought hmmm. Why?

One of the important things about living in a city is to be local. That is my quirk.

What is more local than using a bus or train?

Sube train to Caballito

With my help, my friends learned to use the bus and I think they enjoyed the experience. In their homeland, bus service has shrunk after covid, as there are not enough drivers.

In BsAs, I noticed this odd phenomenon…not only does one bus arrives, but usually it’s 3 in a row. Why? Who knows!

So the chance to get a bus is pretty much guaranteed. If you miss one, just wait a few minutes and one will arrive.

We take buses to shop, we take buses to meet other friends for dinner and we take buses to Milongas.

Train to Lomas de Zamora

But late at night, service is not very frequent. We are usually unwilling to wait 20 or 30 minutes at the bus stop, so we then take a taxi.

Getting back to living in the city, I like my experiences to be as a local. Finding my neighborhood coffee place, my small fruit and vegetable vendor. A charcuterie. A couple of local restaurants, maybe even a book store.

Street café in Palermo

Getting to know the vendors, and being able to greet them and engage in a bit of chatter is important as it creates a sense of belonging in a place.

Maximo and I on the bus going shopping

And we all need to feel as if we belong in a place, as it breaks down the barriers of isolation.

So when I travel to new, different places that I will live in, the initial places I discover are a place for coffee. Then the small market, a gluten free bakery, the butcher, the fruit stand etc. Once done, I feel home in whatever city I am in. Then I am local.

Dinner at the Parrilla with good friends from New Zealand

And when I am local, I feel as I am living my best life.





December 30, 2022

With the close of 2022, comes a change or two in the tango world of Buenos Aires.

The vaulted space of Salón Canning [Parakultural] is closing and moving in the new year to Club Marabu on Maipu calle.

With out of country friends visiting, we all decided to go to this mecca of Tango.

For me, this was so sad because after entering this cavernous room, you noticed that fabulous huge tango photomural was not there. It was replaced by some mediocre small paintings or a big blank wall.

Over the years, this showcase of Tango presented some of the finest dancers and tango orchestras.

Salon Canning will be missed, but as we know, life is fluid and changes all the time.

Happy New Year, and may you enjoy your life, laugh with loved ones, and dance with the joy of being alive.



And now Happy Holidays


From my house in Buenos Aires to your house I wish you wonder, joy, fun and tango in the New Year!!! Abrazo


Home is where the heart is.


Who said that?

The phrase “home is where the heart is” means that you feel emotionally connected to a place that is not your home.

For instance, if you’ve lived abroad in another country other than your homeland for a long time, you could say that “home is where the heart is” when people ask you if you miss your home country.

The saying can also apply to situations where you’re arriving back in your homeland after being away for a long time and missing your country of birth. The expression can also apply to homes and venues, and countries.

For instance, you could be talking about your family home or an apartment that makes you feel at home.

Information courtesy of English-Grammer-Lessons.com

Am thinking about this as January marks my 3rd anniversary of living outside the USA.

Me at the recently renovated and reopened Confiteria Ideal

I know my choice is not for a lot of folks, but if you are an explorer, then this experience is something you want.

I feel alive when all in front of me is viewed for the first time. This applies to a city, a space and or a milonga. What at first is foreign, soon becomes an everyday experience.

San Telmo Market

As to my heart, living in Buenos Aires is my heart. Here in this wonderful, cacaphonic city surrounded by people expressing emotions all the time. In the street, on the bus and especially on the phone. But always forefront are the people. All heartfelt emotional connections.

I think that’s what Buenos Aires represents for me. The corazon.  The heart.

On the wall, San Telmo

This symbol is expressed not only in tango, but in the emotions of people here. Everything is always very emotional. And always an embrace. A touch, a little hug a little kiss. And always slow. Slowly.

Everything is much slower here. Everyone takes their time. And being late is not understood. Argentineans live in the moment. Not lots of planning for the future. As there might not be a future. Where the value of the pesos fluctuates like the wind.

Café con leche

Coffee in a cafe with a friend can easily last 3 hours, that includes the time it took you to get the menu, order from the waiter, then drink your coffee. The final step is getting your bill for the coffee. In all of that time, you have had a wonderful time chatting with a friend.

People depend solely on each other, not the government. People hold each other very dearly.

Dancing at Villa Malcolm

Men embrace each other and kiss on the cheeks. It is very manly here. Goes right to the corazon.

And that leads back to tango…the tango of the corazon and the abrazo.

Tango is about vulnerability. Embracing the person you are dancing with. Expressing your heart to another heart. Opening your heart to embrace another heart, be it for 12 minutes.

Dance floor at Sueno Portenyo

Listening to the music with your heart.
Moving your feet with your heart.
And listening to you partner with your heart.

That’s tango to me.
Doesn’t always happen as so many folks come to a Milonga preoccupied by life, but its worth the time to transform yourself from the everyday to the sublime.

And dance Tango.

Me y Maximo at Club Marapu



Maybe it’s time!!!

Looking into my Dreams, sculpture at Perez Museum by Jaume Plensa

While living in the USA for last couple of months, I met many folks who admired my decision to no longer live in the US. Most expressing disbelief, but saying you are so brave for living the dream in retirement. Traveling, dancing and living as an expat in different counties.

I paused to consider how to respond to the statement without seeming to be a life coach, or a smart ass.

I am blessed [and cursed] with a wonderfully logical brain and am not a sentimental person either, which is very helpful.

Light reflections of me and Maximo

In hindsight and reviewing the details, I was so ready for a change.

In March 2020, I found myself at a life intersection.

In remembering those days, that was the beginning of the pandemic that became know as Covid 19.

I decided to stay in Argentina for a few reasons. Chief reason was I was searching for a way to change my life.

The moon over
Aveneida de Mayo

My previous role of a successful contemporary gallery owner was coming to a close. I had found, mentored and trained my replacement manager over the prior 2 years.

Reinvention is a wonderful process, as you get to choose what you want. Sometimes.

Having the choice to choose your action can be overwhelming on the wrong day and amazing on others.

Living in Buenos Aires offered me a place and a space to reinvent myself, as the person I choose to be. I was no longer struggling, I had evolved without carrying most of the baggage of the past.


I found this moment to be awesome. And yes Scary.

But then again I learned that I am the most alive and aware when am out of my comfort zone.

Will say packing up my rental apartment and putting all my stuff in storage was liberating. A few months later selling my home after 2 years of trying was again …liberating. Done

No more phone calls or emails about things needing fixing or so many other types of troubles. Rodents, leaves, bugs….

Being homeless is not for everyone, but have enjoyed renting or staying at different places, airbnbs, hotels, friend’s houses and apartment rentals.

Crowds at Cafe Tortoni

So travel is always the game changer. Sometimes for the best and other times, you question your sanity.

Like booking a flight at 3pm and imagining it is 3pm in the afternoon, but forgetting most of the world uses the 24 hour clock.

Its really shocking to receive a notification, while in bed in the middle of the night, I forming you that your luggage can be picked up at carousel 3, while you are still in bed at least 300 miles away.

EZE upon arrival

This was a great learning experience for the rest of the trip, but also one of the biggest laughs.

As we are returning to Buenos Aires, I look forward to the challenges of living in a city, where you can dance tango at 20 different milongas a day.

Excited and looking forward to my favorite malbec with my carne assado in this beautiful, crazy city.

Been home about a week and Buenos Aires is as exciting as ever. The city is experiencing an influx of foreigners, and it’s only November. Will expect summer to be very crowed and hot.

The jacarandá trees are blooming purple flowers and the drunken trees are blooming pink.

The air is warm, and the humidity is perfect.

Happiness At Gay pride, great costume too.

Saturday was the gay pride parade, and many parts of the city were closed to car traffic. We ended up walking thru the parade area on our way home. The exuberant crowds were wonderful as was the choripan sandwich. The music, the costumes too. Lots of sweetness in the air.

The beginning at Calderón de Soho, Palermo

Today, I had my first carne at a favorite restaurant in Palermo. Calderón de soho. The ojos de bife, practically melted in my mouth and the malbec from Nicosia Bodega was a great pairing, but we skipped the papas fritas and had an ensalada instead. And took home the leftovers.

Hmmm. So happy to be back in BsAs again.

Now onto the Milongas after my visit to my podiatrist.

Abrazo y besitos

Back in Seattle, Washington,USA

Olympic Sculpture Park

Brrrr. I am cold.

Yes, laugh it is 65 degrees in Seattle and the sun is shinning. My body is used to 75 and 85 degree weather. Yes, I have turned into a weather wimp. Ahh at least it’s not raining. And the sun is shinning.

Tuesday night, we went to Gabriela’s Tango Happy Hour milonga at this fantastic restaurant, Harissa Mediterran restaurant on 65th in Seattle. There was live music, a duet of bandeon and a violin.

The restaurant is a beautiful space with wooden floors and delicious aromas of Lebanese food.

It was gratifying to see a few people that I had known before dancing tango here. I only danced 2 songs in a tanda as my foot is still tender from the a fracture in my foot. The music was good, so it’s much harder to just sit and listen, as my body really wants to dance.

Dancing at Tango Happy Hour at Harissa Restaurant Allseattlerango.com

But because I couldn’t dance, many other woman in the milinga loved having an opportunity to dance with an experienced lead. I chatted, ate some good food and drank while observing folks dancing. I was happy to do so.

Dancing at El Secreto Milonga

On Friday, we will go to Patricio’s El Secreto Milonga in Lynnwood. There is a bit of a political controversy here, as
actions taken by the host during the pandemic were not admired by many Seattle tangeros.

The good news is he does draw folks from many tango communities and the dancing is good. The music he plays is usually fabulous. At this hall, there are only chairs against the walls for sitting, and no tables making socializing a but different. The wooden floors are nice to dance on. It’s BYOB too.

Dancing at Dance Underground

On Saturday, we went to Dance Underground, a long running Seattle milonga. This milonga got it’s name from the fact that one must walk down a flight of stairs to the dance hall. Once there you are greeted by Illana, the host and teacher. Her partner Toni, is usually the DJ. The room is a big rectangle with wood floors. Some tables are placed at the edge of the floor while single chairs are only against one wall. Illana usually makes all the yummy desserts.

Looking around the floor there are many familiar faces and many unknowns. The quality of the dancing is usually very good. Both men and woman cabeceo here, as this place can be very friendly. Especially if you introduce yourself to Illana as a visitor to the milonga from a different city or country.

The following weekend was the Seattle Elegante Encuentro. Starting with the Friday night milonga, then two afternoon milingas, on Saturday and Sunday and an Saturday evening milonga. The encuentro also included admission to the La Garúa Milonga early Sunday evening.

First night, Seattle Elegante Encuentro

This is the 2nd year of the Encuentro held at Polish Hall on Capital Hill, which has a parking lot and nearby limited street parking .

The hall was beautifully decorated for the event with black clothed tables with a small bowl of fresh flowers. Placed on the tables, are pieces of burned out paper with different expressions about tango and small elegante candle like lights. Single chairs were placed against windowed walls.
I believe there were approximately 140 gender balanced dancers from all over the US and Canada.

Dancing Friday Night at Seattle Elegante Encuentro

The music was marvelous with female DJs outnumbering male DJs representing Vancouver, Canada; Bari, Italy; Newport News, Virginia and Port Townsend, Washington.

Many wonderful tandas

My other favorite was a full bar, with the most amazing hard working bartender. Was wonderful pleasure to have a Martini at a Milongas.

Close embrace

Okay, I’ll share my other favorite marvelous moment.

I had a reunion with my two besties, Jan who lives in Seattle area and Christine who now lives in New Zealand. With the pandemic, we were not able to have a gathering since January 2020. The reunion was awesome as we used to attend many tango events together. Good times in the past and we started up, just where we left off.

Ahhh friends, left: Ruth [me your author] Jan and Christine

And our partners, got to meet each other, mine is Máximo from Argentina and Christine’s partner, Jamie is from New Zealand.

Was so much fun to dance [a little for me, as it was very difficult to listen to glorious music and not dance] and just hang out together. Chat and sit with new and old friends. Just enjoying living tango.

We are already planning the next gathering, in January 2023 in Buenos Aires.

Travel is my pleasure, meeting and chatting with new folks is my soul food.
Seeing and dancing with old friends is the dessert.

The after dinner at Babar Restaurant on 12th near Cherry, Seattle

And living and loving these experiences makes me who I am. Abrazo Ruth


Oh no!!! WTF…I said,

Really I have 2 fractures in my foot and can’t dance for a minimum of 2 months.

This was the news my foot doc gave me, a week before leaving Istanbul for the US.

That statement changed my perspective quite bit.
I am used to being an active person moving, walking daily up to 4 miles, dancing tango almost nightly.

Am practicing RICE Rest, ice, compression AND elevate…when posdible. Harder to do while traveling, but we have found a few interesting solution.

Instead of walking places, we ride those electric scooters. Me standing in front and Maximo in back driving. He’s an amazing patient driver, very polite to pedestrians crossing the streets and never tailgating cars in Istanbul and now riding scooters in San Francisco. This type of mobility cuts down on my walking greatly allowing us a method to enjoy visiting a new city.

For a different experience, try taking the wheelchair service in an international terminal.

Was marvelous as I sat in a wheelchair at Istanbul airport, as the helper guided us thru all customs and passport services, making the process much quicker as dedicated lanes exist specifically for wheelchairs.

Arriving on the plane we were greeted by Turkish Airline’s staffers. Our seats were forward, so not much walking. Once seated, was able to relax…

13 hours later arrival in San Francisco and the wheelchair process was reversed. Again, cordial chair handlers expedited the process with customs and immigration. They even helped with the luggage.

As we arrived in US, with no US cash, am atm machine in order, then a Lyft .

20 hours after leaving Istanbul at 9am we were in SF at 6pm.

Safely ensconced in a friends apartment with a beverage in hand. Ahhhh. Life is good.

And off we go for an 8 week trip visit to the states, with possible stops in Yosemite, Grand Canyon and more beautiful spots.

Disfrutas & Besos

Thanks for reading.


Late August

Its late August. Where did the time go? A moment ago it was June.

As we prepare to travel to the the USA for a month or so, my thoughts focus on the experiences of living and dancing in Istanbul.

Primarily, this city is a dichotomy of new and old creating a force field of energy that is unique to this city alone.

Stark clean modern underground trains [the Metro] take you from one area to the next in minutes, but only until midnight during the week and 24 hours on Friday and Saturday.

Car and taxi traffic is incredible toxic during early morning rush hour and again in the evening. Never take surface transportation during these hours if you can get to your destination via a train or tram or ferry.

This city has buses, ferrys trains, trams and a funicular, rentable scooters and motorcycles. But my favorite is always walking except uphill, and there are many hills in İstanbul as Istanbul is historically known as the City of Seven Hills

Living in Buenos Aires, I walk alot but here in İstanbul am walking almost double the distances as everything here is very large and far flung.

Residing in the part of the city called Şişli, close to Osmanbey train station, we are able to go to the milongas in Taskim or Beyoğlu by train in 10 or 15 minutes as as we are one or two stops away.

Most milongas are not on ground level, unless you are at the Armada Hotel [changing to Monday] or Zeytuna on Thursday. In my opinion, it’s one if the best in the city.

Many milongas are difficult to find on first attempts. You must listen for the tango music or see another milongeros entering the space. Sometimes asking the nearby restaurants owner works too. What a relief to arrive at the correct place, especially after climbing the stairs as most Istanbul buildings are fairly old and do not include elevators.

Often the spaces are very small, some with beautiful old floors and antique trim on the ceilings. While others are checkerboard black and white tile or plain linoleum. A few are in basement and others are in shopping malls. A great variety of spaces as the dancing in İstanbul is as varied as the places.

There is style I would name Turkish Tango. Its very different from Argentine Tango. It is usually excercized by younger dancers in open embrace, with no musicality or connection and involves lifting the legs high on crowed floors and lots of giros [turns] too. Especially on crowed floors. Injuries do happen. Seems more like gymnastics than tango to me.