Check out New Tango Totes!

Impressions of Panama City

View of Panama City

We landed at Terminal 1 and were told we needed to pick up luggage and do customs and immigration at terminal 2.

We must have walked 2 miles from one end to the other. Whew was a long stretch, but the paperwork at customs was nominal, and we got stamps in our passports. This is so unusual these days.

We found a taxi and got transportation to our hotel located in Central Panamá city.

We decided to have food and drink at the hotels rooftop bar. which was a lovely experience except for the 90 % humidity.

Cuidad Antigua

Next morning, we decided to take a tour of the Panamá Canal, and the city it was great tour of the canal with an Imax 3 D movie narrated by Morgan Freeman. My partner Maximo adores this actor because of all the different types of characters he has portrayed.

Then we got to actually see the canal at one of the large gates at Miraflores locks on the Pacific side.

This canal is really the 8th wonder of the world. To see these huge tankers/freighters transiting the canal is daunting. The amounts of goods that travel thru the canal daily on 32 ships is huge. They transit the canal daily, 24 hours a day 365 days of the year. The number of ships using the canal will drop down to 30 as the lack of rainfall water that is used to fill the lake in the middle of canal is dropping lower.

Cargo ship transiting canal

Still something amazing to watch and is crazy to think of the building of the canal at the turn of the 1910.

Since that tour, we have gotten to know Panamá City. In scale its not very large especially the sections of town that we want to visit…centro, the old city and the walk along the harbor.

Last night, the cuidad antigua turned on its holiday lights. We were up on the 4th floor of a restaurant/ bar and got to see the celebratory fireworks too.

Fireworks over the city

The old city has approx 4000 buildings and the restoration process has renewed about 80 percent of the city.

In many ways, this city is reminiscent of Havana, Cuba with its old Spanish style architecture as it was built at roughly the same time as Panamá City

Most of the buildings have terraces that face the street as is the tradition in spanish architecture
The streets are very narrow, barely accommodating a cars and busses are not allowed.

Narrow streets of old town

These narrow streets recently renovated with red bricks instead of cobblestones.

At night the city is very lively, with most of the restaurants and shops staying open late.

At 9 pm on a Sunday night, families are walking around, singles walking hand in hand and older folks concentrating on just trying to stay upright while walking on the uneven pavement.

We had a mission that night to buy a nice shirt as a present for a friend. Returning to a shop we had visited 2 days before, the shirt we wanted was already sold. We continued walking and remembered another shop a few blocks away. The walk was quick with an occasional solicitation of “Come and eat at our restaurant” in two languages.

Mission accomplished as we found the store and bought a fantastic cotton floral shirt without paying $ 120 US dollars!!!

Holiday lights at Plaza Herrera

Today we take a ferry to the island of Tobago to enjoy the beach and swim in the Pacific Ocean. Should be fun, as the day is warm, about 84 with 75% humidity. The 30-minute ferry leaving at 9.30 am will drop us on Tobago. Once on the island, we will get an island tour, beach chairs complete with umbrella, lunch, and a return to the city at 4 pm.

Our ferry boat

Yrs today was another marvelous day in Panama city, as the excursión we booked was filled with laughter, water, food, and sightseeing.

I wholeheartedly would recommend this company for their quality of work and for the kindness of all the employess.

Food shack

Playing tourists in a new country can be filled with trepidation, and when in actuality, it is filled with new adventures, different experiences, and food.

This is also true for Panamá the country. Sure, there are always places one should never go for personal security, but when exploring a new country, you can go solo and also try a local tour company as we do.
The results can be just the experience you were looking for.

And we experienced Tango here in Panama city as the Milonga is on Wednesday nights at a local restaurant.

It was very charming, as the beginners lesson was well attended and most people stayed for the Milonga. This milonga is growing as Tango is just starting here.

The restaurant where the Milongas was held is called Restaurant la Milonga. Small intimate bar restaurant space with a tile floor.

Was a great experience as we met many people in the local community who knew people we knew all over the world.

Tango at Restaurant Milonga

The small wonderful welcoming world of Tango.

And we will return to visit this country again.

Abrazo y besitos 💓


Have you ever been to Florida?

Have you ever been here in season?

If you live in the northern United States, then you are aware of how brutal winters can be in say, Upstate New York, Michigan, or even Pennsylvania and more so for our Canadian friends, anywhere north of the US border.

With this said, temperatures can go down to 0 F but mostly stay at around 20 F. Brrr. That is cold, and the weather can get even colder, especially if there is an Arctic front moving through the area.

Today is cooler than a few days after ago, as it is a bit after Thanksgiving. So yes, it is getting colder in the north, and yes, the traffic is experiencing congestion.

Yesterday, while we returned from the market, we started to count the out of state cars. We found cars from New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Ontario with about fifteen cars with Florida plates.

Season has started here, as has the congestion and the lines everywhere you go.

The weather is fantastic. Mid-eighties with a gentle breeze and some great blue skies.

This is the reason people are here, the weather!

We are getting ready to return to Argentina as a couple of years ago, I made a promise to myself. I would never experience weather that is under 60 degrees.

Yes, now I freeze if the temperature drops below 65 degrees. That’s chilly weather. I remember laughing with my father about this very topic, so many years ago. History does have a way of repeating itself, funny right!

This is even more notable as I am sitting in the condominium in Southern Florida that I inherited from him. History does repeat itself!

Recently, at the condominium, we replaced most a lot of the 30-year-old furniture with a few more modern pieces as we intend to spend a few months in Florida annually.

Just not in Season. Season translates into: December thru April, the coldest months up north, but can start in late November.

As to the Milongas, the same is true. The floors are much more crowded. Line of dance gets a bit more complicated. My advice, always having a reservation, is the best way to go for both you and the organizers.

Ask my friends, I have always said, “It’s better to have a reservation than want one.”

As we approach our final week in Southern Florida, I am excited to see the peeps at the Milongas that we have enjoyed spending time, to dance and to give an abrazo and say, “See you next year!”

This is what our week looks like.

Wednesday night, it’s a lesson and a practica at Goldcoast Ballroom with Maxi and Paloma. My favorite maestros as I enjoy the way they teach, and they really care about correcting your bad habits.

Friday will be Milonga La Pituca in Pompano Beach at Star Ballroom.

Saturday might be Tanda or Milonga Los Peblites, both in North Miami.

Sunday is Milonga La Ideal. This place is also in Hallendale, north of Miami.

Luckily, we live close to the Florida Turnpike, so driving down to Miami takes about 45 minutes and even less at 1AM.

And so the milonga cycle goes for us.

We will return next year to continue the cycle of living in a place for 4 months and then moving to another place to continue the cycle of travel, tango, and living.

But next year, we will add Barcelona for 5 months into the mix.

Am looking forward to this new lifestyle of residing in 3 countries while avoiding the chill of winter! It will be fantástico!!!

Till the next update.



Guest authors: Alexandra Kuncio and Ken Brown organizers of Encuentro Elegante, Seattle, USA

This is what makes these two encuentro organizers tick…Anticipation.

The Encuentro Elegante Seattle is defined by this anticipation…as Ken Brown recalls.

I suddenly bolted awake with beads of sweat running down my face. Reality hit me hard. I’ve committed to organizing an Encuentro during a Pandemic!!!

This was scarier than my recent bout with Leukemia.

Let’s go back to the beginning. For many years, I have had a dream of running a milonga.

While dancing tango in Poland in 2019, I received notice that a milonga that I had been running during the winter months for the original organizers was being offered to me as they retired back to Argentina. Turns out that being in Poland at that particular point in time was serendipitous. The venue I was negotiating with was the Polish Home Association in Seattle.

This leads to my second dream of organizing an Encuentro. How hard can this be?

Ha!! I was fortunate in getting the good advice of experienced and trusted friends.

One said, “Build it and they will come!”, people are desperate to dance after 1 ½ years of no dancing.

The most important aspect at the beginning of this Encuentro journey is having someone who believes in you. Alexandra Kunicio is that someone.

Someone who wants to share in this journey. She tells you “No” when you need to be told, “No”, and suggests “Can we add velvet drapes to the reception area and maybe flowers on the tables?”

They say “The devil is in the details”.

Making sure all is correct.

After many hours of our volunteer team working diligently along our side, the scene is set. The ballroom with its high ceilings and velvet drapes, newly refinished dance floor, sound system checked, tables set up with tablecloths, candles to add sparkle, runners that reflect that candlelight, and flowers to bring in the beauty of nature.

Encuentro table setting

All we need now is to add the music and the dancers. Adding music is one of the most important parts of a convivial event. Great music makes people happy and makes them want to dance every tanda.

Choosing Tango DJ’s is like putting on a Broadway show. Each DJ is selected for a particular milonga.

Your goal is to have great music with the dancers being the stars.

That brings us to the most crucial ingredient; the right mix of people. Good dancers with friendly personalities that are welcoming to all, is our goal.

So far we have been very blessed with an amazing group of dancers that have enhanced the tango experience for all of us.

We try to put out tasty food to everyone’s liking to keep their energy high. This also provides a place for people to chat for a short while and perhaps strike up a conversation with someone they have not yet met.

The stage is set. It is opening night, 5:30pm, as we await the arrival of our dancers.

Everything is in place and looks beautiful, but…

Oh wait, the plumbing is backed up?!?

Ok, the downstairs bathrooms are functioning. Whew, we dodged a bullet.

Oh wait, our food prep helper had a family emergency?

Ok, we roll up our sleeves and start chopping and plating.

Oh wait, a dancer has left his knapsack at the airport in Miami with ID.

OK, we verify who he is and manage to register him.

Finally, it’s time. As our guests arrive, we are greeted with warmth and embraces from known dancers and happily greet our new ones.

Behind the dj booth

Every year gets a little bit easier. After 3 Encuentros, we feel proud of what we have accomplished.

Someone always asks “Why do you do this?”.

There is not really a direct answer to that question; it’s a combination of many things.

Happy place

Our love of Tango music; our love of the stories about life and dancing during the Golden Era; our anticipation of embracing that one person with whom you will experience Tango Magic. That person with whom you can journey to a place so few people will ever experience.

That Tango Magic we all search for.

As we watch and observe the many people who travel from near and far to our Encuentro, we have this thought: with each smile, each embrace, each step, Tango bridges all.

It brings the souls of people together to have that moment in time to experience the desire to become one.

Saturday night

Why do we do this? For the Love and Soul of Tango.


Ken Brown & Alexandra Kuncio, organizers

For more info

Photos courtesy of Alexandra Kuncio, Ken Brown and Adrienne Yvr


While the sun heats up the days, tango heats up the nights.

Florida colors

After consulting we discovered there is a milonga or practika almost every night.

This is now only late October, and the winter sun season begins in December. Snow birds [people] escaping the harshness of the colder climes of the northern US and Canada will arrive then, and the number of people living here in Southern Florida doubles.

The pace of life quickens, too. The traffic and driving become worse as the weather warms up.

That’s why I enjoy living here in southern Florida in September, October, and November. We return to BsAs in mid-December.

Delray Beach

It is so nice to go to the beach on a weekday as the beach looks more like dots of people instead of wall to wall blankets and umbrellas.

As we have been living here for a month, we are attending 2 practikas and 2 milongas weekly. The practikas are located close to home, only 20 minutes of driving.

Again, all this information is on

On Wednesday night, there’s the Goldcoast Ballroom. The tango class is taught by my favorite maestros, Paloma Rodrigues and Maximiliano Olaguibel.

Goldcoast Ballroom

The Goldcoast Ballroom is one of the oldest dance clubs in Florida, getting its start in the 1966. They offer every type of instruction from Salsa to Foxtrot to Tango.

After the tango class, there is an hour long practica. The floor is huge, so it’s easy to dance and work on your steps or embrace or musicality. For corrections and questions, it’s possible to ask the two maestros Maxi and Paloma for help.

On Friday nights, we usually go to Manny and Fabiola’s Milonga la Pituca in Pompano Beach. This milonga is celebrating their 15th anniversary Milonga at the Star Ballroom in Pompano Beach.

La Pituca

Here, the space is smaller and more intimate than others places in Southern Florida. This ballroom has a cheery decor, a great wood floor with small round tables off to the side, and lots of mirrors for reflections with a good lighting, and music systems. It’s a BYOB place, but for the price of admission, they provide snacks, sandwiches, sweets, soft drinks, and water. Manny and Fabiola usually teach the pre milonga class, too, or have occasional guest instructors.

Then, on Saturday, it’s a choice and a decision to drive approximately 50 minutes for us to go to dance at the new dance club called Tanda.

Tanda Social Club

It’s a brand new space in North Miami that the owner, Olga Blavatnik, designed and built.

It is a beautiful space with a wooden floor, an exquisite overhead chandelier, and a fantastic lighting system. Add a separate dj booth and a full bar set up, and it’s a pretty impressive club for tango.

Olga started Tanda, and she states, “As a safe, comfortable and welcoming place for women to explore their inner selves, to discover their passionate natures, beauty and freedom.”

Olga believes it’s Tanda’s mission is to introduce tango’s soul and therapeutic benefits to as many people as possible while creating a holistic tango experience.


We danced there last Saturday and loved the place. It has very comfortable furnishings and I do love the separate bar area, as this is not a typical tango bar.

The night we were there it was a packed house as this club just opened in June.

Everything is new, and this club is shiny and bright with fresh roses on the tables too.

Table setting with roses

We plan on dancing there again.

And now on Sundays. There are two choices depending on the Sunday.

Every Sunday night in Hallandale Beach is La Ideal, organized by the amazing Lydia C. Henson, which just celebrated their 16th anniversary with a wonderful dinner party milonga and special performances.

Here, the ballroom space is very large and accomdating with dj booth on the side of the stage and a bar in the back. This is the Club Tropical featuring its elegant curtain draping, an excellent flooring and a good lighting system.

Large round-tables dot the floor, with a food vendor in the rear close to the bar.

For years, local and visiting Milongeros have attended this weekly event. Now, most La Ideal Sunday milongas are at the Vk Dance Arena located a few miles away.

16th Anniversary of
La Ideal Milonga

And now, on the 2nd and 4th Sundays at the Italian club in North Miama, it is the Tres Esquimas Milonga.

When we attended, they, too, were celebrating their 1st year anniversary.

This old Italian club has a rich history of showcasing tango events for many years.

The floor is midsized with white curtain draping in the middle of the ceiling, and there are large round tables placed all along the outer limit of the floor. The dj booth is on the stage, and the bar is in the back of the club next to the complimentary food, soda, and wine.

Milonga Tres Esquimas

For their anniversary milonga, the organizers had the tango harmonica player, Joe Powers play at the event.

This milonga hosted by 4 local milongeros, Cristyan Quiroz, Jacklyn Shapiro Quiroz, Alejandro Szenkman and Stefania Marchesotti. has fantastic energy amd lots of dancing.

We have been so lucky to dance at many places and have yet to try Las Pebetas Milongas on Saturdays nights at VK Dance Arena.

We have reconnected with people we met on our last visit and met many new peeps, too.

Mostly dancing tango in Southern Florida is a happy and fun experience.



Listed events on facebook
La Ideal Milonga
Tres Esquimas Milonga Les Pebetas Milonga


Leaving…on a jet plane.

Santa Coloma, Spain

My thoughts and emotions on leaving Europe are very mixed.

What an adventure the last 5 months have been. Many kilometers on planes, trains, buses, cars, electric scooter, and ferries.

It’s no small feat to remember leaving BsAs in late April.

We have traveled to Spain, Turkey, Greece, France, Andorra, Jordan and back to Spain.

The beach at Antalya

Different cities with many types of lodgings and the vastness of the flavors of the foods eaten. The lamb, tomatoes, and eggplant in Turkey. The feta, fish, and yogurt in Greece. Beduin tea in Wadi Rum. The wines, croissants and breads in France and the Spanish omlettes, Iberaian ham, and tapas in Spain.

Each country has a unique blend of colors and flavors. Sometimes, an idiosyncrasy or two stands out.

We have danced tango in countries and cities, almost to many to list, but if I did it would make a very long list.

Calliente Tango Marathon

At these milongas, we have been welcomed and ignored. We have danced on most nights of the week, but I think Saturday is the most popular and the floors most crowded.

We have attended marathons, milongas, practicas, and a workshop camp.

From the first tanda at the Calliente Tango Festival, Antalya, Turkey to dancing the last night before leaving in Casa de Valencia, Barcelona, this experience has been insightful and a delightful time of exploration.

I still practice my Milonga habits I learned from my first Tango Momma, Christine, many years ago.[thank you momma!!!]

Casa de Valencia, Barcelona

This is my standard practice that I apply to any milongas I go to.

When you arrive at the Milonga, put on your shoes, order your beverage, and then observe the floor and smile.

Then at the milongas the following questions of looking and listening arise.

Friends at Milonga de Angels

How is that man embracing his partner? With respect and care?

Is he totally moving around on the floor without a concern for the surrounding dancers?

Is he listening to the music and leading?

Is he pushing her around, or are they equally moving together?

Petra Tango Marathon

This is why, when we arrive at a milonga, Maximo and I sit out for a few tandas to get a feel for the crowd and the room.

Then we decide? Is the music what we want to dance to?

Disarli? Pugliese? Vargas? Miguel Calo?

Then we dance. We have gotten very comfortable dancing with each other but continue to try out new steps and remember older learned patterns. But we always have fun and enjoy laughing.

Tango camp in Beynac

For me, tango is always a bit of drama, too, especially at the end of the tanda in which we usually end with a kiss.

After dancing in many spaces and places from very large ballroom floors to small bar rooms, in my observation, it’s the place, the people, and the music that make a successful friendly event.

Maximo and I enjoying life

I have wonderful memories of many embraces, cities, and their spaces, I truly can not say which was the best, but I can say this.

We will keep on dancing!!!

We will keep on traveling.

We will continue this journey of living and Tango.

These are the experiences that make us happy, enriching our lives and touching other lives. It’s always the people.

So yes, I will miss Europe and all it offers, the antiquities and culture but other adventures await us here in the USA.

Miami, maybe a road trip or two. Atlanta, Chicago?

And we return to Europe next year!!! Mashallah!!!

Abrazo y Besitos, Ruth

Forever young!!!

This is Tango Camp!

A window, Beynac France

Am in my tent looking across my sleeping companion snuggled into the comforter as the sun has just become visible in my tent window. I sigh. I think. This week at tango camp in Begnac, France, with Liz and Yannick Vanhove, has been such a treat for us.

Our maestros:
Liz y Yannick Vanhove

We have to get up. Shortly as breakfast is served buffet style from 8 to 10 am.

Then, at 10 a.m., the first class of the day begins. Both Liz and Yannick Vanhove are firm believers in excercises to both wake up the body and loosen up the motion of the body.


Then the lessons begin. We work on patterns. Connecting single steps together..a walk walk walk to the cross a forward step then a 8 step molineta into a cross for the follow.

My lead is my life partner, who is a wonderful dancer as he is a man. As we work thru these patterns, he recognizes them from his first tango teacher, Maria, in Buenos Aires. It’s great that he remembers, as we both agree we have danced these steps before.

And we continue with practicing until 11.30.

Between classes in the hammock

Great workout. And good clear instructions and demonstration
Both maestros are active participants in the observation and correction of our movements.

These tall, slim Belgians dancers are elegant dancers as we learn. They are also very patient and kind people with their students and have a great sense of humor!

The week long camp we attended has 7 other couples from Belgium.  We were the only couple who did not speak Flemish. Liz and Yannick are fluent in not only Flemish but English and speak excellent Spanish, too.
Classes were taught in 3 languages.

Dinner at the farm

The age group is mostly over 50 years old, and people who are able to take a week out of their normal lives to practice and dance tango.

The location is a marvelous small village in the french countryside surrounded by farmlands and vineyards.

Miles of vineyards

The air is clean, and at night, we are able to see the Milky Way and watch the satelites overhead.

The accommodations are very cozy and comfortable.  We stayed in a tent 6 with great beds and warm down linens. There was a fan and electrical connections for phones and lamps. Each tent had a separate bathroom equipped with a sink, toilet and shower, and plenty of space to store your stuff and plenty of towels, too.

Bathroom signage

Then there is the afternoon class at 17 that goes to 18.30

Dinner starts at 19 and again is a buffet with delicious foods that are healthy and flavorful. If you forgot to buy wine or beer, it is available for sale on the farm.

We had a couple of evening milonga. That was so much fun.

Night milonga

And a campfire too with S’mores…the Belgians don’t really get that one.

Our campfire is complete with Smores.

This farm, Simply Canvas Farm has been in business for 15 years. The space has been used for family retreats to meditation retreats. The owners are a delightful couple of people named
Sandra and Santi.

A view from the farm

Imagine a week of this. Between the food, the location, and the classes was a fantastic experience.

Nearby village

One of the nicest aspects of this experience was that you had the choice to explore the surrounding area for your lunch. There are a few beautiful villages nearby with many markets and shops to buy anything you have forgotten.

Chateau at Beynac et Cazenac

So not only do you get to be a bit of an explorer, but the experience of classes with Liz and Yannick Vanhove will stay with you for a long time.

What a pleasure!!!

We want to do this again.!!!


Tango in Petra, Jordan

What an amazing place that is Petra.

The walk at Petra

The landscape strerches for miles filled with red rock formations. Some are very rounded forms that were pounded into softer shapes by the mileninial forces of geology and the wind. There are very few places with sharp peaks, but occasionally a few pyramid shaped rock mountains.

The hill of tombs

The elevation is 850 meter [2700 ft], the air is very dry with very fine particales of dust. The heat of the day sun can be intense, its important to stay in the shadows.
There are days when the wind blows then the air is cooler but dirtier.

And the tango was amazing.

Tangeros from many places in the world gathered at this beautiful location.

Walking thru Petra canyon

The organizers, Fantasia Arts with Waheed and his partner, Marina are based in Dubai. This was their first tango marathon event they produced.

They were meticulous in their planning the event, all the staff members were highly effective in problem solving and masters of logistics. [A big shout out to Waheed & Marina and all helpers]

The night milonga

For me, visiting historical places and dancing tango are a great combination.

[There are quite a few marathons at amazing places, Ephesus and Pamakkale, both in Türkiye and Lesbos and Somos, Greece to list a few events.

The pavilion

The accommodations ranged from outdoor tenting shared public bathroom to deluxe modules that contained a bed and a bathroom. After all that’s all we really need.

The camp location of Little Petra Beduin Camp was close to the main area of big Petra, about 15 minute ride away.

Nights at the fire ring with tea

The milongas were held in a pavilion close to the open fire pit area. At the pit area, tea was served nightly by the camp staff wearing beduin or desert costume clothes. This tea area was great for nightly socialing before the milongas. The tea was delicious.

In the evenings,when the weather cooled down substantially, the warmth of the tea was   wonderful. The only thing missing was a bit of live music.


The pavilion for the milongas was an oval shaped glass enclosed building with touches of the beduin life, ie carpeted walls and floor pillow seating areas, and then tables and chairs for the milongas.

The tango djs were marvelous in their music selections especially DJ George from Cypress and Eray from Ankara. Fantastic music to dance to.

TDJ George from Cyprus

With 2 Milongas a day there was dancing from 3 to 7 and then a dinner break from 7 to 9 and then the milonga from 10 to 4 am. Breakfast was served daily from 8 to 11.

The food was delicious, lots of salads and meats.

Pretty varied assortment of food for being in the middle of the dessert!

What a joy to have so many talented and delicious tangeros gathered together for 3 days in the dessert.

Can’t wait to do it again.

Tango at the Treasury, Petra

Bye bye, Istanbul Again.

After living in Turkey for the past three months, it is time to depart.

Dancing in Ankara

We have danced Tango in Istanbul, Izmir, Antalya, Ankara, and Samsun.

We have traveled as far south as Antalya and as far east as Trapzon. West to Gelibuli. We have traveled by car, bus and plane. In Turkey, it’s so easy to take the bus, but very limited in train travel.

The larger cities have good bus, tram and train systems.. but as to a schedule, maybe, kindof and its possible.
The driving in Turkey is for the mostly good. Most of the commonsense rules of driving etiquette are employed. Flash your light’s means I want to pass you, so move over. Horn honking is very prevelant all over Turkey. For any reason, honk your horn, although I read it is prohibited after 10pm?

Beach at Antalya at dusk

But the occasional crazy left turning from the right lane occurs.
The rules in bigger ciites are no rules for me but there are for you. Sound familiar? Florida?

Next on our travel list of locations is Petra Jordan.

Couldn’t resist going to this new marathon, as I have always wanted to visit this part of the world.
All those old desert stories come to mind.
Now add tango. We’re in.

View of Istanbul from Çamlıca Tower

We get to stay in Aqaba Jordan on the gulf of Aqaba for a few days before going out yo Petra. Hoping to visit Wadi Rum too.

This part of the world is similar yet foreign.

My eyes are accustomed to seeing large swaths of green forests of the northwest USA or beiges of the prarie plateaus of Argentina.

It will be a visual change to view the vast lands of deserts and sandstone canyons and the differences in the colors of the landscape.

Hot days, cool nights and lots of tango!!!


Relaxing after walking

2023 New Zealand Tango Festival

Guest Essay:       

Jan Sheeley of Seattle

A beautiful blend of learning and milongas.

Busy Milonga

Thinking about taking an overseas tango adventure?

Let me recommend an experience of a lifetime, the New Zealand Tango Festival.

This mid-year festival is hosted by the city of Wellington, the capital of New Zealand on the southern tip of the north island and situated on beautiful Oriental Bay.

I first learned about the festival back in December of 2019 and was booked for the following 2020, but alas COVID presented and canceled my plans.

Fun times visiting with a great friend (left), Christine Sampson, and the author, Jan Sheeley (right)

So, as country borders opened and festivals began again, 2023 became an option for me. It was not just the idea of discovering a new country and their tango passions but spending time with old tango friends who had moved to New Zealand and rekindling kinship.

The festival itself was so well organized with the classes and first night Milonga located in the 
Te Whaea – National Dance and Drama Center, a beautiful facility with plenty of space and perfect floors for dance. Entry was fast and seamless with a mandatory wristband.

Before the class started

But, in case you did not sign up for all the classes, there was an ongoing Milonga in the main hall most of every day, but especially during the break periods and lunchtime. Can I say that was a fabulous idea!

Opening night milonga

Along with that extra effort, the staff team made sure all the classes were perfectly matched, follow and lead before the start of each class. Can I say that in itself was a huge bonus!

I wanted to change a class during the festival, and although I could have completed it online, the staff team quickly looked up what could be done and helped me with what I needed.

One of the other facility features that was convenient was a food stand with hot and cold food during the day and alcoholic beverages in the evening.

Lunchtime Milonga

Many Milongas were held around the festival.
I arrived on a Wednesday at lunchtime and was whisked away to the first Milonga on that same night.

Official Festival media

Thursday presented a lunchtime Milonga called the Fringe, located in the CBD (Central Business District) right in the downtown waterfront, in a charming bar. Food, beverages, and tango. What could be better!

Wellington is a beautiful city full of heritage and culture. You can visit the Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa, right on the waterfront, which is full of the Maori history, or take a local ferry to visit the other side of the bay.

And if you want to spend a little more time in a car hop over to the wine country for a tase of the beautiful Pino Noir red wines! The CBD (Central Business District) is so close and filled with a multitude of restaurants and bars. 

Wine tasting

I can’t say enough about the wonderful time I had, the friendliness of the people, especially the leads. Nothing was too much trouble for the staff to make the whole festival the best experience I could ever have. This is one festival going on my “going again” list.

On the bay

Travel notes: 

Getting to New Zealand and Wellington from the USA.
Many airlines can get you to Wellington, I came from Seattle and chose Quantas through Sydney.

You need visas to enter both Australia (even as a pass through) and New Zealand, which are easy to obtain online but know they are necessary for entry and stay.

Overall cost – for me from the USA the full price including all the classes was about $250 so very reasonable.

All prices for the events, accommodation, and classes are posted in NZ dollars. 

Super Instructors:
And yes, there were fabulous teachers, both local and international. There were special imersion courses before and after the festival for those wanting deep and personal instruction. These classes fill fast – if they are of interested, make sure you sign up early.

For a full view of all the teachers, hotel accommodation, and festival events, visit the website

All local milongas in Wellington could be found on this website

Jan Sheeley (center) with good friends Christine Sampson (right)
and Jamie Steele (left)

Thank you, Jan, for all the information and for sharing your tango adventure. It was so nice to read about other tango events in the world, I hope you enjoy this new feature on

Thank you for reading.

Abrazo y besitos , Ruth


Baby…IT’S HOT !!!

So today, for the first time in 10 days, the weather is glorious and only 89 with a little wind.

The recent heat wave that engulfed not only Turkey but most of southern Europe really was a wake-up call for many.

Physically dealing with this kind of heat meant staying indoors, most of the day until 18 or 19 hours in the evening.

One day we went on a boat ride to escape the weather.

And even then, when venturing out, you were immediately hit by a wall of heat. OMG. It literally takes your breath away.

So, I’m trying to imagine dancing tango under these conditions.

Yes, we tried to tango at quite a few local Antalya milongas. At most, the air conditioning could not keep up, and the added body heat made it unbearable for me.

I found myself stopping dancing after 2 songs. Trying to dance a full tanda of 4 songs was impossible for me.

At this point, that is an advantage in Turkishtango as you dance on an open embrace. So very little body contact.

Me, I just can’t do this, as Argentinetango to me is a close embrace.


With lots of indoor time, I spend some time reading on social media. Came across this article, which I would like to share.

Dimintri from the Tango Parnter app recently released the results of a survey he conducted about people’s opinions on Milongas, whether it’s friendly or has terrible dancing. He wrote about his belief that it’s the responsibility of the organizer to be aware of all situations. Good and Bad

Heres the link to article:

I will just comment on one that I have experienced.

As we have attended many milongas in İstanbul, Izmir, Bursa, Antalya and marathon s in Turkey: Istanbul, Cappadocia and Antalya and in Spain: Tarragona, milongas in Madrid and Barcelona.

In both countries, we are the foreigners, and we have had a mixed reaction to us. Not really welcoming or either shunned, just accepted or ignored by locals. I would say not much curiosity.

It is an issue as I love to dance tango, and my body is enchanted by the music. I move in my seat to the rhythm of the music.

My partner is the same, as he plays a bandeon and probably knows most of the tango orchestras and singers. So together we are musical as dancers and only dance Argentinetango.

We are not shy people.
We are very kind people.
We love to share in Tango.

So here’s an idea for organizers of Milongas and festivals.

Would it be so difficult to have a table or chairs set aside and marked for visitors. This way, all the locals would know are visiting?

And for Marathons, would it be so difficult to have a table or two reserved for first-time event attendees?

Or maybe a section for foreigners, so locals can choose to meet the travelers?

Maybe we should get buttons made that say in the local language:

We are visiting from Buenos Aires and look forward to a tanda?

I find most tangeros are wonderful once the ice is broken and conversations happen, but there is no reason for attitudes of superiority or inferiority as we are all people who should treat each other with respect and kindness and continue to dance tango.

Tango es la vida

Moving south

Me and my scooter at the park in İzmir, next to the Egyptian Obelisk

We have spent 2 lovely weeks in Izmir, a large metropolitan city located on the Agean Coast of Turkey, the Asian side. Sitting on the mouth of a huge bay, Izmir is the 3rd largest city in Turkey with an active harbor and lots of ferries criss crossing the city.

The hotel residence we stayed in was located in Alcansak. A very lively neighborhood of the city, a bit north of Konak. The hotel residence was simple, with a large double bed, bathroom and a little kitchen area where were able to prepare our daily breakfasts.

The waterfront at night filled with families

We were surrounded by amazing restaurants and bars. Fast food, slow food, Turkish food, and some international foods.

A salad from a nearby restaurant

We were close to a nearby house of transvestite prostitues. It’s a little different setting. Nightly when out walking, there they were chatting up customers and others locals. Was pretty wonderful to observe as no one seemed to care what their sex was or wasn’t. I would imagine that their attention was welcomed by some community members.

Always trying to locate milongas in the city we visit, we use Facebook, Instagram, and word of mouth contacts. In Izmir, we found a few milongas. As is typical when traveling, some are very open and welcoming. Other milongas are not open and can be less welcoming to strangers.

But what we loved about all this dancing was all the enthusiasm. Almost always very exuberant. It’s very dizzying to watch.

In Turkish Tango, there are many giros. In fact, it is the most used step in an open embrace. It’s more like gymnastics and not much walking.

Open embrace

In many milongas we attended in Turkey, the dancers prefer an open embrace for dancing tango.

I am not sure if this style of embrace is because of a possible cultural taboo or a learned experience.

But it is definitely very different from Argentina Tango.

The music played is Juan Darienzo, Hector Varela, Anibal Troillo, and other orchestras that have a fast driving beat.

Not much music by De Sarli or Pugliese, Fluevio Salamanca is played as this music is more playful, soft, and very romantic.

We are definitely Argentina Tango dancers as we love to caminando, and we dance. We listen to the music, and we take turns playing with spaces between the music. But most importantly, we are corazón to corazón in a close embrace. And enjoying every minute of it.

Next stop, Kaş on the Mediterran Sea.

Abrazo y Besos


The Joy of Traveling

Istanbul, the city of many mysteries and relics from the past, offers its visitors an amazing experience.

As we like to be local when we travel, we ride the buses, take the trains, trams and ferries all over this vast city of 15 million

It is such a huge city that it can take up to two hours to cross from an outlying sections to the edge of the city by the Bosphorus Sea and not even cross to the Asian side of the city, which can stretch for another two hours.

There is so much traffic that to go any distance by bus is a minimum of an hour, and depending on traffic can take up to two hours to go 8 km.

But the views and the people are wonderful.

Bodies are packed very close together, but the men are mostly respectful of the women and children.

Sometime you enter the bus in front and pay with your pass. Other times on crowed buses, you are entering from the rear doors.

To pay for your journey, you hand your bus pass to the next person, and they send it forward to the driver to pay your fare.

Minutes later, your pass comes back in the same manner.

Passing forward or back. But to me, the amazing part is that it gets returned.

Ride the tram on Sultanamet, and you pass the ancient Roman sistern, the Hagia Sofia, the Blue mosque, and parts of the ancient aqueduct system that brought water into Istanbul in the times of the Roman Empire.

Add to this visual mixture, the restaurants and the variety of foods and goods to buy and enjoy, and before you are even aware, a week has gone by. You might even be a bit exhausted.

Then there’s the Tango world here.

Remember Türkiye is a country of Muslims but not a Muslim country.

There are two types of tango danced here, Argentinetango and Turkishtango.

Closed and open embrace.

Using Hoy Milonga and Facebook, it is possible to find all the milongas here.

But be aware that some are in old buildings with no elevators and a 4th or even 5th floor walk ups.

While others are in restaurants and bars, almost none are on street level.

The problem for me is the number of people here who are smokers. There seems to be many more tango dancers that smoke here in İstanbul than in Buenos Aires.

Smoking is not allowed inside but only outside on the terraces and decks.

As to admission prices range from
80 T ₺ to a high of 125 ₺ [similar to prices in BsAs about 800 peso to 1500 pesos.

At my favorite milonga at the Armada Hotel, for example. This milonga has been going on for 24 years. There are tables surrounding the floor, while at Tangoist, Tango Nar [ all in Tasksim], there are chairs against the wall.

Sometimes, the host seats you at a table, and other times, it is free for all. Turks do not believe in saving seats, even if all your stuff is left there, someone else will sit there.

The most wonderful part of this…
Yes, there is Argentinetango all over the world to find.

So far this year, we have danced in Spain and in Turkey. In September, we are off to Petra, Jordan for a marathon.

Traveling just takes time, money and patience.

Making new friends and discovering a new place for a milonga in any given country is why we travel.

To be able to dance, to travel and enjoy all that is there, is truly a gift.

With gratitude to you my reader, who encourages me to write and foto.



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. link below 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

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

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.

Fortunately, we have found spaces to dance the tango we love and practice, Argentinetango.
Having a few helpful tango friends, we discovered a few other practitioners of Argentinetangoas we know it. Close embrace, and listening to the music. This discovery made our dancing so much more enjoyable at many milongas.

Shortly we will dance in a few cities in the USA, one east coast, Miami and two west coast cities, San Francisco and Seattle.

Look forward to this. Visiting some friends not in contact with for over two years…should be exciting.


Another amazing weekend of tango.

With the conclusion of Cappadocia Tango Maraton on Sunday, we moved onto a different locale. 

From the heights of Cappadocia [1000 m] to the sea level of Marmaris, a small city on the Mediterran coast of Turkyie, we continue with this adventure.

I do want to share some insights about Cappadocia Tango Maraton. First off it was a wonderful experience. The people we met were very warm welcoming and curious. From all over Turkey, Lebanon, Russia, Ukraine, Italy and Israel speaking many languages and all a bit of English.

Dancing was all closed embrace and the musicality was good. The crowd of 250 or so tangueras ranged in age from 25 to 75 or so.

Hair colors of all shades and many bald heads were seen. Many of the bald men were wearing a bandana of their heads to catch, the perspiration. Thank you. Some with huge heads of hair, tamed them a wrap tie. Many men wore ponytails at various heights on their heads.

And the woman were dressed from very casual with shorts and a very small top to total tango clothes…most looked very beautiful.

The djs for the Festival were very good, some of the tandas were one orchestra while one dj varied orchestras in the tanda. Each tanda and dj created some exquisite connections with partners and the floors.

One thing that was very different then other festival or maraton was the number of children running around. Many dancers brought their mothers as baby sitters while others took care of child by themselves.

Am looking forward to returning next year as the hot air balloon at dawn was canceled for 3 days because of winds and dust.