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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.

Published by ruthoffen

Created by, Ruth Offen the founder/director of WaterWorks Gallery, a gallery opened in 1985 to showcase contemporary artists and jewelers that live and work in the Pacific Northwest. After 37 years, I have decided to spend more time enjoying life by dancing tango all over the world, traveling, continuing to develop my photography. Over many decades of amassing a personal art collection, now the process of downsizing is becoming a reality. How do we have more with less? Staying true to the motto, unencumbered by our possessions and not burdening our children with our stuff. This next process will take patience and courage. On the road to happiness. Its' the journey that counts!

3 thoughts on “Late August

  1. Very nice and thanks. I expect to be in IST Sep 8 – 14 and would greatly appreciate any info on milongas which you particularly liked.

    1. Hola, as I mentioned in my piece, there are a lot of milongas here and using Istanbultango or Hoy Milonga is a great way to discover these places. Thanks for reading.

  2. I did a number of them and kept a blog which I can EM to you separately ( BTW, I used to visit frequently 2001-04 and was delighted to find that one of my favourites from that era, Armada, is still going strong as is another which Metin Yazir used to run. The others (Cafe Mimosa, Hyatt, Grand Hotel Halic, Club Dalian) seem to have closed.
    The scene is also orders of magnitude larger now.

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