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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.

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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.

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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.

Little did we realize that our upcoming flight would also be canceled. This was truly a difficult time as we received the cancelation almost at the airport. Turkish Airline rebooked us on another flight from a different airport an hour away. And at that airport total chaos ensued.

This change event led us to miss our connection from Istanbul to Mugal-Marmaris airport.
We ended up staying for a few hours at the Turkish Airlines domestic lounge, where we found almost comfortable chairs, and a good assortment of food. The best thing about the Turkish Airline club is that there are busses deliver you directly to the gate.

So after a few hassles we arrived in Marmarais for a few days of beach and sun before departing for a week in Rhodes Greece.

So life is good!!!

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Istanbul stories

Galata Tower

We’ve been here two months and continue our discovery of all the milongas in the city while exploring the food and nightlife that exist here.

We love Tango. We live Tango. We love Tango. We live Tango.

But sometimes a change is really good for the hips and heart. [Think tango and then blues fusion]

On Saturday night in the heart of Taskim, we found a blues club Kumsaati Blues Club. The club holds about 50 people and to gain entrance requires walking down the stairs to the cellar from the street. Think Greenwich Village vibe in the 1970s. The beer is on tap, the music is loud and good and smoking is only permitted outside. Was a fun experience sitting in club in Istanbul listening to 3 guys wail out blues riffs on their guitars.

Interior of Kumsaati Blues Club

Later that night we walked to the main street at 1.30 in the morning, but we were not tired. So we went in search of more music.

Street with view of Galata Tower

We found a great club for nightime Jazz. Coq Coq Pera is a Thai restaurant down the street from the Pera Palace that serves traditional thai food in a beautiful environment
complete with an outdoor
garden deck.

Taskim at night

On the night we visited, there was a jazz trio, stand up bass, saxophone and guitar with a soulful singer. The space is a mixture of intimate bar space with a few couches and chairs. We tried to dance tango on the floor but we needed different shoes or powder, but still had a blast playing around with the jazz and 60’s sounds

The following day, after celebrating two Cancer friend’s birthdays we decided on Sunday night to go dancing again, we looked for a place to do some more salsa dancing…in a turkish city to find Latin dancing was not that difficult.

Interior of Grand Pera

We found it at the Grand Pera AVM, a mall with a large open space on the top floor that offered Salsa lessons in one area and Batcha classes in the other room with Latin rhythms playing continually.

We found it at the Grand Pera AVM, a mall with a large open space on the top floor that offered Salsa lessons in one area and Batcha classes in the other room with Latin rhythms playing continually.

We danced a mixture of tango, batchata, cha-cha, rumba, salsa for what seemed like hours. We left exhausted but happy at 2.15 am, they go until 3 am.

On weekends the trains and some buses run 24 hours a day making it an easier and less expensive process to discover other music in the city.

Abrazo y Besos, Ruth

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Istanbul continued…

This city is so embedded with ruins and history everywhere you go.

This city is huge 1539 square kilometers (594 square miles)

And it’s history has over 2000 years going back to the Greeks, Romans, and the Ottomans before becoming the city known as Istanbul. For many years this city was previously known as Constantinople until
the 1930’s when the Republic of Türkiye was founded.

Just a bit if history to remind us how quickly times does fly. We have been living here for 3 weeks.

This city is huge!!!
I think 20 times bigger than Buenos Aires.
10 times bigger than New York

To visit a friend of mine on the other side of the city it takes about an hour and a half on the bus which is faster than a taxi and much cheaper.

We have danced in a few local Milongas in the city outskirts and just finished the Sultans Tango Maraton.

Pretty exhausted after 6 days of dancing tango, but happy and content with sore feet, but not too many bandaids.

We look forward to dancing at more local Milongas on both the European and Asian sides of the city.

After experiencing Sultans I felt that I should pass on some observations about the Sultans Tango marathon.

The event was at the Dedeman hotel, uphill from the Bosphorus Straits in Beyoğlu. The rate for room and maraton was reasonable, plus a great location with lots of restaurants close by.

We invited a local friend to the festival and this was her first large event.
As a new tango dancer, she found the experience a bit overwhelming…
Totally understandable.

But for me experienced tango dancer and out of towner, it was not the typical maraton.

These are my observations:

The crowd is predominantly under 40 and very cliquish.
The quality of the dancing is pretty rough as a line of dance is not observed and on a crowded floor, folks are doing high boleos and lots of running into other couples . Wanted to sharpen my elbows.!!!

Mostly dancers are using open embrace, but there were a couple of amazing close embrace dancers.

Musicality is a bit different than BsAs, as I don’t think the lyrics are understood and ergo the mood and rhythm of the dances.

To get a cabeceo was not easy and was almost impossible as the men here, I learned do not like to be cabecoed, but they will continue to stare at you after receving your cabeceo as you are invisible. A bit unnerving and perhaps at a marathon this is what happens when you are over 40.

Met a few other experienced dancers from Italy, Canada and the US, and chatted with them and discovered they had a similar experience.

This is so sad, as the folks I spoke to will not return to Istanbul to dance. The Milongas here are usually intimate and marvelous. Great dancing, very friendly to newcomers. In the past visits I have met some fabulous milongeros here.

Luckily, there is the Turkisk version of Hoy Milonga here. And in looking at various days there are about 5 events a day, not 25 like BsAs.


And here planning is very important as the distances are very great, but luckily public transportation is cheap,
7 ₺ each way.

We will dance on Asian side on Wednesday night, very exciting as the Milonga/practica hosted by Hassan Gogani.

This man was the first Turk that I danced with 5 years ago, on my first visit to Istanbul. Hassan is an wonderful and kind dancer and teacher.
He hosts a practikas on Wednesday and a Milonga on Saturday, but they are not listed on Hoy Milongas.

Probably tango politics at play here as in other cities, which is sad but particular to human nature and unfortunately to tango.

First installment of life in İstanbul…more to come. Abrazo y besitos till then.

Its been a week…

It’s been a week since we arrived in Turkey.

10 hours from Buenos Aires to Miami and then 10 more hours to Istanbul, and then on to Antalya in 1.5 hours.

So glad we flew over a few days, as sitting on a plane makes my body crazy. Plus no matter how many homeopathic sleeping pills I take, cannot sleep more than an hour or two. My neck hurts from the angle of the seat, and my bottom complains about not enough padding on the seats. Even though my companion gave me his blanket to sit on. Not complaining, just saying.

Still the thrill of going somewhere new is awesome

Along the road from Antalya to Kemer

Why Antalya you ask ?
The city is located on the Mediterran Sea with lots of history embedded into its soul. But it is also the home of a sweet tango festival called Cozy Tango Festival, held 2 times a year in May and in October.

Seven Seas Hotel

The location is at the Seven Seas Hotel in Kemer, Antalya.  This all inclusive hotel knows the meaning of word service, and has amazing tasty Turkish foods.

Another view of Seven Seas Hotel

There are many pools, the sea to swim in many restaurants and bars. The ground are beautifully landscaped and very clean.

Antalya at night

We arrived at the hotel exhausted from travel, so sleeping a few hours was the answer. Though that night we attended the Milonga  with only 4 hours sleep, danced for many hours to send great tango music just felt so good.

We arrived at the hotel exhausted from travel, so sleeping a few hours was the answer. Though that night we attended the Milonga  with only 4 hours sleep, danced for many hours to send great tango music just felt so good.

Dancing at Cozy Tango Festival

With this in mind, we attended a couple of workshops taught by good instructors. One was the basic about how to walk in tango and the other musicality in milongas.

Class at Cozy Tango Festival

That evening was an outdoor Milonga, lovely but a bit cold except when dancing.

Dancing in Antalya

There were afternoon practikas and a few evening Milongas. One night, we went into Antalya to dance at 2 local Milongas, thanks to the folks with cars.

Dancing in Antalya

With not speaking Turkish, there was somewhat of a challenge to communicate but tango is language. So the abrazo works in all locations around the world.

There were a few English speakers, and no Spanish speakers. Turkish and German were the predominant languages.

There were a few English speakers, and no Spanish speakers. Turkish and German were the predominant languages.

We spoke in many languages about each other’s stories of how we came to Tango and about our lives.

Máximo and me dancing the night away

The festival ended earlier than scheduled because the few folks who attended left to return to their lives, but we decided to stay longer because a beach  chair called our names, and besides this resort is great location to recover from traveling and build up the strength for the next travel adventure. A blue cruise on the Mediterraneo Sea for a week in a traditional Turkish boat called a gulet, a two masted wooden sailboat.
Until later, disfrutas tu vida.
Abrazo

Some of the wonderful teachers, DJs and dancers we met

Bye Bye Buenos Aires

The lights of Puerto Madero
in the evening, so pretty.

Laying in my bed 2 days before, we fly off for a 6 month adventure, am thinking how exciting.

After 2 plus years of living in Buenos Aires, I will leave my temporary home on Montevideo in Recoletta for the great unknown and uneasy feeling of travel.

Driving the streets of Buenos Aires

Yes unknown and uneasy. To wake up in a country, that speaks a different language and moves very rapidly without time for thinking will make me uneasy. As I have  gotten used to the pace of this city, which is tranquilo. The biggest traffic snafus here are caused by the daily protests in the city in locations from the Pink Palace, to Congresso to the Obelisco.


The street music here is not the rhythms of bachata or tango but the cacophony of car and taxi horns announcing the lack of movement in the street .The horns blair at the slightest provocation. Stopping. Starting up.

This morning it is quiet. No bus traffic or truck traffic but then it is only 8.03 am.

Am leaving in 2 days.
The apartment has been returned to the original stated condition with decorative black and white illustrations on the walls and the beautiful dance floor is loosely covered by a white long haired fake rug.

It’s no longer mine.

Driving on Aveneda 9 de Julio

And as it was expression of my creativity and my dance studio, with a large mirror on the floor to follow your feet and large tango fotos on the wall to inspire your feet. It is now pretty sterile.

Am ready to leave, to travel to places both known and unknown.

The difference is now I no longer travel alone. I have a wonderful, sweet and kind man in my life.  We laugh a lot, we dance a lot and we love a lot.

Happyness!!!

But yet it still feels odd saying we are traveling for 6 months.

Has the pandemic really ended?

Are we living in an endemic world?

Now we are maskless, we are naked and exposed again. Will illness mount up again ? Are 4 vaccines enough? Did you get the flu shot? How’s your immune system?

Theses are the questions running thru my brain.

Yes I am packed,  yes I have a big suitcase abd a small one both for checkin. Can’t remember the last time I did this as I usually prefer not to check-in.  But. But. But.

Leaving BsAs has required a different approach.  Dancing tango requires shoes and clothes.  Clothes are not a problem as they are soft and made from rollable materials,  but the topic of shoes…I am traveling with 6 pairs.  Is this too much, or too little or as I think just right?

Leaving in two days.
Time to have a another dinner and drink with a dear friend. Time to
consider what makes us happy.


Time to realize that your once sharp edges are now much less pointed. Time enough to realize,  you no longer enjoy life in the fast lane of life. Time enough to realize that it really is the little things in life that you have some control over, and that the most  important things are the occasions that you laugh with your friend, that you smile, that you take the time to savor your life.

To tell people yes they are important to you and yes they will be missed.


To say, life is lived without regrets takes dedication and awareness of self and others.


I am ready to travel again.
Here we go…love, life and tango.

Ready to dance

Hola, queridos !!!

Hello, My Dear Readers
(thanks to Bridgerton, yes this show on Netflix is binge worthy -2 seasons)

So sorry for not writing sooner, but unfortunately was not able to as I have been sick for the last month.

First Omnicron though I tested negative, that turned into a flu with chills and fever which then became a case of pneumonia. Or st least physical felt like it.


Whew got so tired of being sick. But yes did binge on a lot of shows, but really who remembers.

Learned the pleasure of home made recipes for a cough. Hot tea from fresh ginger, garlic anise and honey. Learned to love the smell of menthal chest rub, and the power of a warm shower not only to refresh the body but for its ability to help heal the body.

As I reclaim my life, slowly, am so happy to start seeing friends and to begin taking walks the streets of Buenos Aires again.

Will got to a couple of Milongas this week, and see if the body remembers how to dance. (Was able to practice a few times this past month, but hmmm my strength is still pretty weak, so have to work on building up endurance.)

Meanwhile am posting a couple of video links that I have come across that are both on different aspects of Tango.

Both are wonderful, experiential in nature and very enjoyable.

The first is from my friends at Tango Guapo and it shows the vitality of our Tango community in Buenos Aires.

The second link is from a Danish filmaker, Joergen Erik Assentoft who lives here in Buenos Aires and loves Tango and it’s stories.

Disfrutas tu vida.. La Vida es Tango. Ruth

Fevero 2022, Buenos Aires

Me, a mysterious friend
and organizer, Julia Doynel

Dancing in Buenos Aires continues to expand as I recently counted 24 Milongas on Hoy Milonga today. They are all over the city from Palermo to Recoleta, San Telmo to San Nicholas, Villa Crespo to Flores.

14th Aniversario of Sueno Portenyo Costume Party

I live in Barrio Norte and like to take the bus to my Milongas (the fare is 20 peso) and then take a cab home at night. So I dance at El Beso on Riobamba, Nuevo Chique on San Jose, Sueno Portenyo on Balcarce, Club Marabu on Maipu, occasionally straying to Salon Canning on Raul Scalabrini Ortiz or Nuevo Gricel on Rioja, La Nacional on Adolfo Asino.

Keep thinking I need to change the milongas I attend but always come to the same conclusion. I like the places I dance. Usually, I know the organizer and a lot of the dancers as  been dancing here since the Milongas re-opened in September 2021 after being closed for almost 2 years.

In Buenos Aires when you are a known person, your reserved seat is  repeatedly available or the front row table. This means people know where to expect to see you. This will usually lead to more cabeceos and possibly more dancing, but not always.

Remember January and February are peak summer months here, so a lot of local people go to the beach for month.

The void of Portenyos (locals) at the Milongas is taken up by foreign  visitors wanting to escape those cold northern winters. Tables are always reserved, and usually filled with many dancers especially if there is a good orchestra.

Then there is the floor, dancers from a variety of countries can be exhilarating. With dancers in close embrace, and others in open embrace. Heels and elbows can fly on the floor. As the night progresses the floor becomes more crowded. There is more unintentional bumping into others. Experiencing another’s elbow in your back is not pleasant. Getting your feet stepped on by another dancer, does hurt. Looking at that person, apologies are murmured or looks are exchanged.  All is good. We continue to dance wearing masks, but do rotate partners. 

Remembering that here in Buenos Aires we are dancing, dancing, dancing. Many locations around the world are still not dancing. So all is good.

Tango has returned to this city almost with the passion of the past. Tangeros dance the night away oblivious to all but the person they share an embrace with.

Many Milongas start at 8 or 9 continuing until 3 or so in the morning with the performing  orchestra taking the stage at 1 or 1.30.

A bit different from the afternoon Milongas starting at 2 or 3 and most orchestra will start playing at 5 and end at 6pm. Dancing will finish at 8 or 10.

Posted here are a couple of videos from dancing at some of these clubs .

Hoping to embrace you soon and  enjoy your visit to the home of Tango.

Abrazo y Besos 

Thoughts on the new year, so far…

Now at the end of January after a week of 90 plus degree heat and then another week of continual rain, the days are cooler. Still in the evening the humidity returns and air conditioning is a must to get to sleep.

In my personal life what a crazy couple of weeks it has been!!!
A dear friend from Turkey who I have not seen for 4 years is visiting me, so am having a fabulous time.

We have been dancing, eating, drinking, walking and shopping for days. Am loving some chica time. It’s been 2 years since I have had a friend visit me.

Birsen and me

Introducing her to the world of tango and the Milongas clubs in Buenos Aires is exciting and very different for her as she started dancing tango about 3 months ago.

And one of my fondest memories is of another friend introducing me to the world of Tango in Buenos Aires. How awesome and overwhelming it was. Can’t believe that was 5 years ago!

Dancing at la Nacional

We have danced in the afternoon and evening milongas and for a couple nights did back to back late night milongas. Dancing in San Telmo, Monserrat, Boeda and Balavanera.

Have introduced her to the world of asado (barbecue), with the meats ranging from sweet breads, tripe, cabezon, chicken and lots of different types of carne (beef) served en mass on a little hot barbecue stand.

As I like my food to the spicier side, have discovered a few restaurants that satisfy that need and do take my friends to these restaurants, one in particular is always fabulous. Sintesis…it is a fusion of Thai and Vietnamese served as Tapas. Yum yum.

Dancing, dancing, dancing

More dancing, more drinking wine, more walking, more public transportation.

More, more more. But always mask wearing while dancing and on the buses or in taxis, walking the streets and continually cleaning hands with alchohol.

Dinner at Trade Bar

My friend visiting from Turkey ended up catching omnicron 10 days after arriving in Argentina. The day before her scheduled return flight to Istanbul on Saturday, she tested positive.

Immediately we canceled all a dinner that night and dancing.

In making arrangements for my test. the following day, I called other friends to inform them of her positive results. It was interesting to listen to the different reactions which ranged from choosing to test to others not.

My friend was in bed with three days feeling like she had been hit by a truck. With a small fever initially, a headache but lots of mucus and coughing.
Three days of almost continual sleeping and very little food.

Then on the 4th day still tired but she started to feel almost human. No temperature. Still bit of a hack.

With my corvid testing kit.

And on day 7, doing a home corvid testing kit, she was negative. Wahoo.

The airline she was returning to Turkey on rebooked her on the same saturday flight two weeks later.

Tango en Sueno Portenyo

So she gets a do-over on a lost week and a bonus week for getting corvid.

As with all things, especially now in these uncertain and unsettling times, it is neccesary to see the silver lining in all.

Enjoying the live music of Alexis Lovotti at la Boca Boca.

So now we get to do more….
Dancing, eating, drinking, walking this amazing city that I call home.

Me showing a great Tango sign on Avienda de Mayo

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