After eleven years living, dancing, teaching tango, and writing in Buenos Aires, I came home to L.A. in 2014, where I'm reconstructing my life.
Monday, July 23, 2007
Last Sunday, when it was cold and rainy, Ruben and I took a student to the Feria de Mataderos as part of her Tango Tour. I called out there before we left and they said, "not raining here, all is well!" And so off we went to my favorite Sunday activity and one our student was also looking forward to as part of her research on the History of Tango.
But by the time we got there, the booths were being dismantled, the stage was wet and barren, there wasn't a gaucho or horse in sight, and it was freezing cold. (Maybe it should have snowed to make it more interesting and a little less sad.)
When in doubt, eat, right? And anyway a parrilla lunch was included in the tour, and so we went to our favorite one where usually we sit outside and watch the gaucho games. Sunday we were happy to sit inside the old workshop of the slaughterhouse among the huge hooks for hanging beef carcasses but now had antique utensils, an old drum, an iron, a candle chandelier, and a bin of hot coals on the floor to keep us warm.
The vacio and asado and chorizos came in from the parrilla steamy hot, accompanied by hot, hot french fries, and the best bottle of vino tinto they had (which wasn't the best in Argentina, but was perfectly fine.) The waitress was relaxed and jovial, as there sure wasn't much work to do, and all the people enjoying lunch in the cozy room seemed happy to be there.
Since the stands weren't able to sell outside, some vendors came to us, and our student was thrilled to buy a beautiful pair of leather boots for only 40 pesos.
We went to the museum (the first time for Ruben and me) which had probably the largest attendence since the last winter storm as it was warm inside out of the rain. The museum, like the restaurant, is in a very old original building, and hopefully one day will be restored a bit, or at least the mold removed from the walls. Nevertheless the exhibits were varied and interesting, but if truth be told, I didn't spend much time in the room displaying all the different meat cuts of Argentina.
Mataderos was the old slaughterhouse district of Buenos Aires, and for this reason their social club is named Neuvo Chicago. We thought of dropping in to dance because at least it's indoors, but as we peeked in the windows and saw the hundreds of empty tables and heard the loud cumbia music, we kept going.
While Ruben went to look for a taxi, an old man descended from the bus and stared straight at our student and myself. With a gorgeous smile, he proceeded to give us a heart-warming piropo: Ah, at last I see the sun come out when I look at you two beautiful ladies! We both looked like bundled up Esquimos, but as we got into the taxi, we had warm smiles on our faces.