An expat Californian building a new life via the tango in Buenos Aires since 2003, including information on learning the tango and where to dance it in Buenos Aires.
Friday, February 22, 2008
El Esquina Carlos Gardel
How fabulous to be taken to tourist spots by visiting friends, places where we never otherwise get to go!
Kevin from L.A. and Anu from Finland, wanted to see a tango show, so off we went to Abasto, and to the Esquina Carlos Gardel, the biggest and most famous of the tango espectaculos
On this same corner, Chanta Cuatro opened its doors in 1893 as a two-floor restaurant and hotel. There was a bochas alley, a traditional game at that time, and the reason for the peculiar name.
The old restaurant, where Carlitos actually hung out, was gutted and turned into an elegant Las Vegas-type show-room in black and white, photos of the greats from the Golden Age of Tango lining the walls.
What an operation! With two shows a night and 1000 dinners to serve to the hordes of tourists who usually come in buses, it is so well organized, well Ruben said it, not me, that the owner is for sure a Gallego, and not an Argentine!
Excellent, attentive service, but no-nonsense:
Sorry, sir, we have no steak knives to cut your 3-inch thick Angus bife de Chorizo (all the waiters speak English). Good food, lots of wine included, the show is on and then you're out of there. But not before, just like in Vegas, you've purchased your photos with the dancers in an assembly line shoot, more photos at the table, CDs, and DVDs. It's packaged superbly, and the tourist gets lots of bang for his lots of bucks.
The show includes the usual suspects with a live tango orchestra. Juan Carlos Copes dances with his daughter, Johana. (Am I the only one who finds that weird?)