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.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Boedo Tango -- Who Knew?

Last night our normal Saturday routine of dancing at Los Consagrados was discombobulated when all the milongas at Region Leonesa (Nino Bien) were closed. The entire building was shut down due to "problems," which may have been ordered corrections not carried out, bribes not paid, or that someone forgot to pay the electric bill.

In any event, tango in Buenos Aires continues, and so we moved our base of operation to Norma y Hector's Cachirulo, Maipu 444, where we had the forethought to reserve a table. Because it was a zoo! The 300+ dancers from Los Consagrados had to go someplace, and many filtered to Maipu. (Unfortunately Saturday is a tough day for tango, as there aren't that many milongas to choose from, especially if you don't have a date.)

From 8 p.m. on, lines of people (mostly women) waited to get in and then had no place to sit. But it was fun, even if there was no room to dance in that small salon, especially the way Ruben dances. But Howard, Flo and Cristina played musical chairs at our table and we drowned our sorrows in a couple of bottles of Federico Alvear demi-sec champagne.

But on the way back home to Boedo, we decided to check out a new milonga on Avenida San Juan, which is just 3 blocks from my apartment, and upstairs over the Carrefour supermarket.

What a wonderful surprise! The place is absolutely huge, as large as the supermarket downstairs, with 3 wooden dance floors, and several different areas for sitting, all beautifully decorated in a sophisticated way. The smoking section is a mini-Caminito with cobblestones and twinkly fake stars overhead. (Here I am holding my breath with the handsome owner, Luis.)

There were a surprising amount of people, couples, singles, birthday parties, who obviously knew what we hadn't. This is a gorgeous new milonga not allowed by Carrefour to put up a sign outside or to post fliers around the neighborhood. So you have to know. But once up the stairs, you are warmly welcomed and are for sure going to have a good time.

Ruben and I had another bottle of Federico Alvear Champagne (ten pesos cheaper than at Maipu), and a pizza. While the bar menu is extensive, the bar snack selection is minimal: pizza, empanadas, tostadas, sandwiches de miga, and a picada. But there is also a restaurant which is open daily for lunch.

The milonga is open Friday and Saturdays at 10 p.m., and will soon open on Sunday afternoons at 6:00 p.m.

I always wondered why Boedo, the barrio de tango, didn't have anyplace to dance. The milonga in the Salon Mallorca one block from my place, closed after only a month last year.

But now there's Boedo Tango. We'll be back!

Note to tour operators: this is fantastic for large groups.

Boedo Tango
San Juan 3330

Friday, March 28, 2008

Letting Go

In my "old" life (before the death of my husband, and before my own two cancers, and before having to move from the city of my birth--and before Tango), I was a collector.

Maybe it had something to do with my itinerant childhood, or maybe I was born that way, but I from an early age loved to collect and organize things, the pre-librarian in me. As a kid it was stamps, rocks, storybook dolls.

As a grownup with a big house, my collections blossomed.
At my "peak" I collected:



Dollhouse miniatures


Postcards of Old Los Angeles


Victorian valentines

Victorian calling cards

Catalina Tile tables

Antique Pharmaceutical bottles

Ink bottles

Poison bottles

Hall Rose Parade ceramics

Anything about or by Jacques Brel

and designer tee shirts by Custo Barcelona, which I took to Mexico and then brought down to Buenos Aires, after selling off my other collections. Now I've decided to pare down my closet, and to sell most of my Custos on Ebay.

But I still have three small cloisonné boxes I got in France, and they say three of anything is a collection.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


My son Jason Zarookian, at work at Barneys of New York, with Cameron Diaz. (From and other fansites)

Monday, March 24, 2008

What a Night!

A party to end all parties, the milonga to end all milongas, and maybe the tango birthday to end all birthdays! Such a night makes getting older really worth it!

Our table was packed with over 20 guests--students and friends, some I hadn't seen in years. But since La Milonga de los Consagrados is our milonga, as we're there every Saturday and it's the only milonga we regularly attend, I knew almost all of the 300 attendees who saluted me with kisses. So many paparazzi flashes went off I felt like a movie star or a queen. And thanks to Ruben, who worked so hard to organize and make things happen, and all of the wonderful people who were there, I would have been Queen for a Night but for the petite and beauteous Isabela Azul who stole the show, especially when dancing in the arms of her papa, Beto.

Enrique, the milonga organizer, announced the usual birthday "gang dance" vals, and I had the pleasure of dancing with so many wonderful men in a very short time. And then Ruben and I danced an exhibition to D'Arienzo's Pensarlo Bien.

Friends sent over flowers and bottles of champagne and we shared the delicious cakes with as many as possible.

Three tango bloggers (with local Paula on the left), plus Howard and me, made five bloggers together again for the first time.

Vivi, our tireless and patient waitress.

Argentine friends, Canadian and U.S. friends and students, guau!

I only wish you had been there too!
Maybe next year?

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Three-For-One Weekend

THE THREE-FOR-ONE WEEKEND (Four if you count Nooruz, the Persian New Year!)

It was exactly four years ago this month that I moved to Buenos Aires from San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. And it was then that I first celebrated my birthday in Argentina. I invited a few friends to my tourist apartment, and ordered a cake, a pastel. When I went to pick it up, I had a meatloaf with my name written on it! No wonder the girl looked so strangely at me at the deli! In Mexico a cake is a pastel, and a torta is a sandwich! Talk about learning the hard way! But I stuck a candle in it and we all had a good laugh.

For the first time since 1916, Easter Sunday is also my birthday.

But I will never get used to Easter and my birthday falling in autumn!

Happy Autumn Text -

Friday, March 21, 2008

Milongueando En Mardel 2008

Semana Santa,
or Holy Week, in Argentina means little more than a time to get out of town. So Ruben and I took the bus to Mar Del Plata, like we did last March, for a few days at the beach. March is the low-season after the frenetic hordes of tourists from January and February leave, and the weather is still perfect.

Of course we went milongueando, to Chique at the Castillo y Leon club, and to Social Rivadavia, where they played one hour of cumbia to every mixed tanda of tango.

On Palm Sunday we attended an outdoor Mass at the Cathedral. And then we went to an enchanted Hobbit cottage in the woods for tea.

A short and sweet summer vacation!