Buenos Aires – music

Tango is everywhere in Buenos Aires.

I’ve been to a few shows, I’ve seen it countless times in the street, and even tried it. The best show is at Tango Carlos Gardel. It’s the most formal, the least sensual but the show quality is excellent. So let’s start there. The stage is superb, with the small orchestra balanced on a perch above the dancers

And of course, there’s a lot of this

This is all very nice but it’s very formal and not very sexy. To see that you go to the clubs or the street.

So we headed to the famous and immense Sunday street markets. Our hotel is close to the huge obelisk, the centre of Buenos Aires

Past St. Martin’s with another Falklands Malvinas memorial set into the grass

Then due east

Through a few of the many parks

The city of love and sex

Then through narrowing streets. This is the classic BA shot, there are countless miles that look exactly like this

Past a cafe where music was pouring out into the street. A couple dance mid-morning, always a good time of day for this

Up high now, wife of mine

It’s the feet

When we got to the market it was miles long. It disappears into the distance, as you can see below. Hundreds of thousands are in the streets for futbol and hundreds of thousands for this, or anything they feel like really, like Eva Peron

You can be as individual as you like, just be well turned out

There were some stalls that were dense with specialty items, like old men’s watches

There are stalls of poster art and original retro photographs. You see them in a different light here. For example there are few or no porn magazines in the stores and sex shops are rare. Everything this way is re-calibrated. They don’t need it mostly except unless it’s artistic or whimsical. It’s not difficult to figure out the hows and whys

But anyway, elsewhere in the market – meat slicers for instance. Everything is here but I liked the red disks.

Or if your child wants to play with black baby dolls, here they areP1030728

Dying your hair red is the colour here, but not enough to be very common. This booth-owner wears it well

It was all pretty interesting and after 18 months here we’re getting an idea of where the boundaries are. They’re in very different places even. And some are very narrow that you’d never guess, some wide open that you might. But it works well and if there’s a happiness gauge, they’re ahead.

A little further along, Argentine folk music, and everyone nearby is dancing. They have bright handkerchiefs or something they wave

To the left is a video from here. I wished I could have joined them but it’s a traditional dance and maybe the wrong time/place to do that. Video to the left.

The thing about Buenos Aires is that there are a limitless things to talk about and photograph. It’s all so interesting and exotic. I have a ton of photos that I can’t put into blog context.

So back on market street

There was music everywhere on the adjoining side streets. Traditional

And in quieter corners, tango

Tango busking is everywhere. It’s always beautiful and always gathers a quiet respectful crowd. Every dance couple has their own movement, style, interpretation, and everyone appears thoughtful, even serious, about it no matter how formal or outrageous it may be. Video to the left of this couple. Traditional.

Later that night we headed off to Bar 868, rated one of the top 50 bars in the world. But I’d give that claim to Ruta 36 which doesn’t appear on any list, the world’s only cocaine bar back in La Paz Bolivia, where 10 grams of the finest uncut Bolivian is $8 and a glass of the best Scotch $30. Or so they say, and I understand they’re stopped in the last few months. Bar 868 is unmarked and the doorman armed, always a good sign

But on the way there we pass more intimate tango on a busy street corner. Video to the left.

Lucinda and I have been to BA three times. The first time I wasn’t so sure about it. The second was better. The third time I wanted to live there. It’s old, refined, confident, and a world apart. It’s not totally gringo friendly, but nowhere that matters in Latin America is that we’ve been to. Maybe, for preservation of the great thing they have, this is a good thing.

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