Saturday, March 17, 2012
Beautiful Buenos Aires and the cold shoulder at Club Gricel
Buenos Aires does sunshine very well - and yesterday (Friday) we had beautiful weather again - max was probably around 27degC and the sun shone all day with a light breeze. I set off in the morning with my very good friend DJ Incredible to visit the famous Zivals (home of Tango CDs and more) on Corrientes and then the Buenos Aires Tango Club - mission CD shopping. It didn't take long to gather enough CDs for door prizes at the Milonga de Mis Amores for the next 12 months and then to collect the CDs on my wants list. I create my wants list throughout the year when I hear a piece I don't have as part of a playlist. Mission accomplished we returned to the hotel to meet up with friends for an excellent wholefood lunch at Alma Zen cafe in Diagonale Norte then off again. This time the mission was women-only - we were off to Comme Il Faut. I have had at least 20 pairs of their shoes over the years (not many compared to other tangueras I know) and knew what I wanted - and that I could only fit 2 pairs in my luggage. The creativity of the designers at Comme Il Faut is quite delightful - though some of their shoes seem more suitable to burlesque than tango (in my humble opinion) they all show flare. That mission accomplished as well - we returned satisfied. The day was drawing to a close - i had walked at least 10 kilometres on the city streets and was feeling happy and tired. Two-thirds of our party decided not to go to a milonga - and settled for an early night instead. A decision based on tiredness after the day's exertions coupled with disappointment at the night before's expedition to Club Gricel. All but one of us had been to Club Gricel before, and last time we found ourselves relegated to the table outside the toilets - not a good spot in anyone's books as it is also out of sight of most of the floor and undoubtedly the worst table in the house! This time we were once again shown to the table that one of our party described as Siberia (at the direction of the stony-faced manager/owner)! We stuck it out for about 3 hours - had a few dances, but only one of our party danced with a local. We left feeling like third-class citizens and declaring the Club Gricel is no longer a preferred milonga. I am sure there are those who will say that as the hosts did not know us there is no reason for them to give us a better table, but that is self-defeating in my book - especially since we arrived early enough to be given one of the other unreserved, empty tables. As a milonga host myself I think it is important to make strangers feel welcome - you never know when they are going to become regulars - and what impressions they will pass on.