Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Can I just say, I love NYC!! It is such a great city, great people and such a great tango scene.... just the best! :-D

The first day of the festival for us was really Friday. Sorin headed into the classes and I was on my own until 6pm, when the practica started. So I bopped around The Fashion District, went into my favorite fabric stores, and had a grand time. I ran into a designer from Project Runway's third season and had a short conversation with her, she was absolutely gracious and charming. Mini celebrity sighting! What fun! Then off to practica, which was DJed by Robin, and I met up with old friends and made new ones while practicing. Not bad at all! Some of the leaders I had danced with at the Yale festival were there and it was really lovely to hear compliments on how much I had improved since they had danced with me last spring. Good for the ego! And the dance card! ;-)

Dinner with a whole bunch of friends, new and old, was great. We inhaled the Asian food and then rolled ourselves back to the space for the milonga, which was fine. The live music was interesting, although not exactly what I like to dance on. Ran into friends from Montreal that I was not expecting to see, and it was really lovely to realize that I knew a good amount of people in the room. Guess I am starting to become one of the tango junkies...

Then Saturday I had a full day. I went into Chelsea and poked around the Chelsea Antique market, it was just a blast and there were so many interesting and cool things there. Spent no money on me. Just looked. Maybe next time when I go in I'll be able to spend a little on a special something for myself. Then I went to a seminar that the New Yorker was hosting that featured 4 preeminent costume designers, and it was amazing. I made sure to get there 40 minutes early, and I was the fifth person in line, so when I got in, I made a bee line for the front row and plopped my butt down right there. The tiniest of elfin girls sat next to me, with the most hair I had ever seen. Rapunzel would have been jealous. She was from Moscow and was studying fashion design at Parsons and came over for the seminar. Her English was not very good, and when the conversation on stage got to be too fast, the poor thing was just overwhelmed and would turn to me for help understanding. It was a great time, although going there meant I missed the first hour of the practica.... sacrilege!!! Ha, how to balance my two passions when they intersect..... But I made it to practica after explaining to the young elf-child how to get to the subway from the seminar and helping her spell chocolate (she was meeting friends and wanted to text them to tell them what she wanted. And what else to elfs eat but chocolate?!?).

The milonga was packed to the rafters. It was just crazy, but fun. During the height of the milonga I did more sitting than dancing, but I was ok with that. I knew I would dance more after midnight, which I did. Had some great dances and enjoyed myself immensely. The milonga finished just before 3am, I think, and then there was the long subway ride home. By the time we pulled into Newark, the sun was just starting to send rays up to the horizon and Sorin and I dropped exhausted into sleep.

Sunday was a day from hell. Nothing I did that day went right, except for my dancing... I'll give you the condensed version of the day. I decided to sleep a little more rather than go in early with Sorin and our host, so I left late and alone. And I snapped the key off in the lock trying to lock the door. Then about 4 hours of pain, suffering and running around in the rain followed trying to make things right and failing miserably. But, I finally did manage to buy a replacement to the lock and Sorin installed it later that night. So I missed the early practica, and barely made it for the second practica, which was abruptly cut short by an hour due to a schedule conflict with the room. So off for food we all traipsed (about 12 tango fanatics, new and old friends). Sorin left us a little early so that he could photograph the beginners lesson and I was to meet him at the milonga. So I get to the milonga and no Sorin, I can't find him. Until I look on the dance floor and he is already dancing with someone. Ok, fine, I'll just sit and chat with a friend. About an hour or so later, I still have not found him again in the crowd. I've had a couple of dances, neither of which were particularly good, I took two chances with people I did not know and they were not the best chance I had ever taken. Then I run into M whom I met at the Yale Festival. We chat for awhile and she wanted to know if Sorin had found me. Uhm... nope. Not as of yet. All of a sudden she is wildly waving her arms and signaling Sorin who appeared out of practically nowhere. Finally! I got my dance with him! We just kept missing each other on the floor. The floor itself was packed by this time, so Sorin took me over to the back corner of the room and we danced there. Really lovely and perfect. Then he told me that I was moving really well, and I was over the moon happy. ;-)

I had some lovely dances, and some really good leaders promised me dances for later in the night. Some time around 12:20, I sat down for a moment and a very familiar song came on... I was trying to place what it was as I knew that I knew it, and then it dawned on me... La Cumparsita!!! I looked around and saw Sorin on the dance floor looking slightly stunned, as did everyone else on the floor. Sigh. Off came the shoes. It was just not my night. But it was not a bad night either. Life was just off for me.

All in all it was a good festival and I enjoyed myself immensely. I wish I could have afforded a class or two, however I also really enjoyed being able to explore NYC and having the afternoons to myself (who am I kidding, I originally wrote days, but I slept through the mornings! ha!). I will definitely go again next year. I just hope that they adjust the end time for the last night milonga.... that was a little abrupt and unsatisfying. As if I had taken two or three bites of one of my sister's best meals and then had the plate taken away from me. BUt what can you do, I am sure that they will learn from the feedback that they receive and adjust it next year.


La Tanguera said...

Dear Debbi,

Great post on the NYC!!! I agree with you that it was an interesting Festival, although I was also taken aback by how abruptly that last milonga ended... very unexpectedly :( One of my favorite leaders came running to me at the time, so sweet, and could just say: "so sorry I didn't get to dance a full tanda with you before, I just had no idea the milonga was over"... we danced a really nice Cumparsita, but it was a bit of a shock nevertheless. It's a pity Robin did not have the chance to announce "last tanda!" to the crowd. Oh well...

I can't wait to see Sorin's photos (I saw him many times laboring over with the camara around the room, I'm so curious)!!!

I'll add--it was a great thing to have the chance to meet you (and S), hope we will get to intersect some other time soon and chat more in person... :)



Debbi said...

Tanguera - it was lovely to meet you too! I am sure our tango paths will cross again! :-)

Sorin will post his pictures on his web site, www.bostonphotographs.com, very soon, I've seen a preview of them and they look really cool!

La Nuit Blanche said...

the chelsea antique market is great, isn't it? :) i got my first rolling film camera there this past summer -- the cutest little all metal Filmo Sportster from the 1930s, for like $10! and i made my first film with it, on 16mm black and white. my brother sleeping...

and i love robin thomas. not only is he one of the best DJs i have ever danced to, but he is such a warm person, who greets newbies with a hug and kiss at every milonga. :)