tip toeing around the dead

Pardon the ransack of posts, but I’m currently in the process of ending this game of catch-up. Only one day short of live, here is how I spent my three hour class break and Monday evening: wandering through the enormous and stunning Recoleta Cemetery, and visiting the house (turned museum) of Argentina’s most prolific tango musician, Carlos Gardel, for a free early evening concierto de tango.

There were no signs, no arrows, no bread crumbs to find your way out — only the silence of resting families hidden under marble staircases and behind stained glass gates. As I lost myself in the Recoleta cemetery, captivated by the ornate graves and labyrinth layout, I heard myself leave humanity behind. Suddenly, the sound of my boots contacting the ground was inaudible and I became but a floating visitor – silently paying respect and snapping at least 100 photos more than necessary of the graves of heroes who’ve passed.

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The greatest part of this afternoon stroll was recognizing names engraved on element stained plaques that I’ve only otherwise seen on street signs or subway stops. I admire that this city names it’s widest avenidas after writers, poets, and musicians –which, coincidentally leads me to introduce you to Carlos Gardel. Not just a stop on the B line of the subte, Carlos was a beloved Argentine singer, composer, actor, and most important tanguero of the early twentieth century. A few friends and I paid his house a little visit for a passionate and intimate tango show. Have a look!

The show was an absolute treat – authentic and fiery in every way. My only complaint was of the sixty-something year old woman sitting behind me singing along to every song in her croaky old-woman smoker’s voice. It took every ounce of politeness I had to refrain from turning around with the hairy eyeball my father so generously taught me in my youth. I spared her, of course – she was having far too much fun lamenting along (in her own key) to the woes of each tango, and who am I to have robbed her of that?

Up-to-date Besos.

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