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.


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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