Monday, August 1, 2011

July 24-31

Friday, July 29, 2011I really wanted to go dancing, but when I was getting ready, it began to pour—one of those flash East Coast storms with booming thunder that set off many car alarms and downpours of buckets of water in a very short time while folks are still out and about in wife beaters and shorts and no umbrellas since it’s still 85 degrees out. Though I am not made of sugar nor am I the Wicked Witch of the West (though some might have their doubts on both sides of the equation), I decided to stay in rather than fight Mother Nature. That was OK though, as I got to help my roommate pack up his room and send him off on his jaunt. It was a little bittersweet as we’ve become good friends the last three weeks of living together.

Saturday, July 30, 2011I really wanted to go dancing, but earlier in the day I moved to my new apartment (and so spent the morning packing up my stuff and buying “furniture” for my new place). So when the hour came when I needed to get ready, I was already exhausted and ached from lifting, moving, and unpacking, and famished from working through the momentum of wanting to get everything unpacked. And unbeknownst to me, I made the AC freeze up and stop working because I turned it too low. Thus, the pipes needed to thaw and the unit drained, which only one other person (who happened to be on vacation this weekend, just like the landlord) knew how to do. So you can imagine that I certainly was a very popular new roommate on this sweltering day. (Not!!) But it was very satisfying to unpack all of my tango shoes and all of my tango clothes so that I finally feel “completely home” in that respect.

Sunday, July 31, 2011
Milonga RoKo @ Manhattan Ballroom Dance with lesson beforehand by Robin Thomas.
I wanted to take the lesson as I had been curious about Maestro since he was Jennifer Bratt’s teaching partner from way back, and I had heard his name mentioned through the years as being a pretty good teacher.

The lesson started at 7:15 p.m., which means I had to catch the ~6:00 p.m. train from where I live, which meant I had to get ready at 5:15 p.m., which meant I had to skip dinner at the apartment. That was not a bad thing since it enabled me to stop at one NYC’s ubiquitous Halal food carts. Though I didn’t make it all the way up to the famous 53rd & 6th Halal Gyro Platter Cart (which I’ve been eyeing for a decade but STILL haven’t gotten to, conveniently, there was one right outside Grand Central. I got the Lamb & Rice platter with iceberg lettuce and tomato, all smothered in white sauce for $6. Since I didn’t want to sit inside Grand Central to eat, I made my way over to the New York Public Library and sat on the steps. It was great fun to pleasantly people watch as the day faded on a late, breezy Sunday afternoon, snarffling up the feast in the Styrofoam container perched on my lap. It is lucky that I don’t live in NYC, otherwise I’d eat a lamb platter every night, it is THAT delicious. I wanted to savor every bite, so after I was full, but had eaten only half my meal, I put the rest of it away to eat later on the train back home. So I tucked the rest of it away, and made my way over to the Manhattan Ballroom.

Upon arriving outside, I noticed that there were several parking spaces on the street. I looked around at the signs, and walked over to the communal meter spot to read the regulations and requirements. Then the building security guy came out and we chatted a bit. He recommended that I do drive in instead of pay the $18.50 train ride (or $15 with the discounted 10-ride ticket), as he said there were usually a few spots that time of night on Sundays. I was struck by how friendly the security guard was, but weary of his recommendation that I drive in since we’ve all heard car-break-in stories of decades past, pre-Bloomberg.

I got there a minute before the lesson started, so quickly changed my shoes. The lesson was a simple with one, with various simple sequences including side steps, forward and back steps for both Leader and Follower, and rock steps, the goal of which was to fit them into the music, especially milonga. The lesson was rich in technical detail for both the Leaders and Followers, and I found the content interesting and valuable. Normally, I am rather cool toward male teachers of Followers’ technique, but I could find no fault with what Maestro was teaching on the Follower (or Leader) side of the equation. What a treat in that milonga + lesson was only $12 (milonga only is $10). This has got to be the among the most bargain of quality lessons in NYC, and I was very pleased that a number of excellent leaders and followers were in the class.

The milonga itself was fun, more fun than last time for me. It was less crowded, though still full, and I got to dance with a number of very high level, high quality dancers (thanks to being introduced to them and working on the class content beforehand). I also sat at the table where an elderly gentleman who must be local tango royalty since everyone and their cousin seemed to come up to greet/kiss him, and since I was sitting there with him, they greeted me too, thinking I was part of his group. How bizarre is that?! And no, I did not crash his table; the host actually sat them next to me since it was the only table with space in it at the moment.

I danced up a storm early on, and things lulled a bit around 11:30 p.m., so I decided I had had my fill and it was time to go. I got to Grand Central in time for the express train back to my town, but the AC was broken. There was another train a mere 3 minutes later, though not an express. I decided to take that instead, as I was in no particular rush to get home and would certainly welcome the AC rather than skip it.

I don't know if I mentioned the floor and AC, but the floor is a nice wooden one, and the AC works beautifully, which is very important since it's been sweltering.

No comments: