I am on the plane to San Francisco. New York went fast. A memory of friends. Gayle is the best. I am lucky to have her as my friend. She gave me her apartment to use while I visited. It wasn't like she suffered terribly, she spent the time with her lovely man, Tioma. But still, giving up your space is a very big thing to do, even for a friend.
This trip has made me really realize how this blog has brought wonderful people into my life from all over the world. Gayle stayed with me in January. She found me through my blog. She likes to boast that she has read every entry that I have made. I am impressed and actually in awe. We are the mutual admiration society. She is a very talented artist, dancer, choreographer, IT person, and funny as hell. I adore her. I made cheesecake for her. She was my inspiration to start baking again.
I was able to see my long time friend Sarah LaRocca. Sarah was my first mentor for tango. I looked to her for advice and the truth. She never sugar coated anything. She would tell me things the way they were. She gave me the push I needed to continue dancing. I had not seen her for maybe 7 years.
On Saturday after Gayle showed me the Lower East side and we managed to charm the hell out of the wait staff, the chef, and the owner of an Italian restaurant, we went to the All Night Milonga. This is Sarah's famous milonga. I taught the beginning tango class. Sarah told me to not be disappointed. She had stopped this class because attendance had dwindled to 1 or no people. I had 14 people in my class.
It was a wonderful class. It was a different class for my students. Of course you would have to know that, because it is me. I have learned a lot about teaching from Brande. I was able to incorporate much of his technique into my own style. My students were sorry I was not going to be around longer. I told them to come visit me in Buenos Aires.
While I didn't stay all night, I did stay until 3 in the morning. I danced quite a bit. One man asked me if I was new. He told me he would help me with tango. This must be universal. I politely declined his help. Another on my way out said it was too bad all my things were at Gayle's. I wonder what he had in mind.
Men do not look at women in NYC. Actually no one looks at anyone. It is almost as if people are overworked robots. No one smiles. They just walk around. I used to be one of those stressed out people. I think I was the only person that said “thank you” with a smile.
I realize how Argentine I have become. Spanish is slowly becoming my first language. At times I felt more comfortable speaking in Spanish that English. I am used to making every transaction a social event. I smile. I look at people. I try to help old people. I tried to help an elderly man with a walker in Gayle's apartment building with the door and he got angry with me.On Sunday I met up with Snow. My little sister. She stayed a month with me 2 years ago. It was a dark time for both of us. My fibromyalgia was starting to rear its ugliness into my life and she was not in a good place. We bonded. She is a brilliant, warm, wonderful, young woman. Plus she can read the labels in Chinese on the jars in Chinatown.
We were to have coffee. While I waited for her I went shopping. Dangerous. I am trying not to buy anything before I get to SF. I am not doing a very good job. She finally shows up with her sister who is adorable. We go to a coffee place and catch up. She looks great. We both comment to each other how happy we both look. I am so happy to see her. Sometimes I feel like I will never see my favorite guests again. The sad part about what I do. I tell Snow's little sister she must come to Buenos Aires.
Later I went to Wendy's for an Asado. She goes ida/vuelta between BA and NY. It was a lovely party. The day started out horrible but cleared up. She has a beautiful home. It was great to see her, and best of all she is no longer in pain.
That night I finally met my FaceBook friend Stinger. He is my opposite. An Argentine living in the US. We shared a booth in a 24 hour cafe. Whoever said NYC is the city that never sleeps has never been to Buenos Aires. It was almost impossible to find a place to have coffee. In BA you can always find somewhere open.
Stinger is the best. I wish I would have had more time with him. He is absolutely adorable, sexy, and smart. He is actually from Cordoba. He wants to be an actor. He does personal training. He is planing to come back to Argentina for 6 months or so. I can't wait. He will be a great friend to have. Plus finally a good personal trainer! We talked until 3 in the morning about Argentina, on being an immigrant, and living in the US. All things you could talk about forever.
I spent my last day getting lost and arguing with Federal Express. My Driver's License sat in their hub and none of them could get it delivered. I do not want to talk about it. I will talk about getting lost. I kept getting on the wrong subway train going the wrong way. I would ask people and either they would not answer,tell me they didn't know, or tell me where they were going. I was amazed. It was such a contrast to Buenos Aires.
I finally got to 34th Street. Then I had to find B&H. My fault for not writing down the address. But Gayle told me it was “right there.” So I believed her. I must have walked up and down 34th 4 times before a lady told me it was 34th and 9th. Sigh....I had been 1 or 2 blocks away. Everyone acted like it was going to be this huge garish building. NOT.
I went in. I was overwhelmed. Again. The place was huge. Gigantic. I decided not to look at anything but the cameras. I finally found them. I was lucky to find a nice salesman. I had set my site on a Panasonic camera. It seemed perfect until I checked the zoom. It was not what I wanted. He told me about a new Sony camera coming out. It would be $600. I cannot spend that. I walked around and listened to some of the other salesmen. I asked questions. Then I listened to the Sony Salesman. WOW! He was great. I asked him a million questions. I set my site on a camera. They were out of it. Actually a good thing because I found it on Amazon for much, much cheaper!
Then to get home. Let's just say that I could not find one person to help me. I got on the wrong train 4 times. People were amazing. They just will not talk to you. Robots. Finally I found an information phone. Before I could dial, a really nice man asked me if I needed help. God, where has he been? Anyway, he showed me the correct platform and told me what train to take. Yes!
I stopped off in what must be the largest Whole Foods in the world. 2 Floors, 4 restaurants, I forgot how to speak English. It is an amazing place. It has everything. I wonder how much food spoils there. I bought food for the plane and a gorgeous bouquet of flowers for Gayle. The woman who arranged them was from the Dominican Republic and we spoke in Spanish. She was as nice as she was talented with the flowers.
That night Gayle and I had dinner with Gaia and Chas. More blog friends. We went to Chinatown where I ate like a chancho. The food was amazing. 4 of ate for $40. I was thrilled with the food. Gaia and Chas came with us to Ensueňo, a nice milonga a few blocks away.
I stayed until midnight, and then this pumpkin had to go back. I had to get up at 4:00 am. I said goodbye to Chas and Gaia. Saying goodbye to Gayle is impossible. I told her that I didn't want to cry. Why does Buenos Aires have to be so far from the people I love? I told her to hurry up and come back and visit me.
In 2 hours I will be in San Francisco. The adventure continues.