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Tangy Argentine Tango Tips from
Camille Cusumano, Author of Tango, an Argentine Love Story

Camille Cusumano delighted Left Coast Writers® the evening of January 5th with her love of tango in words and dance. Cusumano’s latest book from Seal Press (2008) “Tango: An Argentine Love Story” shares her tales of literary adventure and an eventful year and a half in Buenos Aires practicing tango and Zen. One day Camille packed her bags, slit skirts, and tango shoes and moved to Argentina for what she thought would be a two-month trip. It turned into a year and a half love affair, the result of which is a smoothly written memoir that is romantic, redemptive and as captivating as the dance it celebrates. We asked Camille to share some of her favorite tango venues in the Bay Area, in New York and in Buenos Aires. Here are her milonga recommendations:

In SF – La Pista at 768 Brannan (between 6th and 7th streets) – Thurs nites, 9 pm til 12:30 am. web site: – is a Web site for SF Bay Area – and of course has a lot of info.

In NYC: La Nacional – 239 W. 14th Street (between 7th & 8th aves) – Greenwich Village. Thursday nights – check for classes – milonga starts at 9 pm – goes til after midnight.

A great web site for New York tango:

Two in Buenos Aires (hard to pick just two)
—the text is pasted from her site post “Tango for armchair travelers”

Confiteria La ideal, 384 Suipacha at Corrientes, Mon. (3-10pm), Wed. (3-8 pm), Thurs. (10 pm-3 am), and Fri (3-8 pm) – Climb the marble stairs in this old salon to a spacious hall with dark wood panel, beveled mirrors, ancient chandeliers. This is where Madonna danced tango Evita. For those who don’t care for the late night milongas, La Ideal’s afternoon one is lively and superb. Thurs. evenings features a live orchestra-such as Los Reyes de Tango, Color tango, San Souci, Original Tango, and the Sextet Mayor. Check the schedule while you’re here.

Salon Canning, 1331 Scalabrini Ortiz at Cabrera, Sun. (3pm – 11 pm), Wed. (3pm – 11pm) Tues. (11pm – 4 am) Four Greek columns mark the entrance to Salon Canning, which celebrated its golden anniversary in 2006. The hall is a mandala with lots of air and a high ceiling-a resolute understanding of the value of negative space (at a premium in Buenos Aires). A glitter ball spins and four speaker boxes hang in the cardinal directions. In the hipster Palermo barrio, this warm orange- and gold-painted hall features a beautiful square wooden floor and an enlarged photo mural painting on one wall with some well-known people in it.

For more info about Camille Cusumano: