1644  La Ideal


Date: Fri, 1 Aug 2003 19:42:52 -0400
From: Sergio <cachafaz@ADELPHIA.NET>
Subject: La Ideal

Cafes are an integral part of the Buenos Aires culture, Cafi Tortoni, near
the Plaza de Mayo, on Ave. de Mayo is famous. Since 1858, the oldest Cafi
in Buenos Aires has been a favorite with artists, writers, dignitaries and
intellectuals. The original artwork, decorated ceiling and photos of great
poets that line the walls are glimpses into Argentina's glorious past. On
weekends there's a tango show in the backroom. Enjoy a cup of coffee while
you immerse yourselves in the history and ambiance -
La Ideal is another one of the many old cafes that the government of the
city is restoring.

To take a look at the cafe when it is not being repaired see the following
web page:


This is the way 'La Ideal' was the last day I went there, right before the
restoration work commenced.

Confiteria Ideal is a century old, two-story building with twenty foot
ceilings on both floors. The coffeehouse is on the first level; it is very
European looking, as so many of the coffeehouses in Buenos Aires are. The
walls are covered in dark wood paneling; the floors and round columns around
the room are marble and from the ceiling hang elegant art deco chandeliers.

The waiters are old men that have worked there for many years. They are
stiff as their attire. Black trousers, white starched shirt, black bow-tie.
They come and go with dignity carrying a silver tray in one hand and a white
towel slung over the arm.

As you come in from the street to the left you find a beautiful marble
staircase and a wrought iron cage elevator, its ornate and elegance bring
you to the 1920s. They bring you to the upper floor where tango lessons and
milongas take place. There is an open balcony facing the street.

The dancing floor is very large, couples are dancing under the breeze of
century old fans.

There are couples and groups of threes, fours, sevens sitting around the
tables. Some ladies and men are sitting alone.

There is conversation, while drinking coffee, Spanish cider, Champagne, or
sodas. Some people smoke.

They are all interesting, some tourists from France, Italy, Germany,
Switzerland, Spain. Some from Hong Kong, others from the USA.
Some ladies wear hat and veil, some smoke with cigarette holders, they are
all elegant.

A couple in trance goes by and the fan air lifts the veil dress of the girl,
her beautiful legs show up from the waist down.
I decided to seat and wait for them to return to the same spot. :)

There is a stage in the center of the room, the DJ plays tandas and
cortinas. He announces the arrival of known patrons. "Doctor Pla, just
arrived" - or - " there is more energy in the air Gavito just entered the

That night there was a show; a milonguero 90 years old and then Puppy with a
young girl.

It is a magic, beautiful place that brings back to the glorious times at the
beginning of last century.

This is the way "La Ideal" is when is not having repair works done.

Date: Tue, 12 Apr 2005 16:03:01 -0300
From: Alberto Gesualdi <clambat2001@YAHOO.COM.AR>
Subject: The problem of La Ideal

Dear listeros/listeras

I will try to make a briefing of La Ideal4s problem.

On June 30th 2003 I went to this place, whom I do not go usually . It was a monday4s evening venue, organizer Alicia "la turca". The audience was wonderful, thebuilding was a nightmare. I send a letter to the editor of a local newspaper "La Nacion" , later a radio called me to speak about this subject on air, I talked with local town hall people after an unending row of telephone calls , and could understand more or less what was going on.
Almost two years went by , so I think is necessary to annalyze again.

Let s go ahead step by step:

1) The million dolar question : Who4s the boss ??
The person that appears when problems arises , is a Mr Jorge Vieites , who says is one of the owners of the place . So it means there are more than one owner , bearing the ownership of the physical place and also the running of business. This is not unusual for the commercial ventures in local cafeterias , at least not within the spanish argentine community that is related with this places, i.e. to have several business investments in several places with several people a " all within all" policy.

2)Second question: what is Confiteria Ideal ?? An answer from a pedestrian passer by point a view : A building of two floors located at Suipacha 384, city of Buenos Aires. Ground floor hosts a cafeteria, first floor a milonga.

3) Third question : Who pays ?? This means : who born the cost of maintenance of the place which is a century old ??

Getting back to the second question, the cafeteria, is included into a circuit of notorious cafeterias of the city of buenos aires, by local town hall, and received a contribution of money given by the Direccion of Patrimonio Historico de la ciudad de Buenos Aires, an office belonging to the Secretarma de Hacienda.

It has been included into the local government plan of action years 2005-2007 , providing a "protection & promotion of notorious bars".

This help was made up to now , with a contribution of ARP$ 25.000 granted on or around july 2003 . That was the outcome from the consultation to the bureau of the town hall , after making several phone calls.

Afterwards , I went to the ground floor and noticed some improvements on the walls and ceilings . Concerning the first floor , at the milonga place, there were no visible improvementes, but I was told the maintenance was made outside the roof, to prevent leaking of water to the ceiling beneath, as a first step in maintenance works.

I do not follow up the subject, so I do not know if further funding was made for the works inside the first floor masonry, chandeliers, lighting, etc..etc..

4) Who are the entities or associations of milongas that group this people locally in Buenos Aires, in case well wishers foreign people or other interested persons would like to give a hand or ask local authorities to provide some help ??

Well friends, tighten your seat belts, we are entering into a bumpy and windy area. Since the tragedy of Cromagnon disco, there are two associations of milonga organizers, that presented in to the scene.
I will not make any personal comment about them, on their favor or against them, I wish to report with a neutral approach who are they:

4.1. Asociacion de Milongas . They were established around august 2003 , their goal as association is to gathered all organizers and promote open statusd and knowledge about the milongas on Buenos Aires and the rest of the country. It is presided by Ms Silvia Dopacio, organizer of milonga Malevaje on mondays, that actually is not open, or at least is not listed as non closed milonga, at the reliable site from Sharukh Merkhant www.buenosairesmilongas.com

This association of Silvia Dopacio has their internet site , their last comments could be seen on http://asocdemilongas.com.ar/novedades.htm

Some of this comments are criticism to the other associationm, that I will present now

4.2. Asociacion de Organizadores de Milongas , a.k.a.AOM . This association was established on january 2004, but appeared into the limelights after the tragedy of Cromagnon disco, when all the milongas were forced to close.
They asked from authorities (and obtained ) a special decree to exclude milongas from general regulation over reopening of closed dancing places.
Their achievement was to obtain a new criteria from local authorities, to consider milongas as different places from the dancing places ( disco ). Now they are looking for a specific regulation concerning milongas, to be considered dancing places class "M" or something legal authorization alike., to allow a normal operation of milongas .
They have held meetings with town hall Security Secretary , Mr. Juan Jose Alvarez, and Culture Secretary Mr. Gustavo Lopez, who is a person that support the idea of tango activiy as part of the permanent cultural aspect of the city of Buenos Aires. It was also discussed with this town hall officers, to open a register of milongas, to be able to identify them, in order to prevent attempts to present dancing disco places as milongas, to dodge actual regulations for disco dancing places.

I do not have new information of this register, more than the comment within the official site of the town hall of Buenos Aires at

It is not clear wether this register is already open or not, and/ or who takes care within the town hall to check the list of existing milongas and new applications submitted , if any.

This association AOM has also an internet site, where they report the news of their work with town hall officers, and other information.

I was not able to find the address today , sorry .

I think that , even if it is not clearly explained what the problem of La Ideal is,. for listeros & listeras who read this , some understanding will be needed to acknowledge there is a general problem within the area of the city of Buenos Aires,. that the tragedy of Cromagnon simply triggered.
The authorization to open new dancing places or any kind of public place, are a nightmare for the town hall, because they must check, for the first time ever, that they are safe places, instead of receiving a sum of money to close their eyes .

The business of the "friends of the night " , some policemen, firemen and town hall inspectors wishing to be bribed, it4s over.

I say some , because the persons that are on duty and perform unspeakable moral actions, does not account for the institution where they work as morally rottened also.

It is terrible that 190 people had to die to make this to happen , but it is the way it is , the fake inspections are not more acepted, now the place has to be safe proof, with fire extintors, an insurance policy to cover collateral damage, emergency exit doors , fire proof materials, etc.etc..

OF course, all of this has an extra cost,.and with an entrance fee to the milonga of about 5 / 6 as it is charged at the entrance, there is not enough collection to cover this extra expenses.

Think that milongas are not open 24 hours a day , 7 days a week.
Generally speaking, each place has different organizers, where the organizer is not the owner (considering Buenos Aires, rest of the country could be different, I do not know the situation )

Let s also say that a local milonguero /a has not a huge budget to afford entrance fees higher than actual values.

So some milongas are charging differential fees to milongueros/as coming from other countries , and this is creating some complaining .

I dont want to extend too much this comment, but the problem is not an easy one.

To sum up, the base problema is "who pays" the expenses to have the place for the milonga, in safe conditions .

The organizer usually is not the owner, with some exceptions, from what I know , such as Gricel ( Mr. Chidichimo ) , Dandi ( Mr. Hector Villalba), maybe there are more cases, but , generally speaking, milongas are hosted at social clubs, non profit organizations, sports clubs, and some cafeteria or restaurant.

So there is all a process from the demanding of the town hall for safety regulations and fulfilment of the place, to the organizer and the owner to see this is done ,specially who will born the expense.

This is the core of the conversations, and actually there is no clear answer to this , or this is what I see , that from the Government of the city of Buenos Aires , to have a clear statement such as " milongas are cultural patrimonyu and will be included into the maintenace works as well as the existing notorious cafeterias " .

Maybe the thread is there , to ask to the Town Hall Major Mr. Anibal Ibarra, to authorize the Cultural Secretary Dr.Gustavo Fernando Lopez, to annalyze this situation and proposal to give money contributions to help the works of maintenance and fire countermeasures to be made into milongas.

Mail Dr Ibarra is aibarra@buenosaires.gov.ar , I am sending a copy in spanish concerning this comment.

I do not know personally culture secretary Dr.Lopez, but i have seen him at public audiences , and seems to be a person willing to help with milongas as cultural patrimony of the city of Buenos Aires.

All the rest is patience and perseverance

A milonguero embrace

Alberto Gesualdi
Buenos Aires

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Date: Tue, 30 Dec 2008 00:41:32 EST
From: TangoFantasy@aol.com
Subject: [Tango-L] Milonga"La Ideal"great success! -Winners take $1,
500 in cash-more $$$ to come
To: tango-l@mit.edu

Monday, December 29, 5:00 am.

Dear Milongueros y Tangueras:

Another successful evening, a great event!!

I just came back home from "La Ideal" Milonga in Hallandale, FL.

A wonderful evening has ended and I thank you so much for your support.
Everyone loved the decorations and I appreciate the nice comments and praise.
Tonite was the most awesome milonga ever!! Over 200 people came to celebrate
and participate of the large drawing that had been announced. The lucky
winners were Nubia Vahos for $500 and Grizelle Forman took the big prize of
$1,000 in cash. CONGRATULATIONS to both winners!!!

Daniel Ponce "El Latigo" gave a superb demonstration with his solo
performance. Everyone enjoyed his style and charisma.

Continue to come to La Ideal every Sunday and I promise more prizes coming
soon and every month. An announcement will be made shortly about the new
program we have for you "to give your money back".

Thanks again and a Happy and Prosperous New Year to all.

Tango Forever,

Lydia Henson
Organizer - Milonga "La Ideal"
Miami, FL

_www.tangofantasy.com_ (http://www.tangofantasy.com)

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