I Love the Pacific Northwest February 15, 2010 7:54 AM Edit
I'm having way more fun that a book tour is supposed to be. I got to catch up with some friends in Seattle and I'm definitely going back for Seattle Tango Magic in late July as the tango people I met at the book event seemed so great. Plus, Jennifer Bratt and Ney Melo will be teaching there, and there's a salmon bake. As well, I have to go dance at Century Ballroom there. I missed the salsa dance there last Saturday night.
Then in Portland I got to see some friends from Homer, Alaska who I haven't talked with for way too long. We went out and remembered tales from our misspent youth. (Which doesn't seem to be over yet, we just like quieter music and the parties don't last for days.) As well, Valentango, one of the biggest tango festivals in the country was in full swing. While my friend Renee and I rested from the festivities at a nearby bar, one young lady sitting on a stool near us mentioned she might like to dance. Renee and I started urging her to start tango, and the bartender shook his head. "These tango people descend on Portland from all over the country. This is like a cult. They are obsessed." Renee and I brushed him off, but he persisted. "Don't talk to them about tango. It's like Amway!"
The reading event in Bellingham,Washington, a city where I was a little nervous about having an book signing because I didn't know a soul, turned out to be a wonderful experience. We had a really fun event last night at Village Books, one of the most charming bookstores I've ever been to. It's truly a community gathering place, with floors of book, two cafes, and they had some great Putomayo Cd's for sale. (I think the tango ones sold out last night). And the staff was just great.
With the urging of tango teacher Rebecca Niemer, several of the Bellingham tango dancers showed up and what was supposed to be a pre-event demonstration turned into a mini-milonga. We we chuckling about the guys in Carhartts rifling through guy magazines and trying not to watch the tango, but also not leaving. We urged them to give it a try, but most resisted.
Some of the dancers performed prior to the reading, which really sets a lively tone. Afterward, I went to the Bellingham Yacht Club for a milonga. One tanguero gave me a bouquet of Valentine's Day flowers!
But alas, it's time to leave the Pacific Northwest, unpack my rain gear, and get out the winter weather clothes, as I'm headed east.
Causes Maria Finn Supports
CHEFS (Conquering Homelessness Through Education in Food Services)