Saturday Nights at Lafayette Grill: True Tales & Gossips of NY City Argentine Tango Scene
by Susan Kavaler-Adler
ISBN: 978-1-942431-07-7 (soft)
This book brings the reader into the center of a worldwide cultural craze and passion, as it has developed and thrived in New York City since 1985, when the Broadway show ‘Tango Argentino’ first came to town, followed by ‘Forever Tango.’
With a special dedication of the book and title to the Argentine tango cultural center formerly housed within a Greek restaurant, named ‘Lafayette Grill,’ this book offers 17 interviews with top Argentine tango professionals in NYC (all of whom frequented Lafayette Grill), who each speak of their Argentine tango dance and tango teaching philosophies; of their first interest in Argentine tango, and of their own development within the dance over time. Along with these psychological interviews, this book offers readers 19 anonymous essays, written by Argentine tango dancers, who contribute the main fabric of the social milieu of Argentine tango dancers gathered in the tango parties called milongas, within multiple dance studios and restaurants in NY City. These essays penetrate the internal life of the Argentine tango dancer, and therefore have a psychological focus. These essays also display for the reader the colorful and rich ambience of the Argentine tango world in NY City as a social and cultural environment.
The Lafayette Grill was one of those strange, magical places that only happen in New York City. Dancing there took us to a timeless place; a mix of future and past, and a bittersweet feeling that it would not, could not, last. And that is the tango feeling. And we all felt lucky to be there, to feel it together. Dancing and dancing until the bitter end. Such a place deserves a great testament. And I thank my friend Susan Kavaler-Adler for writing it.
Saturday Nights at Lafayette Grill offers a memorable and historic peek through the late night neon sign reflected window of an important contributor to New York City’s tango culture.
Through frequent visits to New York, I got to know Lafayette Grill, a place “Where Everybody Knows Your Cabaceo.” Susan shared with me the stories as they danced off her talented fingers. I eagerly awaited a next chapter – be it an interview with a legendary tanguero, or the drama that made Lafayette Grill sizzle. Now it’s all collected in this historical volume, which talks to one’s heart.