Archive for the ‘New York’ Tag

They were sweeter in real life   2 comments

By guest writer Kwana Minatee-Jackson

This weekend I had a real treat. The world of blogging is so odd. You have these strange relationships based on comments of snippets of a life a person felt free enough to share. I mean who knows how truthful or authentic the person on the other end of the computer is being? Are they who they portray themselves to be? It could all be smoke and mirrors and you could finally meet a person that you have a little blog crush on and it could be like meeting a star that you’ve seen in the movies and you’re like, “crap, they were much taller on screen.”Well folks, I’m happy to say I got to meet one, well two, of my blog crushes this weekend when my buddy Patricia (PVE) had Valorie, The Visual Vamp and her sweet love Alberto from New Orleans over for lunch.

I couldn’t wait to grab the DH and run up the hill to see them. First off the DH did think I was a little cra-zy. You’re meeting another blogger from where? Well not five minutes into our meeting he was just as taken as I was by Valorie and Alberto. They are two of the loveliest, sweet, funny and genuine people you’d ever want to meet.

And they tangoed for us!!! So beautiful. It’s now on my list.

Sunday afternoon was a great day. Thanks for a great lunch, Patricia. And it was a good feeling for me to come out from behind the computer myself and to meet someone who instantly felt like a friend and who was just what she presented herself to be…really real and a good vamp.

Kwana, Valorie and Patricia

For another lovely blogpost about Valorie and Alberto outing to Hastings-on-the-Hudson from host Patricia, please click HERE

The essence of giving thanks   13 comments

Thanksgiving is as foreign to Argentines as tango is foreign to Americans. They are traditions that need to be learned before they are understood and adopted. For Americans Thanksgiving Day is a time to sit down together, count their blessings, and give thanks for their families and their loved ones. Families in America are a reflection of the diversity of this great nation. No two are exactly alike, but there is a common thread they each share, and the traditions and rituals of Thanksgiving have been passed from generation to generation.

Tango is not that sacred for Argentines, but for those who consider it their way of life, it is a sociocultural phenomena rich in rituals and traditions that is celebrated all year around with the extended families that are formed with those who share the same love and passion for the music, the poetry and the dance. Likewise, the rituals and traditions are passed from generation to generation. Thanksgiving has not transcended to Argentina the way tango has been inserted into the American culture. But it ever does, you can rest assured that the traditions will be respected and preserved, and no turkey will be replaced with ostrich for an alternative Thanksgiving dinner. No High Five Giving Day either.

Imagine if you can, one who makes the decision to become an American as an adult. The discovery of a tradition such as Thanksgiving Day takes time to absorb and understand, but when it does, it takes on a special meaning of its own. Blame it on worn out neurons but I have little recollection of Thanksgiving Days before 1995. This was the year Valorie and I spent our first Thanksgiving together, less than a week after she moved from New York to Sunnyvale. We were the guests of an Argentine couple in San Francisco. The turkey was cooked in brandy. Then we danced tango.

The next year I was in Los Angeles and Valorie in New York. The year after we both were in New York, and in 1998 we gave our first Thanksgiving Grand milonga with turkey and all the trimmings at the Dance Spectrum in Campbell, CA. Then in 1999 we spent Thanksgiving in a corn field outside Champaign, IL. This started a tradition that continued in New Orleans, first in the French Quarter, then Uptown and the Irish Channel. Our devotion to the spirit of the holiday has been super sized by our love of the tango and everything good that it inspires.

Valorie and I are busy preparing Thanksgiving dinner, and setting the table to share it with loved ones. We’ll remember everyone who took us into their homes and those who came to ours over the years, and be thankful for the memories. We will toast to all of you, count our blessings and give thanks for having you all in our lives.

A Thanksgiving to Remember


Gail Watson and Maria Mcbride sent out the invitation to celebrate Valorie Hart’s birthday
Yes, they wrote, Valorie & Alberto are back in town, New York that is.

Toast Valorie
Tuesday, July 21st
After 8pm

If the weather was beautiful we’d be in the garden but Tuesday morning opened up with a major downpour, a 1969 issue of the New York Times headlining the first space walk in the moon on the breakfast table and presents for the birthday girl. As the day went by, the rain stopped almost completely but a persistent garua, the fine drip that annoys you but don’t get you wet, greeted the friends from present to past who attended the special celebration.

Blowing out the decades

Long time friend Donna. Gail in red with friend Libby

High power fashion consultant Tim Pope with Eddie Ross and Jaithan

Robin is one of our hosts this week. Peg shared her beach home with us last week.

Peg and Michael both have lovely homes in Amagansett and Sag Harbor respectively

Two decades of personal and business friendship, Maria's home opened for the party

Gail, Valorie and Maria

Eddie told the story of the Designer's Cocktail party Valorie gave in his honor in NOLA

Alan, originally from Biloxi is a phoographer

Gail, Ryan (Maria's daughter), and tango teacher Carlos

The lovely cake and the cake knife were birthday gifts to eat and keep

Singing the Happy Birthday song, a clip by Donna Ferrari

After that we kissed, hugged and made promises to see each other more often, to stay in contact, and then headed for a milonga where we danced till 2 in the morning.

Posted July 21, 2009 by Alberto & Valorie in PEOPLE

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