Just before you leave a place, you stumble upon all the coolest things that you wish you’d been doing the whole time. It always happens. Today it was, among other things including a great milonga with a terrific little Piazzolla-playing quintet in San Telmo, Miguel Angel Castellini’s magically decorated boxing gym in the Once neighborhood.
Stepping inside, I’m hit by a heavy stench of B.O. and more framed boxing paraphernalia than one could ever imagine in Rocky Balboa’s locker room. Most if it is from Miguel’s champion days, during the late 70s when he beat the hell out of someone at Luna Park. Look down the steps, there is Miguel!
Taking a breath, I descend the stairs. Met by the bald man, I explain my interest in boxing, and Miguel puts a gentle arm around me and shows me around his sanctuary– the various equipment, rings, and even a few fighters.
Here he is coaching a very tough lady.
He sends me off with a schedule of classes and makes me promise to volver, pronto.
Buenos Aires, I love you. Why do I leave on Saturday? Why, again?