One of the first things I learned about Buenos Aires nightlife the second day I was here was that there was a club with a Thursday night transvestite party. Club 69 at Niceto Vega, on Thursdays. Conforming to the wishes of my friends I passed up the opportunity my first week and only now, two months later, checked out Club 69 at Niceto.
Now, a transvestite party sounds crazy and believe me my mind was working hard to conjure up the wildest images of transvestites doing cabaret with sword swallowers in the background as pyrotechnics highlighted the whole experience.
Well, things didn’t quite go down like that. Everything started off well: we paid the 25 peso entrance (with a drink included) and we were greeted very enthusiastically by two ‘trannies’ and entered the crowded club. I could see the lit stage located all the way in the front over the peoples heads, where an overweight tranny in scant burlesque attire was performing a little shtick, part dance, part song.
The crowd was largely touristy, with some Argentines as well who thankfully appeared to be slightly above the 18-20 crowd that swarms other clubs like Mint and Opera Bay. Still, there were some older ‘business’ types, but nothing like what I expected from other reviews. But the music was good, and the place was packed. The next performer was a female (I’m almost positive) who did some seductive dancing wearing a thong. The partition of the stage she was on was wheeled through the crowd to the back of the room and then back again. Some breakdowns and B-Boy crews came out and did their thing, while I continued to drink beer and to sweat.
I’m not entirely sure when the show ended, but there was some sort of conga line and crazy swan costume involved. Of course, my camera faltered and all my pictures came out like rubbish. A few hours into the night I found myself upstairs in the VIP area (pay 15 pesos for a bracelet, unless you have a friend who can talk himself into anything) with a friend who can talk his way into anything. The vantage point was better, although I wouldn’t quite equate it with a balcony box at the opera.
If you want to have a little respite from the spectacle, there is a back room that I only discovered after my nth trip to the bathroom. It was practically empty, but yeah, it exists.
We were greeted by the sun when we walked out the front door, generally happy with the music and ambiance of Club 69 Niceto. The interesting theme attracts interesting people and there is no suffocating sense of pretension on display. Everyone should check it out. I’ve heard that if you show up in drag you get in for free, but I suggest calling ahead of time and asking to save yourself some potentially unrewarded awkwardness, not that there is anything wrong with it.
From 1am until past the break of dawn!
Zona Palermo Viejo
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