The 'Noche de la Nostalgia' festivities are done and while we had a little time to rest today, it's not a US holiday so we both had to work today. It is was an extremely quiet morning, as I think the whole city was asleep after the late night/early morning celebrations. We had a great time last night but feel quite pathetic in comparison to the hearty Uruguayos who partied the night away. We can claim that we started early.
Our first stop was to the home of an Expat family. They always throw the best family-friendly shindigs and last night was incredible. There was a huge Asado, with plenty of food and dessert, but the element that puts this party well above any normal house party was the dance floor. The center of the house has a very high ceiling with a huge skylight (this is customary in many older Montevideo homes- it gives an atrium feel) and it was turned into a dance floor with disco ball, strobe light, confetti, smoke machine and a great mix of songs from the 80's and beyond.
We were with these friends for about 4 hours, leaving at around midnight (we took Geneva home to meet the babysitter partway through). A group of six of us then took taxis to Centro and I was amazed by the number of people out on the streets. It was the most people I had seen out in UY at one time. We have not been here for the Christmas parades down La Rambla but I imagine these crowds are a close second.
Midnight is too early to go to the clubs so we grabbed some beers and sat down to drink some time away. We had tried to get into a few places just for drinks and they were all full, so we settled for an out of the way restaurant. At about 1 AM we went to Club Alexander, a large gay club (straight-friendly) on the main level of Palacio Salvo- the most recognizable building on Plaza Independencia. We had signed up in advance for tickets and arrived at the door with Alexander regulars so we paid out U$Y100 each entrance price (if arriving before 2:30 AM) and were inside within minutes.
The main floor of the disco was small with a bar that stretched nearly the entire length of the club. The crowd was predominantly young and Emo, both straight and gay, but there were people of all ages. Many of Alexander's crowd were looking sullen with Flock of Seagulls hair and all black attire. The music was electronica with some fun "nostalgic" mixes that got everyone dancing. After about 45 minutes there, a sea of people flooded towards the doors- it was in fact- towards the stairs. They had just opened up the lower level.
The lower level was FAR better than the main level. The 20 foot+ ceilings and exposed foundation of the historic building made for some great architectural detail and nice acoustics. The bar was in the center of the room with dance space all around and up onto raised steps a the far end of the room. As we walked through, our hosts, the regulars at this club, gave greeting kisses to the DJ and we found a spot to dance.
Unfortunately, our time to depart came way too quickly and we had to leave as the party was just ramping up at 2:30. We walked out the door to find a mass of people waiting to get in and a line of cabs right across the street. It was a prefect set up and we were home to relieve the babysitter by 3 AM.
We definitely want to go back to Alexander when we can spend more time. It was a very fun night and I am happy to have experienced my first Noche de la Nostalgia in Montevideo!