Stumbling Into Newcastle Salsa

I’d moved to Newcastle to give myself a fresh start, and meet new people. I figured I’d have more chance of meeting like-minded people in the city.

Most of my social life up and to this point usually involved shouting over house music and drinking up to that point where you can no longer remember anything.

I was an avid reader of Hunter S Thompson. I guess I felt I had a lot in common with a wiry Airmen with a love of travelling and the absurd.

His essays and interviews where a gateway drug to existentialism. This led to other schools of thought, and my interest in philosophy.

I started attending the odd talk and debate around town, however I was more interested in the harder, logical debates on existence and thought. I felt like a minority amongst one to many academics who wanted to talk about ethics and other – in my opinion – softer societal topics.

Like the beginning of a pulp noir novella, in between my reading and working in an obnoxiously loud office I found some peace and consistency within the Jazz Cafe. It was free to get in (most nights) yet there is something about improvisational live music that creates as distance between myself and the hordes of screaming drunks that pour out Central Station.

I started attending salsa at the Black Swan out of pure curiosity after seeing a chalkboard near the arts centre. There was a half remembered quote from Summer in Algiers spinning in my head, and it seemed a good idea at the time.

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