Archive for May, 2011

May 7, 2011

Some news from Spain VI

well elections and talk is the norm now in Madrid, the May 22nd city and community elections is the hot topic of discussions all over. There will be the main parties PP, and PSOE as well as IU, but 22 parties are going for seats in the city govt and another 15 in the assembly. A total of  25 Political parties for the city of Madrid and 18 for the Assembly of Madrid are going for it. A real democracy in action!!!

Nightime repairs will be the word in south Tenerife on the roads that is long needed.  The road  TF-1 from  Santa Cruz to Armeñime( Adeje) is the one that will go first.

Tonite is Real Madrid vs Sevilla another hot game to see, with Mourinho out for five games due to UEFA politics, and he will appeal even to the justice outside football. In the Euroliga or European club championships Real Madrid reach the Final Four but loss to Maccabi by a wide margin, now will settle for third place with Sienna of Italy, Maccabi of Israel will play the final against Pananthiakos of Greece.

tour Bernabeu to see the Real Madrid stadium for 16€ a museum of the best team in history per FIFA and IFHHS of the 20C; loaded with memories and more each day, including a basketball section. tickets by Puerta 7 or door 7 at the stadium.  Official webpage info in Spanish but can buy tickets online on servicaixa just switch to English above right,

In another sad story the passing of Severiano Ballesteros a great golfer, one of the pioneers in Spain, not much into golf but know he was a nice guy. RIP.

Rain for Madrid today and tomorrow temps in the next few days from 14°C to 26°C with periods of rain, so bring a rainjacket this is May ,traditionally a rainy month.

for something different in Madrid go eat at Centro Cubano de España , is the oldest Cuban restaurant in Europe founded in 1967 at Claudio Coello, 41. Its an oasis in Madrid, have some photos of it. webpage (Now closed)

For a nice side trip from Madrid go down to the Province of  Toledo and visit Consuegra. From Estacion Sur in Madrid you take buses Samar to Consuegra their webpage is at . This is the ciy webpage on the molinos or windmills section the best amongst many to see here, its in Spanish go to Turismo, then Lugares de intéres, then castillo y molinos.

At Parque del Oeste in Madrid you can see throughtout 3 bunkers from the Spanish Civil War.

Work of the Spanish govt and various organisations to create a space of memories of the Spanish Civil War (Memoria Historica)  is up and running; the latest work is a map showing all the wells carved in to dispose of bodies during and after the war. The webpage can also help find love ones,and their final resting place, most at Valle de los Caidos;  the webpage in Spanish is here There are about 1203 wells still not open yet…

Spain has use up all their fishing quotas for 2011 and now need to depends on imported fish/seafood for the rest of the year.  This is according to studies from New Economics Foundation (NEF) ,and  Ocean2012.  In the UE, the fishing only covers 50% of its needs, and in Spain the consomption of fish is 44.8 kgs per year per person while the worldwide average is 17,1 Kgs !!! yes bring on the seas to our tables lol!

And Expomanga in Spain ,who wants to know the nominees of Naruto, etc. Started yesterday May 6  for 4€ admission in the Palacio de Cristal, Casa de Campo, metro line 6,9 runs until May 8th; webpage

Enjoy Spain everything under the sun. Cheers!

May 6, 2011

Some news from France XLIII

Hello again here just waiting to be over lunch and head back to Paris/Versailles area from lovely Morbihan in Bretagne. The temps are wonderful 24°C and sunny, just gorgeous sights. It might rain next week a bit but you know the weather men is not human ::)

From May 6 to September 4, 2011 at Musée Rodin, an expo putting the work of Monsieur Rodin alongside his disciples and followers ! First time done at his place. Some of the invited artists’s work are Jean Arp, Marcel Duchamp, Joan Miro, Jean Fautrier, Lucio Fontana, Jean Dubuffet, Alberto Giacometti, Willem de Kooning, Joseph Beuys, Marcel Broodthaers, Eduardo Paolozzi, Anthony Caro, Cy Twombly, Eric Cameron, Richard Serra, Bruce Nauman, Haim Steinbach, Sophie Ristelhueber, Ugo Rondinone, Douglas Gordon, and Urs Fischer. Webpage at

Next May 14 is the La Nuit des Musées in all over Paris as well as places in France, and Europe. Many events for free with wonderful museums open to the public on special hours. The whole is explain at the Culture France webpage here

and this is the pdf file for all the programming in the Ile de France region that includes my department Yvelines  no 78 (Versailles) and Paris no 75.

At le Zenith de Paris, the Italian singer Zuccherowill have a concert on May 12. He is one of my favorites and if you dont know who he is, then here is a synopsis of his career; first album 1983 call “un po di Zucchero” ,1987 next album “Blue’s” has an inmense success in Italy with over one million copies sold.  He starts touring in Italy and he does a duo with Joe Cocker. The rest of Europe catches up with him in 1989 with the album “Oro Incenso  E Birra’. He makes an European concert tour with Eric Clapton. In 1993, he is named the best Italian singer at the “World Music Awards”. In 1995, he wins the prize for the best worldwide sales by an Italian artist with the album “Spirito di vino”, selling more than 2 millions copies. In 1998, he brings out his latest album “Blue sugar”, that talks about his life and the road follow by the artist. I am looking forward to this concert in Paris.

A nice place to be and needs more notice by visitors is the Bois de Vincennes, Fauna, Flora, at will all around you. Around the lake or lac Daumesnil  is nice at any hour, the morning for the running ,the afternoon along or with friends to relax on the grassy parts, and a bit later to enjoy the tranquility of the place. You can rent small boats for 11-12€ . The main webpage is here ;these are the maps of the place,a nd the No 2 shows the lac Daumesnil , here

The oldest remaining combattant of WWI has passed away in Australia, may he rest in peace, and Thank you very much. Claude Choules, known as  «Chuckles», born at Wyre Piddle , Midlands, UK on March 3, 1901. He lied about his age to enrolled in the Army at age 14 ,and joined the Royal Navy in 1916. He ,also, participated in WWII, around the area of Fremantle in Australia, and was not too keen of wars.  In 1926 in Australia he met a young nurse Ethel, Scottish, and came to lived in Perth ,Australia. The couple was married for 80 years !!! until her death; they had 3 children, 13 grandchildren, and 26 great grand children, 2 great great grandchildren !!! RIP.

And from that how about riding a bike in free France ?  the fancy stores to buy are En Selle Marcel, 40, rue Tiquetonne (75002), tél.+33 01 44 54 06 46, open from tuesdays to saturdays from 11 h – 19 h. webpage blog ,  and Les Vélos Parisiens, 3, rue de l’Abbé-Grégoire (75004 ), tél. +33 01 45 44 72 97, tuesdays to saturdays from  10 h – 13 h and 14 h 30 – 19 h, wednesdays from  10 h – 18 h.  To rent other than the now famous Vélibs you can do so at Gepetto et Vélos 59, rue du Cardinal-Lemoine (75005 ). Tél. +33 01 43 54 19 95. closed Mondays.  Holland Bikes 77, bd Lefebvre (75015 ). Tél. +33 01 42 50 42 40. Closed Sundays and Mondays.  Paris Cycles, rond-point du Jardin d’Acclimatation, bois de Boulogne (75016 ). Tél.+33 01 47 47 76 50. Paris Bike Tour 38, rue de Saintonge (75003). Tél. +33 01 42 74 22 14. Vélo Paris, reservation by internet only.

If you like to do a ride in groups then Paris Rando Vélo is for you, webpage here . And if you need to have your bike fixed same day, come to Au Reparateur de Bicyclettes ,52 bd de Sebastopol, 75003.webpage

If you want to go to a different library then try  L’escale littéraire 120, bd du Montparnasse (75014). Tél.+33 01 42 18 04 27.  It is near the FNAC and the librairie Tschann, where Diane and Olivier do many things to be original and different. The personal advices, the new finds, lecture club, Literary evening with a nice  gâteau basque delivered by nearby restaurant  Oyez Paxoa(No 118) ,and a very lively nice internet user friendly. Their webpage/blog  is at ; and why not go in for a ful meal at the Basque resto Oyez Paxoa ,webpage  recommended by one of France best TV cuisine presenter Jean Luc Petit Renaud. Very nice indeed.

And the new sensation in Paris the Italian milanese of Grom, 81, rue de Seine (75006). Tél. +33 01 40 46 92 60. Two italians started it in 2003 and within 3 years in Paris they have a great clientele that includes yours truly, for a great Italian ice cream.   The ice cream are light and good for you, that is diet consious all of us. webpage

Just came in and saw an article on Le Figaro, they have chosen the best ” palaces” hotels in France, they are 8 and some of the heavy hitters are not there, creating lots of buzz words around Paris; the 8 at the highest category are the Bristol, Meurice, Plaza Athénée, Park Hyatt Vendome,hotel de Palais at Biarritz, hotel Les Airelles at Courchevel, Cheval Blanc at Courchevel, Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat at Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, the others like the Crillon ,Ritz,and George V were left out lol!!!

And until next time as I need to hit the road going back home, and my desire to taste the ice cream is big ::) Cheers

May 4, 2011

Some news from Spain V

Well rain is the word my family tells me but its May, the aguaceros de Mayo….showers of May are in. 11°C to 21°C with rain for the weekend again.

My stories went way back on this but just today I can confirm it as reading my new Madridista magazine of Real Madrid read the article that when Real Madrid was founded in 1902 four members of the team were of Cuban origins. The brothers Armando,Mario,José Giralt and Antonio Sanchez Neyra. Many others follow, and now there is even a peña or supporters group in Havana that meets at the Hotel Nacional with 250 members!!!

One of its members is the actor Jorge Perugorria, a Goya winner and the group was form in his house in Santa Fe (near Punta Brava) so there you go even Football/soccer was strong, and I knew it.

these restaurant owners were given the order of Madrid by the mayor for their contribution to tourism in Madrid, these are Pedro Abrego ,founder of the  restaurants Mesón Txistu and Asador Donostiarra; Lucio Blázquez, owner of  Casa Lucio; Abraham García, owner of  restaurant Viridiana; Evaristo García Gómez,owner of  Pescaderías Coruñesas ,and the restaurants El Pescador and O’Pazo; Miguel García Gómez, owner of  La Tarinera and Los Remos;and José Luis Ruiz del Portal, promoter of the group  José Luis. Madrid receives today 7,9 millions tourist a year. el Mundo newspaper article.

Real Madrid tied Barcelona 1X1 in the Nou Camp for the semi finals of the Champions league. Again a goal was disallowed on Higuain by the belgian referee as Mourinho has stated we are playing always either with 10 vs 12 or 11 vs 16 ( for all the referees) ;the momentum was for Real Madrid if the goal would have been allowed. Barcelona moves on to the Final in Wembley London possibly against the Manchester United. The MU plays tonite against Schalke 04 already ahead 0X2. The UEFA needs to up the quality of refereeing or introduce the already suggested video replay to the game.

The tramwayof Arturo Soria in my old district of Ciudad Lineal, was planned for a way of 40 meters wide joining the main points in the city for a distance of 50 kms. The main road that today is call Calle de Arturo Soria is born in Chamartin and ends at Calle  Alcalá. It was due to economic of the times only 5 kms long that today you can see in certain areas pieces of it. This is very nice article in Madriddiario, as I took the tramway to see my Aunt at Canillejas which at that time had no metro only a tramway from Ciudad Lineal. They were in circulation until June 1st 1972. Now for shopping you can go to Arturo Soria Plaza webpage here

The feast of San Isidro is coming just a week away, see it all about here , and for the bulls this blog of wordpress, with all the info in Spanish

The Gran Via will be of honor this year,on May 15 all the Gran Via will be in blue carpet that will go from Calle Alcalà to Plaza de España or almost 3000 square meters for a trip of 1,5 kms. There will be projectors showcasing the history of this emblematic street in Madrid, all during the Feast of San Isidro, the patron Saint of Madrid.

For a nice walk in a nice park try El Capricho at Alameda de Osuna, metro Canillejas/Camo de las Naciones. A French flavor of the 18C in Madrid on a baroque layout; includes a number of squares and fountains .

For entertainment for all try Heron City just by Las Rosas Village  and plenty of cinemas, bowling, and restos to keep the entire family busy.  Buses takes you there from the interchange at Moncloa bus 628 is good. Trains the C8 cercanias from Atocha takes you there too. webpage with all info here

The wonderful Botanical Gardens of Madrid, many times there ,love it. Now during the month of May 9, 16,23 ,and 30th showing your metro ride ticket you can get in for free, just past the Prado museum, webpage

and for the family and budget the best deals in Madrid the Cafeterias VIPS including stores next to them for all your essentials. Calle Alcala 447 is my area, (includes starbucks,TGIF franchises and more) and the webpage for all is here

And last but not least the Campus Experience of the Fundacion Real Madrid ,the educational and charitable arm of the Real Madrid is having a basketball campus in New York,Madrid,and Santander this summer for kids ages 7-17 yrs old.From June to September 2011. see it all here

Have a great time in Madrid. Saludos.

May 3, 2011

Some news from France XLII

Well here I am at my lunch and having a great time in Bretagne, I am near Vannes in the Morbihan dept 56; great glorious place and nice weather so far. The area of the gulf is a UNESCO heritage site and so deserving. temp is cloudy in the morning and then sunny in the afternoon, with right now its 16°C!

I am on business as my job takes me places so will need to see if can find me a camera , mine took a farewell after 10 years decided to stop working !! And I a wreck when it comes to the newer technologies. I will settle for a automatic one ::)

Nice places to mingle walk and hang around just doing nothing but walk and see churches from the 16C like in Saint Nolff, of course this is deep France so only in French but it gives you the idea of what to see if do not know the language, the city webpage

Then its off to Vannes the seat of government in the department or préfecture. Here is right at the door of the Golfe de Morbihan so lot more tourist places to see, and I just got here ::) see the interactive pictures just as true as it is, tourist webpage 

The best here of course is the crêpes and cider but also the

I am in a hotel chain ACCOR, Mercure close to the port, webpage company pays of course ::) And so far I have try in addition to the wonderful breakfast at the hotel, lunch is at work cantine!, and dinner and drinks outside , such as Villa Valencia , its a pizzeria but the name stuck so try this one first ::) the webpage , and had some late night drinks at La Bodega for the same reasons as the pizzeria but this time its real Spanish ambiance with tapas and great wines webpage

The second box of the down on a flight Paris-Rio No AF447 has been found!!! Now the two boxes are up and they can more easily found out what went wrong, also, give final resting peace to the families.

In France the death of Ben Laden is not the end of Al Qaida and the war on terrorism continues. Advicing French citizens not to go to areas of danger, and to be more vigilant in their whereabouts, as per Le Parisien newspaper.

Pierre Cardin is willing to sell its empire for 1B euros !!! He is 88 years old without succession or heritage to give!!! interested? here is the webpage

et voilà pour aujourd’hui parce que je suis en boulot ok à la prochaine mes amis.

May 1, 2011

Some news from France XLI

Well here it is May 1 is gone with not much sitting at home ,and sad because the holiday fell on a Sunday, and tomorrow Monday is work day here in lovely France !

The weather is turning gray, then sunny in the afternoon, rain is predicted for tomorrow especially in the area I will be in Bretagne. Again meteo France says temps will be from 7°C to 24°C until May 10. However, rain is expected tomorrow Monday and on May 8,9,and 10 with storms.

So up I go tomorrow very early on my way to gorgeous Bretagne and its gulf of Morbihan. Sometimes the job makes for wonderful trips ::) However , maybe my writings will be less ,we will see ::)

As fashion and looks are an everyday form in France, I will point out some names that are in vogue as per Madame Figaro magazine. Names sounding strong now to look for them when shopping in France are Lancôme de l’Or Angerie perfumerie, Kenzo and Prada sunglasses, Prada Milano dal 1913 perfume, Mon Jasmin Noir by Bvlgari a perfum, thongs by YSL, clothing brand like Chloe, Maison Fabre, André, Paul & Joe, Maje, and Michael Kors,Christian Lacroix sunglasses, bikinis by Dior,Triumph, Paul & Joe, Louis Vuitton,Balenciaga, blumarine,Banana moon, YSL, Janine Robin, Iodus by Pierre Martinez, André Sardà, Fendi, Zadig & Voltaire, the series of sun tanning by Sisley Paris, and Opium by YSL.

As well as a new surging beauty salons call Biguine, webpage here . Also new store by pl Vendôme at 38 rue du Mont-Thabor, 1ér. White Bird, great creations in jewerly from Cathy Waterman, Sia Taylor and others.  webpage

Some houses recommended for massages / Spa of great reknown are in Paris, Asian Sushi Party at la villa Thai ,8bis rue Sedaine, 11éme webpage . message plus meals with good prices at Villa Spicy and Espace Weleda, for the messages ,and for the meals.  Also away from Paris ,one that I know from my wife at Honfleur is La Ferme Saint-Siméon, rue Adolphe Marais, webpage . and Lyon at La Cour des Loges, 2-8 rue du Boeuf, webpage

A great new place for clothings for out of town and ceremonials dresses is La Pompadour, 32bis blvd Haussmann,9éme sizes from 38-62 French, webpage

For watches of all sorts try Louis Pion ,there is a central store at 83 ave des Champs-Elysées but stores all over France,

BHV just open a new men’s store behind the emblematic department store, competing head to head to even its own group which includes Galerie Lafayette, and Monoprix. The store is located at  36 rue de la Verrerie,
75004 , and opening hours are  Monday to Saturdays from  10h to 20h, and its open until 21H on Wednesday and Saturday. webpage

And like coming to Paris cannot be without the food, for coffee head for one of my favorites in town Comptoir Richard the coffeehouse at 45 Rue de Bretagne 3éme, and also at my most visited in the 16éme webpage  For ice cream to melt and no waiting in line try Gelato d’Alberto, 12 rue des Lombard,and also at Mouffetards, webpage . For sweet and chocolate creation to boost your day in Paris try La Fougasse at 25 rue de Bretagne, webpage at  and to a crumpious delicious meal try one of my old times favorite if not at trocadero this one by the place des vosges is newer but just as good Carette, 25 pl des Vosges, webpage

And a wonderful expo at the Musée des lettres et manuscrits  (museum of letters and manuscripts) located at 222 boulevard Saint-Germain is doing the expo covering two hundred letters of arts thru the writings and notes of almost 50 of the greatest painters of our times such as Manet, Gauguin, Matisse, Delacroix, Dalí ,etc. unitl August 28th 2011 ,webpage

At the Maison des Etats Unis or the house of the United States, until May 27 you will see  beautiful portraits in black and white signed by  Samuel Nja Kwa showing the great ones of Jazz from Randy Weston to Ahmad Jamal. Located at 3, rue Cassette (6émé). Tél.+33 01 53 63 13 43.

Of  course the Bacardi Mojito lab, 28 rue Keller (11éme) you have about 20 different mojitos to choose from in a ecclactic salle or room, very friendly and happy crowd, and they even train you to do them. Every day from 18 h. Cocktails from 10-14 €. From the menu ,also, mojitos without alcohol at 6 €. webpage

And now last, the robe wore by Princess Kate in the Royal wedding at London with Prince William, carry the laces of the town of Caudry in France, Nord dept 59. Great to see it, as it is the town of my wife’s brother and we have been to the shop and we have the laces from it in our home…..Cheers

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