Archive for October 15th, 2018

October 15, 2018

Some news from Spain LXVIII

And on a cloudy rainy day in my neck of the woods and heavy rains flooding from Portugal over to Spain and into southern France , I like to give you an update on things of my beloved Spain.

Just recently back from another wonderful trip into Spain, specifically Barcelona. This is the time to tell you a bit about the latest from the land of the Sun.

It was in 1957 when the Winter Theater of Broadway saw the birth of a New York version of the classic of William Shakespeare with stroke of dance, blood, passion and colorful dresses of the fifties. There was a total of 732 functions and was the starting point for an ambitious tour of the United States until 1960. During its sixty years of life, the eternal musical has been able to be seen uninterruptedly in scenarios from all over the world. In 1961 ‘ West Side Story ‘ became a film directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, a hurricane that swept the popular culture and broke Oscars ‘ records for a musical film. Now ‘ West Side story ‘ rises proudly back on the charts, because the story of Tony and Mary has passed generations and hearts. At the Teatro Calderón in Madrid, the protagonists of the musical are beaten to death and are madly wanted. The Sharks and Jets have landed in our country, for the first time in a Spanish version, and the urban Romeo and Juliet continue to die of love 61 years later. Teatro Caldéron Madrid

One sad news:

The painter Eduardo Arroyo has died this past Sunday in Madrid at 81 years. Besides being a painter, he was a draughtsman, engraver, sculptor and scenographer, as well as one of the most outstanding members of the ‘ Nouvelle figuration ‘ (narrative figuration). Arroyo represents the continuity of an artist identity that generated the avant-garde in the 1930s, and whose configuration is contributed by Spanish artists like Picasso and Miró. Born in Madrid in 1937, he was educated in the Spanish capital during the postwar period and lived in exile in France during the Franco dictatorship until he decided to return to Spain in 1976, with the advent of democracy, which meant that his work could only be seen with normality in Spain from 1980. It has received a good number of distinctions, among which one can highlight the National Prize of Plastic Arts of the Ministry of Culture, in 1982, or the Gold Medal of Merit in the fine arts, in 2000. He was also appointed in 1983 ;Knight of the Arts and letters by the Government of France. More on him hereBiography and works of Eduardo Arroyo

One of the great one opera classical singers of all time. Montserrat Caballé, with its full name María de Montserrat Viviana Concepción Caballé i Folch, is a Spanish soprano born on 12 April 1933 in Barcelona and died on 6 October 2018 in the same city. Dubbed La Superba (the superb) because of her technique, her length of breath, the amplitude and nuances of her voice (especially her pianissimi), she is famous for her interpretations of the bel canto repertoire, including the roles of Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti. Montserrat Caballé, claimed increasingly excited his cosmopolitanism and loaded hard against the Catalan independence:  “I need to say this, I am from the United Nations since 1988 and we have been taught the coexistence. The peoples of the world have to be united. We can’t make chains, chains are for slavery. Human chains are for separating. Chains can be iron, gold, silver, but they have to be good chains. They don’t have to be chains that separate and humiliate. It has been said that there have been a million and a half people in the streets, where were the 7 million remaining?. When you are lucky enough to travel around the world, as it has happened to me, and you know so many people and so many different peoples you realize that hostilities do not work. I have been an ambassador of Spain as all singers. And as I was taught in the United Nations, by the Union of people and Peoples. Whoever puts chains hurts me, removes all the rest, sends them out. I am very happy to be born in Barcelona, to have married a Aragonese, that my mother was from Valencia and that my children have studied in Spain. ” Amen RIP Grande de Espana!!! A bit more on Caballé: Billboard magazine on Caballé

The farewell of torero Juan José Padilla Bernal contained a barbaric emotion. He was born at Jerez de la Frontera (Cádiz) May 23 1973. The farewell in the ring where he lost his eye and was born again, where the legend was hatched, had become an event. The popular hero of the Buccaneer flags, the bullfighter of the seven lives and forty of them, the man of steel reconstructed with titanium replacements, put the end to 25 years of wars with blood and fire. The storm unleashed on the Plaza de la Misericordia (square of mercy) at the time of the bullfight was added to the climate of overflowing expectation. The thunderous storm seemed to be muted before the deafening ovation that caused its appearance. The closed deck amplified the rumble. Unbraided the Paseíllo, the cyclone ascended as an exhalation to the box  his fans to give them a cloak of stroll. Thank you, thank you, and a thousand times. God then wanted to reward Juan José Padilla with a bull for eternity. Tortolito was called the Cuvillo of farewell. The joy, the fixity, the son, the rhythm, the category and the quality of the supreme bravery. What a way to ram. Padilla flag pole rushing his faculties to the train that was coming to him. Excitement above the marksmanship. And he gave his children, his wife, his family, the beam and the engine of the resurrection. Tortolito responded to all the proposals. The ecstasies seized the tenders. Waving the flags of the skull and the tibias; The pirate passed his badge savoring the moment. And he kissed kneeling the sand that saw him die and resurface.It was his farewell,  Sunday, October 14, 2018 at the Plaza de la Misericordia during the Virgin of Pilar Fair in  Zaragoza. Farewell warrior! More in Spanish here: ABC newspaper on Padilla

A new show specially designed for the Florida Retiro , in which actor and comedian Alex O’Dogherty will be the master of ceremonies. In Dinner Show format, other artists will succeed the main star during the following months so that the evening in which one day was the most popular party room in Madrid do not stop surprising. Beyond the stage, the gastronomic proposal created by Michelin star chef Iván Sardinia will consist of this new stage in a composition of dishes full of souvenirs and nuances with the dessert , and the show The earring lost by Lola Flores”  as a golden touch. Located inside Retiro park at calle Republic of Panama S/N. Timetables: from 20h30 to 0h2. Pandora Party on Thursday from 01h30 to 06h . Prices: Dinner and Show: 85€.My old stumping ground in another era came here for youthful dances lol!!!More info here: Florida Retiro

And now let me give you some insight into the Madrid I love and some off the beaten path ideas. Remember I used to lived in the city and visit every year for upteens times. From Madrid to heaven in a hole in the sky to look down on it every day!

With the calle Rompelanzas, this one is one of the shortest street  in the historic quarter. It is, rather, of a passage, which Roman innkeeper described as a “petty alley “ that with the pompous name of Calle de Madrid runs behind the backs of the city hall house. Now we see it much more picturesque, by the renovations of the area and the elevated passageway with which connected the houses of Cisneros and the Villa by the Plaza de la Villa. Once here, do not miss the opportunity to walk the quiet alleys, squares and gardens hidden around. From the square the street comes out , plaza de la Villa: Tourist office of Madrid on Plaza de la Villa

Calle de la Escalerilla de Piedra (Street of the stone ladder). You can see in the Plaza Mayor, in the upper part of the stairs of the Arco de Cuchilleros, has been protagonist of stories, legends and novels. Here the pulpit came to the tavern, where bandits and conspirators were allegedly gathering. By this place began one of the great fires of the square in August of 1790. The stories said that from this outgoing Friar Antonio, from the Convent of San Gil, encouraged the locals to the uprising in May 1808, against the French invading forces, originating the war of independence. And, in case all this was not enough, around here you enter the house where Benito Pérez Galdós located the home of Fortunata! The square from where it comes from Plaza Mayor: Tourist office of Madrid on Plaza Mayor

As a curiosity, you can go to see the famous ahuehuete tree of the Parterre (Taxodium mucronatum), protected as a singular tree and considered the longest in the city, with an approximate age of more than 360 years.  Located in a French-style garden in the western part of Retiro Park, very close to the Puerta of Felipe IV that leads to Calle Alfonso XII, this specimen-25 meters high and 5.50 meters of perimeter in its trunk-may have been the first to be planted when built the palace of Buen Retiro (that gave the name to the park/gardens), although some say it was later. A description of Retiro Park: Tourist office of Madrid on Retiro park

The various shields (escudos) that Madrid has had over the course of different eras can be seen by numerous buildings, streets or fountains of the city. The oldest that is preserved in stone is the one that is at the height of the number 21 of the Calle Segovia. It is a reconstruction of one of the 16C made in the 17C. The bear perhaps, the tree-which some say is not a strawberry, and the Royal Crown appear here in a part of the façade that was preserved from the old house of the Pastor demolished in 1988, which became the headquarters of the Transhumane Council of Madrid and Toledo , and that today is integrated into the side of a modern building. As an anecdote, you may recognize the place in the scenes of some films, such as “Los Amantes Pasajeros “(Lovers Passengers) 2012, by Pedro Almodóvar. Once here, go up the stairs and reach the Castiza statue of the Violet, in the gardens of Las Vistillas, a pleasant place to contemplate, as its name suggests, the excellent views towards the Manzanares River, the country house and the Cathedral. Now, see when you go, because its usual tranquility gives way to multitudinous concerts and dances during the Fiestas de La Paloma, in August, or San Isidro, May 15..My favorite Verbena of Madrid , Fiestas de La Paloma virgin. More on the fairs here: Fairs verbenas zarzuelas of August in Madrid

Madrid is one of the few cities in the world that has two twin monuments. To see them you have to go to the district of Moncloa-Aravaca, at the height of the Puente de la Reina (Queen’s bridge). The hermitage of San Antonio de la Florida was built between 1792 and 1798 following the order of king Carlos V. The temple, one of those dedicated to San Antonio de Padua, is very simple, neoclassical, with a Greek cross plant and a dome with lanterns. Inside, surprise the frescoes painted by Francisco de Goya, where characters are dressed as Majos (nice looking boys) and Chisperos (low class boys). To preserve the paintings, between 1925 and 1928 rose an identical Church next to serve for the cult, leaving the first as a memorial museum and Pantheon, because there rest the remains of the Aragonese painter since its transfered in 1919. A tradition: In its surroundings, by La Bombilla, it is celebrated, every 13th of June, the verbena of San Antonio, with the collection of muffins of the saint so that ‘ do not miss bread during the year ‘ and the ritual of the pins with which the  potentially marriage age girls  continue the custom of the Modistillas (dressmaker) of the 19C. More on the hermitage here: Tourist office of Madrid on San Antonio de la Florida

At present, the water of Madrid is the responsibility of the Canal of Isabel II, but years ago, this was facilitated through public sources, like that of Fuente del Berro although it belonged to the Crown-, born with the Vera of the Abroñigal Brook. Protagonist of Zarzuelas, this pipe is one of the aquifers with greater tradition and fame in the city. If you come to the district of Salamanca, go through the historic garden of the Quinta de la Fuente del Berro and, among great specimens of trees, you can still find a sewer cover that leads to the galleries of your watersource, closed in 1977. Head to the Park and you will see the source of the Fuente del Berro outside, next to one of the entrances, on Calle Peñascales , an old mansion, a Becquer’s monument, a statue of Pushkin, a couple of small ponds and a waterfall.! More on the Berro fountain here: Tourist office of Madrid on Fuente del Berro

Traditionally it is considered ‘ patron of the people of Madrid ‘ (and the firefighters) to the Virgen de la Paloma. Its festivities, around August 15th, are the most traditional and were reflected in the zarzuela la verbena de la Paloma. (Again see above my favorite of all times) .Its parish, with a curious baptismal font of immersion, is of mudejar style with Gothic elements, and is located in the small and collected square of the same name, next to the Puerta de Toledo, in the district of La Latina. Very close, by Calle Toledo , we arrived at the Collegiate Church of San  Isidro, in number 37, a temple representative of the religious architecture of the 17C in Madrid built according to the design of the architect Pedro Sánchez. In which it was a provisional Cathedral, from 1885 to 1993(when Almudena was completed), the mortal remains of the patron Saint of Madrid, San Isidro, and his wife, Santa Maria de la Cabeza, are guarded. From there, you can also explore the squares and gardens of the center and visit some of the city’s oldest churches: St. Nicholas with a 12C Mudejar tower, San Pedro el Viejo and San Andrés. As more in the fiestas of August link above you find here on the Collegiate Church of San Isidro: Tourist office of Madrid on the Collegiate Church of San Isidro

And to finish the tour, with an ecological gem. A place outside the walls that opened its doors to the public in November 2016. The chosen point is the Holm oak with more than 300 years in the Quinta de Torres Arias,(an old farm of aride towers) where it is possible to forget the world under the huge shade of its great cup. With access from Calle Alcalá, no. 551, almost next to the impressive Quinta de los Molinos and relatively close to Capricho Park, this 17 hectare estate belonged to the Madrid aristocracy since 1600. Inside, you can find numerous and exceptional species of trees, a palace for now, not visitable, accompanied by blocks, a cow ranch and a slaughterhouse, as well as two greenhouses that stand out for its antiquity and a small orchard. All this constitutes an excellent centennial wall agricultural area of extraordinary ecological richness. More on Torres Arias: Tourist office of Madrid on Quinta Torres Arias

See  also , los Molinos here: Tourist office of Madrid on Quinta de los Molilnos

And Capricho park:  Tourist office of Madrid on Capricho park

Hope you enjoy the post as much as I did in my beloved Madrid. Always Madrid, and now fondly memories of my mother and I there, and lucky to be able to come back often and walk all theses spots of yesterday , today, and tomorrow.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

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