Archive for March 7th, 2019

March 7, 2019

Some news from Spain LXXV

So here I am back in my beloved Spain. In my neck of the woods it is cloudy and pleasant no rain and temps of 10C or about 50F. In my precious Madrid it is about the same cloudy 51F.  It’s about time I tell you a bit more on my Spain, everything under the sun!

The Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum opens on Monday March a retrospective exhibition by the French artist Balthasar Klossowski , known as Balthus, jointly organized with the Fondation Beyeler in Riehen/Basel and the support of the family of the painter, as reported by the museum. Balthus, considered one of the great masters of Art of the 20C, is one of the most unique painters of his time. His work, diverse and ambiguous and so admired as rejected, followed a path virtually contrary to the development of the avant-garde, with a personal and unique figurative style, away from any label. More here:

The magician Pop (Mago Pop), Antonio Díaz, has announced the purchase of the Teatro Victòria of Barcelona, a management that will be formalized from June, when the theater season ends. It has revealed that the theater’s infrastructure will not undergo significant changes, although some aesthetics.  In fact, Diaz does not want a theater only of magic, but of great multi-generic spectacles, provided that the offer of Barcelona as a reference . As for the programming, the musical theater will continue to be protagonist in the Teatro Victòria in the month of September. His first season with the show ‘ Nothing is Impossible ‘, currently at the Teatro Rialto in Madrid and will make the jump to Broadway soon. Considered the most blockbuster European illusionist of the World by Forbes Magazine, the Magician Pop was found on the scene in 2013 on Discovery Channel, and was the first illusionist to have a television program that led him to be known in 150 countries. More on the theater Victoria here:

Ángel León, the Magician of the Sea cuisine, reinvents itself. From the old windwill by the sea in El Puerto de Santa María, to the captain of Aponiente (a boat restaurant visit and eaten here!), it is still three weeks before the boat sails again and reigns calm in the ingenuity of its chef. The boat was built in 1815 to take advantage of tidal flows as a driving force to transform cereals of Jerez and the Puerto into flour and process the sea salt. The Caño Mill was an industrial benchmark in the Bay of Cadiz for 150 years, until the mechanization of the mills and the salt crisis of the 1970’s relegated it to oblivion. Aponiente would be the only restaurant in the world located in a bicentennial tidal mill. This was how Angel Leon and his faithful sailors boarded it in 2016, moving pots and belongings from the original local of Calle Puerto Escondido;  in 2017, the unusual miller restaurant received its third Michelin star. The idea is to make Aponiente a destination for gourmets fans. This does not imply that the proposals of tasting of the new season call the Mar de Fondo (deep sea), the most extensive, and Mar en calma (calm sea), the shortest  are free of surprises. Understanding the Michelin 3 stars is that 70% of his clients are foreign. The chef has other proposals for those who cannot be made with a reservation in the dining room of the old mill. One of them in the same Puerto de Santa Maria: The Taberna del Chef de Mar, with tapas and portions of informal tone in the same place of the Calle Puerto Escondido where Aponiente began its trajectory in 2008. Another, of more ambitious rank and also starred by Michelin, is Alevante, restaurant opened in 2016 in the hotel Meliá Sancti Petri, (I have stayed and eaten here!) in the neighbor town of Chiclana de la Frontera. Finally, from 2017, the Hotel Urban in Madrid has reformulated its Cristal Bar (glass) as Cristal mar, with a menu entirely conceived by the sea chef. More on Aponiente here:

The actress Carmen Conesa (very good actress worth seeing) stars in the adaptation of the Broadway musical with an original story that will be represented from the 28th to the 31st of March in the auditorium of Palma de Mallorca. “ Addams. “Being normal is boring”, the Addams family sounds like Tango, to Latin rhythms, to pop and even to jazz, and the lyrics-also adapted with care by Ferrer and Silvia Montesinos are not separate in the narration but they help to advance in the history. And in which more than 50 people work among actors, dancers, musicians and technicians. More here:

Thursdays is a Rastro (flea market) trail that every week is located on Calle Ferias in Sevilla. Among the many antiques that are exposed there, it is easy to find records and cassettes. Some of them,you have to look well, as one can imagine are genuine jewels. That place and those found treasures are the starting point for the new work of the Huelva singer Rocío Márquez ( a good one of the genre). Marquez has become one of the indisputable figures of the Jondo contemporary art, understanding flamenco as a vehicle of communication between different sounds and genres. Her polyhedral vision is again evident in her sixth album, a kind of back to the roots in which she accompanies the guitar of Canito and the percussions of Agustín Diassera. The three recover pieces popularized by artists as different as Bambino, Turronero, El Cabrero, Pepe Marchena, Bambino, Concha Piquer, José Menese and Paco Ibáñez and take them to their terrain, prioritizing this time the most primary emotion on sound recesses. Rocío’s voice shines with her usual finesse, administering strength and subtlety, Jondura and class. As bonus track, a duet with Kiko Veneno in which they play the immortal Aceituneros of Jaén, by Miguel Hernández. Rocío Márquez transcends labels to certify that she is one of the great artistic personalities of our country. “Rocio Màrquez Visto en el Jueves” (seen on Thursday). More here in Spanish :

With the help of culinary experts and chefs, the Taste Atlas has published a ranking with the 100 most valued dishes in the world. Among them, three Spanish recipes are found with the most been Asians and of these Japanese. OF course, the unique Paella, a typical recipe of the Valencian Community (original classic!), with a rice base and very popular in Spain and other countries. The rice is cooked in a specific paellera container. The basic ingredients that should always be used are chicken, rabbit, green bean, lima/butter beans, tomato, rice, olive oil, water, saffron and salt. Also, the cold soup type , Salmorejo, typical dish of Cordoba consisting of a cold cream that is served first. It is made by a mash of bread crumbs, garlic, olive oil, salt and tomatoes. It is usually presented with Iberian ham on the surface, croutons or hard-boiled egg crumbs. Cochinillo ,although its consumption is widespread throughout the world, in Spain is much appreciated that of Segovia (indeed the best!). It is baked in a clay casserole and served to diners hot and crusty. It is hardly made with the fat of the pig and some laurel with sometimes white wine is added. Enjoy it see the webpage with the best food of Spain:

This is past event but worth mentioning me think.  The 5th edition of the Salon de Vinos Radicales ( radical wines). They are labels of small vine growers, limited productions, very personal and sometimes product of heroic viticulture, of very old vineyards, and both the wines and their authors respond perfectly to the radical model, authentic people and passionate, risky, with a touch of madness. The meeting took place in the lower floor of the COAM , the official College of Architects of Madrid. It was 34 the wineries that participated this year in the Salon de Vinos Radicales, including three French, from the Southwest (Jurançon, Cahors and Madiran) as guests. More on COAM here: Official COAM org

Having the opportunity to know the wines of the Jurançon (for info I am direct and visit the region for their wines) is like moving to the green and beautiful slopes of the Pyrénées Atlantiques, to the very literary area of the Béarn, full of stories since in the 14C it is said that the princes of Béarn invented the concept “cru “, which comes to mean the category of vineyards and therefore its greatest value. What we can consider as the first protection to preserve the identity of its unique wines. The truth is that also perfectly with the cheese of raw milk of Extremadura merino sheep of Campanario, Badajoz, Cremositos (creamy) of the Zújar, were also, present so that not everything was to drink. Madiran, (very much in the Toulouse area and we like it) a few 200 km from Irún, stands out for its red wines of Tannant, a  grape that as its name suggests, highlights by its tannins. And also present Malbec, one of the most traveled French grapes, and there are few in their country of origin, France. Specifically in Cahors, its place of origin, it remains the protagonist of its famous black wine. For the local wines grapes of white Garnachas of Terra Alta and Gredos, the White Plateau Albillo, the Blanca Cariñena of Empordà. It is always good to come to these places for new finds and thrills assure. More here and the full list of wines that were present, enjoy it.

For info, Spanish wine exports closed 2018 with growth in value (+ 2%) and volume drop (-14%), increasing the average price by 18%. They were sold 1.986 billion of liters worth of 2,9 billion euros, at an average price in euro of 1.47/liter (about 5,5 US gallon). The turnover reached a record number in 2018, according to the Observatorio Espanol del Mercado de Vinos ( OEMV) or  Spanish observatory of the Wine Market. By markets, the UK is the main customer in both value and volume. Among the main customers, only increase their purchases of Spanish packaging in value and volume, Canada and Mexico. The other main markets are France, Germany, Portugal and Italy. If interested further reading at the official webpage of the OEMV:

It was 15 years ago that El Paraguas opened its doors in the Calle Jorge Juan that was not even said much about the Golden Mile, but the restaurant of Brazilian chef Sandro Silva and his wife Asturian Marta Seco had a brilliant success and clamped much the concept. The couple did not stop on the road and, with Ten with ten, Amàzonico and Ultramarinos Quintin, built a multi-million dollar empire. As a complement, a very professional and attentive service, and a winery rich in these Riojas and Riberas that so many customers from Madrid consume with enthusiasm without even looking at other sources, but also contains small treasures like that Grans Muralles de Torres we had a while back, and that is one of our best Mediterranean wines, full of sunshine but also of finesse and lightness, without alcoholic heaviness. Love it,See it ,taste it ,enjoy it at  Calle Jorge Juan, 16 ;closest Metro Serrano or Velazquez of Line 4. More here:

A tour of the Prado Museum to discover the works of art that among its elements include some of the most recognized products of the Spanish pantry. Gastronomy and art or Art and gastronomy. More information here:

Some portraits to see that were of interest to me are Los Pedroches (DOP), “Bodegón con chorizos, jamón y recipientes”, of Luis Egido Meléndez (1772), Mahón-Menorca (DOP) “Bodegón con plato de cerezas, ciruelas, jarra y queso”, of Luis Egido Meléndez (1760), “Plátano de Canarias” (IGP) of Luis Egido Meléndez (1760) ;”Frutas”, of Adela Ginés y Ortiz (1910), Queso Manchego (DOP) “Interior de la cocina de una posada del pueblo manchego de Maqueda”, of Cecilio Pizarro y Librado (1876), “Una de mesa embolsada del Vinalopó (DOP)” Bodegón con cuatro racimos de uvas”, of Juan Fernández “el Labrador” (around 1636), the previous painting showcase the only grape that grows protected “najo” (a paper bag), which carefully caresses and keeps all the grains of the bunch. And many more! The Prado Museum webpage is here for reference as well as to celebrate the 200 anniversary of the museum : Prado museum bicentenary anniversary

Some ideas on some wines of the southeast of Spain that are worth trying, as my recommendation:

Other excellent wines that me and/or my family had ,all the Spanish Sureste (southeast), again with predominance of those of Monastrell, but with a great variety of styles and a growing presence of the wines of the wine farms, which provide an undeniable plus of personality. Some good ones with region, winery, wine name, and price below : Bullas,Bodegas Lavia,Lavia Finca Paso Malo (2014)33.00. Bullas,Bodegas Lavia,Lavia Origen (2014)20.00. Yecla, Atlan & Artisan,Epistem Nº 5 (2016)120.00, Valencia ,Bodega Fil.loxera & Cía, (garage wine no web) El Cordero y las Vírgenes (2016)20.00. Bullas,Bodegas Lavia,Lavia Origen (2015)20.00. Alicante,Ibérica Bruno Prats,(former Château Cos-d’Estournel, Saint-Estèphe, Médoc France); Alfynal (2012)30.00. Bullas,Bodegas Lavia,Lavia Plus + (2015)14.00. Yecla,Atlan & Artisan,Epistem Nº 3 (2016)17.00. Valencia,Rafael Cambra,Casalabor (2017)14.00.Bullas,Bodegas Lavia,Lavia (2016)10.00.

There you go folks,  another wonderful page for enjoying my Spain, and yours. You know it by now, Spain ,everything under the sun!

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

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March 7, 2019

Real Madrid, the greatest club in football/soccer history!

I will be talking about something personal, it is my club since many years, and never updated since my first entry in 2011! until now in my blog. I think at this moment it would be very opportune to re tell you about it. I lived in Madrid for four years between 1970 to 1974, and played for the Real Madrid in baseball,volleyball ,and football/soccer in the alavin division. Once a Madridista, always a Madridista to the grave. There is no other team club alike in the history of the game of football/soccer. Hala Madrid!!!!

Madrid santiago bernabeu sta 07avr10


A bit of my life’s story goes like this:  I was just a young kid that was introduced to the organisation by a baseball umpire to play for their junior baseball team (sponsored by the Real Madrid in league of 8 teams which included the old US air base at Torrejon de Ardoz) at the parque de la Elipa, from my home at Calle Alcala, Quintana neighborhood or barrio (district Ciudad Lineal) it was just a bus P13 to it (now EMT bus 113). While there, friends used to go to see the team different sports  played, Ciudad Deportiva (the old one by the paseo de la Castellana now has four skyrises call towers as torre Espacio, torre Repsol, torre de la Mutua and torre Sacyr).

While going to these games, some kids who were already on the different sports organisations and had played football with me in parks like parque Calero and Retiro ,asked me to come to the Ciudad Deportiva installations for a tryout that was open. With the help of my baseball contacts that included member “socios” of the Real Madrid football team I got my first tryouts. Before long, I too, was wearing the white shirt of the football team, and move up from benjamin to alavin status. Those were wonderful memories even if just what is left is memories. Never forget that day in 1972 when I first enter the Real Madrid CF .


From then on it has been a love affair whenever I may be living, trying for all means to obtain news of the team, and enjoying every second of my visits to the city from 1977 on to today. I am active in several forums that talks about the team, and go to the stadium often in season to see football and basketball games from Vistalegre to Caja Magica ,Ciudad Deportiva, WiZink Center, Valdebebas to Santiago Bernabeu.

The team , a bit of history. The team was born out of educators who sat around and found a club in 1897 around the Vallecas barrio or neighborhood. Quickly it became more organised by several of the members of the team in 1901 and eventually  Julian Palacios as first President officially  registered the club in 1902 as the Madrid Foot-Ball Club in 1902. By 1920 the king Alfonso XIII give it the royal rank of Real or royal as he was a follower too ::) ,and honorary member =socio. From June 1920 it became the Real Madrid CF that we know today. The team participated in the first Spanish league organised in 1929 finishing in second place.  The first league came on this period in the 1931-32 season, the first title !

The greatest period came after the war when on September 15 , 1943 when ex player and ex coach ,Santiago Bernabeu was named President of the club. After organising an international tournament in Colombia in 1952, they saw what was in 1953 their greatest signing that of Alfredo Di Stefano( Argentina) , considered by many the world’s greatest player , as well as the Spanish Francisco “paco” Gento from Santander and the league championship came back to the Real Madrid in the 1953-54 season.  Also, little refugee Ferenc Puskas of Hungary having left his country after the Soviet invation and took refuge in Spain where he signed for the club. They were the start of an amazing run of Five European Cups in a row (record) .  With player like Amancio and Velazquez the club again wins the European Cup in 1966 while continuing to pile up Ligas and Cups at home, these were the Ye-Ye years . The sad news came in June 2nd 1978 with the passing of Don Santiago Bernabeu, the greatest president ever, and today the stadium bears his name as well as the metro stop to it on line 10.

The team follow with the 80’s “la Quinta del Buitre” nickname given to Emilio Butragueño as well as Mexican Hugo Sanchez (Hugol), and many more Ligas however no European Cup. The team from the farm system delighed many and remains one of the most popular periods in the club history even without winning an European championship.  The team continue to wins Ligas in the 90’s with the incorporation of perennial and crowd favorite Raul Gonzalez Blanco, probably the best player ever from the farm system. Finally in 1998  the team came back to win again its trophy , the European Cup now call Champions league. In 1999 the great coach and former player Vicente del Bosque arrive promoting to the first team the legendary goalkeeper Iker Casillas ,and with it winning again the Champions league in 2000.

With the election of 2000, a new president came into being the entrepreneur Florentino Perez, (those who follow me know he is not of my liking possibly guilty of the lack of titles of the club in the last few years) ;this was the so call Galactic era, where millionaires dotting shorts and representing the Real Madrid razzle dazzle the world without any title in Europe but huge paychecks from uncle Florentino. Ligas were won but not sufficient due to the expenditures made and another Champions league was won in 2002 with player like Figo, Zidane,Ronaldo, and Beckham. The chosen succesor made it look like an election was Ramon Calderon who created many administrative problems for the club,and was made to resigned in 2009. Ironically , it was Florentino Perez who replaced him single handily without opposition due to no changes in the club by laws where the rich wins, and the second Galactic era began with signing of Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, the signing from England of Spaniard Xabi Alonso and from France Karim Benzema all very expensive contracts and no titles as I write. Me think, time for president Florentino Perez to open elections and retire, too many years there is beginning to look like a dictatorship!

The story continues with the coming of Cristiano Ronaldo already the club all time goal scorer with 451 goals. Also, the signing of former player Zinedine Zidane was awesome. The French coach and the Portuguese player team up to bring us the amazing record of 3 Champions league in a row, never before seen or done!!!  And we are en route to name again the Greatest Club of the 21C having won more league and champions title than any, regardless of the crybabies out there; we won FIFA Best Club of the 20C and the IFHHS European Best club of the 20C as well!!!

Nevertheless, the club is the most winning club in the history of the sport in Spain and abroad regardless of the so call media frenzy of popular teams with a lot less history due to ever increasing publicity and media manipulation.  The Santiago Bernabeu stadium was built in 1947, with a capacity of  80 354 spectators today. The new sport city or  Ciudad Deportiva is today at Valdebebas just outside Madrid and the basketball arena  is now at the WiZink Center in Madrid.

The club has participated in all seasons of Spanish first division football, and has won 33 Ligas, by far the most. The player who has obtained the most titles with the club are Francisco Gento and Manuel Sanchis with 21 titles, and the player with most games is Raul Gonzalez Blanco with 741 games.


These are the domestic club titles:

Spanish Liga (33): 1931/32, 1932/33, 1953/54, 1954/55,1956/57, 1957/58, 1960/61, 1961/62, 1962/63, 1963/64, 1964/65, 1966/67, 1967/68, 1968/69, 1971/72, 1974/75, 1975/76, 1977/78, 1978/79, 1979/80, 1985/86, 1986/87, 1987/88, 1988/89, 1989/90, 1994/95, 1996/97, 2000/01, 2002/03, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2011-2012, and 2016-2017.

Copa del Rey or Kings Cup  (19): 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1917, 1934, 1936, 1946, 1947, 1962, 1970, 1974, 1975, 1980, 1982, 1989, 1993, 2010-2011, and 2013-2014

Super Cup of Spain (10): 1988, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1997, 2001, 2003, 2008, 2012, 2017. League Cup (1): 1985. Eva Duarte Cup (1):1947. Regional Championships and Community trophies (28) 1904/05, 1905/06, 1906/07, 1907/08, 1909/10, 1912/13, 1915/16, 1916/17, 1917/18, 1919/20, 1921/22,1922/23,1923/24, 1926/26, 1927/28 ,1929/30,1930/31, 1932/33, 1933/34, 1934/35, 1935/36, and 1943. vice Champion of the Liga  (23): 1928/29, 1933/34, 1934/35, 1935/36, 1941/42, 1944/45, 1958/59, 1959/60, 1965/66, 1980/81, 1982/83, 1983/84, 1991/92, 1992/93, 1998/99, 2004/05, 2005/06, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2012-2013, 2014-2015, 2015-2016.  vice Champions of the Kings Cup (20): 1903, 1916, 1918, 1924, 1929,1930,1933,1940,1943,1958, 1959/60, 1960/61,1967/68,1978/79 ,1982/83,1989/90, 1991/92,2001/02,2003/04.2012/13. vice Champion Super Cup of Spain (3): 1982, 1995, 2007. vice Champion League Cup  (1): 1983

International done just the same as good thank you;

Champions League  (13): 1955-56, 1956-57, 1957-58, 1958-59, 1959-60, 1965-66, 1997-98, 1999-00, 2001-02. 2013-2014, 2015-2016, 2016-2017, and 2017-18.


UEFA Cup (2): 1984/85, 1985/86.

Super Cup of Europe (4): 2002, 2014, 2016, 2017.

Intercontinental Cup , later World Club Cup (7): 1960,1998,2002, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018.

Ibero American Cup  (1): 1994. Latin Cup(2): 1955, 1957. Club Small World Cup  (2): 1952, 1956.  vice Champion Champions league UEFA  (3): 1961-62, 1963-64, 1980-81. vice Champion European Cup of Cups  (2): 1971,1983. vice Champion Intercontinental Cup  (2): 1966,2000. vice Champion Super Cup of Europe  (2): 1998, 2000.


The team has an inmense farm system or Cantera, that allows to maintain teams in many divisions and with excellent championship records as well such as Real Madrid-Castilla, and Real Madrid C team. It ,also has an excellent basketball section with 9 times champions of Europe.

some links of interest below:

The official club webpage  Real Madrid CF

if you want to be part of the family, then become a Madridista here  : Real Madrid fan Club Madridistas

if you want to shop online or find the store in Madrid webpage :  Real Madrid boutiques , for on site stores there is the stadium store on avenida Concha Espina puerta or door 55 or the calle Carmen 3 near Sol in city center,metro sol.


if you want to buy ticket onlines ahead of games and pick up yours at the stadium, very easy then see this  : Ticketmaster


if you want to discuss in Spanish the latest trends in Spanish football and especially the Real Madrid join me in this forum Foro Real Madrid at webpage: Foro del Real Madrid fans forum

For the best sport journal ,in Spain in my opinion, and extensive coverage of football see AS at  Sport journal AS in English with various language and country version , I have it in English.

As the song says, nobody does it better!! Of course, we are human we lose too but overall we are simply the best! We will be back!! Always do always will. Just stay tune! Real Madrid CF forever Hala Madrid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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

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