Browsing All Posts filed under »madrid«

Madrid: Perfecting Your Gazpacho

September 22, 2006



Temperatures in Madrid have dropped in the past few days, which means I've probably made my last gazpacho of the season.

In truth, it took me a long time to learn to love gazpacho. Not only because, well into my twenties, I refused to eat tomatoes (until the fateful day when I passed a market in Caligari, Sardinia--how well I remember it!--and the red globes looked too delicious to pass up). But mostly because, even after I had learned to love the tomato, I only tried gazpacho in the US, where it tends suffer from a serious texture problem.

Madrid: The Meaning of Hard Rock Hotel

August 30, 2006


by almendro “It’s going to be a 24-7, three-dimensional experience,” said Trevor Horwell, chief hotels officer for Hard Rock International. “You’re going to have moods happening within the rooms, vibes going on within the restaurant and another vibe in the bar.” Vibes within vibes. Just the thing for a hotel that used to house bullfighters […]

Madrid: Mean Streets

August 22, 2006


by almendro For years, it seemed, Madrid’s street performers were confined to your run-of-the-mill accordionists and wistful travelling Germans strumming out slightly off-key Beatles songs. But now, every summer seems to bring a new addition. First it was the Thai massage people, who would congregate at the Plazas del Oriente and Mayor and corral weary […]

Madrid: Occult Spain

August 8, 2006


by almendro For years, a book called Espana Oculta has sat on our coffee table in Oberlin, there even when we aren’t. A collection of photographs by Cristina Garcia Rodero, it’s always been one of my favorite art books, filled with gorgeous black and white pictures of widows in black and first communion girls in […]

Madrid: Taxi Driver – The Sequel

August 2, 2006



The diversity of Spanish cab drivers may only be matched by their willingness to tutor you on whatever topic you bring with you into their vehicles.

Whereas the last taxista to earn a place on this blog had waxed long in the tradition of esoteric philosophical critics, the man shown above deserves notice for being an acute observer of contemporary popular culture.

Madrid: Do It Yourself Vaccine

June 22, 2006



by almendro

I've always had a soft spot for Spanish medicine. Especially the pharmacies, where the job is taken very seriously, and prescriptions are only occasionally necessary. Spanish pharmacists fulfill a role somewhat closer to doctors than they do in the US: often you can walk in, describe your symptoms, answer a few questions, and walk out with just the thing for what ails you.

And in general, we've been delighted to learn that things like heavy-duty cough medicine with codeine (it's allergy season and the whole country is suffering from the highest pollen counts in the past 20 years) are ours just for the asking.

Photo credit: Angel 14

Madrid: Death of a Diva

June 2, 2006


y almendro You can live in a country for years, you can start to think that you really get a culture, and then, blammo, something like this happens to remind you that, no, you are always and will always be a foreigner. Rocio Jurado, famed singer of that unpalatable sap known as cancion espanoladied yesterday after a long […]