Monday, April 25, 2011


I was in Madrid last week for meetings and unlike recent visits, had a couple of hours in the old part of the city to take some pictures

During riots 200 years ago the statue above was knocked over and broken in parts. Inside were found 100s of bird skeletons. Apparently, birds could get inside the opening in its mouth, but not out. It was restored with a sealed mouth thus saving the main square starlings. 
As you can see the city is as beautiful as comparable capitals and the history is traced in the buildings and avenues. One place of note was a small tapas bar off the main square devoted to all things Bull fighting. Rather than a celebration of the conveyor belt of matador victories, it gave prominent pride of place to pictures of the rare Bull triumphs.
This is no outpost of PETA; its a monument to the blood sport. What was interesting was the bloodthirsty emphasis on events when things don't unfold according to the usual script.
Not for the faint of heart.
Along with some colleagues I had the  delight of going to "Casa Patas" on one of our free evenings.

Its a well established restaurant, famous enough for its food but also has ( in a room way at the back) a nightly program of Flamenco. Its not an insider's secret ( Johnny Depp, Naomi Campbell and William Dafoe have all been spotted there), but hidden away enough that you feel you've come upon something special and off the beaten track. I've heard that all the performers are part of the National school of Flamenco though can't verify that. What I can say with certainty is the passion and commitment the performers seem to invest in their performances. This is not a tourist show on auto pilot but a committed passionate expression in front of peers as well as the paying public. Having been before I enjoyed seeing the faces of my colleagues as they realised this was the real thing.
Even if you don think this sort of stuff floats your boat, you'd be missing out  not catching a performance if you re in Madrid.
Yep its that good. 

Our host for the week was a colleague of mine, Carlos Mascorda.
King of all things Madrid.
That's it for today.
Stay well everyone

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