Tuesday, 10 December 2013

MAD --> BCN


This weekend I thought I'd milk the Spanish "puente" [bridge] holiday tradition (wouldn't wanna disrespect the customs now) and bop to nearby Barça for a three day staycation. Despite being a super speedy 50 minute vuelo from Madrid, there's distinct vibes between the two cities, for sure (this definitely ain't a negative thing, no siree). And that's without taking Barcelona's overwhelmingly Independence obsessed, Catalonian-speaking spirit into account; the language adjustment was just a tad confuso for my lil Castilian-accustomed head! 


Even though Catalonia's political/economic backdrop certainly finds itself in a funny phase, this doesn't detract in any way what-so-ever from Barça's unassailable brilliance. The city kinda has it all. It somehow strikes a seamless and refreshing balance between conventional, buzzy city life (countless shops, efficient transport connections, celebrated sightseeing spots etc.), gorgeous beaches and a vibrant vida nocturna [nightlife], all whisked together with an air of cool, youthful nonchalance. The non-stop sun and crystal clear skies were just the cherry on top. 

Here's a small sample of my three day whistle-stop trip:


And what's a Catalonian christmas season without caga tió [shitting log]...  
...or caganer [shitting man]? Oh Barça. "Felices fiestas" to you too.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Sunday junk junket



Bein' quite the flea store junkie (pardon the pun), I was pretty haps to hit upon Madrid's meet-up for all kinds of antique antics this Sunday. Right off the Rastro lies a little locale of nada but antique, vintage and retro retail spots; Galerías Piquer. A total Aladdin's cave of curiosities older than ya Grandma (but still in fine fine condition), this accomplished area of predominantly art deco antigüedades is a real ideal place to pick up some serious interior gems. Provided you've got the suitcase space, claro. Ah, and to boot, the Galerías are set in super cute surroundings, amplified by the still *touchwoodtouchwood* gorge late-November weather. 
Always one step behind the shutter.

Of course, no Madrilenian Sunday would be quite complete without a "relaxing cup of café con leche," as they say, so it would've been rude not to have swung by my lil coffee stop cherub, Toma Café. 
Worryingly content. Check dat giveaway dimple.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

This week I'm lovin'

f r e s h
I fell for this Air Max 1 Hyperfuse colourway a little while ago, but my painfully average size 5 trotters made it near impossible to track down the above beauties in my fit. After a couple of weeks of dead set determination though, I've fi-na-lly got my lil mitts on them. Totally worth the houndlike hunt; I'm a bit in love.

Monday, 4 November 2013

CentroCentro: El Arte del Presente {Colleción Helga de Alvear}


While art aficionados can certainly satisfy their cultural cravings at the most eminent of Madrid's museums, the "guidebook go-tos" if ya like, I've found that there really is much more to the art scene here than the likes of (the indubitably impressive) El Prado and La Reina Sofia. Plus, if like me you're not totally enthusiastic about the hordes of gallery goers these kinda places lure, you'll most probably embrace the more overlooked (but no less worthy) of the city's artsy hotspots. 


Exhibition space and all-round cultural core CentroCentro sure-as-dammit qualifies as one of these. Housed in the architecturally sound Palacio de Cibeles edificio [building], CentroCentro is a veritable gem for contemporary art buffs and architecture appreciators alike. For those partial to a pretty panorama, the site also boasts a viewing platform to peer over part of the city. And the cute little gift shop's worth a visit too.


However! On this occasion, I was keen to check out contemporary art exhibition El Arte del Presente [The Art of the Present], before it closed its doors on November 3rd. Well worth the cost of entrada at a super slender €2.50 (for students, at least), the collection was packed with some seriously striking visual art from a real plethora of disciplines. All the artists showcased have been supported in one way or another by Spain's most comprehensive contemporary art gatherer, Helga de Alvear. Hence the name cred. The refreshing intermingling of media and expressive forms, including video, installation, photography, drawing and sculpture, totally reflects Helga's interest in the works as entities rather than favouring a specific discipline. This made for a real fresh and eclectic mix of work. Here's a teeny taster:



video
video