This is probably one of my favorite places. Not just because of of the obvious … It’s freakin beautiful! The significance behind it. I went to El Círculo de las Bellazas Artes. They currently have a photojournalism exposition that I nearly fell flat on my face. If you are ever in Madrid … El círculo de bellezas artes is a place you must stop. The price can not be beat 3€ for the awesome exhibition and 1€ extra to pay a visit to the terrace.
As I mentioned what made it special was not just the cool exhibition nor areal view. Most do not know that the day before I had a horrible case of homesickness. I believe what shocked me the most was that it happened so soon. Yes, when I first arrived here I got the sense of déjà vu. As if I belonged here my dream of making Madrid my first stop was not a dream but a reality. I was an active participate in making that happen. Well that particular Sunday I was not feeling so hot. In fact, I had plans to hang out with my roommate Cristina and go to el rastro (a market) which was right outside my house. You would think how convenient. Those of you who know me if I pass up shopping there must be something particularly wrong with me … Especially, if shopping requires me to negotiate. (Which is my specialty) so this particular sunday I decided to through myself a pity party for one as my cousin Monica would say and listened to George Strait all day.
click here to watch film clips and still shots.
Just when I thought I was going to have a manic Monday i got invited by my wonderful coworkers to this place. So when I finally got to the Terrance all the sadness from the day before washed away. I literally fell in love with Madrid… Or it could have been because of the high altitude that I was high.
I know not everyone will have this experience. Most of you will say what a great place for a photo op, appreciate art, grab a cocktail, but for me it will be a place where I will just go to clear my head.
Coming from a city like Houston who has been dubbed as the fattest city in the states. Or should I say we have an appreciation for good food. When my Australian co-worker said “hey, in Lavapies they are having tapas festival. ” I am sure you would understand how there was not any hesitation.
Before the expulsion of Jews in 1492 the cobbled streets of Lavapies (literally means wash your feet) was an old Jewish Quarter. This neighborhoods’ namesake came about as an school Jewish tradition of washing your feet before going to temple. Lavapies slopes towards the center of the city also known as Sol. Now it is one of the most diverse areas in all of Madrid. Since the 19th century, it remained true to its tradition as a working class neighborhood. If you walk down Calle Argumosa you will find Moroccan, Indian, and Chinese cuisine at a good bang for your euro. Or how I like to refer this to as a baller on a budget.
This is the second year were most of the restaurant owners of Lavapies create a tapa style mouth watering showcase or their culture through what their restaurant / bar has to offer. As if that was not enough… One tapa Estrella Damm beer will cost 1€ each… I was in fat kid heaven.
click to watch Tapapies video
Don’t get me wrong I love the Spanish life style.In fact, I feel that I have adjusted quite well. In just 3 1/2 weeks I’ve managed to get a Pizo, Spanish cell, abono (which is the metro pass… There is an appointment list that can take up to 3 weeks to obtain), a Spanish bank account, signed myself up for flamenco classes, and had countless dates with españoles. So yes, I have been a busy lady.
However, I am reminded daily that “todo I don’t think we are in Texas anymore” … So first thing people do not understand the struggle my bathroom is so minuscual That I do not think people can comprehend unless you live it. In fact, when I get in the shower I laugh my ass off. I am reminded of my uncle Gustavo (he is a joker) when he went to Italy for the first time he explained his experience how he got in the shower and grabbed the shower head and did a small jig to get cleaned.
But when my clean under wear was quickly depleting. I was starting to panic. You see one of the things I hate the most is doing laundry. I absolutely can not stand it. I detest it!!!First of all,my washer is so little and antiquated that there is a section to put liquid fabric softener and this part is particularly important especially because your dryer is not a machine that tumbles the laundry. Oh no that would just be convenient. My dryer is no other than a clothes line. Taa daah
So what has this taught me,because I believe everything in life has a lesson. Yes, I am constantly surrounded by beautiful architecture, amazing processions of good looking men (especially the ones in uniform), endless partying, and delectable food. So in order for me to enjoy this I just have to keep an open mind and invest in a good two in one fabric softener. After all when you get frustrated in Spain just remember there is always tomorrow and relax and have a glass of whine oh wait wine.
Not Bad for the First Time!!!
One of the things I absolutely adore about moving to this city is how friendly people can be. Everyday I see it as an opportunity to meet new people. So this past Saturday was not only fun but educational. In a neighborhood called Lavapies I stumbled to a sidrerias. Basically, a tavern where there are only ciders. In the states, I believe most would say cider is a girly way of drinking beer. Here on the other hand it’s an experience. In reality it is just a type of wine.
According to Asturias tradition, Sidra or Cider, is the traditional drink of Asturias. Asturias is north of Madrid between the regions of Galicia and Pais Vasco (where my ancestry is from).It is made from locally-grown apples in Asturias and has been produced here since ancient times. Sidra is technically the regions “wine.” The Romans called it “pomaria” and the Arabs called it “siserio.” There are over 30 varieties of apples commercially grown in Asturias, but only some of the varieties are suitable for fermenting into sidra. Sidra Asturiana is a light, musty and tart, but slightly sweet beverage, perfect for enjoying during the warm days of summer.
Believe it or not I think los españoles (the Spanish) are very much like the Texans, maybe that is why I feel so at home. The spanish love to do food and drinking in a very big dramatic fashion. ” Go big or Go home” mentality a small group of you would order a bottle and it has a split spout. The tavern only gives you one glass and everyone in that group shares. So you definitely want to do this with someone who is close to you or you will have no choice but to become fast friends. Holding a large, rustic glass in one hand and a bottle of cider in the other, the bartender raises the bottle above his head and lets the chilled cider fall into the glass, producing a bit of foam from the carbonation. This process is called escanciar, it is said that it is to produce the best tasting cider. Once it is poured you must chug quickly. Whatever is left over you swirl it in the cup and dump it on the floor. Yes people you so wear tennis shoes or shoes you do not mind getting wet.
Now I can scratch of #7 on my personal Spain list.
Beef and potatoe stew
I had to try it myself…
Saying my goodbyes, resigning from my job, and selling my car. When I tell people that my blog is named sincerely,Lynnette they never hesitate to ask me… Why?
Here goes that way I only have to answer this once. I wish I could say I was absolutely creative and cleaver. After brainstorming, my original thought was to call it postcards from Lynnette and then I thought damn that’s to long. Then I thought I should stick to the theme of the postal service. I thought I should just call it Sincerely… because it would be my sincere account of my travels.
Sorry if everyone thought that this would be very poetic… Unfortunately, I am not that creative.
A cute tapas bar that is in my neighorhood… (La Latina ) named Latina Turner… (Cute play on words) most of my friends will know my obsession.
One of my closet friends, Ann, gave a necklace that had the coordinates of this dream place as well as a necklace that has an arrow. She said, this arrow symbolize two thing:
- follow the direction you would like to go
- sometimes being pulled back helps you spring forward to where you need to be.
Now before I start my account of this experience. Please keep in mind this is not a complaint. However, I think people have a misconception and I do have to blame facebook for this. That my life is all lollipops and unicorns by the my pictures and random experiences I post. Yes, I do often roam around Madrid as if i know where I am going and take a 2 hour siestas. What most do not know, is the amount of paperwork, headaches, and buzz kill I go through each day. Which reminds me why everyone in this country is a functioning alcoholic. They drink because it is there way of saying F**k it. You want to give me a hard time … well i am going to go on coffee break.
Most do not tell you that when you are following your arrow that you have to be prepared to do things you may not want to do. No one reveals how difficult it can be to get papers pushed through. For example, I thought the most difficult thing was trying to get the visa. Apparently, I could not be anymore wrong. You want a cell phone number please have your paperwork ready. You want empardonamiento… have your paperwork ready. So there is all this paperwork and very little organization.
Or even, realizing that I am not in a foreign place more that I am the foreigner and that I must act accordingly. Constantly saying to myself, ” Don’t be a stupid American”. (you know the kind that wears khaki’s with white keds and pickpocketers can see them a mile away) Which I experienced an unfavorable sequence of events when I was in Valencia for a mini weekend trip.
Sometimes, I sit in a cafe with my tinto verano ( red wine with lemonade) and think how did I get so lucky. Just like that … I realize that this is just temporary and try to relish the good, bad, and sometimes ugly.
Sweet Mother and Son. Notice how he has his mom’s hand towards him not the other way around.
One of my favorite past time that never gets old is people watching. So just like everyone in the Houston. I have a 40 minute metro commute to from La Latina to Las Suertes to work. I use to hate commuting in Houston mainly because I had to be very focused and ready for the any A$$H%^e that was impatient on the road. I actually enjoy my 40 minute commute because I do not have to think I could just read my book and mentally prepare myself for the day.
As of now I have been in Madrid for 12 days. I have received countless piropos aka catcalls, several whats app exchanges, and even dates. I know it’s ridiculous. But the madrileños are very forward and know what they want and they make sure you know. So as I observed this I realized why the men are like this and it brings me to my commute to work this week. I was sitting in front of a mother and son who are were bickering back and forth. The mother told him to be quiet. So the little boy started hugging his mom and giving her several butterfly kisses on her cheek. As I watch this interaction I realize that the culture grooms these future Don Juan’s. It is also refreshing to see that these boys are so secure with how they feel that they are not embarrassed by this display of public affection. It is refreshing to see.