~cádiz & seville~

December 29th, 2008

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Our hosts in Andalusia were an old friend of Alfonso and his wife, who is native to Cadiz, of the town Sanlucar de Barrameda. Upon our arrival we were thus treated to a party of adults and kids, a reunion of sorts for the high school girlfriends of our host and their menfolk and children.

Much fino Manzanilla sherry was consumed, as we were in one of the points of the so-called “sherry triangle”. A traditional stew of white beans and chorizo was crazy delicious. A rainstorm prevented outside frolicking, so instead we danced to Rod Stewart’s Do You Think I’m Sexy? (a 45 record played on a phonograph), among the deer heads and hunting knife displays, under florescent light. A good night.

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Santa Catalina church, my chance to make an offering, however small, to Santa Lucia–who answered my first and to date only prayer back in October 2007.

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Spain: it’s all about Jamón!

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Ocean of Cádiz. {click to expand}

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The hedonistic, independent lady cigarette-rollers–cigarreras–employed by Seville’s factories in the 19th century inspired French composer Georges Bizet to write an opera based on one, Carmen. The Royal Factory of Seville (1758) is where she worked.

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Bar Giralda was once a Moorish bathhouse, a tapas bar since the 1930s.

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El Rinconcillo began as a canteen in a 16th century convent, then a tavern, now a tapas bar with Art Nouveau tile murals and lovely woodwork. The bartender draws your tab in chalk on the bar in front of you.

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An occasional break from all that ham.

Here is a charming 1920s reel set in Seville, shot by Burton Holmes.

And a scene from Carmen in La Tabacalera, with splendid dancers Laura del Sol and Cristina Hoyos having a sexy-off.

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